Senator asks for Davie Co., Yadkin Co. fracking research to be included in state budget

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YADKIN COUNTY, N.C. -- State Senator Andrew Brock has been under fire after asking to add $1 million to the state's proposed budget in order to gather test data regarding hydro fracturing, or fracking, in Davie and Yadkin counties.

However, Senator Brock says he's not asking for the money to promote fracking in the counties, instead, he says he wants to protect the land in case fracking does happen there.

This came last month, shortly after Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into effect allowing fracking in the state.

"We don't want it. I mean, I have never talked to anybody who wanted that," said Tommy Cumby, of Yadkin County.

Cumby, and other residents, worry about the effects that fracking may have on their ecosystem. Among those worries are contaminated soil and water, two substances vital to the county's farming community.

Senator Brock says he's asking for the money to gather information on what may be beneath the ground in the Dan River and Davie Shale basins. He says that testing was done in the 70s, but due to improper storage, some of that data was lost. He believes that the data will show there is not much worth drilling for in the basins.

Brock also says he wants to prevent "fly-by-night" operations, where companies could offer money to a land owner and then start fracking without regulation.

"We need some good stern, strict regulations. It can't be a free-for-all," said Betina Gonzalez, a Yadkin County farmer. "I hope that he stands for making guidelines and measures so that the hydro fracturing does not hurt our properties."

Senator Brock says he has visited fracking sites in Arkansas and Texas, where he was warned that, if fracking was coming to North Carolina, that he must "be ready."

Brock says he is currently working on putting the new language, including the counties, into the budget.

Some people showed up to voice their opinions on fracking to the Davie County board of commissioners on Monday. Yadkin County residents will have their chance to do the same at Courtney Elementary School, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 5.

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