Dallas County Votes for Fair Share Resolution

(Dallas)—Dallas County Commissioners provided the region’s second vote in as many days urging the state to cut gas industry pollution as part of the next DFW ozone clean-up plan.

All five Commissioners, including two Republicans and three Democrats, voted in favor of a “Fair Share” resolution that requests the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to fill a projected shortfall in cuts in smog-forming Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the air plan with tonnage produced by Barnett Shale drilling and development. 

Gas industry sources now account for more VOC pollution than all the vehicles in DFW, but these emissions have never been covered by any previous clean air plan. Advocates of the strategy argue that now is the time for Barnett Shale sources to do their “fair share” to clean North Texas air.  

Dallas County, representing approximately 2.5 million residents, followed on the heels of tiny community of DISH in Denton County (population 300), that passed the region’s first Fair Share resolution on Monday night.  

DFW clean air group Downwinders at Risk is leading a 30-day campaign to collect as many such resolutions from local governments as meeting schedules for various councils and commissioners courts will allow in order to show Austin a broad consensus in the region to cut gas drilling air pollution.  

Downwinders’ Jim Schermbeck, Cherelle Blazer of the Texas Oil and Accountability Project, Raymond Crawford of Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling, and Molly Rooke of the Dallas Sierra Club were all on hand to personally thank Judge Clay Jenkins and the Commissioners Court for taking a stand for regional air quality.

“We’re very appreciative of the Court taking up this issue and unanimously passing this resolution today,” said Schermbeck. “TCEQ is guilty of doing what it’s accusing Washington of often doing – ignoring local attitudes and preferences. It’s clear that North Texas governments and residents want Austin to use this opportunity to catch-up with the last six years of explosive growth in drilling and reign in these emissions.”

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