FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2010
Contact: Esther McElfish 817.495.2260 email@example.com www.nctca.net
NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS COMMUNITIES ALLIANCE OPPOSES AIR QUALITY STUDY COMMITTEE SELECTIONS BY FORT WORTH CITY COUNCIL
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The North Central Texas Communities Alliance (NCTCA) will hold a Press Conference at 6:00 PM, Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at the north entrance to Fort Worth City Hall to voice its opposition to the composition of the committee recommended by the Fort Worth City Council to choose a company and their scope of work in conducting air quality testing at gas drilling locations in Fort Worth.
The council will be presented with a resolution, at their meeting at 7 PM following the press conference. The resolution states the charge to the committee and the names and affiliations of a ten-member committee.
City staff met with NCTCA board members several weeks ago to ask for input regarding the charge to the committee and the make-up of its members. “We unanimously recommended that members have an expertise or an advanced understanding of the industry. However, we made it clear that no member shall represent any of the gas companies or their affiliates,” said Esther McElfish, president of NCTCA. McElfish reiterated that the inclusion of industry representation undermines the credibility of the studies.
It also appears that the five citizens recommended for appointment to the committee have no apparent expertise or experience related to the process, except for a former Gas Drilling Task Force member. “Anyone who’s been involved in the gas drilling, pipeline and air quality issues knows that there is a steep learning curve in understanding these complex issues. We don’t need well-meaning citizens on the committee who are ‘in training,’ and who could be unduly influenced by industry professionals,” cautioned McElfish. “If the vehicle for decision making is illegitimate, then the results will be as well.”
NCTCA urges the Mayor, Council and City Manager to conduct a public hearing on this matter at Tuesday night’s meeting, to reevaluate the selection process and criteria for proposed committee members, and to postpone a vote on the Resolution for a minimum two weeks.
The North Central Texas Communities Alliance (NCTCA), a grass roots organization of informed and concerned citizens and community groups in the Barnett Shale region of Texas.