Just north of Dallas, the city of Denton, Texas thought it was taking steps to protect its citizens and their property from the side effects of fracking and the shale oil boom by passing an ordinance prohibiting the building of wells within 1200 feet of a home. However, the ordinance grandfathered in existing wells and some of these are within a 200-foot radius of some residents’ front doors. The city referred to these sites as having “vested rights.”
The University of North Texas didn’t escape the fracking boom either. Along with Denton families, it has a fracking site across the street from on-campus housing. At least one current student noticed the irony it creates, juxtaposed with the school’s LEED-certified football stadium.
While the fracking industry has been touted as creating an economic boom in the Barnett Shale and Eagle Ford Shale plays, the boom is not without busts. Among those is the environmental damage associated with the fracking process.
Noise and light pollution are among the complaints of residents near the Denton fracking sites. While these issues may seem benign in the grand scheme of things, they also come along with air pollution as well. Toxic fumes being emitted from the fracking sites are, at least arguably, not a benign consequence of the shale oil boom.
Insurance companies are starting to catch up to the consequences of fracking, declining to cover property damage caused by the oil and gas industry and leaving some homeowners without recourse.
EagleRidge Energy LLC is Denton’s largest oil and gas production company. It has been cited three times in 2012 for failing to pass city inspections of its fracking facilities.
Source: Truth-out, “Welcome to Gasland: Denton, Texas Residents Face Fracking Impacts From EagleRidge Energy,” December 9, 2013