Sara Story, Denton Reporter
Denton County ordinance tackles drilling safety
Denton is tightening up its rules for gas well drilling.
City officials are working with residents to review and make changes to current regulations.
"Our goal is to make sure we can protect this Denton citizenry that does live here, work here, play here," said Darren Groth, Denton gas well inspector.
Groth said that the industry needs to be regulated, especially within city limits, despite its benefits.
"The economic impact from the Barnett Shale is pretty significant from a job standpoint and from property owners, getting them those mineral royalties and checks to them," he said.
The task force is made up of city officials, people from the gas industry and Denton residents. Some of the city's regulations were rewritten in 2010, but those are now being revised.
"We are going to address air quality probably more comprehensively than what the ordinance does now," Groth said. "In addition, there will be some water quality issues. There are studies going on as far as the impacts of how much water is used, what type of water is being used."
Denton residents such as Phillis Wolper are concerned about the current rules.
"There is a gas well right behind us and, amazingly, we have a sign next to it saying this is land for [sale] for multifamily residential real estate," Wolper said. "That just does not go together."
She is glad the city is reworking the ordinance but is not confident it will do enough.
"If it was solely up to me, there would be a moratorium against all drilling within the city limits," Wolper said.