Citrus County FL passes ordinance banning fracking 2016-06-14

Not just a resolution, an ordinance, which is a law: no fracking in Citrus County, Florida.

Jim Tatum, Our Santa Fe River, 14 June 2016, Citrus County Approves Fracking Ban,

Commissioners Dennis Damato, Ronald Kitchen, Joe Meek, Scott Adams, and Scott Carnahan unanimously passed a ban-fracking ordinance. The ordinance was amended to include all the county, both incorporated and non-incorporated areas, skillfully inserted by the able and prepared county attorney Denise A. Dymond Lyn.

The text of the ordinance is in the agenda packet for the 14 June 2016 Citrus County Board of Commissioners meeting, Item H.2, Packet Pages 518-521. Its text is below, in which I’ve added the one change noted above.

ORDINANCE NO. 2016- __

AN ORDINANCE OF CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, PROHIBITING OIL AND GAS WELL STIMULATION WITHIN CITRUS COUNTY; ADDING CHAPTER 66, ARTICLE III, TO THE CITRUS COUNTY CODE OF ORDINANCES; PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION INTO THE CITRUS COUNTY CODE OF ORDINANCES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR MODIFICATIONS THAT MAY ARISE FROM CONSIDERATION AT PUBLIC HEARING; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (“Board”) is the legislative and governing body of Citrus County, a political subdivision of the State of Florida authorized to exercise governmental powers pursuant to Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Florida and Section 125.01, Florida Statutes; and,

WHEREAS, clean water is fundamental to the health of Florida’s Citizens environment and economy; and,

WHEREAS, public and private water utilities across Citrus County rely upon groundwater sources; and,

WHEREAS, extreme well stimulation, such as hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, and cyclic steam injection (also known as “fracking”), is the process of pumping a complex mix of fluids and chemicals, including large volumes of water, under very high pressure into or below the surface of the ground to create fractures or weakness in oil-bearing or gas-bearing geologic formations, for the purpose of producing or recovering oil or gas or to otherwise facilitate the mobility of oil and gas for extraction; and

WHEREAS, construction activities, including well site preparation, drilling, well stimulation treatments, re-drilling, drilling fluid and waste storage and management, piping facilities and servicing of the wells for the extraction of oil and gas pose a contamination threat to the environment, particularly water resources; and,

WHEREAS, the chemical constituents injected during fracturing may have adverse effects on human health and the environment; and,

WHEREAS, the use of well stimulation fracturing mixes may expose groundwater, adjacent land, and surface waters to the risk of contamination through open pit storage, truck transport on roadways, and activities during well development; and,

WHEREAS, much of Florida’s water supply comes from aquifers in highly-permeable limestone formations which are vulnerable to contamination from hydraulic rock-fracturing activities designed to extract hydrocarbons; and,

WHEREAS, extreme well stimulation poses potential risks for contaminating the Floridan Aquifer, the source of drinking water for Floridians and an essential water supply in Citrus County; and,

WHEREAS, the Board finds it is in the best interest of the health and welfare of the citizens of Citrus County to prohibit oil and gas well stimulation within Citrus County; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, be it ordained by the Board of County Commissioners of Citrus County, Florida as follows:

Section 1. Addition to Code of Ordinances. Chapter 66, Natural Resources, Article III, Oil and Gas Well Stimulation Prohibited, of the Citrus County Code of Ordinances, is hereby created as follows:

Article III, OIL AND GAS WELL STIMULATION PROHIBITED.

Sec. 66-109. – Title.

This article shall be titled Oil and Gas Well Stimulation Prohibited.

Sec. 66-110. – Applicability.

This article shall be applicable to and embrace the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Citrus County, Florida.

Sec. 66-111. – Definitions.

Hydraulic Fracturing: means the process by which fractures in rocks below the earth’s surface are widened by injection of water, chemicals, or both under high pressure used in the extraction of oil and gas.

Matrix Stimulation: means the injection of any acid into a well to break up impediments without fracturing the well.

Well Stimulation: means any process of injecting vast amounts of water, chemicals, or both, into the ground as a means of oil and gas exploration and/or extraction. Well stimulation includes hydraulic fracturing and matrix stimulation and does not include routine well cleaning that does not affect the integrity of the well or formation.

High-pressure Well Stimulation: means all stages of a well intervention performed by injecting fluids into a rock formation at high pressure that exceeds the fracture gradient of the rock formation in order to propagate fractures in such formation to increase production at an oil or gas well by improving the flow of hydrocarbons from the formation into the wellbore. The term does not include well stimulation or conventional workover procedures that may incidentally fracture the formation near the wellbore.

Sec. 66-112. – Prohibitions.

No person shall cause, suffer, permit, or allow the use of any form of well stimulation, including, but not limited to, high pressure, hydraulic fracturing, matrix stimulation, acid fracturing, and cyclic steam injection for oil, gas, or similar resource extraction.

Section 2. Severability. If any section, sentence, clause, phrase or provision of this Ordinance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not be construed as to render invalid or unconstitutional the remaining provisions of this Ordinance.

Section 3. Codification.

The publisher of the County’s Code of Ordinances, the Municipal Code Corporation, is directed to incorporate this article into the Code of Ordinances where indicated.

Section 4. Modification.

The provisions of this ordinance may be modified as a result of considerations that may arise during public hearings. Such modifications shall be incorporated into the final version of the ordinance adopted by the Board and filed with the Clerk.

Section 5. Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall take effect as provided by law.

PASSED AND DULY ADOPTED, in open session, with a quorum present and voting, this
__14____day of __June_______, 2016.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA

ATTEST:

__________________________________
RONALD E. KITCHEN, JR., Chairman

__________________________
ANGELA VICK, Clerk

APPROVED AS TO FORM FOR THE
RELIANCE OF CITRUS COUNTY ONLY:
______________________________________
DENISE A. DYMOND LYN
County Attorney

-jsq

PS: More about other ordinances, already passed and needed.

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