Some Mansfield residents say city isn't listening to gas well concerns

Some residents in Mansfield say the city is not listening to their concerns about new gas wells.

A proposed ordinance puts heavier burdens on drilling companies for air quality and would restrict any hydraulic fracking on weekends and holidays.

However, one citizen group called Mansfield Gas Well Awareness Group says the proposed ordinance could be better.

Specifically, the group wants bigger setbacks, or buffer zones, for new gas wells.

The proposed ordinance calls for those wells to be set back 600 feet from homes, while the group wants it to be 1,500 feet.

Tamera Bounds with Mansfield Gas Well Awareness Group says that while the city is going in the right direction to regulate future oil and gas drilling, they've missed the mark.

"There's been a give and there's been a take and I have to be honest; I feel like there's been a little bit more take then there has been give," said Bounds.

The city says it wants to maintain safety, along with keeping the financial benefits of drilling, like royalties, for the city, residents and jobs.

"We are not looking at increasing that setback," said City Councilman Stephen Lindsey. "That's consistent with other municipalities: City of Fort Worth, City of Arlington, Grand Prairie and others, and that has shown to work well within the ordinance structure that is there."

Lindsey says the city brought in concerned citizens, property owners, and members of the gas and oil industry to draw up an ordinance that is fair.

"It is progressive and stricter in the sense of balancing state regulatory purview with local purview," said Lindsey.

Council members approved this second reading of the ordinance, which means the final vote will happen next week.

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