Migraines and Mailbox Money

11
Posted January 16, 2013 by STATIC in News
Static

Mandy Mobley was in the best shape of her life a few years ago. She was working out three times a week at a gym and was slender and healthy. Then she started getting dizzy spells and migraine headaches and became frequently fatigued. Numerous doctor visits and tests revealed no concrete answers.

She and her two teenage sons have lived near Delga Park just east of downtown Fort Worth for a dozen years.

“The headaches started getting really bad in August or September,” she said. “My kids are now getting headaches and have a lot of allergy issues. My doctor says I have neurological issues going on.”

Feeling sick was bad enough. Not knowing why was worse. And then this week she found a flier on her door telling her about a neighborhood meeting. The North Central Texas Communities Alliance, which works to solve problems related to Barnett Shale gas drilling, and Shale Test, a nonprofit group that tests emissions at drilling-related sites, was going to show a video taken at a nearby compressor station. Shale Test doesn’t use just any old camera; it relies on state-of-the-art infrared cameras to detect gases invisible to the naked eye.

The video began tellingly: What looked like a clear sky transformed into a cloud of chemical gases once the camera was turned on. The gases drifted toward a children’s playground in the adjacent park. “That shit stinks,” the videographer said.

The gases weren’t just drifting toward the park, they were heading in the direction of homes about 1,000 feet away, including the Mobley house. She leased her mineral rights to Chesapeake Energy years ago and gets small royalty checks, but she hadn’t considered that the drilling might cause physical problems. Now she’s eager to go back to her doctor.

“I’ve never been tested for any kind of toxins coming from emissions,” she said. “I’m on a mission to find out if that’s what is causing it. I can’t say that’s what it is, but I never had migraines in my life, and now I’m having them all the time.”

Greenway Neighborhood Association treasurer Noble Reed lives about three blocks away from the site and said he hasn’t noticed odors, but a neighbor has complained. Reed said the video presentation was informative and “shows there are some real problems.”

The neighborhood association will discuss the video and the situation further at its Feb. 11 meeting. “There is definitely a concern there,” Reed said.

Mobley is planning to be there. She’s concerned not only about her health but also about the odd shifting that’s been going on in her pier-and-beam house in the past couple of years: cracks in walls, a door frame coming loose, nails pulling loose from trim, and floor tiles cracking. She’s heard about earthquakes being associated with the drilling process and wonders if that’s another byproduct of the industry that operates so close to her home.

She also wonders why nobody with the city warned residents about possible ramifications of drilling near parks and houses, particularly considering how small the royalty checks are in her neighborhood.

“We are prostituting our health away for maybe $100 a year, which is really sad,” she said.


11 Comments


  1.  
    April

    We’ve been having some of the same issues with the nails pulling out and cracks, there is drilling a few streets over…how can you tell if it’s related?




  2.  
    biffula

    I crack up wagering with people I know that fww will have a drilling slam piece in it each week. It’s been good money for me. Keep it up.




  3.  
    Jake

    Real testing needs to be done, not useless images. An infrared camera only sees heat. If this testing group was legitimate, they would do actual air sampling and have the data to show exactly what the chemicals were and their amount.




    •  
      Blackacre Esquire

      Jake,

      The writer should also have waited until she returned from the doctor with a diagnosis. The writer isn’t sure enough that they would report on FACTS especially when supposition and guess-work are more than adequate.




  4.  
    Tom Smith

    Not sure why I need a tweet/pin it/Yahoo/tumblr pop-up on the side of my screen covering up dialog. It does not move and I will read my news else where.




  5.  

    Hey Jake, real testing like those suma canisters the state uses that doesn’t even screen for methane? Fox watchn’ the hen house…nothing more obvious than that. The infrared sees heat when you use the cheap devices like to hunt for prey at night…its an honest mistake you made. I always like to tell folks about the 30 year old mom in DIsh TC who got so sick she had to use a damn walker. Then she moved to Ft Worth and got better. Then when the drilling started up near her she relapsed….those that defend urban drilling either work for the industry, or are waiting for royalties, and/or doesn’t believe that fossil fuels is warming our planet.




    •  
      Jake

      Sorry that I dumbed it down too much for you. I have done real air testing when I worked for EPA, and identifying the components in the air is easy. A video showing a cloud does nothing and makes me think that there is nothing. I have been to many sites where there was a problem, and many where people only thought there was a problem. In fact, the people that were most vocal about a problem was most likely to be where there was none.




  6.  
    Me

    I never sold my mineral rights, because I don’t trust the science behind frakking yet. Doesn’t matter with a drill site on the other side of the Trinity from me. I can’t jog next to my house most days because ofthe smell.




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