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Residents Protest Williams Facility in Argyle

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/5/25 14:20:00 (2789 reads)

Open in new windowA handful of Argyle protestors briefly blocked the entrance Monday morning to a planned waste collection facility in Argyle.

Concerned mother and founding member of Argyle - Bartonville Communities Alliance (ABCA), Jayme Sizelove says, "This dangerous site is too close to homes. It's only 100 feet from my son's bedroom window. Williams states that structure-to-structure, the equipment would actually be 240-250 feet from the Sizelove home.

Neighborhood residents are angry with their Town Council for allowing the facility, which they say still does not have proper plans and permits. Residents say that Williams should recycle produced water on-site rather than bring it to their community.

Originally, the Sophia #3 saltwater disposal well was permitted by the Texas Railroad Commission for the Bosque Disposal Company on a two acre pad just southwest of the intersection of Jeter and Frenchville roads. According to Williams, the above-ground tanks are needed on site since there will not be a disposal well. Normally tanks are installed at the site of each well, but in an interview with the Denton Record Chronicle, when asked why the tanks couldn't be at the well sites, a Williams spokesman stated that he didn't want to go into contractual details.

Members of the Argyle Bartonville Communities Alliance were told Friday that the company was planning to move 32 tanks into the site early Monday morning. The Williams spokesperson we contacted said this:

We worked all weekend with neighbors via phone and email to provide the correct information (12 tanks) despite the misinformation that spread. Source was supposedly a contractor, but no one would provide me with specific details.

Residents say at least half the site is in the Denton Creek floodplain, where runoff water can contaminate downstream. While on site, we noticed that the entrance to the site had been created by paving over a ditch with gravel. No culvert had been installed, so water was backing up in the ditch near the entrance.

Williams confirms that the Southern end of the site is in a floodplain, but that they will not be setting any equipment in that portion. The tanks being installed will be set on top of a liner and within a steel containment ring. Williams says the tanks can be removed if they ultimately relocate the operations.

Sharon Wilson, of the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project was skeptical of the idea that Williams might voluntarily relocate the operation. "If it's meant to be temporary, then why were they bulldozing 100 year old trees Monday?", asked Wilson.

Residents say they felt betrayed to hear Friday that 32 tanks were on their way to the site.

About a half dozen of the protestors successfully blocked a convoy of work trucks from entering the site for about 30 minutes Monday morning, before Denton County Sheriff's deputies arrived. Once on site, the deputies calmly required the protestors to move aside, and all trucks were allowed in.

Some of the trucks belonged to Vaquero Services, whose employees seemed to speak little English and know little of what was going on with the site. Witnesses say that when the Sheriff's Deputies arrived, some of the vehicles briefly left.

The protest was peaceful, and at times the protestors and workers even joked with one another. A Williams spokesperson told us Tuesday that they "hope we can continue to have a productive, civil and respectful dialogue with our neighbors. We've worked to keep them informed and have been available to respond to their questions and concerns 24/7."

WhosPlayin was there to capture photos and video of the protest, and we did get a lot of video. Regretfully, our camera battery died while recording and somehow corrupted the segment showing the blockade. We're still trying to figure out how to recover it. At any rate, here are some photos:

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