Chatham and Lee counties may soon have company in their attempts to take advantage of a loophole in the state’s fracking law.
With Chatham approving a temporary moratorium on drilling last month and Lee County considering a similar ban on Monday, leaders in rural Stokes County near the N.C.-Virginia border may do the same.
Per the Winston-Salem Journal, county commissioners in Stokes deliberated Monday about passing a three-year drilling moratorium. As the Indy reported last week, state law forbids outright bans on drilling, but says nothing of temporary moratoriums.
Stokes commissioners set a public hearing for Sept. 28 to consider the moratorium, at which time the board could take a vote, according to the Journal. The temporary moratorium would halt any drilling permitting.
Chatham County Commissioner Jim Crawford, who helped lead the push for a drilling moratorium, said the county will be considering a comprehensive land-use plan during the stoppage. “We have to demonstrate to a judge that we’re not just singling out drilling unfairly,” Crawford told the Indy.
According to the Journal, Stokes commissioners said they would use the time to review state and federal drilling laws.