Mayor Calvin Tillman of DISH, who has led the fight to reveal and contain the environmental damage to his town from the gas drilling industry, posted this e-mail on Tuesday night:

It is with great difficulty that I post this message. There have been many of you that have  supported me through our battle to save this tiny community.

 Some of you have supported me for  several years now.  Some of  you have donated to the 
town’s legal fees, and I appreciate that support.  However, I am reaching my  breaking point
 in the fight. 
 On  the surface it would appear that this tiny community has won the battle, and 
 in many aspects that is accurate.   We have greatly improved the noise level, the aesthetics, 
and apparently the air quality at the natural gas compressor site.  If you were to look at many similar
facilities throughout this area, you will find that we likely are home to one  the nicest, if not the
nicest compressor sites in the entire Barnett  Shale.  
However, we are now  starting to get some interesting water out of our water wells.  
There will be more on our water troubles soon.  One thing that  troubles me is that almost every
 night the levels spike in chemicals detected  by continuous air monitor that coincides with the odor 
that we have grown  accustomed to.
 The continuous air monitor shows us that our air is not toxic and in  some cases it is good.  
However,  with the nightly spikes and odor issues, I still have concerns.  When these odor 
events happen, I still  get the same old scratchy throat and burning eyes that coincides with the 
 odor. That is not the biggest  problem that concerns me.  The  biggest problem that concerns 
me is that one of my children frequently is  awakened with a nose bleed, an this also
 seems to coincide with the odor.  The monitor shows spikes, but none of the  things like
 benzene gets too elevated.  It is possible that something  that is not tested for is causing the
 nosebleeds, or maybe this is just   coincidence, but it disturbs me nonetheless. 

 Therefore, it is very likely that I  will put my house on the market in the very near future to
 ensure my children's safety.  It is very  likely that this will cost me tens of thousands of dollars, 
but I this point I  am considering cutting my losses and just moving on.  It is very clear that our state 
 agencies are only in existence to protect the industry, not the general  public, so in my view 
it would be best to be somewhere that you do not need to  count on these agencies for your protection.
 It is unlikely that the house will sell, even at a  bargain, and until it sells it will be my primary 
residence and therefore, I  will remain the mayor of DISH.  As  long as I am the mayor of DISH,
 decisions will be made as though I will live  here forever.  I will do everything in my  power to
 continue helping and supporting the citizens of this community.   However, if by some miracle, 
someone was willing to purchase the  property, I would then be forced to resign as mayor.  
This does not mean that I would walk  away from this issue completely; it is just that I would
 not be able to be in  the battle as an elected official, which may hurt my effectiveness on the  matter.
This option is not set in stone and we could still  possibly go in a different direction. There are 
also a number of questions,  such as where am I going to move?   Is it worth buying property 
in Texas, knowing what I now know?   How far will the commute be if I can  find a place where 
there is confidence in the air and water quality?  So this may or may not happen.  
It may be that we move into an  apartment or a condo, and keep our primary residence in DISH, 
and just  maintain an additional household until the air clears. But currently I am extremely concerned 
 about the health of my children. 
 There are several  things that must be accomplished prior to putting the house on the market,
so  it will likely be a while before it is listed.  In the meanwhile I will  be thinking about way that 
I can stay involved in this issue.  It is  also very unlikely that I will be able to sell it for anywhere 
near what  it should be worth.  My home is modest, but it sits on six acres, is fenced for horses 
and has two horse barns.  I will try to  find comparable property outside of the Barnett Shale 
and compare to what  mine will be on the market  for.  This may be a very good  illustration 
of exactly how bad this activity can hurt property values, if not  accomplished responsibly.
 I tell you this so that  there is no confusion when word gets out that my house in on the  market.
  We have accomplished many things here in DISH; we have  built a nice park, finished out our 
town hall building, and will soon have one  of the nicest libraries in this area, and that will be tough 
to walk away  from.  I also have a wonderful group of citizens that have been extremely  supportive,
 who I will fight for till the end.  All of this talk may be  for nothing, but I wanted all of the good people 
who have helped and supported  me to know the story, before the nasty rumors begin.  

Thanks again for  everything, and please know that I will not stop doing the things I am doing
 no matter what happens.


  1. This guy has been harping over this crap for the past two years. He has lied his way around the country, and his “facts” have been shown to be totally false by the TCEQ.

  2. LOL! Adam,

    Let me get this straight, the TCEQ is the agency just busted for fraud and even the Republicans are calling for investigations yet you claim they proved Tillman’s facts false.

    That’s rich! LOL

  3. People like Adam will always drink the cool-aid from TCEQ even after the EPA has proven them to be worthless.