DENTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – A citizens group in Denton announced plans Tuesday to try to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. If it succeeds, the group and industry supporters believe it would be the first ban of its kind in Texas.
The proposed ordinance cites the health, safety and welfare of citizens. It would make any new fracking jobs unlawful within the city limits. Any violation would carry a fine of up to $2,000.
The Denton Drilling Awareness group said it will start collecting signatures of support on a petition Thursday. According to city charter rules, the group will need less than 600 signatures to present the item to the city council for action. If the council votes it down, or takes no action, it would automatically be placed on a ballot for residents to vote.
“I think when given an opportunity to use their voice again, they’re going to use it loudly,” said DAG member Cathy McMullen.
Denton enacted a 1,200 foot setback between well sites and homes last year. It did not prevent developers however from building some new home sites closer than that. An energy company also relied on old permits to re-drill well sites within a few hundred feet of home.
Denton filed a lawsuit against the company, Eagle Ridge Energy, before pulling it and entering a negotiating period that continues into March.
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