A special type of natural gas drilling called Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing and better known as “fracking”, is known to have a myriad of impacts on communities, infrastructure, and the natural environment.
 
In 2013 gas companies began leasing land in the tidewater areas known collectively as the Taylorsville Basin. This basin encompasses five rural Virginia counties in the coastal plain below the City of Fredericksburg, each part of the Rappahannock River watershed – Caroline (approx 41,500 acres leased), King & Queen (approx 6,000) and Essex (approx 13,000) on the Middle Peninsula and King George (approx 11,000) and Westmoreland (approx 14,000) on the Northern Neck.
 
On Tuesday August 16, 2016 the King George County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend their Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Codes with restrictive language designed to protect their communities and water resources from the adverse impacts associated with fracking.

This language ingasleasestaylorsville.pngcluded protective setback requirements from sensitive areas and community resources that would be at risk if fracking activities remain unregulated. This includes occupied housing, public roads, resource protection areas, and drinking water wells which will all now require a minimum 750ft buffer from and oil and gas development.

“The health and safety of the community as well as the sustainability of the Rappahannock River and all it provides our region is what was protected here tonight” said Richard Moncure, Tidal River Steward with Friends of the Rappahannock.

This success is the product of several years of work from a great deal of committed partners and we applaud the Board of Supervisors and all the supporters who worked to make this happen.

“The Board of Supervisors has studied this problem for more than a year. Its decision to restrict drilling is supported by input from the community and numerous studies of the industry’s impacts in other places,” said Kristin Davis, and attorney with Southern Environmental Law Center. “We encourage other localities to take this same kind of informed and thoughtful look at how gas drilling could affect their landscape.”

Friends of the Rappahannock and our partners will continue to work with our communities throughout the Taylorsville Basin to provide education, expertise, and technical assistance to maximize community and environmental protections.

For additional information please contact Richard Moncure at richard.moncure@riverfriends.org.

 

 

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