WADESBORO -- Anson County commissioners could vote Tuesday night on an ordinance that would ban the practice of fracking in the county for five years.
The ordinance was drawn up in the wake of state Senate passage in February of legislation that would allow fracking in North Carolina as early as 2015. The House has not acted on the legislation yet.
Fracking is the practice of retrieving natural gas from underground rock formations by using chemicals to help fracture the rock. Supporters say the practice is safe and would supply the state with enough natural gas for several years. Critics say the chemicals can contaminate groundwater supplies.
Geologists say the most likely area for fracking in North Carolina would be in the Deep River Basin, a seven-county corridor that stretches from Anson and Richmond counties northward through Montgomery, Lee, Chatham, Durham and Greenville counties.
Another potential fracking area is the Dan River Basin in Rockingham and Stokes counties.
It is unclear how Anson Countys legislation would be affected by possible state approval of a bill permitting fracking.
Anson Countys ordinance would ban fracking for five years, while experts could study the possible impact of the practice on the environment and Anson County residents.
One of our fears is that theyre moving too fast, Anson County Attorney Scott Forbes, speaking about state lawmakers, told WCNC-TV, the Observers news partner.
A group of residents in the Pee Dee River basin area -- calling themselves Pee Dee WALL (Water, Air, Land, Lives) -- has been urging commissioners in Anson and the other counties to fight against fracking.
The ordinance will be considered during commissioners meeting, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Anson County Government Center in Wadesboro.
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