Representative Tan Parker filed legislation Friday that seeks to protect and enhance safety standards for urban communities that experience frequent gas drilling operations.
House Bill 2126 will raise the penalty for safety or pollution control violations if the operation site is in an urban gas producing county. The additional revenue raised from this penalty increase will be directed to Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) resources in their respective county.
Other legislation requires that the RRC prioritize urban gas producing counties when determining the order and frequency of inspections.
Lastly, Representative Parker has requested through a rider that the Appropriations Committee reserve funding for five additional RRC inspectors for the Barnett Shale.
“Ever since the largest natural gas field in Texas was discovered underneath our home of Denton County, the balance of maintaining a safe and nurturing environment while drilling in an urban setting has been a major priority for me and my community. I believe this legislation will continue to promote the highest safety standards necessary for harvesting natural gas in urban areas,” said Parker.
In addition to this legislative package, Parker spearheads a legislative working group that focuses on bringing industry and civic leaders to the same table to identify responsible drilling practices. According to his office, the working group has yielded progress in protecting a property owners’ rights and ensuring that a high level of health and safety standards are maintained during drilling operations.
“The Barnett Shale presents Texas with a tremendous economic opportunity but also unique drilling challenges. I am proud that our state acknowledges this fact and I hope that this legislation will further encourage RRC visibility in urban drilling areas, as well as raise the safety standard for those operating in densely populated communities. The health, safety, and well-being of our communities is my top priority,” said Parker.
Initially elected on November 7th of 2006, Representative Parker represents both rural and urban parts of Denton County which encompasses the cities of Flower Mound, Highland Village, Pilot Point, Argyle, Aubrey, Krugerville, Sanger, Cross Roads, Krum, Ponder, Justin, Northlake, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Bartonville, Trophy Club, Roanoke and portions of Lewisville and Southlake.
Parker is the current Vice Chairman of the Rules and Resolutions Committee. He also serves on the Corrections and the Urban Affairs Committees.