Morgantown Misses Deadline to Appeal Rejection of Fracking Ban by Circuit Court

by Duane Nichols on September 27, 2011

City of Morgantown

The City of Morgantown missed the deadline for notifying the WV Supreme Court that it would appeal the overturn of its ban on hydraulic fracturing, reports  The notification period expired on September 11th some thirty days after the decision by Judge Susan Tucker. 

“I think it’s safe to say we overlooked the recent amendment, and I take responsibility for that,” said legal advisor Professor Robert Bastress. The West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure were updated on December 1, 2010, requiring that a Notice of Appeal be filed within 30 days of entry of a judgment.

Morgantown City Council enacted the ban on horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing including a mile around the city in June of 2011. Northeast Energy contested the ban in the Monongalia County Circuit Court. On August 12th Judge Tucker ruled that the regulation of oil and gas activity is the responsibility of State government, not the City. So, a thirty day period would extend to September 11th

The company plans to begin hydraulic fracturing on Thursday of this week, September 29th, according to Northeast President Michael John, at the site which is adjacent to the Morgantown Industrial Park. This site is on the west side of the Monongahela River near the Skyview Elementary School and just upstream of the intake for the water supply of the Morgantown Utility Board, which serves the entire region.

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