State hearings underway on fracking

A series of public hearings is underway as part of North Carolina’s plan to lift a moratorium on fracking next year.

This map illustrates areas identified in NCDENR's assessment that "a commercially viable reserve of natural gas may underlie parts of the Triassic basins of North Carolina." (NCDENR image, retrieved 8/21/2014)

This map illustrates areas identified in NCDENR’s assessment that “a commercially viable reserve of natural gas may underlie parts of the Triassic basins of North Carolina.” (NCDENR image, retrieved 8/21/2014)

Fracking — or, formally, “hydraulic fracturing” — is the sometimes controversial process of using pressurized water, sand and chemicals to extract natural gas from deep rock formations.

North Carolina’s Department of Environmental and Natural Resources is charged with regulating such mining in the state, and the agency’s Mining and Energy Commission conducted its first public forum on the topic Aug. 20 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The next hearing will be Fri., Aug. 22, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Wicker Civic Center in Sanford, followed by additional sessions Aug. 25 in Wentworth and Sep. 12 in Cullowhee.

Reports on the viability of fracking in the state have shown that locations in and near Montgomery County could be on the list of prospective mining sites.

In addition to the public hearings, the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources will continue to receive citizen input by email and other methods through the close of the public comment period Sep. 30.

Click here for more information from the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources.

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