Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) announced Tuesday the agreement to “Best Practices for Pipeline and Municipality Relations” guidelines for pipeline management throughout the Barnett Shale region.
Viewed as a cooperative effort between industry and community leaders, the Best Practices document was written by a group comprised of the Texas Pipeline Association and several local mayors and county representatives.
The Best Practices document addresses issues with regard to communication, pipeline routing, private property rights and use of public rights-of-way, according to Parker.
The document directs the pipeline company to negotiate in “good faith” when acquiring easements from landowners, to provide cities with a company representative who is available 24 hours a day, to require that right-of-way agents be registered with the Texas Real Estate Commission, and to provide the city with a copy of the final pipeline route. The cities are directed to use the State’s One-Call system when undertaking excavations in order to avoid damaging pipelines.
“Anytime people are willing to come together to find non-legislative solutions, it leads to a positive outcome. I’m proud the two groups listened to each other and produced a quality product,” said Rep. Parker.
“This is what I envisioned when I suggested both entities formulate a best practices standard, and I am confident that the working relationship it has fostered will continue to serve our communities in the future.”
Many municipalities within the Barnett Shale have already adopted the Best Practices document, including: Argyle, Bartonville, Carrollton, Copper Canyon, Denton, DISH, and Northlake. Several other cities are expected to adopt the measures in the coming weeks.
Officials from the following companies also participated: Atmos, Chesapeake Energy, Crosstex, Devon, Enbridge Inc., Energy Transfer, Epco, Quicksilver, Williams E & P, and the Texas Pipeline Association.
“I am very encouraged by the cooperation demonstrated by both industry representatives and civic leaders in crafting this document,” said DISH Mayor Calvin Tillman. “This really shows that most anything can be accomplished through open communication and a willingness to work with one another.”
The Texas Pipeline Association adopted the document at their Board meeting on April 8.
“Our Board unanimously approved the initiative. We worked with some fine Mayors, Representatives and County Commissioners in the Barnett Shale and we want to continue to work with them. This could not have happened without their leadership,” said Patrick Nugent, Executive Director of the Texas Pipeline Association. The Association has 34 member companies who operate in the state.