WOW! Washington Co. Planning Commission voted 5-2 tonight in favor of a motion to stick with the current county zoning, which PROHIBITS gas wells as an unacceptable land use. A magnificent rebuke of the BOS, which, earlier this month, trashed a draft protective drilling ordinance the Commission had worked on for years!
The BOS sent a new ordinance back down to the Planning Commission to permit fracking as an accepted use with a simple exception permit. The Commission stuck to their principles that county citizens would not benefit from unregulated NG drilling and fracking. Washington Co. citizen speakers out-numbered industry spokespeople 3 to 1!!
We desperately need a new Attorney General’s opinion on county powers to prevent NG fracking through zoning. The standing Cuccinelli opinion–with NO case citations–says counties do NOT have the power to prohibit NG drilling. That cannot stand. The Southern Environmental Council issued a counter opinion with citations, but we need Mark Herring to weigh in.
See, not all news from SWVA is dismal!! Citizens may act as a “silent conscience” for the Washington Co. BOS at their meeting tomorrow night at 6:30. They will allow 30 mins. of public comment. The real vote will be after a FULL public hearing at 6:30 on Sept. 9th. We need 700 PEOPLE BLOCKING THE SUPERVISORS’ WAY on 9th.