Local

Change May Soon Come To Arlington’s Drilling Ordinances

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Near the intersection of Lamar Blvd. and Cooper St., a large steel drilling rig looms over an apartment complex and a golf course. These types of scenes, which are scattered throughout the city, are prompting officials to reconsider Arlington’s drilling policies.

“I don’t feel it’s right being so close to my home,” said Brian Jackson, whose apartment faces the rig a short distance away. “I can literally be on my back porch and throw a golf ball and hit the rig.”

Residents complain about the smell, the proximity to their homes and the chance that other rigs could soon arrive.

“Its a big disruption,” Jackson said. “And I think they’re trying to get permits to put another one in. And I think they’re going to put another one in after this one.”

Planning and Zoning Commissioner Victor Vandergriff presented the City Council with revisions to Arlington’s policy regarding drilling.

“We are vastly outnumbered in the process of keeping track of things,” Vandergriff said. “So we spent a lot of time looking at current city practices.”

The commission’s months-long study suggests several changes for drilling operations in the city. Air, water and soil will be sampled around sites before and after drilling.

The changes would mandate larger distances between drilling rigs and protected buildings and would establish online services to allow residents to monitor gas operations.

“There are a whole lot of things we’re looking at that will change the complexion of drilling,” said Mayor Robert Cluck. “We’re not going to stop drilling. Its really important.”

Cluck said he anticipates council discussion and public hearings before bringing the changes to the City Council for a vote.