City Repeals Ban
New Martinsville City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of a measure to repeal an ordinance prohibiting natural gas exploration and gathering activities within city limits during a special council meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Now that the ban is lifted, council is expected to revisit the issue. Recorder Bonnie Shannon indicated they will perhaps now look at drawing up specific guidelines for such activity within the city. “Now it has opened everyone’s eyes,” she said.
Of additional note, on Friday the Circuit Court of Monongalia County entered summary judgment overturning the City of Morgantown’s recently enacted ordinance banning horizontal drilling and fracking in and around the city. The court determined that the drilling ban is preempted by the state’s regulatory scheme and is therefore invalid, ruling in favor of Northeast Natural Energy (Northeast), who had filed a lawsuit against the city.
New Martinsville City Council regularly meets the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. However, the first Monday of September is Labor Day, so the council will likely meet on Sept. 6 or 12.