As the city of Dallas’ Gas Drilling Task Force works to finalize the recommendations it is scheduled to make later this month to city council, members Tuesday came to a decision on a few items.

For one, the task force will not recommend that gas drilling be restricted to particular zoning categories in the city. To do so, it was suggested, would only cause landowners wanting to allow drilling on their property to seek a change in their zoning category.

In a 5-4 vote the task force decided that it will recommend that the city not allow injection wells for the disposal of drilling waste. Task force members feared that if injection wells were allowed, an effort to restrict their use to only drilling waste from Dallas would eventually be overtaken by commercial interests seeking to make the wells available for the disposal of waste generated outside the city.

Members also voted 5-4 to recommend that well pad setbacks be 1,000 feet from protected areas. They also decided that setbacks should be at least 750 feet in other cases and any easements of the requirement would require a supermajority vote of city council.

None of the recommendations from the task force are final until voted on by council. Members are working to finish the recommendations and present them to council by the end of the month, possibly on Dec. 20.

The task force was formed last spring and charged with making recommendations to city council on issues such as air emissions and water use and disposal related to gas drilling (see Shale Daily, April 27).