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Gas well wastewater facility is here to stay

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Williams Production officials announced Friday that a temporary centralized wastewater and compression facility at Frenchtown and Jeter Roads will become a permanent fixture after a search for alternate locations to support the company’s natural gas wells in Argyle was unsuccessful.

The seven-acre site is located in an unincorporated area of the county between Argyle and Bartonville, about three miles west of Lantana.

“In terms of alternatives, we looked at commercial property that was listed. We looked at other energy sites. We involved public officials and community members, but the ideal location that meets everyone’s expectations doesn’t exist,” said Williams Regional Vice President Delio Silvestri in a letter to area residents.

“Now, after more than four months of extensive efforts and even putting money down on another site, we have exhausted the process to relocate these facilities elsewhere.”

Williams is developing 16 natural gas wells at two locations in Argyle known as the “Blessing” and “Wright” drilling pads. Five of the wells are in the early stages of producing natural gas.

All of the initial water hauling associated with the wells is being handled at the drill sites for now, according to company officials.

Water hauling at the Jeter Rd. site – expected to begin in September – will be limited to Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Williams officials.

The company will fund improvements for Frenchtown Road, which is the main road from the site to Hwy 377. A layer of asphalt will be applied over the pavement in August, with a complete rebuild of the road planned for later on.

To date, 12 tanks have been installed at the Jeter Rd. site, as well as security, fencing, metering equipment, a driveway, and two entrances that were required by the county.

Six additional water collection tanks, for a total of 18, along with two pipeline compressors and two gas-lift compressors, is expected to be installed by the end of the year, company officials said.

The produced water could contain such toxins as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website.

“This site is in the Denton Creek flood plain where runoff can contaminate drinking water downstream into Lake Grapevine,” said Argyle anti-drilling activist Jana DeGrand.

Safety plans call for the water collection tanks to be surrounded by a steel containment ring and protected underneath by a liner. A VOC emissions control device will be installed on the tank battery. All of the compressors will be housed within three sound-control structures that look like barns, similar to the company’s site on Scenic Drive in Flower Mound.

Operationally, the compressors will use lean-burn technology and/or catalytic converters to reduce emissions. Infrared cameras and laser methane leak detectors will be used during scheduled inspections.

Aesthetically, the vegetation buffer at the site will be increased through the planting of native trees and shrubbery, Williams officials added.

Despite the safety reassurances from Williams, members of the Argyle–Bartonville Communities Alliance – a group of residents who live near the site – are concerned about the company’s decision.

“We did not desire to live on a major road used by 18 wheelers. We did not wish to be a few feet from a dangerous industrial facility. No matter what kind of structure you put around it the dangers are still there,” said Jayme Sizelove.

“My family once felt safe in this home. I hope this never happens to anyone else. The laws have to change. We need better protections.”

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