Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WFFA--Flower Mound parents worried about gas drilling near schools

I think most of us tend to assume that there are some places drilling just wouldn't ever occur. But the more I learn, the more aware I become that nothing is sacred any more. From war veteran graveyards surrounded by waste pits, to gas wells next to your kids elementary school, the oil and gas industry will set up shop anywhere that offers a profit.

Flower Mound parents worried about gas drilling near schools
Posted on June 14, 2010 at 11:23 PM

FLOWER MOUND — Some Denton County parents say any natural gas drilling near their kids' schools is too close.

A Fort Worth-based company wants to drill two dozen wells in Flower Mound near Bluebonnet Elementary and Shadow Ridge Middle schools, which are in the Lewisville ISD. Titan Operating officials say none of the wells would be within 1,000 feet of the schools.

Parents who spoke with News 8 say that makes no difference to them.

Melinda Krupa has two children. One attends Bluebonnet; the other goes to Shadow Ridge.

"Who would want their children to be out on the playground or out on the ball field and be inhaling these fumes from the gas wells?" she asked.

The application for a drilling permit was filed last November, before town leaders issued a moratorium on new permits. Titan wants to build up to 24 wells in the next two to five years.

Krupa says the risk is too high to gamble on the health and safety of children.

"It just doesn't make sense to bring the drilling anywhere close to the schools," she said.

Steve Schmidt came to Monday's school board meeting to voice his concerns. He still has many unanswered questions about gas drilling.

His four-year-old daughter has leukemia and his second-grader attends Bluebonnet.

"The right direction is the safe direction," Schmidt told the school board. "Safety first and foremost."

Flower Mound parents are also concerned about land owned by the school district across from the proposed drilling site. They fear property values could plummet when drilling begins.

Flower Mound's oil and gas board is expected to discuss Titan's application at its next meeting.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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