A Resolution of the City of Denton, Texas Opposing House Bill 2828, Recently Introduced in the Texas Legislature, Relating to Rules and Standards for the Gas Pipeline Industry
Whereas HB 2828 would preempt and supersede any ordinance, order, or rule adopted by a municipality relating to any aspect or phase of the gas pipeline industry; and
Whereas pipelines and related infrastructure, including compressor stations, are widely acknowledged as some of the most dangerous, noisy, and intrusive aspects of the production of oil and gas; and
Whereas the effect of HB 2828, if enacted, will be that cities will have no influence over the location and specifications of pipelines in their jurisdiction unless given permission by the Railroad Commission; and
Whereas, under current law, courts have recognized the legal authority of municipalities to regulate certain aspects of pipelines, including in some instances their location; and
Whereas, as written, HB 2828 appears to infer that pipelines could be permitted anywhere within the city regardless of their noise, health, or aesthetic impacts and regardless of their proximity to homes, parks, and other protected uses; and
Whereas the production and distribution of natural gas are not just mineral development issues but also and more importantly local land use issues with implications for the health, safety, and welfare of surrounding neighborhoods and communities; and
Whereas municipalities have long held constitutionally recognized rights to govern land use issues in their jurisdiction; and
Whereas it is apparent that HB 2828 will negatively impact municipalities and their residents; NOW, THEREFORE,
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF DENTON HEREBY RESOLVES:
Section 1. The City Council hereby adopts and incorporates the above referenced findings in this Resolution.
Section 2. The need for municipal regulatory authority is paramount when drilling, producing, and transporting oil and natural gas since these operations have distinct implications upon the surface estate and the owners of neighboring surface estates.
Section 3. The City Council hereby opposes the adoption of HB 2828 and the City Manager, or his designee, is hereby authorized to forward this resolution to appropriate Senate and House members of the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature and to engage all efforts to defeat this bill.
Section 4. This Resolution shall take effect immediately from and after its date of passage.
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the effect of rules and standards adopted by the Railroad Commission of Texas relating to the gas pipeline industry on ordinances, orders or rules adopted by political subdivisions.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTIONA1.AASubchapter D, Chapter 121, Utilities Code is amended by adding Section 121.1515 to read as follows:
SectionA121.1515AAEFFECT ON OTHER LAW. The rules and standards promulgated and adopted by the commission under Section 121.151 preempt and supersede any ordinance, order, or rule adopted by a political subdivision of this state relating to any aspect or phase of the gas pipeline industry. A political subdivision may petition the commission for permission to promulgate more restrictive rules and standards related to conditions for mapping, inventorying, locating or relocating pipelines over, under, along or across a public street, alley or other public property in the boundaries of the municipality.
SECTIONA2.AAThis Act takes effect on September 1, 2013.