Flower Mound Passes Gas Drilling Moratorium
By Shelley Kofler, KERA News
Dallas, TX – Flower Mound's new city council has become one of the first in North Texas to pass two moratoriums on gas drilling. KERA's Shelley Kofler reports the moratoriums are part of what voters were promised.
The mayor and council elected last month promised stricter gas drilling regulations for Flower Mound. And Monday night they delivered.
With a unanimous vote the new council approved the six month moratorium rejected by the previous council. It bans new permits for certain pipelines and centralized collection facilities. Some 6,000 signed a petition to ban the facilities which store water contaminated in the drilling process. They were concerned concerns about accidents and pollution.
Councilman Al Filodoro says the moratorium fulfills a campaign promise.
Filidoro: It's a vote for the 6,000 people who signed the petition and it's also a vote for the vast majority of people who came to the polls on May 8 who have asked for this to happen in this community.
The council also went beyond what some expected and passed a second moratorium that places a 90-day ban which can be extended on new permits for drilling and gas production.
Some citizens who want to sell the natural gas under their properties say the moratorium goes too far. James Wallace told the council his property is in a rural part of Flower Mound where drilling wouldn't bother neighbors.
Wallace: When you do a blanket moratorium you may feel like you are doing the right thing but you are harming people that should not be caught up in this.
But Councilmember Tom Hayden said the city needs to halt the expansion of drilling until it can review its ordinances.
Hayden: I am concerned the gas drilling coming into our town, not only does it pose a safety and health risk, it is also changing our town and our community. We need to preserve our town. We need to preserve the property values of all citizens in our town.
The council also approved the creation of a committee that will advise Flower Mound on how gas drilling should be regulated. The council's moratoriums go into effect immediately.