Haz Mat Team Called to Fracking Site

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 @ 07:04 PM gHale


A Denton, TX, hazardous materials unit was at a fracking site for nearly five hours after a gas well pipe separated from the well Friday morning, officials said.

The separation caused fracking water and small traces of natural gas to leak from the pipe, said Lindsey Baker, spokeswoman for the city of Denton.

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The first call came in at 11 a.m., she said, and authorities evacuated four homes as a precaution.

Eagle Ridge Operating LLC owns the well.

Air traffic redirected until any safety hazards ended up corrected, Baker said. Denton Enterprise Airport is less than five miles from the leak.

Denton police closed the intersections of roads close by for more than four hours to detour traffic from the area, said Ryan Grelle, spokesman for the Denton Police Department.

Crews from the gas company appeared at the site to cap the well at 1 p.m., Baker said.

Brad Lahart, spokesman for the Denton Fire Department, said the gas company needed to make sure there was enough water before actively getting started.

The leak ended up capped at 3:40 p.m. Friday, he said.

What appeared to some as smoke at the scene was actually water vapor mixed in with some hydrocarbons, Lahart said.

People from the Texas Railroad Commission were at the site monitoring the capping and will perform an investigation to make sure the site had proper maintenance, city officials said.

“Right now, we don’t know what caused the separation but the separation is what caused the leak,” Baker said.

Denton firefighters and paramedics remained at the scene to monitor the situation.

People from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality arrived at the scene later in the day and took air samples for testing, officials said.

Lahart said there has been no danger to anyone because of the leak and there were no injuries.

“The city will have continuous involvement with the ongoing investigation every step of the way,” Lahart said.



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