Denton Fracking Facts
Number of Wells and Finances
- There are over 270 active gas wells within City Limits (Denton Gas Well Inspection Division).
- Most of the mineral wealth in Denton is owned by people who do not reside in Denton (mineral wealth data is derived from the Denton Central Appraisal District).
- Often the people living nearby fracking sites in Denton do not own the mineral rights (for example, Denton Drilling).
- Mineral wealth accounts for far less than 1% of Denton’s economy (economic data from City-data.com).
- Taxes related to natural gas development account for only 1% of the City’s property tax revenues (see Denton Central Appraisal District).
- Gas well royalties account for less than 1% of the City’s budget (City budget).
- In 2001, Denton passed the first drilling and production ordinance on the Barnett Shale (Denton Gas Well Inspection Division).
The City of Denton and the Rules
- The ordinance was revised in 2013 (Denton Gas Well Inspection Division).
- The City appointed a Task Force to advise the revisions. A majority of Task Force members were from the oil and gas industry (Denton Gas Well Inspection Division).
- The revised ordinance did not include several protections that neighboring cities have used such as prohibiting open pits, compressor stations, venting, and flaring and requiring the use of vapor recovery units and air and water monitoring (Denton Drilling).
- Most wells are grandfathered (vested) under older regulations, so even the provisions included in the ordinance do not apply to most hydraulic fracturing operations in the city (Denton Drilling).
- This also means fracking is allowed to occur within 250 feet of homes despite the current ordinance’s setback distance requiring 1,200 feet (Denton Drilling).
The City Continues to Grow
- Denton is expected to double in size (adding another 100,000 people in 37,000 housing units) over the next twenty years (Denton Plan 2030).
- Most of this growth will occur in areas heavily pin cushioned by gas wells, but developers are not required to notify home buyers or renters of the presence of nearby gas wells or likelihood of future fracking (Denton Drilling).
- Still today, the City continues to approve development projects that will put new residences as close as 250 feet from existing gas well pad sites, despite the fact that new wells can be fracked on those sites and existing wells re-fracked (for example, Denton Record Chronicle).
- This means thousands of unsuspecting families will continue to suffer negative impacts from fracking in very close proximity to their homes and schools (Denton Drilling).
- This is already happening—right now a neighborhood sandwiched between three gas wells is suffering through noise and light pollution and health problems (Denton Drilling).
- Some in that neighborhood have already moved out to escape the fracking (Denton Drilling).
- Others are contemplating selling their homes but fear their property is devalued by the fracking (see Feb. 4, 2014 City Council meeting).
- Three other wells are currently being fracked right next to a public park and another neighborhood, causing numerous complaints and concerns from residents there (Denton Drilling).
- It is not clear whether these frack sites are actually legal, but the City permitted them anyway (Denton Drilling).