Written by Phil Cerroni
By Phil Cerroni
Since citizens took up arms (metaphorically) over Trinity East, LLC’s proposed natural gas wells and processing facility, a lot has been said about the possible environmental impact these wells can have on the area. The question for us is, what specific effects will Dallas’ project have on Irving? Right across the city border from Campion Trail, the project poses a couple environmental hazards to Irving. It will be a major polluter and poses a threat of ground contamination close to the North Hills Prep, the Equestrian Center and many Irving neighborhoods. On the Dallas side, they are building in parkland and flood zone near the expanding soccer complex.
Three compressors, used to send gas down the pipeline to the refinery, perhaps pose the most immediate threat to Irving. Powered by diesel engines, a facility this size pumps 75 tons of pollution into the atmosphere every year. It would make this site the tenth highest polluter in the City of Dallas. To put it in perspective, however, DFW Airport has multiple wells and processing facilities alongside its substantial airport traffic.
When the plant processes the “wet gas” into something transportable, it releases chemicals into the environment. This second form of pollution is more difficult to mitigate and would pose a long term danger to the surrounding homes and recreational complexes beyond those of the compressors.
There would be little reason for alarm regarding contamination – especially considering the many accident-free wells already in Irving on DFW Airport property – if not for one small fact: when Trinity Energy was still Expro Engineering Inc, they received permission to drill a well on property belonging to the University of Dallas and the cities of Irving and Dallas. The original well was shut down because of a break in the well casing.
Although Rose Cannaday was on the City Council when they gave permission for Expro to drill at the University of Dallas, she insists the situation has changed. Furthermore, she is the council member for the district closest to the wells.
“You’re building in a neighborhood that’s a little different than building at DFW Airport, [or by the university]. We don’t have any development over in that area right now,” Cannaday pointed out.