About Air and Water

Monday, July 23, 2007

Arlington to consider expanding distance for gas well drilling

By SALLY CLAUNCH - Star-Telegram Staff Writer - Mon, Jul. 23, 2007
ARLINGTON -- Residents who live near proposed gas well sites may get a little more breathing room between their homes and the behemoths.

The City Council is scheduled Tuesday to discuss proposed changes to the city's natural gas drilling ordinance that could require increasing to 600 feet from 300 feet the setback between houses and gas wells.

Other proposed changes:

Requiring a "closed loop" system that would reduce the pad area and use bins to collect drilling waste instead of open pits.

Requiring drilling companies to pay a fee up front when they pay for their permits and applications. The fee would cover damage to roads.

Requiring drillers to use devices to mitigate noise, such as sound-muffling curtains.

Mayor Pro Tem Ron Wright said he likes the changes for the closed-loop system and sound mitigation. But he said he wants to discuss the setback. He said that the 300-foot setback is safe and that as long as companies use sound-muffling devices, the noise should be tolerable.

"We want these to be safe, but we don't want to cut off the opportunity for residents of Arlington to enjoy gas lease money," he said.

In other business

The council will also:

Cowboys stadium: Vote on buying property at 611 N. Collins St., which was a strip shopping center, for the stadium.

Parks: Approve spending about $33,000 in upfront money for a fence at River Legacy Parks. According to city rules, any money generated from wells under parks must be spent in the parks.

Storm water: Vote on whether to raise storm-water rates for residences and commercial property. The council could table the vote in the face of opposition from churches and the school district. The Arlington Chamber of Commerce also has asked the city for more discussion.

ARLINGTON CITY COUNCIL

The council will meet at 2 p.m. for a work session and at 6:30 p.m. for the regular meeting Tuesday at City Hall, 101 W. Abram St.

Telecast: Channel 16 on Arlington Time Warner Cable

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