Denton imposes moratorium on gas drilling ahead of petition seeking ban by Nicholas Sakelaris, May 7, 2014, Dallas Business Journal
The Denton City Council voted in a surprise move Tuesday night to stop all gas drilling inside the city’s limits, imposing a moratorium until Sept. 9.
The move comes just hours before the group Denton Drilling Awareness Group was to submit a petition Wednesday with 1,871 signatures asking the city to ban hydraulic fracturing. That was three times the number of signatures needed, the group said. According to the moratorium passed Tuesday night, there can be no new gas well permits issued or physical drilling at new or existing sites inside Denton, CBS 11 reported.
The ban impacts all drilling companies working inside the city limits, according to the report. It gives City Council time to study other fracking ordinances across the area. It also comes just hours before a “stand still” agreement with Eagleride Energy was going to expire. That agreement was put in place five months ago after residents in the Vintage neighborhood complained to the city grandfathered wells operating closer to their homes than current city ordinance allowed.
Should a permanent citywide fracking ban be imposed, it would be a first for a city in Texas….
“These signatures represent Denton citizens of every political stripe coming together to protect their homes and families from the fracking industry,” Cathy McMullen, president of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group said about the petition. “I worked with the city for years to improve fracking oversight to no avail. It’s clear this industry will do whatever it can get away with and the city is paralyzed by the fear of the political consequences of reigning it in. A fracking ban is our last and only option.”
The city secretary has 20 days to validate that the signatures belong to registered voters in Denton. The petition needs a minimum of 596 signatures to be validated. From there, a permanent ban would go to the City Council, who can either adopt it or put it on November ballot. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
January 22, 2014: Quake-Plagued Texans ‘Shake the Ground’ in Austin; What say the regulators? Suffer while we study. Essentially what the Council of Canadian Academies said to Canadians.
December 29, 2104: B.C. school kids in danger, can suffer DNA damage illness from leaking sour gas several km away, yet B.C. allows wells within 100 m (~330 feet) of schools while Dallas City Council votes in 1,500 foot setback from homes and wells! ]