Hearing Oct. 10 Shale Gas Exploration Study
BY FLORENCE GILKESON
Sanford will be the setting on Oct. 10 for a public meeting on the state's study of shale gas exploration and development.
The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct the meeting from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. at the McSwain Extension Education and Agriculture Center, 2420 Tramway Road in Sanford.
A news release from the department says the meeting is planned as DENR prepares to study the potential environmental and economic impact of shale gas exploration as authorized through a law passed by the 2011 session of the state legislature. The study is to focus on the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas.
During the study, DENR will hold two public meetings in the area where potential shale gas resources exist. The Oct. 10 meeting is the first such public session. The second will be held in the winter.
The internal DENR working group includes staff members from the divisions of air quality, water quality, land resources, water resources and waste management. The group has put together a draft plan for the study, which will be presented at the Oct. 10 meeting. The public will be given an opportunity to discuss other issues about the study.
Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through Oct. 18, in addition to feedback received at the Sanford meeting. Written comments may be sent by email to email@example.com or through the mail to NCDENR, attn. Trina Ozer, 1601 MSC, Raleigh N.C. 27699.
DENR has also set up a website to provide an overview of the shale gas issue, describe current regulations associated with shale gas exploration, explain how the department will study the issue (and provide study results when complete) and guide the public in how to receive updates on the study, as well as how to provide public comment on the issue.
The website can be found by visiting DENR's home page, www.ncdenr.gov, and clicking on the "Shale Gas" tab near the center of the page.
Areas of Moore, Chatham and Lee counties have been identified as prospective shale oil mining territory.
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