A delegation from the Netherlands, which was on a five-day tour of the United States, held a brief meeting with the City of Arlington’s Water Utilities Department on August 15 to discuss shale gas exploration.The delegation featured senior staff from two of the country’s largest water utility companies and the Water Cycle Research Institute. Members of Arlington’s Water Utilities and Community Development & Planning departments represented the City.Thursday’s two-hour session featured a presentation by Arlington’s Collin Gregory entitled “Gas Drilling Overview.” It provided the basis for a lively discussion on the many details and lessons learned by the City of Arlington related to the evolution of shale gas drilling within the city limits and the potential impacts such activity could have on surface and ground water resources in the local area.According to the delegation from the Netherlands, they wanted to accomplish the following:
- Share knowledge and experience of the exploration of Shale Gas—includes current techniques and environmental impact, specifically the impact on the quality and the potential risk of contamination of water resources.
- Import the lessons learned and measures taken in terms of legislation, monitoring and advocacy.
- Visit the organizations concerned—leading universities and research institutes, oil and gas companies, a drinking water utility and the Environmental Protection Agency.
During the meeting, each member of the Dutch delegation enjoyed a kolache, a Texas delicacy, as a welcome snack. They also received a bag of mementos highlighting the city and its major sport teams to take home for memorabilia. In the coming days, the City staff will send the delegates a CD featuring information and documents related to the leasing and regulation of the drilling activities within the City.The Dutch delegation’s multi-city tour began at Colorado State University and included meetings with university researchers, energy companies, state regulators and a water utility (Arlington Water Utilities).