Comprehensive plan includes ban on fracking

Published 12:09 pm Monday, September 21, 2015

On a split vote, county supervisors in Buckingham on recently voted to add language to the county’s comprehensive plan banning the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The action, proposed by District Five Supervisor Cassandra Stish, was supported by District Six Supervisor Joe N. Chambers Jr., District Two Supervisor Donnie Bryan and District Three Supervisor John Staton. The remainder of the board members abstained from voting.
Stish’s motion was to add “to protect the groundwater in the county, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking … is not permitted in any district” to the document.
Chairman and District Seven Supervisor Danny Allen abstained, citing his employment with Dominion, the lead partner of a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline that’s planning on transporting fracked gas through Buckingham.
Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
Stish’s motion, which was made prior to a public hearing on the plan, stemmed from numerous public comments regarding the practice.
No fracking has been proposed in Buckingham.
Adding that language into the comprehensive plan doesn’t make the ban law. The comprehensive plan is used as a guide for county planners, supervisors and staff for the upcoming years in managing growth and the development of zoning, business and industry.
Kenda Hanuman, a spokesperson for Friends of Buckingham, a group opposed to the proposed pipeline project, thanked the supervisors who supported the measure for showing “great foresight.”

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