Community leaders to learn more about Barnett Shale health risks

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by CHRIS HAWES / WFAA - TV

wfaa.com

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 13 at 2:58 PM

Location of DISH, Texas

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FORT WORTH — The North Central Texas Communities Alliance is hosting DISH mayor Calvin Tillman at its meeting Wednesday night.

The public meeting is the first since an organizational meeting for the new group in December.

The DISH mayor caught the attention of many after the city uses its town funds to conduct a study of the air near natural gas facilities when no other entity would do so. The private study found elevated levels of benzene and other hazardous air pollutants, leading to the issuance of a TCEQ memo stating.

"The Toxicology Division is concerned that the monitored concentrations of benzene at several of the sampling locations could pose a long-term health risk to residents in the area if the concentrations are representative of normal and prolonged ambient conditions," the memo read.

TCEQ is conducting further testing in DISH.

Tillman will address the group about the DISH and TCEQ testing. He has also called for a moratorium on gas drilling permits in the Barnett Shale.

The NCTCA describes itself as "a  broad-based coalition of individuals, organizations and communities throughout the Barnett Shale area working on local, state and national levels for positive solutions to the problems related to natural gas drilling and pipelines."

Wednesday's meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hotel Trinity Inn and Suites in Fort Worth. Additional information can be found at http://www.nctca.net.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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