Morgantown WV Passes Fracking Ban

On Wednesday, June 8, 2011 0 comments

According to an article published in West Virginia's Metro News - Morgantown City Council went ahead on Tuesday evening with its proposed ban on fracking concerning the drilling of Marcellus Shale.  The council approved the first reading of the ordinance which would prohibit fracking in the city and within one mile of the city limits as well.
“We believe that conventional oil and gas operations have been done for a hundred years in this state and they can be done safely without the exercise of this extraordinary power,” said Morgantown Mayor Bill Byrne.  “So, we’ve limited it to the fracking.”

The move stems from the placement of a gas well near Morgantown’s water treatment plant. The well, which is in operation, is right across the Monongahela River from the Morgantown Utility Board treatment facility.

The concern from residents is that any type of accident from the well could poison the city’s water supply.  In all, 48 people spoke during the public forum portion of the meeting, many of those comments also concerning the first reading of the smoking ban in the city which passed as well. 
Meanwhile, West Virginia Oil and Gas executive director Corky DeMarco was also in attendance – he says ordinances like the one passed in Morgantown could eventually be detrimental to Marcellus Shale drilling overall.

“Quite frankly, I think this is a little quick of judgment,” DeMarco said.  “We do need, and our association advocated, for comprehensive rules for Marcellus drilling.  But the problem is, if you continue to enact city ordinances, we could have thousands of laws and various laws (statewide)
which would make it very, very difficult to do business.”

Meanwhile, DeMarco said he thinks there’s also been a misunderstanding about the risks
involved with fracking and potential contamination.

“We operate a closed-looped system,” DeMarco continued.  “Frac fluid does not get into the water systems, doesn’t get into the air and doesn’t spill on the ground.  I think if these people were a little bit more reasonable in their thought process – if frac fluid did all these terrible things to people, we would be killing workers in this industry on a daily basis and that’s not the case.”

Click Here to read the entire article at Metro News.


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