A citizens group called The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (Denton DAG), a non-profit educational group, announced in a press release today they are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to ban hydraulic fracking within city limits. If approved by voters, Denton would become the largest city in Texas to ban the practice, and the first in the country to ban fracking after permits had been previously granted.

DAG is comprised of members of the Denton Drilling Advisory Group, which was formed at the request of city officials to advice the Denton City Council on developing drilling ordinances.

Members of DAG claim that the city of Denton has been unresponsive to their requests for regulation of the 270 active gas wells in Denton.


“I’ve been working with Denton residents since 2009 trying to get the city to pass regulations that would allow drilling and still protect the community health,” said Sharon Wilson, whose organization Earthworks is helping organize the campaign. “Enough is enough. When this ban passes, the fracking industry will have its own bad behavior and the city’s stonewalling to blame.”

To get the initiative on the ballot, the group must collect 571 signatures within 180 days. Hundreds of other municipalities around the country have passed bans or moratoriums on fracking. If approved by the voters, the ban would only apply to new operations.

At 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, the group is hosting a petition launch party at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern.


  1. Ed Ireland from BSEEC, a paid industry PR group, has stated the ban on hydraulic fracturing would be illegal in Denton Texas but that is not true:

    Gas industry representatives have asserted that the proposed ordinance is preempted by state law, meaning the City cannot regulate hydraulic fracturing. Is that true?

    No. Effective January 1, 2014, the State of Texas has adopted new rules for hydraulic fracturing in Texas. Those rules are found in the Texas Administrative Code; however, the new rules do not preempt municipal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. First, there is no doctrine of implied preemption under state law (meaning that just because the State enacts legislation does not imply that a city is powerless to address the issue) and second, for any municipal regulation to be preempted by state law, the State Legislature must do so “with unmistakable clarity.” There is nothing in the new State rules that specifically preempts the City from adopting the ordinance as proposed.