Friday, May 28, 2010

Flower Mound Suspends Issuance of Natural Gas Drilling and Production Permits

The Flower Mound Town Manager issued a temporary administrative suspension of the issuance of natural gas drilling and production permits at 12 p.m. on May 28, 2010. In accordance with the suspension, the Town of Flower Mound will not issue any new permits associated with natural gas drilling and production through June 8, 2010. Please read the suspension notice for additional information.


Flower Mound halts new gas drilling permits

Reprinted from Dallas Morning News Blog by Wendy Hundley      

The town issued an administrative moratorium that suspends all permits for new natural gas wells and gas pads.

The action follows an earlier moratorium that halted permits for centralized wastewater, gas lift, compression facilities and related pipelines.
"I've been calling for this for two years and have been ignored," Flower Mound Mayor Pro Tem Al Filidoro said Friday. He said the moratorium will give officials a chance to review the town's ordinance and appoint an oil and gas advisory board.

Filidoro said Friday's action was necessary to prevent gas drilling applications from being submitted before the Town Council meets again on June 7. "We don't want people to come rushing in while we've got a gap here," he said.

Flower Mound resident Bryan Webb, who has leased his mineral rights to a gas company, said the moratorium is not necessary for the council to make changes to the ordinance. "I'm not sure I understand the need for it," said Webb, who lost his bid for a seat on the Town Council earlier this month.

At the June 7 meeting, the council is expected to take action on a citizen-driven campaign calling for a 180-day moratorium on wastewater and other facilities, and a separate 90-day moratorium new gas pads and well permits. They would run concurrently.

The moratoriums underscore the change in the political climate in the southern Denton County town that's been divided over the issue of gas drilling.

On May 8, voters re-elected Filidoro and voted in two new council members -Melissa Northern as Mayor and Steve Lyda in the Place 4 seat. All three candidates campaigned together on a platform that called for slowing the gas boom and review the town's regulations. They said too many variances have weakened the town's ordinance.

On May 19, that trend shifted when the town's Oil and Gas Board of Appeals denied variances for a natural gas well permit on a site south of Flower Mound Road and east of Long Prairie Road.
Filidoro said the applicant has already appealed the decision and the new moratorium would not prevent the appeal from moving forward.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

TECQ regulators fail to disclose benzene in Fort Worth air

Reprint from
By Chris Hawes

FORT WORTH — State environmental officials said they never found evidence of elevated levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene during a December air study in Fort Worth. But News 8 has proof that they did, and the mayor of a Denton County town is now calling for a federal probe of state pollution regulators.

Last January, John Sadlier, deputy director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, appeared before the Fort Worth City Council with what sounded like good news: Eight air samples analyzed in Fort Worth found no traces of benzene, the toxin that — over time — can lead to leukemia. "Benzene is non-detect on all the slides," Sadlier said during the January presentation.

But what he didn't tell Council members was that the analysis equipment that TCEQ used in the field wasn't sensitive enough to detect lower levels of benzene — the levels that TCEQ's own scientists say can lead to cancer if sustained over a period of years.

Link to WFAA Full Story

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