A press release received from two Texas groups today:
Fracking ban ballot initiative submitted to Denton City Council
Ban garners almost as many signatures as voted in last election
EagleRidge response to evidence of their pollution exemplifies need for a ban
NOTE: Statement regarding last night's City Council action coming later today
Denton, Texas, May 7 -- Today at 3pm central the Denton Drilling Awareness Group will submit for certification to the City Council at least 1,871 signatures in support of a fracking ban within Denton city limits. 2,200 people voted in the last municipal election, fewer than 700 signatures were required to put the ban on the ballot.
“These signatures represent Denton citizens of every political stripe coming together to protect their homes and families from the fracking industry,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group president Cathy McMullen. She continued, “I worked with the City for years to improve fracking oversight, to no avail. It’s clear this industry will do whatever it can get away with, and the City is paralyzed by the fear of the political consequences of reining it in. A fracking ban is our last and only option.”
Upon receipt of the petition, the City Secretary has twenty days to validate the signatures. Then the City Council must call a public hearing and within sixty days vote on the petition. If approved, it becomes law. If rejected, Denton registered voters consider it as a ballot initiative – likely during the November general election.
“We hope the Council will vote to approve the ban,” said Ed Soph of the Denton DAG. He continued, “But at a minimum, we hope they’ll respect their constituents, and allow the Denton residents to vote on the ban, not try to block it on a legal technicality.”
Last week, members of Denton Drilling Awareness Group released infrared videos and a summa canister test of VOC pollution from EagleRidge fracking operations to demonstrate that the City of Denton is failing to keep its promises to monitor pollution from fracking operations. The city did not publicly respond to the evidence of its failure. EagleRidge responded by claiming the tests weren’t conducted properly, and even if they were, there was no evidence that residents were exposed to carcinogens for long enough to threaten their health.
In less than a year, Denton residents have filed 73 separate complaints about EagleRidge operations. In no case was EagleRidge cited for a violation.
“We need to ban fracking in Denton precisely because the City’s non-response to their failures typifies its oversight of fracking,” said Earthworks organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “The City’s failure to protect its citizens is publicized, and who addresses the accusation of failure? The company. In Denton, the tail wags the dog. And we the people are tired of being wagged by the fracking industry.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Fracking ban text: http://bit.ly/1myUkuW
Videos, air sampling reveal Denton City's broken promises to monitor fracking pollution: http://bit.ly/R6MfiC
City of Denton ballot initiative process: http://bit.ly/1nlGw3S
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.