Weatherford Democrat

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January 29, 2014

EPA asked to reopen probe

200 groups call for reopening investigations into Parker County fracking, water contamination

(Continued)

The letter concludes, “It is incumbent upon you to correct your administration’s troubling abdication of responsibility and denial of the science on fracking and the harms it is posing to Americans across the country. As more than 250,000 Americans have already urged and the evidence compels, we ask that you swiftly act to re-open the EPA’s investigations in Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.”

The EPA dropped similar investigations in Dimock, Pa., and Pavillion, Wyo. In Dimock, it has since been revealed that EPA dropped its investigation against the wishes of the Philadelphia EPA office, the agency that had been monitoring drinking water there.

In Pavillion, EPA abandoned its investigation even after linking high levels of chemicals, including benzene, to fracking, handing the investigation over to the state with ongoing research funded by EnCana, the same drilling corporation under investigation for the contamination.

Earlier this month, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy noted in a letter to the National Resources Defense Council, in response to its request to reopen and complete the three investigations, that it was not necessary to do so because residents affected by contamination could find alternative water supplies or treatment systems.

A recent Associated Press review found many confirmed cases of water contamination from fracking, noting that the review casts doubt on the industry’s assertion that fracking and drilling don’t affect drinking water supplies.

This builds on evidence from 2013 and 2011 Duke University studies that found systematic evidence that methane associated with shale gas extraction contaminates drinking water.

Moreover, a University of Missouri School of Medicine study released in December linked fracking to the presence of dangerous hormone-disrupting chemicals in the water near fracking sites, including the Colorado River.

The groups are calling on the Obama Administration to correct what they believe to be a troubling denial of the science on the effects of fracking. Late last year, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called on the oil and gas industry to clear up “confusion” about the effects of fracking, a call to action that troubled many fracking opponents, as it dismissed concerns about water pollution and climate change linked to the process.

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  • New roads/improvements proposed by CCAC

    Although the initial phases of the project date back three years ago, the Citizen’s Capital Advisory Committee, appointed by the Weatherford City Council, has been working tirelessly through the first and second quarters of this year to come up with viable street projects for the city’s current Transportation Capital Improvement Plan. At a work session Tuesday evening, City of Weatherford Director of Capital Transportation Terry Hughes walked the council through CCAC’s proposed streets projects, which would be funded by a bond that could be voted on in a November election.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jordan Paredes Teen driver facing charge in fatal wreck

    The 19-year-old driver involved in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week has been charged with driving while intoxicated and may face additional charges following the Tuesday death of a 16-year-old teen injured in the crash, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jordan Paredes Weatherford boy dies following wreck near Brock

    A 16-year-old Weatherford teen injured in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week died Tuesday afternoon at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. 

    Jordan Paredes, reported by relatives to be in a coma following the wreck, was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. in the trauma intensive care unit, the medical examiner reported. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730 one dar truck.jpg SHIPPING OUT

    The Daughters of the American Revolution is all about supporting the military and Saturday morning, District II of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution gathered for a district workshop meeting and to contribute to the United Service Organizations Inc.’s Treats for Troops, which distributes snacks and refreshments to military members traveling through the DFW Airport.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • city graphs.jpg HO council talks water rate increase

    At a regular Hudson Oaks City Council meeting Thursday, Hudson Oaks Assistant City Administrator Chad Janicek presented the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. As a part of the proposal, Janicek presented the council with proposed water utility rate increases, some of which, if approved, would take effect at the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year in October. The second half would take effect in the coming years, still to be determined. As a result, the proposed rate adjustment will occur in two phases.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Julie Witt Parolee accused of embezzling $48,000 from Weatherford attorney

    A paroled paralegal, accused of embezzling more than $48,000 from a Weatherford attorney since November and leaving behind forged documents affecting at least two clients’ legal cases, is in jail again, facing her fourth felony theft charge in 15 years. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Splash Kingdom suspect Water park burglar sought

    Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month. 

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0729 one purple heart group.jpg A Purple Heart County

    County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse. 

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • WISD to propose tax rate decrease

    Weatherford ISD, which is projected to see a rise in property values, is proposing a one-cent tax rate decrease, which would slightly increase taxes for the average homeowner. 

    July 28, 2014

  • Israel Andrade Illegal indicted for burglary, child indecency

    A Parker County grand jury has indicted a man accused of breaking into a Springtown-area home earlier this month and molesting a sleeping 9-year-old girl.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

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