The Denton City Council approved a moratorium on Tuesday night that freezes new gas drilling and production permits while the city overhauls its drilling ordinance.
The moratorium goes into effect immediately and lasts for 120 days. It does not affect companies that have already applied for gas drilling permits.
Council members such as Dalton Gregory said they wanted to halt new production permits until the new regulations are in place.
"I expect the new rules are going to be stricter, and there are some drillers are going to want to get in under the old rules. Rather than have a rush to get permits under the old rules, we want to say, 'Let's halt it now,'" Gregory said.
People opposed to a moratorium said before the vote that the decision would be drastic. It would slow down an industry that pumps money and jobs into the local economy, they say.
Dalton said the move is necessary for now.
"I want to see the very best ordinance we can possibly get that provides the highest level of safety to our citizens, while still allowing mineral owners the rights to their property," he said.