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Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:08

Massive public input on fracking delays report on comments

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Public input gathered at a series of statewide hearings on fracking rules was supposed to be presented in a report to the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission last week, but the meeting was delayed to give hearing officers more time to finish the report.

 

The new meeting is rescheduled for this week on Nov. 6-7. Meetings could also be scheduled for Nov. 14 and 17 if necessary. 

The decision to postpone the original meeting date was prompted in part by a greater-than-expected number of comments that came in during the public input period, particularly in the final few days of the comment period, and the report thus took longer to compile, said Vikram Rao, chairman of the commission.

In all, the MEC received 217,285 comments on draft rules. The actual number of individuals who commented could be less, according to a press release, because the way the comments were calculated allowed for an individual letter to contain multiple comments. 

During the four public hearings, three members of the MEC served as hearing officers. The November meetings will allow the full commission to consider the report, which will include documentation about each public hearing, and consider the 217,000 comments. 

Before hearing the report, the MEC will discuss a formal petition, submitted by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, requesting rules to control and monitor air emissions during oil and gas development. 

Prior to Nov. 6, the report will be posted online at portal.ncdenr.org/web/mining-and-energy-commission/.

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