GP Mayor On Joe Pool Drilling: ‘It’s Scary As Hell’

usace joe pool lake and dam GP Mayor On Joe Pool Drilling: Its Scary As Hell

GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – On one side of the Joe Pool Dam lies the lake.  On the other lives Rosemary Reed.  “You can see the line of the dam,” she says pointing over her fence in Grand Prairie’s Westchester neighborhood.

Then, last year, a new neighbor arrived, the Chesapeake Energy Company, and it started drilling for natural gas right behind her home.  “The house is shaking. Everything you own is shaking. The ground is moving,” said Reed, describing what it felt like.

Reed worried the drilling could be dangerous, and combing through the city’s public records, she found evidence she might be right.  “Drilling and fracturing at Chesapeake Energy’s Corn Valley drill site may… possibly contribute to a catastrophic dam failure,” wrote the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the group that built the Joe Pool Lake Dam, in a letter to Grand Prairie in February.

“When they said, ‘catastrophic dam event’ , I mean, that, that alone scares me,” said Reed.

“I think it’s scary as hell,” agreed Grand Prairie mayor, Charles England.

England remembers receiving the letter six months ago.  “Catastrophic dam failure will get your attention. Trust me.”

In the letter, though, the Army Corps of Engineers asked the city to “immediately impose a 6 month moratorium on approval of any drilling ad hydrofracturing activities within 3,000 feet of Joe Pool Dam.”

The city didn’t pass that ban until Tuesday night.

The mayor explained he’s been waiting for more information.  “We’ve written a couple letters to the Corps and made a couple phone calls, but actually gotten no response,” he said.

He also said Chesapeake had stopped drilling, for a reason unknown to him.  “There’s been no activity since that letter.  None,” he said.

An e-mail Reed says she received from the Army Corps of Engineers last month claims just the opposite.  “Chesapeake has declined to cease operations,” it says.

Chesapeake Energy did not respond to our request for comment, but in a city meeting Tuesday a spokeswoman argued the city should hold off on enacting any ban against drilling by the dam.  “There’s no scientific, geological, or quantifiable information to justify such a request by the Corps,” said Leah King.

Reed, though, isn’t ready to take any risks.  “It just shows their arrogance.  You know, all they care about is money,” she said.


One Comment

  1. Shannon Spady says:

    Just another clear example of how much citizens are worth compared to the big drilling companies making more money. Everything and everybody takes a back seat to these companies profit. These multi million dollar profits they make is much more important than yours or my life , believe me. They dont care.

  2. Mke says:

    Shannon I hear what you are saying but what is a 6 month ban supposed to accomplish? What is supposed to happen in those 6 months to make the situation different? Is the ACE going to do more studies to determine if it is safe to drill? Who is going to make the final determination?

  3. darrell says:

    the cities view: money money money
    chesapeake’s view: money money money
    mineral rights owners view: money money money

    the view of those listed above about citizens concerns: who?

  4. Rick McDaniel says:

    Yes, all the local government cares about is money, not public safety.

  5. WCGasette says:

    Tuesday night, the Mayor of Grand Prairie stated that the Moratorium will be extended beyond the 6 months depending on the USACE geotechnical studies and/or if they are not completed or what they determine, etc…even if it takes 6 years. That has all the makings for a “permanent” Moratorium on Chesapeake’s Corn Valley Drillling/Fracking Project.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE