DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas city that sits on top of the Barnett Shale, believed to hold one of the largest natural gas reserves in the U.S., could become the first area in the state to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing.
A recently adopted temporary ban is in place until September, but fracking opponents want to make that permanent through an ordinance that would prohibit the practice in Denton.
Operators would be allowed to continue extracting energy from the 275 wells in Denton that have already undergone fracking, but not reinitiate the process on old wells.
The city council will have 60 days to hold a public hearing and to vote on a measure expected to be submitted Wednesday.
"There's industrial activity right in the midst of a residential area diminishing people's property values and exposing them to toxins," said Adam Briggle of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, the nonprofit that organized the petition.
The fracking process involves blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals into deep underground rock formations to free oil and gas.
The process has led to major economic benefits but also to fears that the chemicals could spread to water supplies and worsen air quality.
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