Second Virginia county bans hydraulic fracturing

FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2012 file photo, Ray Kemble, of Dimock, Pa., holds a jug of his well water on his head while marching with demonstrators against hydraulic fracturing outside a Marcellus Shale industry conference in Philadelphia. Federal government scientists are collecting water and air samples in the first week of August 2017 from about 25 homes in Dimock, Pa., a tiny, rural crossroads about 150 miles north of Philadelphia that became a flashpoint in the national debate over fracking to investigate ongoing complaints about the quality of the drinking water. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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