Show Your Support for A Stronger Dallas Gas Drilling Ordinance

by jim on March 20, 2012

Eagle-eyed readers will have already noticed that, starting today, along with a flier for the March 27th citywide organizing meeting on gas drilling in Dallas, this front page also gives you the opportunity to download a resolution that states your group’s support for the Five Basic Protections the Dallas Residents at Risk alliance is advocating to add to the City’s new drilling ordinance.  We’re asking that you download this resolution, fill in your organization’s name, pass it at your next meeting, and let us know so we can add you to the group of supporters. What are these Five Basic Protections? 1) Larger Buffer Zones. 1000-foot buffer zones between a gas well and homes, schools, hospitals and other “protected uses,” along with restoration of a ban on any drilling on city park and or in the Trinity River floodplain. Right now, the city is recommending they be allowed as close as 500 feet. 2) Dallas Water for Dallas Drinking. Charge more for water that can never be used again. Ban the taking of Dallas water for frack jjobs in other cities, and ban water for fracking at Stage III drought conditions. 3) Don’t Make Bad Air Worse. Dallas has promised to help led the effort to clean the air in DFW. It can’t do that without making sure the increases in air pollution from drilling are off-set by reductions in air pollution someplace else in Dallas. We must make sure that new pollution caused by heavy industry is balanced by industry-funded measures to cut this same kind of pollution. 4) Full Disclosure of ALL Chemicals to First Responders BEFORE an Accident. Even under a new state law that supposedly makes this information public, companies are still allowed to keep “trade secrets” from first responders until after an accident. This isn’t fair or safe. Our front line defenders must have all the knowledge they need to handle an emergency situation at a gas well, including knowing how much of what potentially dangerous chemicals are on site. 5) Industry-funded city oversight that is well-staffed and well-equiped. Neither the state nor EPA can be relied upon to timely answer a Dallas resident’s call for help when something goes wrong at a gas well – and it will. the city must have its own response team and full-time oversight to ensure compliance with the law and public safety. Look, there are lots of reasons to be skeptical of fracking. Lots. Some we know about. Some we’re still learning about. These are the five things that citizens following the process for almost two years have decided to spotlight based on their ability to prevent harm before it happens. You may think there are stronger measures to be taken. And you’d be right. Feel free to add those as an addendum to the resolution we offer. But please take this opportunity to show the Council there’s a strong grassroots desire to strengthen the safeguards surrounding how drilling is done in Dallas. And then join us at the March 27th organizing meeting.

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