Yesterday’s Debut of a Citizens’ Map of Dallas Drilling

by Downwinders on February 23, 2012

You might have already heard or read about
the Dallas City Hall news conference that took place yesterday where a
new and startling map of gas-drilling leases already approved by the
City of Dallas was unveiled for the first time. It wasn’t a product of
city staff. A citizen put it together from Open Records Act requests
submitted over the last two-three months. Mountain Creek Neighborhood Alliance President Ed Meyer assembled
the information and then plotted it on a map. Downwinders, along with
the Dallas Sierra Club, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and
Earthworks Oil and Gas Accoiuntaibility Project all participated in
presenting the finished product to the
public and press under their new coalition name of “Dallas Residents at Risk.”
Even though the controversy over gas drilling in Dallas has been going
on for almost two years, there’s never been an attempt to plot the
inventory of gas leases in the city. Instead attention has been focused
on a handful of sites that were already partially through the city’s
permitting system when the current moratorium was declared and the
effort to write a new drilling ordinance was begun. When Meyer finally
got all the dots on his map, even he was surprised at the result. In
total, there are 110 leases for gas drilling on land owned by the
City of Dallas, totaling 130 tracts of land, and covering almost 1400
acres, from Royal Lane in North Dallas to the new Margaret Hunt bridge
in West Dallas to Joe Pool Lake in the South.
Copies of the map,
along with a explaniton of how it was made were delivered to all city
council members. It was released on Tuesday, the day of the penultimate
Dallas Gas Force Drilling Task Force, when new issues and old,
unresolved ones were up for debate. Next Tuesday, the 28th will be the Task Force’s last scheduled meeting and the stakes could not be higher.  On
the chopping block are the 1000 foot set-backs now recommended for
homes, schools, hospitals and churches, as well as a proposal from
industry to be allowed to drill in parks.
If successful, this industry move could be the single largest rollback so far in the process. Stay tuned. We’re going to have more on this attempt to roll back the protections already won in Dallas.



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