Fracking opponents declare water rights
Local opponents of fracking — the methods used to extract natural gas from shale formations underground — put the spotlight on water issues during two public assemblies last week.
The events coincided with George Washington’s birthday and the International Water Festival in Berkeley Springs.
More than two dozen citizens gathered at the Morgan County Courthouse on Wednesday, February 22 to hear speakers and support a Declaration of Community Water Rights & Heritage and declare the local area an International Water Heritage Site.
In the declaration, supporters called for “a ban on hydraulic fracturing” to “protect…the additional and various fresh water springs, run, creeks, rivers and lakes of this county.”
The group also appealed to those attending the International Water Tasting event last weekend to join them in “declaring the Town of Bath, the County of Morgan, West Virginia and all watersheds arising within or flowing through or around them, to be the world’s first International Water Heritage Site.”
Fracking opponents took a similar message to the water festival on Saturday, February 25, both through an informational table inside The Country Inn, the venue for the festival, and along U.S. 522 in front of the Inn and CNB Bank, Inc.
Several dozen protestors held up signs along the roadway throughout the day, calling for a ban on fracking as a way to protect local water. Opponents of the gas extraction process point to high-pressure chemical fracturing underground as a source of groundwater pollution.