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Chapel Hill weighs anti-fracking stance

Posted March 23, 2012

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— One day before state regulators hold a public hearing in Chapel Hill on natural gas exploration in central North Carolina, the Chapel Hill Town Council plans to discuss Monday taking a stance against a controversial drilling method.

The council is expected to vote on a resolution opposing hydraulic fracturing in the region because of risks posed to Jordan Lake.

The process, also known as "fracking," involves drilling horizontally into underground deposits of shale and then pumping a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals into a well to break apart the rock and release natural gas.

The draft resolution notes that Jordan Lake serves as an "insurance policy" for area water needs during droughts and that fracking, which requires millions of gallons of water, could exacerbate the water shortages the region has seen in recent years during prolonged dry spells.

The resolution also notes that there are no viable options to dispose of the wastewater produced by fracking and that area treatment plants aren't equipped to handle it.

Other area towns, including Creedmoor, have gone beyond resolutions in recent months and adopted ordinances in an effort to keep out gas wells.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a draft report last week saying that regulators believe fracking can be done safely in North Carolina if proper safeguards are put in place first. Those include collecting baseline data for water and air quality, setting setback requirements around drill sites and standards for waste disposal and requiring full disclosure of the chemicals used in the fracking process.

DENR is expected to hand its final report over to state lawmakers in May. Agency officials plan to hear from area residents Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

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  • 444lighthouse Mar 23, 2012

    I went to the meeting last Tuesday night in Sanford, thinking this could be good for our state. But what I heard and saw was so disturbing I could hardly sleep or think of anything else since.
    The half hour power point presentation by DENR was incomplete and self admittedly done on too little time. Why are they rushing? Any gas there has been so for thousands of years.

    I felt like I was on an episode of Shark Tank and was being pushed into a really bad deal with the clock ticking. To say no to this would be anti-American. After all don’t you want jobs and be independent of foreign oil? You can trust us, we are big oil and you don’t need to worry your pretty little heads with the details. GURR…….

    All citizens of North Carolina that drink and use water, get informed and involved! Read and listen with a discerning head and heart. Don’t be persuaded by greed or intimidated fear. Hydraulic fracturing is not a clean or safe way to produce energy.

  • Alexia.1 Mar 23, 2012

    So, if fracking takes place under somebody's land, are they paid? They should be. How about no more property taxes for the residents, because the frackers are paying for it.

  • Ex-Republican Mar 23, 2012

    This would only be news if these silly libs voted for fracking.

  • jdupree Mar 23, 2012

    They need to weigh in on dogs with fleas, cats with ticks, birds with lice, flaming liberals showing affection in public, etc. There are lots of problems for Chapel Hill to solve since they seem to think they are the only city with solutions! It's kinda funny! Lot of busy-bodies.

  • Coretta Scott Thing Mar 23, 2012

    Why can't these lunatics tend to their own business? Apparently everything is so perfect and wonderful in their little liberal utopia that they can constantly meddle in everyone else's business. disgusted2010

    You got it baby! Here in Chapel Hill we actually have the cognition to make statements, decisions and actions based on real facts. We don't just " go along with the flow" nor should we.

  • chromechic61 Mar 23, 2012

    There are not enough rules right now for this business and quite frankly there will never be enough rules for me. I am totally against all these big companies coming into North Carolina because we don't have enough regulations to protect ourselves. The people in power should protect our STATE.

  • 444lighthouse Mar 23, 2012

    All citizens of North Carolina that drink and use water, get informed and involved! Read and listen with a discerning head and heart. Don’t be persuaded by greed or intimidated fear. Hydraulic fracturing is not a clean or safe way to produce energy.

    I went to the meeting last Tuesday night in Sanford, thinking this could be good for our state. But what I heard and saw was so disturbing I could hardly sleep or think of anything else since.
    The half hour power point presentation by DENR was incomplete and self admittedly done on too little time. Why are they rushing? Any gas there has been so for thousands of years.
    I felt like I was on an episode of Shark Tank and was being pushed into a really bad deal with the clock ticking. To say no to this would be anti-American. After all don’t you want jobs and be independent of foreign oil? You can trust us, we are big oil and you don’t need to worry your pretty little heads with the details. GURR…….

  • geosol Mar 23, 2012

    Some right winger actually wrote: "Why can't these lunatics tend to their own business? Apparently everything is so perfect and wonderful in their little liberal utopia that they can constantly meddle in everyone else's business.". Too funny!! But I bet you were pleased as punch when the right wing REPUBLICAN county commissioners voted to support the bigot amendment. REPUBLICAN = HYPOCRITE.

  • dryjr Mar 23, 2012

    Gee this is a suprise.

  • stupidbrainchild Mar 23, 2012

    Poor water quality, pollution and earthquakes are everyone's business. If you don't mind these conditions then that is your right. But if residents are to be subjected to drilling nearby, these concerns need to be addressed. If we don't ask the tough questions, these companies will just roll all over us.

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