Variances requested by XTO to Corinth City Council

As part of the permit application, XTO has requested the City Council to approve 11 (recently increased from 10) variances to existing city ordinances. The vote on the XTO permit has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 15, 6:30 at the City Hall.

What is a Variance?
A variance is a special legal consideration to ignore a rule, law/ordinance.

Variance #1:
The current ordinance requires of a letter of credit from a bank for the potential damage to the roads from truck travel in the City of Corinth for the purpose of drilling each well.

XTO has requested to give a bond or a check in the amount of $25,000.00 per well instead of a letter of credit from a bank for the potential damage to the roads they travel in the City of Corinth. This is primarily for Oakmont Drive as FM 2181/Teasley Lane/Swisher Rd is a TXDOT road not a City of Corinth road.

Variance #2:

The current ordinance requires a distance of 600 feet from each well head. It can be reduced to 300 feet if the people owning property within the 600 feet have signed a waiver. It can never be reduced to less than 300 feet from any building intended for human occupancy unless all property owners within the 300 feet sign a waiver and the City Council approves this change by a three-fourths vote.

XTO has requested to reduce the distance between the well heads and the houses in the area from 600 feet to less than 300 feet but not closer than 200 feet. There are 4 houses within the 600 feet and all 4 owners have signed waivers. The Christian Camp will have the structure less than 300 feet but more than 200 feet from the drill head and the Christian Camp has signed a waiver. For this request to pass, it must be approved by 4 out of the 5 City Council members.

Variance #3:
The current ordinance requires a temporary chain-link fence with screening fabric at least 8 feet high with a secure gate be installed prior to the start of drilling.

XTO has requested NOT to install a temporary chain link fence all the way around the drilling site. Instead XTO would like to put up Noise Blankets to “secure” the drilling site, EXCEPT on the north side of the drilling site.

Variance # 4:
The current ordinance requires a drilling operator keep the area within a 300’ radius clear of grass, weeds and trash.

XTO has requested an exemption from this requirement for the area that belongs to the City of Corinth and all the private property that falls within the 300 foot radius.

Variance # 5:
The current ordinance requires the water be transported by pipeline to an injection well outside the city limits. XTO has stated the closest injection well for this type of water is Gainesville. There is no storage of “saltwater” permitted in the current ordinance.

XTO has requested the City to allow the temporary storage of “saltwater” tanks on the site and to be allowed to transport the “saltwater” by truck off the site. The proposed route for the truck traffic is IH35E to FM 2181/Teasley Lane/Swisher Road to Oakmont Drive and the reverse to transport the “saltwater” to the injection well.

Variance #6
The current ordinance requires portable steel tanks for the liquid hydrocarbons. These are not allowed to be within 600 feet of a dwelling or structure and must completely enclosed in a fence.

XTO has requested to place one of the tank batteries/storage tanks to be closer than 100 feet of a dwelling or structure.

Variance #7
The current ordinance requires waste disposal tanks be at a distance of at least 600 feet from any residence.

XTO has requested a variance because they “cannot abide” by this requirement “due to the limited space on” the site.

Variance #8
The current ordinance requires a Lift Compressor be temporary for no longer than 6 months and must have noise reducing material around it. The compressor must be 300 feet from a property line and 600 feet from any a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital, school or public park. The compressor must be fenced. No heavy equipment including compressor are allowed inside the critical root zone of any protected tree on the compressor site. All equipment and building associated with the operation of the compressor within 600 feet of a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital, school, public park or street are to be screened from view by landscaping.

XTO has requested a variance because they are unsure if a lift compressor will be necessary but want to be able to use one if it is necessary. XTO has stated there is one alternate system, a pump, but it would be 20 feet in height and would be visible above the landscaping and fencing.

Variance # 9
The current ordinance requires a temporary chain-link fence with screening fabric at least 8 feet high with a secure gate be installed prior to the start of drilling. Within 30 days of fracing the well, there is to be a solid masonry fence installed. The materials for the masonry wall must be permitted, approved and meet the City standards.

XTO has requested a variance and wants to install an 8 foot wrought iron fence with landscaping to screen the view
of the well site.

Variance #10
The current ordinance requires if a pipeline for transporting any material related to the drilling is necessary, the gas company must provide signed easements and right-of-way use agreements to show they are able to install the pipeline.

XTO has requested a variance to not provide information at this time as required per the ordinance.

Variance #11
The current ordinance requires that the trees destroyed be replaced caliper for caliper on all trees 6 inches or larger in height and 4 inches or larger in measurement around the trunk. Caliper is a measurement of the tree around the trunk. A large group of 801 trees will be destroyed in the drilling operation.

XTO has requested a variance stating they will propose an alternative plan but it will fall far short of the tree ordinance requirements.

NOW WHAT?

Email your City Council members: Let them know your concerns.
Place 1 Randy Gibbons: rgibbons@cityofcorinth.com
Place 2 Jim Mayfield: jmayfield@cityofcorinth.com
Place 3 John Booher: jbooher@cityofcorinth.com
Place 4 Joe Harrison: jharrison@cityofcorinth.com
Place 5 Bruce Hanson: bhanson@cityofcorinth.com

Check the Corinth Cares website for more information and ways to help: http://www.corinthcares.com

The agenda of the City Council Public Session of Thursday, April 15th, 7:00 pm is now available at the City of Corinth website – click here.

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Timothy R Ruggiero said,

    I only wish I had thought of this the night that we all spoke to the city council:

    If the operator on my property can install 2 wells on 3 acres, then XTO surely can install 2 wells on 23 acres without having those pesky ordinances getting in their way.

    This just goes to show that XTO does have a long-term plan to install much more than 2 wells. Anyone wonder why they didn’t mention that upfront?I’ve heard XTO Bob say that they intend on at least 5 more. That being the case, each well takes about a month to drill, a week or so to frac, then the seemingly never ending amount of trucks that have to come in to haul off the millions of gallons of contaminated water.

    That site will be forever an industrial site, and God only knows the kinds of emissions the people nearby will have to deal with.

    XTO is going to be your new neighbor. It’s up to yur city council on how well they behave.


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