Immediate response ordered in Barnett Shale cases

AP News
Posted: Dec 23, 2009 11:03 AM

Texas environmental regulators want an immediate response to complaints about oil and gas drilling in the Barnett Shale.

The directive by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to its Dallas-Fort Worth regional office orders staff to investigate on-site within 12 hours of receiving a complaint. The commission provided a copy of the directive this week to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

If a hazard or unsafe condition is found, TCEQ staff must contact the company to request immediate corrective action. Investigators must remain at the site until the emergency is "abated as appropriate," according to the directive issued last week.

Residents in North Texas have expressed concern about pollution emitted by natural gas operations.