North Texas Daily

Gas leak investigation still searching for cause

Gas leak investigation still searching for cause

April 22
22:26 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is conducting an ongoing investigation regarding a natural gas leak from a derrick on the outskirts of Denton on April 19, said TCEQ media relations member Andrea Morrow.

Morrow said DFW Air Investigators used a handheld total vapor analyzer to monitor light hydrocarbon odors. An  air sample was also taken to try and detect any emissions from the derrick.

She said sample results from a lab could take up to four weeks to finalize.

Residents said the derrick started leaking gas into the air around 3 a.m. The TCEQ was alerted at 10 a.m. Four families living next to the derrick were evacuated soon after. Workers got the leak under control at 3:39 p.m.

Members from the City of Denton Fire and Rescue, Denton Police Department, City of Denton and Texas Railroad Commission all responded to the scene.

Assistant City Manager Lindsey Baker said a pipe became disconnected in the derrick. The cause of the disconnect is still unknown, but Baker said the gas is probably not dangerous.

“My understanding is that its primarily water vapor, so there isn’t much danger,” she said. “That [evacuation] is a precautionary measure that we would take in the case of any incident.”

Baker said the toxicity of the surrounding air is still being tested.

According to the American Petroleum Institute’s website, water used for hydraulic fracturing is typically mixed with small amounts of chemical additives such as ethylene glycol and guar gum.

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