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Harmful Chemical Found At Drilling Sites Near 3 FWISD Schools

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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A caution sign identifying a natural gas underground pipeline. (credit: Getty Images/Tim Boyle)

A caution sign identifying a natural gas underground pipeline. (credit: Getty Images/Tim Boyle)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods presented scientific evidence to a group of about 25 parents Thursday that showed high levels of carbon disulfide found near three FWISD schools.

Carbon disulfide is a colorless, volatile liquid linked to respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems. It has not, however, been linked to cancer.

Testing found the chemical at gas drilling sites near East Handley Elementary, Dunbar High School and Burton Hill Elementary.

“It’s 690 feet from my kiddo’s school property. That’s alarming,” said Mary Jane Debenport, whose two children go to Daggett Montessori in Fort Worth.

Parents at Daggett Montessori got vocal about the issue last year when city officials announced that a gas-drilling site would soon be active near the school.

The League of Neighborhoods then hired scientists to test areas near existing sites, which yielded the results parents heard Thursday night.

“The quality of the air worries me. It worries me to be that close to a well,” said parent Penny Plavidal, who also has children at Montessori.

What’s more, the scientists found the chemical’s impact went beyond school boundaries.

“The actual full extent of the plume was in excess of two miles, so that’s quite extensive,” said Deborah Rogers with THE Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods.

Rogers said the group will make recommendations to the district next Tuesday. One thing they’ll be pushing for is to have the wells at least a mile away from the schools.

They’ll also be asking for other safety measures once drilling begins. Parents said they hope school district officials would heed the findings.

The group will share their study with the Fort Worth ISD Board Tuesday.

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