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Fracking impact forum draws crowd in Weston

Exponent Telegram photo by Jeremiah Shelor Bill Hughes, head of the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority, talks to residents about the impacts of oil and gas development during a public forum at Jackson's Mill Tuesday.
Exponent Telegram photo by Jeremiah Shelor
Bill Hughes, head of the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority, talks to residents about the impacts of oil and gas development during a public forum at Jackson’s Mill Tuesday.

WESTON, W.Va. — Area residents gathered in the Jackson’s Mill Assembly Hall Tuesday night to learn more about the impact of natural gas drilling and development in the region.

The public forum was put on by a group of concerned residents representing multiple counties, and the event drew a couple hundred people from different parts of the region.

Organizers arranged for several speakers to give presentations examining the potential impacts, inconveniences and risks associated with oil and gas development in West Virginia.

Members of the public had the opportunity to ask questions by writing them down on note cards.

The topics covered impacts on traffic, potential risks to water and air quality, property leasing and more.

Much of the content of the presentations appeared to be based on direct experience with oil and gas development, as several of the speakers are residents of areas of pronounced drilling activity.

Bill Hughes, head of Wetzel County’s Solid Waste Authority, gave an overview on a number of potential problems that oil and gas development can create for residents.

Hughes said Wetzel County, where he resides, has seen a lot of oil and gas activity for a number of years, offering a good idea of some of the potential challenges it can create…

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