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More Drilling In Flower Mound Despite Moratorium

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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A drilling rig is seen on September 29, 2010 near Ray, North Dakota. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

A drilling rig is seen on September 29, 2010 near Ray, North Dakota. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

FLOWER MOUND (CBSDFW.COM) – This city was called a hub for natural gas drilling in North Texas, until last May, when the City Council issued a moratorium on new drilling permits. Despite the moratorium, two new drills near Sherri Lane will go active this week.

“I was always optimistic that we would get here,” said Ron Hilliard, Flower Mound resident.

Hilliard filed his permit request days before the moratorium took effect. The 64-year-old said he’s leasing his land to a company called Titan Operating, based in Fort Worth. He expects drilling to start by the week’s end.

“There were times when I got kind of frustrated,” Hilliard said. “And there were times when it seemed very difficult.”

Some neighbors, however, are none too pleased. Chris Henry said her family is already making plans to move.

“I feel like I’m being pushed out of this town,” Henry said. “This town is everything I wanted for my family. It’s really broken my heart.”

Along with environmental concerns, neighbors said the two new drills sit too close to two Flower Mound schools.

Texas state law requires a gas well to be at least 1,000 feet away from a school. Hilliard said the two wells, which are on his property, sit more than 2,000 feet away from the school.

Neighbors argue that these latest drills are just the tip of the iceberg. According to the City of Flower Mound, 55 wells have been drilled and another 22 have been approved.

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