Arlington council approves controversial drilling permit

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 12:10 AM

'Rocking Horse' drilling site

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ARLINGTON — At a meeting Tuesday night, the Arlington City Council gave the green light for more gas drilling at what has become a controversial location.

The drill site is located off South Collins Street.  It sits just 359 feet from a day care center and is just 400 feet from a row of homes.

"I'm not convinced it's a good thing," said resident Michelle Meeks, who is raising a son in one of the nearby homes.  "There is the day care... and my home."

The "Rocking Horse" site already has one gas well operated by Chesapeake Energy.  But the company sought another drilling permit to expand operations. Long-term plans call for as many as 11 wells on the property.

"It's very concerning... there are health and air quality questions," said Tri Nguyen, who has property which backs up to the site.

Chesapeake defended itself at the Council meeting on Tuesday, saying it is committed to being a good neighbor and that it is helping provide efficient energy to the area.  

A handful of residents spoke in favor of the new well, but the majority of speakers were against it.

Stil, the Council narrowly approved the new permit on a 5-4 vote, which means once the company installs a security camera on the site, they can move ahead with drilling another well.

The day care center wouldn't comment on the proposal. 

Council members said they will watch the project expansion closely and address any potential violations right away.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

 

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