Important City Council Meeting Tonight

City Council will be voting on P & Z's proposed gas well drilling ordinance amendments tonight. We need the chambers to be packed to show support for the first phase of amendments to the gas well drilling ordinance. There were quite a few representatives from the drilling industry at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last week who spoke against the revisions. After listening to several Denton residents, the P & Z Commission adjusted the original proposed amendments as follows:
  • The set back will remain at 1000 feet but can be lowered to 500 feet rather then 250 feet
  • The allowable decibel increases can only occur during the day
  • Fees charged to the drilling companies have been greatly increased to cover the cost of processing drilling permits and future inspections
Here is the DRC's story of last Wednesday's meeting.

It is anticipated that the gas industry will send out their representatives tomorrow. We need to make sure the council remembers that their first duty is to protect the health and safety of Denton residents and should thus should vote YES. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Meeting begins at 6:30 in the Council Chambers inside of City Hall. The address is 215 E. McKinney.
Hope to see you there!

TCEQ DFW Clean Air Public Meeting

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the New DFW Clean Air Plan next Thursday, June 24th, at Arlington City Hall (same location as the March ozone hearing) from 7-9pm. This meeting is being organized because DFW violated the federal smog/ozone standard last summer, and the TCEQ is responsible to create a plan to bring our area back into attainment. This meeting will allow North Texans to ask questions and offer suggestions on HOW and WHAT to include in this New DFW Clean Air Plan. Our message is simple: Citizens Demand the Same Pollution Controls for Industry as for Our Autos!
What Should the New Plan Accomplish?

Adopt all the recommendations from the 2006 local clean air committee that were dumped by the state four years ago. (YES, most of this same clean air planning work has been done before and was rejected by Austin/TCEQ!)

Crackdown on industry as much as my car. Demand 90% controls on coal, kilns and gas. (The industrial technology exists and is in USE across the country/world, just not in TX.)

Do more than the minimum. No more paper exercises. Go further than required. (We’re looking for more than a “goal seek” solution.)

Aim the plan where smog pollution is worst: Tarrant, Denton, Wise, and Parker Counties. (Asthma rates for children under 14 are THREE TIMES HIGHER (22%) in western DFW area than across the state of TX!)

There’s a pre-meeting meetup at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (510 E. Abram St, 3 blks from City Hall) at 6pm for anyone interested. Get your tacos and beer buzz on to get you in the mood!

For more information or to carpool, please contact the North Central Texas Clean Air Task Force: dfwsip@gmail.com or 972.230.3185.

Another chance to see Gasland

If you were unable attend either of the screenings of the documentary Gasland, you have another chance on June 21st at 9 P.M. EDT. Invite your friends and family or get signed up with Josh Fox and Texas OGAP to host a GASLAND HBO Movie Watch Party!


Handy Toolkit/Guide

Josh Fox's PBS Interview

Variety Review

Natural Gas Facility Explodes in Cleburne- 1 Dead

Witnesses reported seeing a blaze that covered a circumference of 400 to 600 feet after a natural gas line exploded...CBS Channel 11

This is why a 500 foot setback is not okay from homes, schools, parks, hospitals....

"Laura Harlin, who lives about a mile from the scene, told CNN she heard a rumbling noise that sounded like a jet engine when the explosion occurred. She said her house shook and the rumbling lasted for about 10 minutes. " -from the Washington Post

Photos of the explosion.
Wake up Denton! The city is working on the city wide ordinance right now.  The current proposal is to have a setback of 1000 feet but with a possible allowable variance of 500 feet.  What happens is the gas companies sweep in promise royalties and give assurances that drilling will be safe.  That is how we now have the wells across from McKenna park. The same promises were given to the people of Corinth but luckily they realized what was happening before it was too late.

Get Involved in the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission's Review of the TCEQ

From the Alliance for a Clean Texas blog:
June 10th Call Kicks Off Our TCEQ Sunset Campaign!

Mark your calendar now for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday June 10th! That’s the time ACT is hosting our state-wide call to kick off our TCEQ Sunset campaign. All Texans committed to protecting our state’s environment and health are invited to participate in the call.

ACT organizations around the state are working together to make this a milestone year for environmental protection in Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is currently under review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Now is the time to turn our concerns about how TCEQ does and does not do its job of protecting our environment and our health into real, lasting reform. It’s a chance that comes only once a decade. We’re coming together so our lawmakers know that Texans all over the state want the same thing–clean air, clean water and the safe disposal of waste–and expect their state environmental agency to do the job.
The June 10th call kicks off our campaign. We’ll explain the sunset process, hear from policy experts, and talk about what activists around the state are doing to involve and inspire their communities. We’re especially excited to introduce the TCEQ Sunset Town Halls–a series of events that environmental organizations throughout Texas are planning for early fall. Right now, town halls are in the works all over the state–from Brownsville to Abilene, Nacogdoches to El Paso. Find out if one is planned for your community–and learn how you can help organize one.

Here are the details for the call:

  • What: TCEQ Sunset Campaign Information Call
  • When: Thursday June 10 6:30-7:30
  • Who: All Texans Standing Up for the Environment, for Public Health and for a Stronger TCEQ
  • Why: To learn about the TCEQ Sunset review and why reforming the TCEQ is the biggest environmental campaign of the year
  • How: At 6:30 p.m. on June 10th, call 866-501-6174. The access code for the call is 31794011892 The call will last one hour.
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"...TCEQ will continue to hide data crucial to the public health" says State Senator Wendy Davis

There were additional findings that were not disclosed in last week's revelation by TCEQ. Senator Davis released this press statement in response to the revelations of additional benzene exposures in Tarrant county.

Wilma Subra to speak on AIR QUALITY - Health Impacts To You and Your Children

Wilma Subra will speak at the NCTCA meeting Thursday, June 3rd.  Please look at this previous post to learn more at Mrs. Subra.
AIR QUALITY: The Health Impacts to You and Our Children
When: Thursday, June 3, 2010
2000 Beach Street and IH30
Fort Worth, Texas 76103
Networking @ 6:30 pm
Meeting @ 7:00 pm

Wilma Subra has been a board member of EARTHWORK's Oil and Gas Accountability Project since 2005 and she is a member of the Texas OGAP Steering Committee. Wilma has traveled to the Barnett Shale area several times assisting Texas OGAP and community's effected by Barnett Shale drilling.

Mrs. Subra holds degrees in Microbiology and Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She received the MacArthur Fellowship "Genius" Award from the MacArthur Foundation for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities. She also was one of three finalists in the Environmental Category of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award.