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Fracking Commission Requests 3-Month Extension To Write Rules

A state commission developing rules for fracking in North Carolina is asking for a three-month extension to finish the job. Mining and Energy Commission Chairman Jim Womack says commissioners do not need more time to write the rules, but he expects as many as 10,000 public comments about the controversial issue. He says an extra three months will help.

“That means we can take more time to sift through the thousands of public comments that we’re going to receive and, so we can have a more conscious and deliberate response,” says Womack.

Womack says that still leaves time for the legislature to approve the rules, before next spring—when the state is supposed to open its doors to fracking.

The commission has written and approved more than 100 rules to govern how the drilling will work in the state. That includes what companies have to disclose about the fluid they pump into the ground, what rights landowners have, and what kind of environmental protections must be in place.

State lawmakers drafted a bill to grant the extension, with plans to vote on it when the General Assembly convenes later this month.