Tomorrow the Dallas City Plan Commission will participate in a “gas drilling ordinance workshop” at City Hall, as officials have begun drafting a new city ordinance to better govern fracking in Dallas. But what, exactly, will the ordinance contain? For those concerned about drilling in parks, along the Trinity River, near neighborhoods and school, that question has become the new bottom line.
The bad news is that city staff has begun writing the ordinance based on a set of recommendations the specially-appointed Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force issued last year–recommendations that are far too weak to truly protect residents and the environment. The good news is that many groups have organized support for a better ordinance: Mountain Creek Neighborhood Alliance, North Dallas Neighborhood Alliance, Dallas Homeowners League, Dallas Sierra Club, Downwinders at Risk, Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling, Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project, FracDallas—and even the Dallas Morning News—have all called for a stronger ordinance that goes beyond the Task Force recommendations. Will the City Plan Commission respond?
Here are our principles for a new, protective gas drilling ordinance. These basic ideas—keep drilling away from people, parks and green spaces, protect our air and water, give the public a right to know—form the principles of our Citizens’ Recommendations. You will have several opportunities over the next few months to participate in the decision-making process. Make your voice heard!