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Residents show opposition to proposed drilling site expansion

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A group of citizens calling themselves Double Oak Citizens for Responsible Gas Drilling have started a petition drive in response to a large gas drilling and compression site proposed by Williams Production near Simmons and FM 407.

“The petition asks the Town Council to adopt responsible drilling practices,” said Double Oak resident and organizer Will Evans.  Read the petition here.

“The well site is already in place and we do not have an issue with drilling as long as it is performed in a safe and responsible way. Double Oak Citizens for Responsible Drilling does oppose the expansion of the site as it will be done in a manner which facilitates the construction of a Gas Compression Facility which the town currently has no provisions in it’s ordinance. The expansion of this site will impact a large residential area.”

Evans said that Williams and other drillers have technology available to them that are environmentally friendly and can better ensure the safety of the communities they drill in.

On June 24th, Williams filed applications for five drilling permits, with future plans to possibly drill up to 22 wells over time on the Meece/Troutt pad site located southwest of the FM 407/Simmons Road intersection, just south of Lantana.  Support facilities, such as water tanks and natural gas compression would also be located on the site.

To accommodate the proposed project, Williams has applied with the town to enlarge the current pad site, which was previously operated by Red Oak Gas Operating Company, LP.

All applications go through several processes, according to Double Oak Mayor Mike Donnelly. Both the zoning and drilling will require public hearings before both the Planning and Zoning Commission and then the Town Council.

Double Oak’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on August 16th to consider rezoning a portion of the pad site to allow for a compressor facility.

“We can’t stop the gas wells from being drilled, nor do we want to,” said Evans. “We can demand greater precautions like increasing setbacks and adopting best practices – many of our neighboring jurisdictions [like Flower Mound] have done so already.”

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