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NC's Fracking Rules: Public Comment Hearing Tonight In Sanford

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Ken Skipper, USGS

State officials are holding a hearing in Sanford today on proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing. Hundreds are expected to attend.

Fracking is a form of shale gas extraction, and it's controversial, among other things, because of it's a serious contamination threat to drinking water.

So as the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission shares its proposed rules for the industry, many people are interested. Earlier this week, hundreds packed an auditorium at N-C State in Raleigh.

No incidents were reported, but commissioner Jim Womack is concerned about today's hearing.

"We certainly want a lot of people to show up. We want to fill every seat," Womack said. "The concern is that when you have a lot of people and emotions run high, you may lose control, and it only takes one person who gets excesively animated and physical to start a riot or a fight."

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is providing security for the hearing at the Wicker Civic Center, 1801 Nash St., Sanford.

A third hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Rockingham High School in Reidsville, and a fourth for 5 p.m. Sept. 12, at the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center in Cullowhee.

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
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