Dallas Public Participation Rollback Continues: Staff Eliminates Aug 15th Public Hearing, Provide None in Evening

by jim on August 5, 2013

SHUT UPAnd just like that, Dallas City Hall decides that more public participation in writing the new gas drilling ordinance isn't what they want after all.

Less than two weeks after releasing a proposed schedule for the City Plan Commission that included three public hearings on the subject, city staff issued a revised schedule for the Plan Commission that scraps the first public hearing for August 15th, and leaves the other two in the middle of the day despite appeals from the Plan Commission itself to arrange for evening public hearings.

Now, the first chance citizens will get to weigh in will be August 22nd at 1:30 pm instead of 4 to 6 pm on the 15th.

What is City Hall scared of? You.

If they had their way, some city staff would sequester members of the CPC in an undisclosed location for the duration of this process, with no opportunity to get contaminated by views other than their own – which are motivated by still trying to accommodate the discredited Trinity East permits.

You represent a complete repudiation of that point of view.

You're armed with the latest science. They want to rely on 2-year old Dallas Task Force recommendations that they also engineered to help Trinity East and ignore everything that came after that.

You're armed with real-life experience of what it's like to live near these kinds of operations. They want the CPC to rely on the soothing assurances from industry and paid-for regulators.

You want an objective reckoning of the facts and hazards. They want to find a way to get Trinity East its permits.

The Plan Commission meets this Thursday at City Hall beginning at 8:30 am in room 5ES with another workshop session lasting until at least 1:30 pm coving topics such as Pad Operations, Site Monitoring, and Permitting. There will be no opportunity for official public comment, but if you want to make unofficial comments on how undemocratic this process is becoming, be our guest. Concerned citizens need to take back their city from out-of-control staffers who want to give permits to discredited companies and sites based on secret deals, no matter the cost to public health or safety. Grabbing back control of the reigns becomes a public duty at this point.


New Proposed Schedule for City Plan Commission Drafitng of Gas-Drilling Ordinance


August 8th Meeting

8:30 – 9:00 am  Review of Draft Ordinance

9:00-10:30 am Review of Topics

Pad Site Operations
Gas Drilling/Well Permit
Bonding Requirements
Site Monitoring and Review of Permit Application
Required Plans

10:30-11:00 am

Summary of discussion topics for the day
Revisit previous topics
11:00 am -1:30 pm –   CPC Briefing (working lunch)
1:30 pm –  CPC hearings on zoning cases

Immediately following CPC Public Hearing – 6:00 pm
Continue discussion of unfinished topics for the day

AUGUST 22 Meeting

8:30 am – 9:00 am Review of Draft Ordinance

9:00 am -10:30am

Physical Pad Site
Emergency Response
Abandonment and Restoration


Summary of discussion topics for the day
Revisit previous topics
11:00-1:30 CPC Briefing (working lunch)

1:30pm: 1st CPC Public Hearing on Gas Drilling



September 12th Meeting
8:30 – 9:00

Review of drafted provisions of the Ordinance

Discussion of next Topics:
Air Quality
Seismic Permits


Summary of discussion topics for the day
Revisit previous topics


CPC Briefing (working lunch)

September 26
8:30 – 9:00

Review of drafted provisions of the Ordinance


Finish discussion of topics from previous meeting


Summary of discussion for the day
Revisit previous topics


CPC Briefing (working lunch)

1:30 pm:  2nd AND LAST Public Hearing on Gas Drilling at CPC

After public hearing –  vote to make recommendations to City Council


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marc August 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm

In the event nobody at City Hall is paying attention we are NOT going away, and we WILL continue to call attention to the sneaky, underhanded methods used by city staffers and elected or hired officials to circumvent the will of citizens with regard to protection of our health and safety and the economic viability of our city.

To be sure, gas production is losing money everywhere, but there WILL be costs borne by taxpayers for the damages left in the wake – road and bridge destruction, water, air and soil contamination, loss of public outdoor spaces for recreation purposes, lowered property values resulting in a lowered county tax base, increased costs for indigent care at Parkland Memorial Hospital and numerous other costs that will NOT be paid by industry.


Trinity East is reeling from the sting of their defeats over the past four years, and the offices of the City Manager and City Attorney are reeling from the snack-down they received last February when they were called to task for their backroom dealings while deceiving the City Council and citizens about the future of gas drilling in Dallas.


IF we have strong public participation in this process we will prevail in protecting our quality of life from the ravages of a commercial, out-of-town corporation that wants to cover its own ineptitude at our expense. Trinity East entered this deal knowing full well that drilling in parks and floodplains is prohibited by existing city ordinances, yet they have persisted in trying to do an end-around to secure the rights to do that which is prohibited by law. We MUST hold our city officials accountable because it is THEY who will either protect us, or else sell us out for thirty pieces of silver (which is about all we would ever get, and that would be dimes) to Trinity East, Luminant and other drillers who want to explore for and produce natural gas close to where we live, work, play, go to school, worship and gather.



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