(from Sanford Herald) Zachary Horner
The Lee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to extend the county’s moratorium on oil and gas development and mining by 24 months.
The temporary ban, which started as a two-year moratorium in December 2015, will now extend to Dec. 7, 2019. The board voted 6-0 in favor, with Commissioner Kevin Dodson absent.
The vote came after nine people spoke in favor of extension at the board’s Oct. 16 meeting and five spoke in favor Monday night. The board had never given any indication they would opposed to the extension, which is designed to allow more time for research on the effect of mining – commonly associated with the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” – in the area and to develop appropriate guidelines and regulations for the practice within county limits.
The ordinance states that it would be “unlawful and a violation of this ordinance for any person (in Lee County)…to engage in oil and gas development activities or mining activities that require a County permit.”