RALEIGH – North Carolina could require companies to pay to repair roads after fracking operations.
The suggestion to state lawmakers Tuesday was met with some criticism.
Republican Sen. E.S. Newton of Wilson said concerns about North Carolina’s roads must not hamper drilling operations. Newton is a member of the Legislative Commission on Energy Policy.
“We want to get this industry up and moving,” Newton told transportation officials.
Drilling operations use dump trucks, tanker trucks and 18-wheel rigs that can damage the two-lane country roads in the rural counties where shale gas exploration is expected.
Transportation engineer Brandon Jones said the agency could require that companies carry a bond of $100,000 per mile of road used for their equipment.
Fracking could start as early as next spring when the state’s rules go into effect for energy exploration.
The Department of Transportation is supposed to submit a report by Jan. 1 on the impact that fracking might have on rural roads.