|Reprinted from Dallas Morning News Blog by|
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.