ORDINANCE NO. 40 OF 2009
AN ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH SUPPLEMENTAL LAND USE REGULATIONS TO ENSURE COMPATIBILITY OF THE MANNER OF CONDUCTING GAS AND OTHER HYDROCARBON WELL OPERATIONS WITH NEARBY USES
WHEREAS, the exploration, development, and production of natural gas and other hydrocarbons in the City of Bossier is hereby declared to possess such importance to the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Bossier City that the establishment of reasonable and uniform supplemental land use regulations is essential in order to avoid the creation of nuisances; ensure the compatibility of the manner of conducting gas and other hydrocarbon well drilling and related operations with nearby uses, both public and private, on legal grounds which specifically include general aesthetics, community enhancement, and protection of property values; and to protect and conserve public water supplies; and
WHEREAS, these regulations are intended to coexist without conflict with either state regulation of mineral drilling and production, any legal responsibilities of local governments under FEMA (including with respect to floodways and floodplains), any federal statutes or regulations (including the Pipeline Safety Act, 42 U.S.C. 60101 - 60137), or with other local regulations (such as City clean water regulations) which already may address any subject matter of this ordinance; and
WHEREAS, La. Const.  art. I, § 4 provides in pertinent part, as follows:
. . . Every person has the right to acquire, own, control, use, enjoy, protect and dispose of private property. This right is subject to reasonable statutory restrictions and the reasonable exercise of the police power; and
WHEREAS, La. Const.  art. VI, § 17 provides in pertinent part, as follows:
. . . [A] local governmental subdivision may . . . adopt regulations for land use, zoning, and historic preservation, which authority is declared to be a public purpose;
WHEREAS, gas well and other hydrocarbon drilling and related activities are acknowledged to be industrial uses of land which, while potentially beneficial to Louisiana and its citizens, are subject to reasonable regulation without prohibition, in a manner supplemental to other regulation of land uses for public benefits stated herein.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Bossier City Council of Bossier City that the following land use regulations are adopted for the City of Bossier:
SEC. 1: DEFINITIONS
FIRM means Flood Insurance Rate Map.
Gas means any fluid, either combustible or noncombustible, which is produced in a natural state from the earth and which maintains a gaseous or rarefied state at standard temperature and pressure conditions and/or the gaseous components or vapors occurring in or derived from petroleum or natural gas.
Protected use means a residence, religious institution, commercial building, public building, hospital building, school or public park.
Public building means all buildings used or designed to and intended to be used for the purpose of assembly of persons for such purposes as deliberation, entertainment, amusement, or health care. Public buildings include, but shall not be limited to, theaters, assembly halls, auditoriums, armories, mortuary chapels, dance halls, exhibition halls, museums, gymnasiums, bowling lanes, libraries, skating rinks, courtrooms, restaurants, shopping malls, stores, and hospitals.
Public park means any land area dedicated to and/or maintained by the City for traditional park-like recreational activities, but shall not include privately-owned amusement parks or privately-owned or privately-managed golf courses.
Religious institution means any building in which persons regularly assemble for religious worship and activities intended primarily for purposes connected with such worship or for propagating a particular form of religious belief.
Residence means a house, duplex, apartment, townhouse, condominium, mobile home, or other building designed for dwelling purposes.
Right-of-way means public rights-of-way including streets, easements, servitudes, and other property within the City which is dedicated to the use and benefit of the public.
Rural area means any area outside the limits of a municipality in which (a.) the proposed well is located on an open space of not less than twenty-five (25) acres, and (b.) no operations are to be conducted within five hundred (500) feet of a protected use. The measurement of the five hundred (500) foot distance shall be made from the well bore, in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures or objects, to the closest point of the building or property line of the protected use, or as otherwise measured under regulation of such distances by the Office of Conservation.
School means any public and private, primary through post-secondary educational facility, and any licensed day care center.
Street means any street, highway, sidewalk, alley, avenue, public parking area, or other public right-of-way, including the entire right-of-way.
Urban area means any area other than a rural area.
Well means a hole or holes, bore or bores, to any horizon, formation, or strata for the purpose of producing gas, liquid hydrocarbon, brine water or sulphur water, or for use as an injection well for secondary recovery, disposal or production of gas, or other hydrocarbons from the earth.
SEC. 2: GENERAL LAND USE REGULATIONS
2-1: Site Access. No site access shall be allowed across any public park or any other property owned or maintained by the City, except for public roads or streets which may be designated as either truck routes or commercial delivery routes by the City as provided in this ordinance, without the prior consent of the Bossier City Council.
2-2: Drilling within Floodplain or Floodway. Drilling activities within any floodplain or floodway identified by FEMA on the most current FIRM shall recognize the legal responsibilities of the City through its City engineer to FEMA.
2-3: Abatement of Dust, Vibration, or Odors. All drilling, production, compression and transmission operations shall be conducted in such a manner as to minimize, so far as practicable, dust, vibration, or noxious odors, and shall be in accordance with the best accepted practices incident to drilling for the production of gas and other hydrocarbon substances in urban areas. All equipment used shall be so constructed and operated so that vibrations, dust, odor or other harmful or annoying substances or effect will be minimized by the operations carried on at any drilling or production site or from anything incident thereto; nor shall the site or structures thereon be permitted to become dilapidated, unsightly or unsafe. Proven, reasonable, and feasible technological improvements in industry standards of drilling and production in this area shall be adopted if capable of reducing factors of dust, vibration, and odor that may create a nuisance.
In addition to the forgoing, the placement of fill material may not cause the release of dust and/or odor that may create a nuisance, or damage any public improvements or public infrastructure. Further, no fill material shall be placed in a floodplain or floodway identified by FEMA on the most current FIRM without the prior consent of the City engineer.
2-4: Lighting. No person shall permit any lights located on the site of any gas well to be directed in such a manner to that they shine directly on public roads or streets, adjacent property, or property within three hundred (300) feet of the site. Additionally, to the extent practicable, and taking into account safety considerations, site lighting shall be directed downward and internally so as to avoid glare on public roads and streets, adjacent dwellings and buildings, and dwellings and buildings within three hundred (300) feet of the site.
2-5: Abatement of Exhaust Fumes. Exhaust from any internal combustion engine or compressor, stationary or mounted on wheels, used in connection with the drilling of any well or for use on any production equipment shall not be discharged into the open air unless it is equipped with an exhaust muffler or mufflers, or an exhaust muffler box, sufficient to suppress noise and disruptive vibrations and minimize the escape of gases, fumes, or ignited carbon or soot in order to prevent the creation of a nuisance. This equipment shall be maintained and kept in good operating condition according to the manufacturer's specifications.
2-6: Electric Pumping. Only electric prime movers or motors shall be allowed for the purpose of pumping wells after drilling. No electric power shall be generated on location unless otherwise approved by the City engineer. All electrical installations and equipment shall conform to the ordinances of the City and the appropriate national codes.
2-7: Vehicle Restriction.
- a. Except as otherwise expressly permitted by state law or City ordinance, vehicles in excess of three (3) tons shall be restricted in their use of public highways, streets or roads to those (1.) defined herein as truck routes, (2.) which may be designated as commercial delivery routes by the City, or (3.) for which a special use permit has been issued by the City engineer. The City engineer is authorized to issue such special use permits if, in his discretion, the public interest requires it, under such conditions, including the payment of permit fees and/or the posting of bonds for such use, as he in his discretion may deem necessary for the protection of the City, its road system, and the public. The vehicles shall be operated on a truck route wherever capable of being used; they shall be operated on a commercial delivery route only when it is not possible to use a truck route to fulfill the purpose for which such vehicle is then being operated. Truck routes are state-maintained highways and roads within the City limits. Commercial delivery routes are any street or road so designated by the Bossier City Council for the use by any commercial motor vehicle, truck-tractor, trailer, semi-trailer, or any combination thereof.
- b. Notwithstanding the foregoing, but in further clarification thereof, except as otherwise expressly permitted by state law or City ordinance, no vehicle in excess of three (3) tons shall be permitted in any residential neighborhood or residentially zoned area unless specifically allowed by definition or designation of a truck route or commercial delivery route thereon or there through, or otherwise by specific authorization of the City engineer under a special use permit.
- c. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1.) vehicles making deliveries to or picking up items from a residence located in a residential neighborhood or residentially zoned area, or (2.) public vehicles.
2-8: Signage. A sign shall be immediately and prominently displayed at the gate of the site of any gas well. Such sign shall be of durable material, maintained in good condition and shall have a surface area of not less than two (2) square feet nor more than four (4) square feet and shall be lettered with the following:
- a. Well name and number,
- b. Name of operator.
- c. The emergency 911 number, and
- d. 24-hour emergency number for operator.
2-9: Required Incident Reporting. In the event of a fire or discovery of a fire, smoke, or unauthorized release of flammable or hazardous materials on any property, the operator shall, immediately upon discovery, report such condition to the District Fire Chief/911 Communications District having jurisdiction at the site in addition to any other required notification.
2-10: Venting. No person shall allow, or cause or permit gases to be vented into the atmosphere or to be burned by open flame except as provided by law or as allowed by the State of Louisiana.
2-11: Installation of Pipelines or Flowlines on, under or across Public Property. Except as may otherwise be specifically addressed by agreement with the Bossier City Council regarding use of public rights of way, installation and operation of flowlines and pipelines (those not exempt from City regulation under federal or state rules and regulations regarding mapping, inventorying, location or relocation, including pipelines over, under, along, or across a public street or alley) shall be subject to the requirement that the operator:
a. Not interfere with or damage existing utilities, including but not limited to: water, sewer or gas lines, storm drains, electric lines or the facilities of any public utilities located in public rights-of-way, utility easements, or other public property.
b. Furnish the City engineer prior to commencement of work with a plat showing the location of such pipelines or flowlines, including GIS information sufficient to locate the pipelines or flowlines in the future, including the beginning and end points of the pipeline or flowline and sufficient points in between the pipeline or flowline route and the depth of cover information; and detailed cross-section drawings for all public rights-of-ways and easement crossings as allowed by the City.
c. Comply with City codes and regulations.
2-12: Use of Public Water Supplies. No person may use public water supplies in drilling and production operations of a gas well (specifically including fracing operations) unless the operator has complied with all regulations set forth in this ordinance as well as any water conservation regulations which may be imposed by the City.
2-13: Discharge. Unless otherwise specifically allowed by state regulation or private contract, no person shall place, deposit, discharge, or cause or permit to be placed, deposited or discharged, any oil, naphtha, petroleum, asphalt, tar, hydrocarbon substances or any refuse including wastewater or brine from any gas operation or the contents of any container used in connection with any gas operation in, into, or upon:
- a. any public right-of-way, alley, street, lot, storm drain, ditch or sewer, or sanitary drain without permits from the appropriate City departments, or
- b. any body of water, or
- c. any private property.
2-14: Disposal Wells and Compressor Stations limited to Industrial Locations. Commercial salt water disposal wells and compressor stations shall be limited to industrially zoned locations. Additionally, compressor stations shall be limited to structures which shall be enclosed so as to provide maximum practicable noise abatement. The operation of compressor equipment shall not create any noise that causes the exterior noise level to exceed the pre-development ambient noise levels as measured within three hundred (300) feet of the compressor station building(s). The operator of the compressor station shall be responsible for establishing and reporting to the City engineer the pre-development ambient noise levels.
2-15: No Explosives. Use of explosive charges within the City shall require advance notification to the City engineer
2-16: No Debris, Grass, Weeds, or Trash. The public street or road entrance and property on which a well site is located shall at all times be kept free of mud, debris, pools of water or other liquids, contaminated soil, weeds, brush, trash or other waste material within a radius of one hundred (100) feet around any separators, tanks and producing wells.
All drill and operation sites shall be kept clear of high grass, weeds, and combustible trash within a radius on-site of one hundred (100) feet around any gas tank or tanks or producing wells.
2-17: Accessibility to Emergency Shut-Off Valves. All wells shall have emergency shut-off valves accessible to the District Fire Chief/911 Communications District having jurisdiction at the site.
SEC. 3: URBAN AREAS
3-1: Any well to be drilled in an urban area must comply with the fencing and screening requirements set forth in this ordinance. Additionally, except in industrially zoned districts, storage of pipe, equipment, or materials on a drilling or operation site is prohibited except during the drilling or servicing of a well on the site.
3-2: With the exception of drilling, completion, and reworking operations, all work on a drill site, access roads, pipelines, truck deliveries of equipment and materials associated with drilling and/or production, well servicing, site preparation and other related work conducted on the well site shall be subject to the following limitations except in cases of fires, blowouts, explosions and any other emergencies or where the delivery of equipment is necessary to prevent the cessation of drilling or production:
Operations within 500 feet of a protected use: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Saturday,
Operations between 500 feet and 2,500 feet of a protected use: 5 a.m. - 10 p.m., Monday - Saturday,
Operations 5,000 feet or more from a protected use: 24 hours, Monday - Saturday.
Measurement of the distances shall be made from the well bore, in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures or objects, to the closest point of the building or property line of the protected use, or as otherwise measured under regulation of such distances by the Office of Conservation.
- a. No well shall be drilled, redrilled or any equipment operated at any location within an urban area in such a manner as to create any noise which causes the exterior noise level when measured at the nearest protected use receiver's/receptor's property line or one hundred (100) feet from the nearest protected use structure (as measured to the closest exterior point of the building), whichever is closer to the receiver/receptor, that exceeds the ambient noise level by more than five (5) decibels during daytime hours and more than three (3) decibels during nighttime hours. Fracing operations may not exceed the ambient noise level by more than ten (10) decibels. Backflow operations may not exceed the ambient noise level by more than five (5) decibels during nighttime hours.
- b. The operator shall be responsible for establishing and reporting to the City engineer the pre-drilling ambient noise level prior to the commencement of initial operations at the site. Once the drilling is complete, the operator shall be required to establish a new ambient noise level prior to the installation of any new noise generating equipment.
- c. Adjustments to the noise standards set forth in subsection a. of this section may be permitted in accordance with the following:
Permitted increase (dBA): Duration of Increase (minutes, in cumulative minutes during any one (1) hour):
20 less than 1
d. The exterior noise level generated by the drilling, redrilling or other operations of all wells located within five hundred (500) feet of a protected use shall be continuously monitored to ensure compliance. The cost of such monitoring shall be borne by the operator.
e. Acoustical blankets, sound walls, mufflers or other alternative methods as approved by the City engineer may be used to ensure compliance. All soundproofing shall comply with accepted industry standards and subject to approval by the District Fire Chief/911 Communications District having jurisdiction at the site.
f. The sound level meter used in conducting noise evaluations shall meet the American National Standard Institute's Standard for sound meters or an instrument and the associated recording and analyzing equipment which will provide equivalent data.
SEC. 4: RURAL AREAS
Any well to be drilled in a rural area must comply with the fencing requirements set forth in this ordinance, unless otherwise specified by private contract.
SEC. 5: FENCES AND SCREENING
5-1: With the exception of the period(s) of drilling operations, permanent chain link fences with a secured gate are required on the site of any well which fencing shall completely enclose all production equipment. Fences shall meet the following minimum specifications:
- a. The fence shall be at least six (6) feet in height.
- b. Support posts shall be set in concrete and shall be imbedded into the ground to a depth sufficient to maintain the stability of the fence, provided, however, so long as stability of the fence is maintained, temporary fence posts shall not be required to be set in concrete.
- c. The chain link fence shall have a minimum thickness of eleven (11) gauge.
d. Posts and rails shall be three-eighths-inch round steel bolt stock. Adjustable tighteners shall be turnbuckle or equivalent having a six-inch minimum take-up. Tension bars shall have a minimum thickness of one-fourth (1/4) by three-fourths (3/4) inch.
e. A Knox padlock or Knox box with key shall be provided to the District Fire Chief/911 Communications District having jurisdiction at the site to access the well site in case of emergency.
5-2: Wells in urban areas will be subject to any screening measures as may be provided in regulations adopted by the Bossier City Council.
SEC. 6: APPEALS
Any appeals from the provisions of this ordinance shall be administered as appeals to the Bossier City Council from the decision of a public official related to land use or the control of nuisances under the provisions of pertinent City ordinances.
SEC. 7: VIOLATIONS
Failure to comply with the provisions or requirements of this ordinance shall be punishable by the City by a fine, per day, in the maximum amount authorized by the City, and/or the issuance of temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief (both preliminary and permanent) without the necessity of the City proving irreparable harm or furnishing bond or other security and with the City, should it prevail in whole or in part, being entitled to recover all of its reasonable attorney's fees and costs. Additionally, any forbearance by the City in any instance shall not constitute a waiver of authority to seek enforcement in any other instance.
SEC. 8: SEVERABILITY
If any provision of this ordinance is held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, that shall not affect or impair, in any way, the validity, legality, or enforceability of the remainder of this ordinance.
The above and foregoing Ordinance was read in full at open and legal session convened, was on motion of Mr. Don Williams, and seconded by Mr. David Jones, and adopted on the 2nd, day of June, 2009, by the following vote:
AYES: Mr. Larkin, Mr. Montgomery, Jr., Mr. Irwin, Mr. Williams and Mr. Jones
ABSENT: Dr. Rogers and Mr. Darby
Scott Irwin, President