Wellsburg City Council Votes to Prohibit Drilling

by Dee Fulton on May 13, 2011

On Tuesday evening the Wellsburg City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting natural gas drilling in and within one mile of the city. Mayor Sue Simonetti and City Manager Mark Henne told council and others at the meeting they aren’t opposed to natural gas drilling but are concerned about the city’s water being contaminated by procedures used in the drilling.  The city is supplied by a reservoir and property nearby has been leased by Chesapeake Energy for gas production.

City Solicitor Bill Cipriani acknowledged many have questioned whether the city may exert power outside its borders. But he said such action is permitted through West Virginia Code 8-12-19, which states cities may exert authority within a mile outside their borders if needed to efficiently exercise the powers given them by state code.

City Manager Henne invited Chesapeake officials to participate in a public meeting on natural gas drilling to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 24 at the Wellsburg Fire Hall.  He encouraged Chesapeake to discuss its procedures and address his and others’ concerns but said other experts on the subject not affiliated with the company also will be invited.

Full Story Weirton Daily Times

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