City officials in Denton, Texas are considering strengthening rules on natural gas well drilling. The city set up a gas drilling task force to overhaul the current gas drilling and production ordinance. Vicki Oppenheim, a resident on the task force, said air quality is one of its top concerns. “Of course, there are other forms of pollution, but gas drilling is something that happens right here in Denton and is something we can have control over in terms of what happens in our community,” she said. John Siegmund, another member of the task force, spent most of his career working for the oil and gas industry. He said he recognizes that drilling can have a negative impact on air quality. “If it escapes, it is a pollutant. There is not question about that,” Siegmund said. “When I first moved here, there were virtually no gas wells that I was aware of. Now, there are 257 gas wells in the city limits, and of course, there are a couple of thousand in Denton County,” she said.
Gas exploration activities pose a gambit of legal, environmental and health issues to residents and property owners who live and or work near wells, compressor stations, waste sites and pipelines.