State Representative 
Nicole Collier hosts Community Forum with Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton

State Representative 
Nicole Collier hosts Community Forum with Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
Injection Disposal Well approval process
The Handley-Meadowbrook Community center gym was filled with over 150  citizens from Arlington and Fort Worth who are concerned about the Bluestone Natural Resources proposed injection disposal well on the west side of Lake Arlington, in Fort Worth.
State Representative Nicole Collier hosted the community forum. She brought Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and his staff to educate the public on the process the Railroad Commission uses in the approving sites for gas or disposal injection wells.
Commissioner Sitton  gave us insight on what an acceptable application looks like, and the types of concerns that the Commission takes into account when they hear from the public. He stated ‘Public objection alone is not enough to prevent a permit from being issued. SAFETY issues are a reason to not permit a site.’
Collier reiterated that the Texas legislature passed HB 40 during the last session, (she voted against it) which removed local control to regulate gas and oil industry drilling sites. This is the reason the Fort Worth City Council cannot just prohibit the well from being built.
In addition to Nicole Collier, representing State District 95, and City Council member Gyna Bivens, representing FW District 5, Historic Handley Neighborhood Association; other groups oppose this well site and are actively writing letters to the Commission.
Councilwoman Gyna Bivens said “It is the goal of every member on the Fort Worth City Council to continue making our opposition to the Bluestone application very clear and very focused.  We believe the right to govern land use is in the hands of our local government.   Councilman Dennis Shingleton and I first met with Bluestone leaders in mid-January.    We made the city’s position quite clear:  We will oppose the construction of any salt water injection well on Fort Worth property.  Most may not be aware, but there is other property owned by Bluestone in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.    Arlington Councilwoman Kathryn Wilemon and I work very closely together and we have been on one accord since Day 1 of this matter.
What is troubling is The Railroad Commission tends to be energy friendly and I hope we are able to make the TECHNICAL case that Lake Arlington is unsuitable as a location for such a well.  We want the City of Fort Worth’s ban on  injection wells to be respected by any and all governmental entities.”
Audience members asked the Commissioner a variety of questions, and Collier’s office  recorded the questions to type up and submit to the Commissioner’s office for response. (As soon as she sends us their reply, we will publish it here.)
Some in the audience were less than polite in their questions/comments, and the Commissioner got a bit defensive in his responses. The Railroad Commissioner strongly rejected the idea that his agency is only concerned about ‘rubber stamping’ approvals for the gas and oil industry. Sitton stressed that his number one concern is public safety. He repeated that if a well site is not safe, his agency will shut it down and plug it.
Judy Taylor, President of Handley Neighborhood Association, felt there were just as many informed people as there were frustrated people in attendance. She was hoping the Commissioner would be able to tell us the language we need to use in letters to the commission objecting to this type well site. She said ” Commissioner Sitton did a wonderful job controlling the audience, staying on topic, giving us insightful information into how the commission functions, but after 2 hours, we walked out just as helpless as before. Hopefully, Nicolle Collier will be able to host another meeting where we can obtain helpful information on how to address the commission.” She added “We thank Commissioner Sitton for coming to speak to us in person.”
After the meeting, many of the people who had asked pointed questions (and were perceived as hostile or yelling) went up to the Commissioner and shook his hand and thanked him for coming to Fort Worth to speak to us directly. He stayed to pose for photos before heading out to a radio interview. The commissioner said he will be in Fort Worth to participate in Earth Day activities.
As additional information becomes available, we will publish it.
Collier stated that she will plan another public forum meeting with Bluestone and other experts in this field.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call Nicole Collier’s office at (817) 332-1180 – Fort Worth or (512) 463-0716 – Austin.
The Railroad Commisssion has added GMN to their mailing list. Long press releases will be published on FB and here on the website.

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