Residents of Jackson County should be whelmed. The commissioners made the county the first in the state to contract with the Natural Resources Defense Counsel for the drafting of ordinances to mitigate the impact of fracking.

One person lodged a complaint with me a while back because he contested there was no frackable shale in Western North Carolina. Maps vary. Some refuse to show oil shale deposits in Western North Carolina. This one shows a spot on the northern tip of Jackson County. Fracking has also been used for other purposes in the area. But the ordinances are not intended to address epicenters of manmade seismic activity.

The ordinance will govern industrial activity, such as the development of asphalt plants and truck traffic. County Chair Brian McMahan wanted to be clear, the ordinance will not ban fracking, just restrict it. The 2014 Energy Modernization Act invalidated local anti-fracking legislation more restrictive than the state’s, and so the procedure will not be straightforward.