Sunday, December 4, 2022

Caring For Our Community

Flower Mound is known as a great place to live and raise a family. When we come home from work or school, our homes are our place of comfort; a place to relax and enjoy family and friends. We spend much time and investment in creating our homes to be such.  That is why our jobs as Mayor, Town Council, and staff are to protect and create a safe environment for our families.   Flower Mound proudly has a high emergency response level and a low crime rate. We also have an environmental services department that creates and maintains safe business and living standards and conditions for our community.

Recently we have spent a great deal of time answering questions concerning the process of natural gas drilling. Flower Mound has one of the strongest, if not the strongest; gas drilling ordinance and pipeline ordinance in Texas. Other municipalities often use our gas ordinance as a template to develop their own gas drilling ordinances.

The Texas Department of Health Services recently returned findings of no leukemia cancer clusters in Flower Mound.  Another study, conducted two years ago, also found no thyroid cancer clusters. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality recently provided air quality results on 22 VOCS tested that showed non detectible, or low levels, of VOCs at several locations in Flower Mound near gas drilling locations. All locations were well within safe limits.

The town also conducted additional studies using the Kleinfelder Company to test for air quality throughout Flower Mound. Their study tested for Carbon Di-sulfide, and the results revealed levels that were non-detectible, or well-below the safe limit threshold. We will continue to test and analyze these and future results.

We are committed to constant testing at different times of the year and during different climatic conditions to ensure air quality in Flower Mound. We have also directed our town staff to create an environmental program to cover additional and permanent air testing processes in Flower Mound.  Other direction includes putting together additional enhancements to further secure safe and healthy practices in the natural gas drilling operations. All of this will be occurring in the upcoming weeks and months.  We are committed to keeping our community and families safe and healthy. As Mayor, I will continue to work with the state legislators, Senator Harris, Senator Nelson, Rep. Parker, and Rep. Crownover, as well as federal legislators and the EPA, to enhance safe practices for the natural gas drilling operation. We also are testing soil and water with the help of our local Representative, Tan Parker.

Recently, the Town Council strengthened the pipeline ordinance by creating stronger standards. The Town Council also created a land use designation allowing for the application for a centralize collection facility that would allow produced water to be delivered into one location from one or more wells using a pipeline system instead of trucking the produced water from every individual location. This collected water does not get put back into the ground through injection wells that are not allowed in Flower Mound, it is transported away through approved state and federal requirements.

There are a lot of rumors currently surrounding centralized collection systems. Flower Mound has yet to officially receive an application for such a use, which means there is not an approval for a sight adjacent to any of our schools. When an application is made, it will go through the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council public hearing possesses. This land use application process was created to build an ordinance that outlines and controls the standards of a centralized collection facility.   We were informed by our town attorney that without this ordinance, a CCF could be done by eminent domain under no scrutiny or standards.  Again, we worked to create a safe process and protect our environment.

Because a signed gas well lease exists on a home my family owns and is currently occupied by my father, I have personally been accused of promoting gas drilling. These accusations could not be further from the truth! We have donated all of our royalties to local non-profits, and will continue to do so in the future. To completely separate myself from these claims, my husband and I have sold our mineral rights, and no longer will have a gas lease.

I have lived in Flower Mound with my family for 26 years, and will never do anything as your Mayor that would have a negative health impact on my community, my family, my friends, my neighbors, or the residents of Flower Mound. Thank you for your patience during these trying times, and please remember that your Town Council members are elected to serve the community as a whole.

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