City Council is finally moving forward with their pledge three months ago to implement an air monitoring program for natural gas development in Denton. Their discussion (start at minute 37) was partly encouraging – with some Council members reiterating the importance of keeping their promise. But it was also partly discouraging – clearly the passage of time since the heady days of the ordinance rewrite have got some Council members scratching their heads trying to remember what all the fuss was about.
Final point on this question: why would we monitor gas wells and not all the other industries in Denton…doesn’t that single them out unfairly? The answer is simple: it is a unique industry that is allowed to occur in non-industrial areas. It is already ‘singled-out’ by that fact. Any industrial activity that can locate just 1,200 feet from schools, parks, homes, and hospitals anywhere in the city deserves increased scrutiny by our local leaders who are charged with ensuring compatibility of local land uses and with protecting our health, safety, and welfare.
This raises the second worrisome moment about the jurisdictional authority of municipal government. Mayor Burroughs asked if the city has the authority to do air monitoring.