Northeast Natural Energy begins fracking at controversial operations in Morgantown, West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia , September 30, 2011 () – Hydraulic fracturing of a Marcellus shale gas well is under way at a controversial operation in Morgantown.

A Northeast Natural Energy spokesman said Friday the company has begun fracking the wells that prompted City Council to pass a drilling ban this summer. It was later shot down in court.

The wells have been targeted for protests by environmental groups and residents. Some worry about possible pollution from a site that's less than a mile from a drinking water intake.

The drilling ban was overturned in Monongalia County Circuit Court, and the city believed it had until mid-December to appeal.

But City Manager Terrence Moore tells the Dominion Post ( that rules passed last year could be interpreted to allow only 30 days.

City Council hasn't decided whether to appeal.

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