Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oh, Yes We Can!

The City of Denton is about to release a document explaining all the reasons why we can’t have a stronger ordinance to protect our health, safety, and welfare. The technicalities are complex, but the message is simple: No we can’t. No doubt there are limits to municipal control over fracking. But those limits are not as strict as their message would have us believe.

I asked them: Can we require air quality monitoring? They said, “No we can’t.” I asked them: why? They said, “State law trumps our ability to do that.” But that is not true.

I say, “Yes we can.”

Look at the Texas Clean Air Act Subchapter E on the “authority of local governments.” It states that “local government has the same power” as TCEQ “to inspect the air and to enter public or private property in its territorial jurisdiction to determine if the level of air contaminants in an area in its territorial jurisdiction and the emissions from a source meet the levels set by [TCEQ] or a municipality's governing body.”
It goes on to state that municipalities have the power to “enact and enforce an ordinance for the control and abatement of air pollution, or any other ordinance, not inconsistent with this chapter or the commission’s rules or orders.”

That’s why Southlake, Hurst, and other cities require air quality monitoring. Because they can. We can too. What else can we do that they say we can’t do?

1 comment:

  1. It is a shame all the evidence the citizens have presented to the city has been ignored. There is more than one way to skin a cat (no cats were harmed related to this posting). There is more than one way to change a city ordinance I should say.