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Flower Mound officially protests Lake Lewisville gas drilling

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Flower Mound Town Hall. Photo by Bill Castleman
Flower Mound Town Hall. Photo by Bill Castleman

During its Monday night meeting, the Flower Mound Town Council unanimously approved a Resolution protesting the proposed sale by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of minerals encompassing the Lake Lewisville area for oil and gas development.

The BLM will auction oil and gas leases for its holdings under Lewisville Lake on April 20. A total of 43 parcels and about 37,000-acres will be up for bid. The lease sale area includes approximately 258 acres in Denton County. It includes a section of Lewisville Lake which provides the majority of the town’s drinking water.

The Town Resolution is the fourth official protest to the BLM. The other protests already filed were from the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, and the cities of Highland Village and Lewisville.

The lease sale notice and protest period began on January 20, 2016, and goes through February 19, 2016. Based on information from the BLM, written comments to protest the sale must be received by February 19, 2016.

The Resolution is as follows:

RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS, PROTESTING THE INCLUSION OF PARCEL NUMBER NM-201604-043, LOCATED IN DENTON COUNTY, TEXAS AS AVAILABLE FOR COMPETITIVE SALE TO BE USED FOR OIL AND GAS LEASING; DIRECTING THE TOWN ATTORNEY TO SUBMIT THIS PROTEST ON BEHALF OF THE TOWN OF FLOWER MOUND TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the Town of Flower Mound is a home rule municipality acting under its charter adopted by the electorate pursuant to Article XI, Section 5, of the Texas Constitution and Chapter 9 of the Texas Local Government Code; and,

WHEREAS, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management intends to conduct a competitive sale, to be held on April 20, 2016, to auction certain Federal lands located in Denton County, Texas to be used for oil and gas development; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to Title 43 CFR 3120.1-3, the Town of Flower Mound hereby protests the inclusion of parcel number NM-201604-043, composed of 258.90 acres and known as the Lake Lewisville Project, that is listed in the sale notice published by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management; and,

WHEREAS, the Town Council of the Town of Flower Mound is an elected body that represents the citizens of the Town whose property rights are greatly affected by the sale of parcel number NM-201604-043 to be use for oil and gas development; and,

WHEREAS, Lewisville Lake is located within the 258.90 acres of parcel number NM- 201604-043; and,

WHEREAS, Lewisville Lake serves as the primary source of the Town’s public water supply; and,

WHEREAS, the Town Council finds that permitting oil and gas operations on parcel number NM-201604-043 may negatively affect Lewisville Lake and as a result threaten the Town’s largest source of water; and,

WHEREAS, the Lewisville Dam, which is located within parcel number NM-201604-043, is currently undergoing repairs from devastating May 2015 storms and the Corps of Engineers has identified numerous elements that must be addressed as the repairs are carried out, including certain structural hazards related to the integrity of the Dam; and,

WHEREAS, the Town Council finds that oil and gas development may further harm the Lewisville Dam and exacerbate the structural hazards identified by the Corps of Engineers and threaten the health, safety, and general welfare of Town citizens; and,

WHEREAS, for the foregoing reasons, the Town Council of the Town of Flower Mound hereby protests the inclusion of parcel number NM-201604-043 as available for competitive sale to be used for oil and gas development.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS:

SECTION 1. That the Town of Flower Mound, Texas hereby respectfully requests that the Bureau of Land Management withdraw parcel number NM-201604-043, located in Denton County, Texas from the available parcels for competitive lease sale at the April 20, 2016 Oil & Gas Competitive Lease Sale.

SECTION 2. That the Town Attorney is hereby directed to file this protest with the Bureau of Land Management on or before February 18, 2016.

SECTION 3. That this Resolution shall be effective from its date of adoption.

DULY PASSED AND APPROVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS, BY A VOTE OF 5 TO 0, ON THIS 15TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2016.

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