RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An advisory panel examining Virginia's rules on so-called fracking for natural gas is focusing initially on the chemicals that energy companies use in the process.
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy convened the panel's inaugural meeting Wednesday in Richmond.
The panel of industry representatives, environmental officials and local officials discussed at length what energy companies should be required to disclose when they use hydraulic fracturing to free natural gas from a layer cake of slate and stone.
The review comes amid growing interest by energy companies in the Taylorsville Basin in eastern Virginia. It contains 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
The industry says the drilling technique is not harmful to the environment. Critics counter that it is a threat to air quality and water supplies.