HALT Seismic Testing Now!

Dear Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks-

It has been more than a week since I requested that Seismic Testing be halted in Fort Worth until the public has proof that it is safe, legal and cost-free to all residents. However, testing is still underway and many of your District 8 constituents are concerned.

Our primary concern is that the City of Fort Worth relied too heavily on information provided by the drilling industry or one of its partners when issuing a testing permit to Dawson Geophysical. We are also concerned that because the City is in business with Chesapeake, XTO, etc. and depends on them for City revenue, a potential conflict of interest exists that may affect prudent decision making.

The concerns I spelled out in my message dated July 9 are very real. For example, the huge water main break near Sycamore Park that occurred last week may have been at least partially caused by seismic testing that occurred in that area. That leak affected thousands of homeowners and wasted a lot of public water during drought conditions. A water department spokesperson could not say for certain what caused the breach.

There was a similar report back in May, 2011 of a water line break in the Westcliff West neighborhood while thumper trucks were in the area. How many other events such as this have been caused by seismic testing? Is the City keeping tabs and connecting dots?

I have also received the following reports from concerned residents as a result of my email from last week:

- Seismic testing is going on in Wedgwood where neighborhoods remain un-leased. There is no protection in place for homeowners should damage occur to their property. Also, companies can use information gathered against the mineral owners in future negotiations. TT

- This (Seismic testing) has the markings of potential disaster for existing utilities. Exhibit A is that Atmos has a number of older gas service lines that need immediate replacement in North Texas, due to parts that weaken with age. How well would those weak gas service lines respond to nearby seismic testing? I'm afraid to find out the hard way, and those in Government should be, too! There's estimated to be 500,000 of such weak gas lines around North Texas, so it's a gamble to do seismic testing around them. MH

- I was livid and expressed it to the police escort. The "police" vehicles hanging around the trucks that shook Martel and in the area in general belonged to no police force that I am aware of, despite the prominent "POLICE" painted on them. Aren't there laws about impersonating police? KA

- I would therefore request an explanation as to what authority they (Dawson) are using to explore the property that I paid for and own outright. The testing creates massive vibration of the area and would appear to possibly damage roads, foundations and any other structure within proximity to the source of vibrations. It is not a risk I wish to see if it damages anything, like my property. It is likely damage may not appear immediately or be apparent until sometime in the future. It would then become my burden to prove what the source of the damage actually was. As we have seen repeatedly, any damage would be denied by any and all parties involved. JA

- From what I remember, Texas homeowners policies exempt payments for damages from seismic activity. Check out your policy. Bad stuff, that seismic crap. LM

- They (Dawson) have also recently been in the Westcliff West neighborhood. In the process, they broke a water line on Encanto Drive, depriving residents of water for hours. GA

- They went through our neighborhood in Arlington in May, the noise was horrendous, some neighbors complained that their houses were shaking, cracks appeared , and one person told me that their toddler found the shaking of their house very distressing and cried inconsolably. RB

- This (seismic testing) felt like collective rape on Winifred Drive Friday afternoon. The dishes in my cabinets were rattling; the dogs were freaking out. I thought it was Armageddon, as did my neighbors. I was livid and expressed it to the police escort and the lady in the Lexus following them who the police told me would "tell me what it was all about." I emailed Jungus that afternoon as well as the lawyers at Riddle and Williams. KE

- Thanks for the support. I have not signed a lease and I do not want someone taking picture under my property. A friend told them not to take any picture under his property that he is not signed a lease agreement. They had already taken a couple of pictures before he stopped them. So he asked them if he can get the pictures from there company. They said NO. This is invation of our property and I will get in contact with the company and request my pictures. JL

- On the morning of July 4, 2011, I was alarmed by a sound I'd not heard before. Looking out my front window, I saw at least three huge trucks, with the sign DAWSON on them. Their loudness, and their presence, stunned me - the ground shook!! I went out my front door and was further surprised to see a man kneeling over paperwork at the end of my walkway (25 feet from my door, 35 feet from the street). I asked him what he was doing, and I told him he was within the easement of the property. He said I could talk his boss, and he nodded toward a tall young man, who then came from the street to where I was, and he asked me if there was a problem. I asked him what they were doing, and he said they were "x-raying" the ground. (He said they were "x-raying" downtown also.) I asked him who he worked for, and he replied, "Chesapeake."

I told him I had not given permission for them to be on my property, and I asked if he could show me anything that gave him permission to do so? He said that if I didn't want them on my property, they could go across the street and get the information they needed. The two of them left my property. ( I don't know, but they may already have gotten a "reading," or whatever they wanted, from my location.)

If I had been given notice of their coming, and/or had received a request that they come onto my property, I could have checked on my rights in such an instance. I think perhaps that is exactly why we were NOT given advance notice--so Chesapeake could have access, without permission. Such permission, from some citizens such as myself, had they asked, they are not likely to have been given. SR

- I asked an attorney. They have NO right to conduct seismic testing if you have not leased. Further, they have no right to conduct seismic testing even if you have leased unless it is covered in the lease or an agreement has been made. He said that usually the language in the leases is vague enough that it confers them the right but they definitely do NOT have the right if you are not leased. DD

>>>>>>> Specifically, we request that that Seismic Testing be halted immediately unless and until you provide the following:

1. Third-party documentation proving it is safe to all life-forms, including people, pets, wildlife and livestock.
2. Third-party documentation addressing impact to public roadways and utilities .
3. Property owner compensation for data already accessed from their land without consent.
4. Documentation showing that private pipeline, telephone, cable TV and electric companies, etc. have OK'd the testing without caveats.
5. Minutes from all FW Water and Street Dept. meetings where seismic testing was discussed.
6. Documentation from the City legal department identifying the responsible party in case of any reported damage.
7. An explanation of your statement that "properties are protected from damage."
8. The City plan for compensation in cases where damage occurs in the near and long term.
9. Proof that homeowners' insurance will not be impacted by seismic testing.

Thanks for your attention to this urgent matter.

Don Young