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Flower Mound Rejects Moratorium On Gas Drilling Facilities

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Flower Mound, TX – Shortly after midnight Tuesday, after hours of heated testimony, the Flower Mound Council voted 3-2 to reject a moratorium on new gas collection facilities.

An overflow crowd spilled from city hall chambers, into the lobby and down the hallway. At issue was whether natural gas producers can proceed with central facilities that would store gas and water contaminated by drilling.

Ginger Simonson helped organized the petition drive that collected more than 6,000 signatures in favor of a six-month moratorium.

"What I have a problem with is having industrial type activities close to residential areas and very close to schools," Simonson said. "I think these facilities are much more dangerous than simple gas well operations."

Simonson was joined by dozens who wore t-shirts and insignias expressing their opposition to the facilities.

Dozens more like Nancy Wilson wore tags that read, "common sense". Wilson opposed the moratorium and delays in drilling.

"The revenue from that gas is going to give more taxes to Flower Mound and require less from the citizens." said Wilson.

The council's rejection sends the issue to the November ballot where Flower Mound voters will decide on a moratorium and the creation of an oil and gas advisory board.

Simonson worries producers will now have time to get permits for gas facilities that wouldn't have to meet stricter regulations in the future.