The final meeting of the Oil and Gas Advisory Committee will be held on Tuesday night. The committee is set to discuss multiple changes to the city's current drilling ordinance.
Dr. Anne Epstein and Karen Porter are proposing changes that they believe will improve health and safety.
The first is increasing well set backs or how far a well can be drilled from a structure like a home, school, church or water well.
Second, they are recommending that closed loop systems be used instead of open pits for wells that are close to structures. That means the water and waste water a drilling site uses would be stored in tanks as opposed to a tarp-lined pit that is dug into the ground.
Third, they are asking that ground water be tested before, during and after drilling. They also want companies to disclose what chemicals will be used before hydraulic fracturing. The current ordinance says drillers have to disclose the chemical fluids that they use, but not until after they drill.
Fourth, Dr. Epstein and Porter are recommending changes to improve the safety of storage tanks to reduce air pollution.
Other changes will also be discussed that Dr. Epstein described as "minor."
After this meeting, Dr. Epstein says the advisory committee's findings will be presented to the City Council along with a minority report; then the council will consider amending the ordinance.
We will be at the meeting tonight and provide a complete update of the advisory committee's decisions tonight at 10.
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