Stillwater City Council Passes Strict Regulations On Oil And Gas Drilling
STILLWATER, Oklahoma - The City of Stillwater passed stiff regulations on oil and gas drilling within city limits. But oil companies say the rules are unreasonable.
The group Stop Fracking Payne County has been pushing for more than six months for the Stillwater City Council to pass stricter regulations on Oil and Natural Gas companies.
On Monday night, the Stillwater City Council unanimously approved the ordinance, preventing oil companies from drilling within 660 feet of homes, churches, schools and parks, as well as limiting the amount of noise a rig can produce to an average of 69 decibels (about as loud as a vacuum) during a 24-hour period.
“It will make it possible for the residents and the oil and gas drilling to try and co-exist the best they can,” said John Dorman, the Stillwater City Attorney.
But Oil and Gas companies don't necessarily see it that way.
“The most unreasonable part that we feel is it’s from the pad edge, edge of the pad, and not the well bore,” said Bud Ground with the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association.
Ground says the city did work with the industry on the regulations including reducing the setbacks from the proposed 1200 feet. But he says the new laws are still some of the strictest in the state and leave few places within city limits for oil companies can drill.
“Some of our member companies have done that evaluation to see where they can drill and it really restricts where you can drill around Stillwater.”
The ordinance will take effect in the end of August. The city is now asking Payne County to adopt the setbacks when it comes to sub-divisions to help protect homeowners who live on the edge of city limits.