Second Virginia county bans hydraulic fracturing

A worker adjusts hoses in 2014 during a hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas well near Mead, Colo. Richmond County recently became the second locality in Virginia to ban fracking. Westmoreland County supervisors will vote in December on an ordinance banning or restricting the process.

FILE / Associated Press

WARSAW, Va. (AP) — A second Virginia county has banned hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water and chemicals deep into the ground to loosen trapped gas and oil.

The Free Lance-Star reports the Richmond County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last Thursday to not allow any type of oil and gas drilling. The board’s chairman, F. Lee Sanders, said the county’s water supply was the primary impetus for the ban.

The county is bordered by the Rappahannock River, which advocacy group American Rivers ranked as the fifth-most endangered American river, citing fracking’s threat to clean drinking water. A small portion of Richmond County is in the Taylorsville basin, where more than 84,000 acres (34,000 hectares) have been leased for possible drilling.

Augusta County became the first Virginia locality to ban fracking, in February.

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