March 30, 2016
#Fracking can threaten dams
The Army Corps of Engineers, never noted for its environmental friendliness, wants to ban fracking within 4,000 feet of the dam for Joe Pool Lake in suburban Dallas. It also wants to ban fracking injection wells within 5 miles.
And, now, the Texas Railroad Commission is up in a dander. The state's oil and gas regulator claims the Corps is usurping its rights. The Corps is making some nice-sounding noises, but sounds like it has a bottom line to which it will stick.
Give that a new map from the U.S. Geological Survey has shown that, if manmade factors are included, Dallas' earthquake risk has increased tenfold, it's probably got good scientific ground for that. (Per map: At least Big D isn't Ok City!)
But, the RRC, which still refuses to admit fracking, specifically injection wells, can cause quakes, has like a lot of GOP-dominated state agencies, always proved its unfriendliness to science that questions its best plutocratic instances. Plus, the Corps is "the feds." (Except when a Texas city or suburb wants channelization help because — usually because channelization elsewhere has increased the likelihood of flooding downstream.)
I'm not sure exactly how this will turn out other than a court battle where once again, the state of Texas is likely to lose to the federal government and waste both more state taxpayer money, and on the other side, more federal taxpayer money, while losing.
And, I "love" the Starlegram, in the first link, talking about the RRC and the Corps finding "reasonable ways" to settle this. Last time I checked, I thought Fort Worth was in Texas. The Startlegram knows better about the RRC.
And, in all of this, the Corps, while not environmentalists, DOES know dams.
And, since Joe Pool is also used for drinking water, let's add this. A new Stanford study has confirmed that fracking fluids can contaminate drinking water systems.