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Norman City Council passes ordinance to help regulate oil and gas operations

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NORMAN, Okla. -- The state legislature passed a bill preventing cities from passing fracking bans, but they neglected to say anything about preventing stronger regulations.

The City of Norman has a proposed ordinance to do just that.

One after another, concerned residents addressed the council saying their proposed ordinance is a good effort, but not good enough.

"We felt like there were some issues with air-quality, a noise that they hadn't totally addressed," Jim Long a Norman resident said.

The way the ordinance stands affects more of the fencing requirements and how close a gas or oil operation can be to watersheds.

"There are some setbacks from stream corridors and stream sheds where you're at greatest risk for any spillage into a stream," Mayor Rosenthal said.

The mayor says the city's priority is safety.

"About 65 percent of our drinking water comes from Lake Thunderbird, so it's vitally important it's a relatively small watershed, it's really vitally important that we take care of our water shed so that we have that water for current customers," Mayor Rosenthal said.

Mineral rights owners, on the other hand, think it will effect their livelihood.

"There was one map that was shown tonight, particularly of the setbacks from the stream bank, which would include nearly every section we own minerals in," Mason Mungle a Norman resident and mineral rights owner said.

Others say their goal lies with citizens' quality of life.

"My goal is just, like I said, to get a little more protection for the citizens in the case of somebody getting close to one of these things," Long said.

The city, however, did pass the ordinance unanimously, believing more regulations were needed.

The ordinance O-1415-7 will take effect 30 days from Tuesday July 14, 2015.

Existing companies will only comply with new fencing regulations.

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