NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Members of the HomeTown neighborhood in North Richland Hills are readying for another battle brewing over what happens below ground.
"I had heard that we were going to be a drilling site a couple of years ago, and I chose not to sign a contract to give away my mineral rights," said Stacy Stuewe.
Stuewe is one of several neighbors who kept her rights, which should keep any nearby drilling a good distance away from her land, at least for now. Neighbors received a letter last week from the Texas Railroad Commission saying Chesapeake Energy has applied for an exception to the rule that would allow them to drill much closer to the properties.
"I'd like the drilling to be as far from my house as possible," Stuewe said.
She's recruited neighbors who feel the same for many reasons.
"We know that we do not want the drilling so close to us that it could affect our property, property value," said Gretchen Demke.
"It seems increasingly, over time, as more information about fracking comes out locally and nationwide," added Greg Pierce. "It's at least something that raises a lot of concerns."
Their only option is to write a letter of protest by September 15, which will force the commission to hold a hearing on the application. They know it'll be a tough fight, especially with a Chesapeake drill sight already sitting about a mile from their home, but they'll try every avenue possible to reroute those pipes.
"I think as a neighborhood, coming together and understanding together what our rights are is a good thing," Demke said.
Calls to Chesapeake Energy were not returned.