Are tougher rules coming for the fracking man camps?

by TXsharon on January 9, 2013

in Uncategorized

RQ-1103-GA

Go to:
http://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/50abbott/rq/2013/pdf/RQ1103GA.pdf
Received: Friday, January 4, 2013
Re: Whether a county may regulate, as a subdivision, the partition of a tract of land in the unincorporated portion of the county under Local Government Code chapter 232 or Health and Safety Code chapter 121
Requestor: The Honorable Daynah Fallwell
Wilson County Attorney
1103 Fourth Street
Floresville, Texas 78114

Section 232.101 TEx. Loc. Gov’T CODE authorizes the commissioners court to adopt rules governing plats and subdivisions of land in the unincorporated areas to “promote the health, safety, morals, or general welfare of the county and the safe, orderly, and healthful development” of the area. Furthermore, Section 121.003 TEX. HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE, gives authority to the governing body of a municipality or the commissioners court of a county “to enforce any law that is reasonably necessary to protect the public health.”

Looks like man camp shanty towns may end up having to comply with subdivision rules.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Fish Creek Neighbor January 9, 2013 at 9:52 am

Codes for Man Camps, Wow – Gas drilling changes everything forever in a community, doesn’t it? It’s almost like giving away one’s virginity – you can never go back.

Cities must make rules [that the industry can help write] but someone must ensure that these ordinances get enforced. Take the City of Arlington, for example, who seems to be ignoring repeat violations at their gas drilling sites.

http://www.arlingtontx.gov/planning/pdf/Gas_Wells/CHK.pdf

These reports show repeat violations in the 4th quarter that appeared in the 1st quarter. And we wonder why citizens feel as though they have been raped. It may be due time for us to send a letter to the Attorney General.

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TXsharon January 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

Once you frack you can never go back.

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Tillotson January 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

Amazing – three violations at the site right next to my house and I never heard a word about it.

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Fish Creek Neighbor January 11, 2013 at 7:21 am

@Tillotson – Seems most of these sites have several Repeat violations. Goes to show that the City is not Enforcing their own ordinance. Have you spoken to the city about these? We have, and they tell me they are requiring the operator to comply. We’ll see…. Would it be possible for you to contact us?

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Fillows4 January 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm

It seems a some of the violations repeated at most the site. Like camera, vehicle impact, emergency information, fencing. Did not go thru all of them but in the ones I looked at those were very common.
Cant give these guys an inch.

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Khepry Quixote January 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

Should force the workers to rent from the locals more often.

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TXsharon January 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

Some of the workers are living in horrible, unsafe, illegal and unsanitary conditions.

Rental from locals presents its own problems. The rental prices are already jacked up so high that long-time residents have been driven out.

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Fish Creek Neighbor January 9, 2013 at 10:21 am

Correction to previous comment: What I meant to say was 3rd quarter report. The 4th quarter has not been posted online yet.

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Jana January 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Is it not ironic that the operators who have been drilling for years in the counties avoiding city ordinances and placing those of us who live in unincorporated areas in danger because there is NO state or federal protection are the ones creating this problem too? Is it going to take “horrible, unsafe, illegal and unsanitary conditions” to get the same protection for the residents who pay the commissioner’s salaries and actually live and pay taxes here? No disrespect, I expect human decency, but where the hell has ours been all these years?

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Khepry Quixote January 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Part of the culture of rural portion of the United States is that the “unincorporated” areas are somewhat unregulated. Many folks, myself included, move to unincorporated areas so that they can build or pretty much do what they want with their property. For example, I have approximately six coops for my 100+ hobby chickens, let alone the expansive cat and dog compounds.

In that vein, many of the rural areas vis-a-vis fracking are likely considered “sacrifice zones.”

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Fish Creek Neighbor January 11, 2013 at 7:33 am

I can’t imagine what it must be like for people living in rural areas where this activity is unregulated. We know the industry has no respect for people anywhere. Even in populated areas where we have a gas drilling ordinance, the rules are rarely enforced, and the industry wrote the ordinances. Much of our ordinance deals with aesthetics anyway – not safety. They think if they can hide these sites behind a screen of trees and shrubs, no will know they are there. What we see are alot of dead trees. Nothing seems to thrive near these sites. The point is – fracking cannot be done safety anywhere, and it should be banned worldwide.

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Your Neighbor January 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

How about when you are not in the city limits but are subject to city rules through Extraterritorial Jurisdiction? Do you think it is fair make people that receive NO city services subject to city rules?

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TXsharon January 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Do you think it’s fair for roughnecks to live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions?
Do you think it’s fair for rural people to get shoved aside by man camps and exposed to some of the seedy things that happen there?

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