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Dallas City Council Considers Changing Drilling Rules

Dallas City Council members heard conflicting approaches to possible gas drilling ordinance changes today.

Terry Welch is a member of the city’s Gas and Drilling task force, and presented his views of stricter standards. His views are not shared by a majority of task force members.

He recommends at least 1,000 to 1,500 feet between a gas drilling site and any building. Other cities, like Fort Worth, use a 600 ft set-back.

"Err on the side of protecting public health. If we enact weaker provisions it’s too late, there’s nothing we can do," Welch said.

But Dallas City Councilman Sheffie Kadane says a 1,000 to 1,500 foot restriction is unrealistic, unnecessary, and costly.

"A thousand feet it takes 134 acres to fill that site. At that it makes it kind of a a moot factor and possibly a moratorium on wells because you don’t have that kind of acreage to drill on," Kadane said.

The Dallas City council considers the issue again in two weeks.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.