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26-story mixed-use tower planned at Taylor & Fifth in downtown Fort Worth

Jetta Operating Co., a 24-year-old privately held oil and gas company in Fort Worth, and a related entity plan a 26-story mixed-use tower downtown at Taylor and Fifth streets on a site once owned by the Star-Telegram.

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UPDATE: Six candidates file for two Water Board seats

Six candidates have filed for the two open seats on the Tarrant Regional Water Board, setting up a battle that could potentially shift the balance of power on the board and the priorities of one of the largest water districts in Texas.

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Top area CFOs honored

The Fort Worth Business Press honored 13 area chief financial officers today with a luncheon at the Fort Worth Club.

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Fort Worth breaks ground on $8.6 million South Main renovation

Fort Worth Near Southsiders and city officials broke ground Monday on the 18-month rebuild of South Main Street between Vickery Boulevard and West Magnolia Avenue.

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Fort Worth Police association planning 25,000-square-foot offices

The POA, which recently demolished its one-story building at 904 Collier St. near downtown, is planning a five-story replacement.

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Researchers find elevated levels of heavy metals

 

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington say there are elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals close to natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale area of North Texas, according to a news release from the school Friday.

Several scenarios — including disturbances from fracking, lower water tables from drought, removal of water used for fracking or industrial accidents such as faulty gas well casings — could release the dangerous compounds into shallow groundwater.

"This study alone can't conclusively identify the exact causes of elevated levels of contaminants in areas near natural gas drilling, but it does provide a powerful argument for continued research," Brian Fontenot, the lead author on the new paper, said.

Arsenic, barium, strontium and selenium occur naturally at low levels in groundwater. But the release says fracking activities could elevate their levels.

The results from the peer-reviewed study were published online by the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Elevated levels for most of the metals were not found outside active drilling areas or outside the shale.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, uses chemicals along with water under high pressure to crack open rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

Samples were gathered from 100 private water wells of varying depths within a 13-county area in or near the Barnett Shale during four months in summer and fall of 2011.

Additionally, the paper recommended further research on methanol and ethanol levels in water wells after 29 of the 100 wells in the study contained methanol. The highest concentrations were in the areas of fracking activity.

The samples were compared to historical data on water wells from the Texas Water Development Board groundwater database for 1989-1999, before natural gas drilling activity ramped up.

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