The Town of Flower Mound is getting tough on gas company operations.The town council amended an ordinance that will tighten up regulations for gas and oil well drilling, and town leaders are touting these new regulations as the best in the nation.
"People did not move here to live in an industrial community. And now, industrial processes that are not well regulated were allowed to be put next to their homes," Flower Mound Mayor Pro Tem Al Filidoro said.
"Any industry that is near your home needs to be regulated. The oil and gas industry is no different," Flower Mound resident Laurie Long said.
Long was one of 6,000 people who petitioned for the town council to amend its oil and gas drilling ordinance.
"It needed to be better," Long said.
"It's been a long road," Flower Mound Mayor Melissa Northern said.
Monday, the council put more than a year's work to rest. They adopted an ordinance that calls for increased set backs, increased monitoring, and enhanced emergency plans. Town leaders said the biggest change is moving the set backs from 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet. They claim it's the most aggressive regulation in the state and perhaps the nation.
"We did this so our children that are playing out on our playgrounds, like my daughter, will not have to be playing next to these industrial facilities," Northern said.
"It raised the standard in our community a lot higher," Filidoro said.
Despite their enthusiasm, now everyone is on board with the new regulations.
"I think it's an over reaction," Flower Mound resident David Carlton said. "You wanna know what i really think? They've got a bunch of people that don't know what they're talking about."
Carlton has a gas compressor station behind his home, and he said it doesn't bother him. Still, others have said they don't want stations in their backyard.