Dear Dallas City Plan Commission regarding the gas refinery

I’m a busy woman! I interrupted my day to dress up (sort of) and drive to Dallas City Hall to deliver some vitally important information to the Dallas City Plan Commission about the Luna South Gas Processing Facility that is under your consideration. I have some vitally important information for you, information that you have not yet heard.  You refused to listen.

Thankfully Susan Sullivan got to speak.

Here is what I would have said to you Commissioners:

An earlier speaker mentioned a peer-reviewed study that links gas drilling to human and animal health affects. There are actually FIVE peer-reviewed studies linking shale oil & gas production to health impacts.

I lived in the gas patch for sixteen years. Now I am an organizer for Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project helping people who are affected by these kind of facilities.

Natural-gas compressors, pipelines and plants released more than 70,000 tons of pollutants in Texas over the past three years due to accidents or other “abnormal” events. These events are a necessary part of operations. Releases of toxins into the air are required operations.

These facilities are allowed to release emissions into the air for many reasons. A blowdown is an allowed emission event that purges or empties the system of all the contents including VOC’s and chemicals.  

In Argyle, where Susan Sullivan lived, the Argyle Central Facility TCEQ issued permit estimated 144 blowdowns a year from the four compressors. In 2011, there were 501 blowdowns, or about 1.37 on average each day. The Argyle Central Facility exceeded their permit on February 3, 2011! 

Many of the residents sued the operator, reached a settlement and can no longer tell their stories. But I can tell their stories. 

During releases from ACF many pollutants where released into the air. Residents documented the pollutants and tracked their health affectswhich included headaches, nausea, nosebleeds, rashes, dizziness, and optical hallucinations.

New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found a strong link between the kind of air pollution from natural gas facilities and heart attacks. Researchers suspect the pollutants enlarge heart tissue. 

Four Argyle residents had heart attacks that coincided with releases. All four had enlarged heart tissue. Two people died. One was a thirteen-year-old boy. One of the survivors is here today. Please stand up Jana

The TCEQ has taken no action to improve the situation for residents near ACF. The facility was issued a violation to the Clean Air Act by the EPA for “a release of an extremely hazardous substance…”

This story is echoed in areas of shale production throughout the United States. 

That’s what I tried to say before a very nice, and handsome Dallas police officer helped me find my way out of the chambers. I hear I made the news.

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. Jana says

    Okay I’m standing, please Google STEMI, AKA ST elevated myocardial infarction, mine was from coronary vasospasm. I collapsed in my garage in March 2011 on one of the multiple release days from Argyle Central. Thanks for trying. Dallas really needs to hear from those of us who live in it. If you don’t live in it and experience it, you have a hard time comprehending what it is like to live here. To someone on the outside, we must sound a little crazy, it is hard to fathom the atrocities that we cope with, especially, when on the outside, all you see is what appears to be an ideal country life.

    • says

      In a recent interview, I said that my opinion about fracking is informed by direct experience. Lots of people have different opinions but direct experience has a way of changing their opinion rapidly.

  2. says

    Yep, you made the news. I spread it on Twitter and FB. Although you did get escorted out, Schermbeck got himself carried out like he’s been carried out a dozen times before. I could tell by the tone he was getting under their skin. I wish I could’ve heard his speech.