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Study & Consensus Leading to a New Position

The LWV of Falls Church is participating in the LWV of Virginia Consensus Study of Fracking

Participating in this consensus study is important because it involves questions of the public's right to know, protection and management of natural resources, social and economic justice, and health and safety. Your participation in this study and in arriving at a consensus is your opportunity to impact the resulting League position and shape the national conversation on this issue.

The reason for the Study of Fracking is that the current LWVVA natural resource positions do not address recent developments in Virginia of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and energy pipelines. Fracking affects health as well as natural resources. Fracking and pipeline effects go beyond the current LWVVA positions. The effects should be included in Virginia positions and in the background/history.

Fracking is a fiercely debated political and environmental issue. Advocates believe it is a safe and economical source of clean energy that provides jobs, assures energy independence, and boosts the economy. Critics claim it pollutes the air and drinking water, affects health, promotes seismic activity, contributes to the greenhouse gases, and will delay the development of renewable energy sources.

An extensive report on fracking has been prepared by the LWVVA committee. Below is the link to the Fracking Study area of the LWVVA website. There you will be able to view the report, the consensus questions, and other related materials. http://www.lwv-va-natres.org/final-committee-report-and-consensus-questions/

Because this involves complicated subject matter, we will be sending you a synopsis of the report in a follow-up email announcement. In the meantime, you can read the Consensus Questions, which are included below.

Here is how to participate in this consensus study:

Attend the informational and consensus study meeting on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. Meeting location: 105 Broad Street, George Mason Square, 5th floor conference room of Viget Labs. (Take elevator to 5th floor and turn right to meeting room. Elevator closes at 6:00 pm but there are stairs. If you park on the top level of the free parking garage in back, just walk across to #105. This is a fun, comfortable, spacious meeting space).

Hydraulic Fracturing Study Consensus Questions LWV-VA 2015 Convention Workbook: Study of Impacts of Fracking in Virginia

Reason for Study of Fracking: The current LWVVA natural resource positions do not address recent developments in Virginia of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and energy pipelines. Fracking affects health as well as natural resources. Fracking and pipeline effects go beyond the current LWVVA positions. The effects should be included in Virginia positions and in the background/history.

The scope of the study may include: Impacts of water withdrawal on ground water and surface water supplies; impacts of inadequate treatment of wastewater from fracking on drinking water; health, safety and ecological effects of natural gas pipeline and/or rail transport of shale oil through Virginia.

The study is guided by the applicable LWVUS principles: "...that democratic government depends on the informed and active participation of its citizens; that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing, and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government, and that the government should promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems that affect the general welfare, and promote a sound economy."

Please respond to the following questions concerning Hydraulic Fracturing. Use additional pieces of paper as needed for your responses. Please note that examples are included with the questions. They are just examples and not intended to limit your answers, you may add any other responses that you wish.

1. The minimum requirements for permitting of the fracking process should include the following:

environmental impact statements

geologic impact statements

baseline monitoring of water and air quality

periodic monitoring of water and air quality

emergency response plan

Agree _____ Disagree _____ No Consensus Comments:

2. Minimum requirements for financial assurance should include the following:

blanket bonding amounts

per well bonds

regulations as they stand

Agree _____ Disagree _____ No Consensus _____ Comments:

3. Taking into consideration the effects of the Dillon Rule, localities should have the following regulatory powers:

prohibition of fracking

regulation of fracking through zoning

imposition of taxes and impact fees

Agree _____ Disagree _____ No Consensus Comments:

4. The state may utilize the following funding mechanisms to cover expenses incurred by the state or localities:

impact fees

performance bonds

permitting fees

land disturbance permit fees

general fund resources

Agree _____ Disagree _____ No Consensus Comments:

5. Virginia should monitor and enforce regulation of the effects of the hydraulic fracturing processes, from permitting through reclamation, using the following sources of information:

water sampling

seismic monitoring

well integrity monitoring while operating

well integrity monitoring after well closure

Agree _____ Disagree _____ No Consensus Comments:

6. Potential social and economic damage to the community can be minimized by implementing the following:

state-allowed local taxes and fees go into a dedicated account to prepare for growth

state provision of information on life expectancy of the wells to local jurisdictions

state assistance to localities' economic development programs to prepare for a future when the wells are shut down

Agree _____ Disagree _____ No Consensus _____ Comments:

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