Chesapeake Energy sickens Arlington residents again with fracking operations


Chesapeake Energy is, AGAIN, conducting flowback operations at their Bruder site in an Arlington neighborhood. This happens to be one of the neighborhoods that suffered damage from the recent tornadoes and the pad site is very close to homes.

UPDATE: According to another Arlington resident in the comments, this could be fracking and not yet the flowback. We aren’t sure and that fact is problematic. People who live next to this kind of heavy industry should not have to second guess about what is happening in their neighborhoods. All we know for sure is that whatever is happening it is having an impact on the neighborhood.

UPDATE: Yes, this looks like a frack job and I think they are filling up the frack pond with fresh water. Still, very high emissions have been detected during fracking. So now we wait for flowback. Maybe CHK invested in some new pressurized tanks with vapor recovery. We can hope.

More video soon.

Chesapeake’s spokesperson Julie Wilson (no relation) recently said the flowback is only steam so Arlington residents and Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project challenged her to prove it. Chesapeake and the City of Arlington remains unresponsive to the concerns of residents regarding this public health risk.

Today, the fire department answered a 911 call to the location on Park Springs. According to the resident, the fireman was “very ugly”  and told the resident that it was “just steam.”

I contacted the Arlington Fire Department and requested copies of the air sampling they conducted at this site that allows them to tell tax payers these potentially toxic vapors are just steam.

A study by the Colorado School of Public Health found that living near fracking is risky for health.

Subchronic exposures to air pollutants during well completion activities present the greatest potential for health effects.

According to this study, cancer risks for people living within 1/2 mile of these activities were estimated to increase by at least 66%.

Another video:

UPDATE again: In this picture you can see Chesapeake has applied a sand sock as an emission control device. The emissions are decreased some but you can see they are still crossing the fence line into the neighborhood.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Kim Feil says

    I went to the fire dept. this morning cause I didn’t want to call 911-they are busy with tornado stuff. Earlier this morning I wanted to get a third floor picture from the new dorm behind the UTA wells. (There are 22 gas wells at UT Arlington’s campus in Texas and they built a dorm to the south). When I was in the parking lot this morning, I could hear some constant “tiiiiiish” sound (2 lift compressors) and smell some gaseous (non mercaptan) type odor. The air seemed “light” in texture if I had to describe it. It’s just common sense to NOT allow people to live so close. Three days ago I was at the Community Gardens on the other side of campus and a lady who tended the garden said twice when she spent alot of time outside building her vine crawlers that she had two nose bleed gushers. The first one lastest 40 minutes, the second one lastest 20 minutes. She is in her mid 50’s and told me the last time she had nose bleeds was when she was a kid. Two other ladies I met last Wednesday testified to rashes, nosebleeds, seizures/brain leisons, cronic sinuses and upper respiratory issues for their family members ever since drilling came in near them…and so I write to give you an honest account and let you decide for yourself how much risk is actually out there.
    Arlington TX Gas Drilling Health Effects Claimed by Two More People

  2. Jane Lynn says

    I don’t believe they are flowing back at the Bruder Site. That looks like frac sand and it appears like that could be a possible violation under TCEQ’s rules. According to Arlington’s gas drilling status report, they have been fracking since Tuesday, April 3rd. Disgusting! I feel for those residents living in close proximity because inhalation of that silica sand and whatever chemicals plus diesel emissions is dangerous.

    • says

      I saw on the CHK site that they were going to be fracking starting the first of this month. Reports say the odor is very strong so it can’t be only silica. It’s too bad we have to speculate about what is happening in neighborhoods. We should have fair warning and full disclosure.

  3. David says

    It could be blowing sand that they use while fracking. I have a photo and video of a trailer looking machine that is loaded with sand and vibrates. It has wheels on the back and pads underneath that rest on the ground. Not sure why they do this but can also give you cancer (silicosis) if you breath too much. Cant say for sure without seeing where it is coming from.

  4. David says

    Sand machine in operation. I’m thinking after the sand machine it then goes into those tanker trucks and hauled to the frack job.

  5. Sally says

    Folks around this area need to become more educated and involved with their neighborhood’s environmental issues!

  6. Sharon Belvin says

    Do you know where I can find clear rules for the distance that should be between a frack pad site and residential homes? At the Bruder Site, according to Google Earth, the holding tanks are less than 100′ from someones backyard that has a swingset in it. At 1-30 and Ridgmar in Ft.Worth, there is about 50′ from the padsite to at least three apartment complexs where numerous children live and a assisted living complex that surround the pad site. I have checked with TCEQ, the RRC (they say they do not regulate distance between pad sites and residential dwellings). I have been thru pages and pages on the City of Arlington and Ft. Worth websites and it looks like it’s written within the mineral lease. Surely that can’t be accurate! Also, are there any rules on distance between the pipeline maintenance stations (the big gas pipes coming up out the ground, surrounded by chain-link fence with all the warning signs posted “No Smoking” “No Open Flame” “Keep Away” “Danger of Explsion”) and homes. There’s one in Arlington on Morris St. that is about 30′ from a backyard that has a kids playhouse and a bar-b-que grill in it. It just seems so wrong…so dangerous and I can’t find any clear info regarding distance. Any info would be appreciated.

    • says

      Ft. Worth and City of Arlington both have setbacks in their drilling ordinances. They are not protective of public health & safety. In both cities I believe the setback is 600′ but they allow variances so they can actually drill closer. The distance depends on where they make the measurements. Some cities measure from the wellhead to the center of the home. Call the city of Fort Worth and Arlington and ask the setback and the setback with variances. Ask them how the setback is measured, from the edge of the pad site, from the wellhead and to the property line or the center of the homes.

      These facilities are not safe in residential settings. If the homeowners will get property appraisals and document their losses, they might get compensation if they get an attorney. They should not be that close.

  7. Sharon Belvin says

    Thank you. It gets so confusing, but I guess that’s the way they want it. From the wellhead to the property line…the padsite to the middle of the house….250’…300’…600’…what does the lease say…has the gas co. filed a Title 37 (I believe) so they can put it wherever they want…Ugh, what a mess. It’s hard enough to convince a homeowner to seek compensation. What about the hundreds of people in apartment complexs? It’s not even my yard, but I just can’t stand to watch kids play so close to a padsite. I appreciate your suggestions and will see what I can figure out.

    • says

      You are right. They don’t want us to know what’s going on. I don’t think what is in the lease will have much bearing on the setback in urban drilling.

  8. Bob Brown says

    Gee, I was allowed to be less than 200′ from LAB 3 when fracking was going on. No one had protective gear on other than what they normally wear. I had a hard hat, safety shoes, safety glasses, a work shirt and pants. I watched it for a couple of hours. Actually it was boring. I’m not sick, The 22 wells at the campus have posed no problems or the mayor who is a doctor would have shut them down.

    In full disclosure, are you anti fossil fuels? I am pro drilling. Since 2008 at least a million wells have been drilled fracked in this country according to Google. Where is the evidence to support your claim?

    I know you won’t post this as it is never about facts.