Saturday, September 17, 2011
We salute Chief Crowson. Read about him in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
WHO is Mel looking out for?
Though some drillers already monitor their sites, an ordinance amendment proposed to council members Tuesday could make security cameras mandatory for natural gas facilities within 1,000 feet of homes or other protected areas.
Fire Chief Don Crowson said the security equipment could help deter vandalism and more serious crime, as well as help identify whether a mechanical failure, operator error or storm was behind a gas release.
"The industry is going to be here for a long time, and we want to take the necessary, proactive precautions that help keep the sites safe," Crowson said. "Having something that watches those sites is a good thing. People who live near those sites would believe it's a good thing, too."
"The more security we can provide, the better," Cluck said. "We do something very dangerous. As long as we respect that and treat it appropriately, that's OK."
This year, Arlington firefighters have responded to natural gas releases at two sites caused by weather or equipment issues.
Though Councilman Mel LeBlanc is concerned about how much surveillance cameras might cost drillers, he said, he applauds the city for working to maintain a balance between "underregulating and overregulating" the industry while protecting residents' health, wealth and safety.
"There is a median path we should be taking here to make sure we don't strangle or retard the efforts of the natural gas industry or make the environment difficult for them to operate in," LeBlanc said. "At the same time, we want to protect citizens."