Fracking rules for coastal Virginia focus of 2 hearings

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Hearings are scheduled this week on proposed new rules for oil and gas drilling in Virginia’s coastal plain.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has scheduled hearings Monday and Tuesday in the Fredericksburg area and in Richmond.

The hearings will focus on proposed changes in so-called fracking, a drilling process that uses a cocktail of water and chemicals to free natural gas from shale.

Among the changes in proposed rules is the greater disclosure of those chemicals used in hydraulic fracking.

Energy companies have indicated an interest in drilling in areas east and south of Fredericksburg where large reserves of natural gas are located.

The proposed new rules were assembled by a special state panel that was formed last year.

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