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Mansfield Residents Upset About Fracking Near Their Homes

MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) - For two years, residents in one Mansfield neighborhood enjoyed the quiet, clean environment expected of suburbia. But now that Eagleridge Operating has started up its fracking rig drills for natural gas in the area -- all that has changed. In fact, drilling was quiet so long, that many homeowners didn't realize they lived near wells.

From the noise, to the smell of potential pollutants, residents are complaining. A homeowners association president in Mansfield approached the city council Monday after hearing concerns about drilling that has returned.

"I believe that the city could step in, and ease some of the concerns of the residents."

Woodland Estates has more than 150 homes, but drilling has been so inactive that until this summer, some people there didn't know about one of their biggest neighbors.

Eagleridge Operating is working on established well pads a few hundred south of the neighborhood. The company didn't return calls Monday. A rig towers up above the curtain barriers set up around the site. For a neighborhood bordered by a green belt and water, the new noise has been more than noticeable for some. Tamara Bounds said she tried to pad her windows and doors to keep it out.

Homeowners have been taking pictures of emissions and records of as many as four open complaints to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Lance Irwin described it as diesel fumes one day, a sulphuric, rotten egg smell the next.

Irwin, who moved from Pennsylvania two years ago, another drilling hot spot, said he would never have bought his home if he had known he was so close to activity. He asked the city council Monday night for a moratorium on future drilling so close to homes, parks and schools. More air testing is needed he believes.

Residents have been told there is the potential for more than 30 wells to be drilled on the site, raising concern about ongoing work from a production site some didn't know existed until recently.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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