League seeks stricter rules on drilling

Sep. 13, 2013 @ 04:57 AM

At a press conference Thursday, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) joined with residents of Lee, Alamance and Anson counties to call for stricter regulations related to natural gas drilling.

Gathering in front of the N.C. Department of Energy and Natural Resources in Raleigh, they asked the Environmental Management Commission to require regulation of air emissions related to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That process — in which sand, water and a variety of chemicals are injected into the ground to drive natural gas to the surface — will likely center around Lee and Chatham counties should the General Assembly vote to allow it.

Speaking in front of a backdrop of black balloons, according to a press release, BREDL community organizer Therese Vick said, “These balloons represent the dozens of toxic substances that will be emitted in communities across the state. The Environmental Management Commission is responsible for protecting the air we breathe and must require that air quality rules for fracking be developed.”

Cumnock area resident Debbie Hall in the release was quoted as saying, “Lee County doesn’t have thousands of acres of wide open spaces. With the huge increase of truck traffic and the siting of hundreds of well pads, almost every backyard could be affected.”

The group also sent a letter to Environmental Management Commission members listing their concerns and examples of possible drilling-related public health risks from states with fracking.