Arlington Parents petition City Council to deny permit to French fracking giant Total to frack next to children’s daycare Media Advisory by Livable Arlington, Nov 27, 2021
Parents of 69 toddlers and young children who attend Mother’s Heart Learning Center, a daycare that serves children in a mostly Black and Latino neighborhood of Arlington already more vulnerable to health harms from pollution, are requesting that Arlington City Council reject the permit application by French energy company Total to drill gas wells behind the daycare center.
City Council will vote on the permit application at a public hearing at Arlington City Hall on Tuesday, November 30th at 6:30pm, 101 W. Abram St, 3rd floor.
In their petition to city hall, the Mother’s Heart parents asked city council “to prioritize the health and safety of our children” as the permit would allow drilling dangerously close to where children play.
“The playground is directly north and downwind of the drill site. Toxic emissions will blow over the fence and put our children in harm’s way.”
The parents’ petition cited studies showing high rates of childhood asthma and increased odds of hospitalizations for asthma associated with drilling and fracking as well as a study indicating that carcinogens involved in fracking operations may increase the risk of childhood leukemia.
In addition to the parents’ petition, over 400 people signed a community petition to city hall in opposition to Total’s permit application.
Last year, city council voted 6-3 to deny Total a permit to drill gas wells at the same AC360 site behind Mother’s Heart, citing the danger to the health of children attending the daycare and nearby residents. Ranjana Bhandari, from the community group Liveable Arlington, says, “Total is expanding drilling in vulnerable neighborhoods at rapid pace and subjecting Arlington children to highly toxic emissions.”
Bhandari continues, “In 2020, city council made the right decision to protect the health of our children. This is a test case to see if the new city council will protect the community or allow an outside drilling company to expand fracking near our schools and daycare centers.”
Total has two violations at another preschool site in Arlington, where their drilling operation was temporarily shut down in 2020 for illegally operating a gas-powered rig.
Here are the links to violation #1 and to violation #2.
As outlined in Section 5.03 (page 26) of Arlington’s Gas Drilling and Production Ordinance (No. 19-031), city council has the authority to deny Total’s permit on the grounds that it would be “injurious to health, safety or welfare of the inhabitants in the immediate area of the city.”
Refer also to:
2011: France Vote Outlaws ‘Fracking’ Shale for Natural Gas, Oil Extraction
2015: Fracking in Utah. What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal: A Fracking Boomtown, a spike in stillborn deaths and a gusher of unanswered questions
2021: Does frac’ing kill kids?
Canada is even worse at frac’ing kids, including exposing them to brain damaging H2S.
2013: B.C. school kids in danger, can suffer DNA damage illness from leaking sour gas several km away, yet B.C. allows wells within 100 m (~330 feet) of schools while Dallas City Council votes in 1,500 foot setback from homes and wells!
Yellow dots are wells; red dots are schools in the Dawson Creek/Fort St. John area. Map as of 2013, many more wells since, many more ahead.