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Soap Foam Blows From Mansfield Gas Well

Women walk past soap bubbles in downtown
Women walks past soap bubbles. (credit: Ilya Snopchenko/AFP/Getty Images)

MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) - Soap bubbles blown out of a gas well drifted onto yards and homes in a Mansfield neighborhood on Saturday. Firefighters responded to the 911 calls from alarmed residents, but said that tests showed that there was nothing toxic in the substance.

A photo from a community blog, posted on a drilling reform website, showed a large grey mass of foam sitting in the grass. Mark Grawe from Eagle Ridge Energy, which operates the gas well site, said that he had never had anything similar happen before.

The substance was essentially an industrial soap, Grawe said, used for lubricating the well as teams drilled out a plug. For some reason, though, the foam shot back up the well and was carried by the wind into a neighborhood off Killian Drive. People who saw the bubbles reported that they dissipated after about 30 minutes to an hour.

The foam fell in a neighborhood that has, at times, already had a tense relationship with Eagle Ridge Energy. At a recent community meeting, while explaining why he had security with him, someone recorded Grawe saying, "There are people within Denton that are preaching civil disobedience. Some of those people are actually on a watch list. Not mine." He continued by saying that the watch list belonged to Homeland Security.

Residents in Denton have also battled the company, including a lawsuit from the city, that was then pulled in late October.

Asked to clarify his comments on Wednesday, Grawe told CBS 11 News that he could not say anything about that meeting. The Denton Police Department and the city manager's office both said they were unaware of any issues with civil disobedience or residents being on a watch list.

Cathy McMullen, who works with a drilling awareness group in the city, said that she thinks there may be some truth to the statement, but believes that it was meant to intimidate. "You have to know they would use any means that they needed to try and control you or watch a conversation or intimidate you," she said.

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