Fracking Issues Discussed

Potential fracking in the Taylorsville Basin has local officials trying to better understand the issue through a workshop which was held by the Virginia Association of Counties in Hanover County.

Representatives from the area included Essex County’s Commissioner of the Revenue Tommy Blackwell.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the horizontal drilling process for obtaining oil, natural gas and other resources trapped in beds of rock underground known as shale formations.
Concerns about fracking include whether or not the process could cause earthquakes, aquifer and groundwater contamination either from fracking fluids or contaminants that are stored aboveground until they are hauled away, and the tremendous volume of water that would be used if fracking with water was implemented.

The Northern Neck News reports that Shore Oil, the company proposing the project, has previously said that nitrogen fracking, which they claimed yielded very little environmental results compared to hydrofracking, may be employed in the Taylorsville Basin.

Presentations at the workshop were given by the Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy, which is the permitting agency for the fracking process, and the Virginia Dept. of Equality, which performs an environmental assessment when the fracking procedure is around bodies of water.