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The way in which the Task Force operates is fundamental to the integrity of the gas drilling codeamendment process. All members are expected to follow the appropriate portions of these Rules ofProcedure. The following summarizes the rules regarding Task Force meetings and procedures.A. Introduction
In August 2010, the City Council adopted several amendments to the Gas Well Drilling and Production regulations,referred to as the “Phase I” amendments. At the time of the adoption of the Phase I amendments, futureamendments were contemplated with the intent of providing further protection from the potential harmful side-effects of natural gas drilling and production. City staff is in the process of reviewing possible amendments, referredto as “Phase II” amendments, and has created a task force to assist with the preparation of any recommendationsfor City Council’s consideration. The Task Force will help staff address complex issues and ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are considered and evaluated, including the interests of neighborhoods and the energy industry.The Task Force is comprised of a collection of City staff members, citizen representatives, industry experts, andscientists. The members are divided into two groups, voting members and advisors. The voting members are
Dr.Tom La Point
, UNT Professor;
, founder and Principal of an environmental planning and sustainabilityfirm;
, retired VP of Wells Fargo Advisors and former petroleum engineer;
, Senior ProjectManager from New Tech Global; and
Dr. Ed Ireland
, Executive Director of the Barnett Shale Energy EducationCouncil. The advisory, non-voting members are
, Task Force Chairman and City of Denton Gas Well Administrator;
Dr. Ken Banks
, City of Denton’s Director of Environmental Services; and
Dr. Kenneth Tramm
, Principalof Modern Geosciences. Available to assist the City throughout this process are outside legal experts consisting of
. In addition to the named individuals, other City staff members may participate in the Phase II amendment process, as needed.
B. Meetings in General
Each meeting will be scheduled by the Task Force Chairman. One Focus Area will be discussed per meeting, once theFocus Area items are finalized. The input received from various sources, i.e., the Denton Stakeholder Drilling AdvisoryGroup (DAG), Denton’s citizenry, and Task Force members, will be used to create the broad Focus Area topics. Oncea Focus Area is identified, the City staff Task Force members will identify how the current gas drilling ordinanceaddresses or does not address the topic. After this assessment, the Task Force voting members will decide if thecurrent regulation is adequate. If the Focus Area is adequately addressed, no further action is required. If, however,the voting members decide the Focus Area is not adequately addressed with the current ordinance, then the Task Force will devise proposed actions. The proposed actions must be in-depth enough to capture the idea, but shouldremain as succinct as possible to ensure the action can be tracked and evaluated effectively.Each proposed action must receive a favorable vote, as defined in Section E of these Rules, to proceed as a Task Force recommendation. Proposed actions submitted to the remaining Task Force as recommendations will be firstanalyzed by legal counsel to verify whether the action if legally defensible. If yes, then the proposal is examined forscientific defensibility by scientific counsel. If the proposed action is both, then City staff will draft language thataddresses the recommendation as a proposed amendment to Subchapter 22, the City’s gas well drilling andproduction ordinance, of the Denton Development Code (DDC). If the proposal does not pass either or both legal andscientific reviews and is not included in a draft ordinance revision, then the item will be presented to City Council withthe reasoning behind its omittance from the revised DDC.
C. Meeting Procedures
All Task Force meetings are open to the public. Only Task Force members, however, will vote on the Focus Areaitems. Representatives of the private sector and other guests should sit in the audience or along the perimeter of theroom. Each Task Force member shall strive to be objective and neutral in their decision making. In addition,members should weigh carefully the judgment gained by their professional expertise and not be influenced bypersonal bias. Derogatory comments disseminated towards the City, other Task Force members, the City Council, orother individuals will not be tolerated. Only cordial and polite debate about topics shall be discussed and all membersshall refrain from using profanity. Members shall strive to set an example for others to ensure civil discussions areengaged and all members must take responsibility for their own actions and accept the consequences of theiractions, ideas, and statements. The Task Force chairman will call for votes and facilitate the meeting.