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Second Virginia county bans hydraulic fracturing to protect clean drinking water

An energy company says it plans to drill 13 hydraulic fracturing wells in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.

WARSAW, Va. (AP) -- A second Virginia county has banned hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water and chemicals deep into the ground to loosen trapped gas and oil.

The Free Lance-Star reports the Richmond County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last Thursday to not allow any type of oil and gas drilling. The board's chairman, F. Lee Sanders, said the county's water supply was the primary impetus for the ban.

The county is bordered by the Rappahannock River, which advocacy group American Rivers ranked as the fifth-most endangered American river, citing fracking's threat to clean drinking water. A small portion of Richmond County is in the Taylorsville basin, where more than 84,000 acres (34,000 hectares) have been leased for possible drilling.

Augusta County became the first Virginia locality to ban fracking, in February.

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