We knew it would only be a matter of time, and now the natural gas drilling industry has officially arrived in Hancock County.
While the majority of activity has been taking place to our south, Hancock County officials announced last week the first possible natural gas fracking site had begun operation, and they expect more to come very quickly.
Brooke County has increasingly witnessed activity taking place in the last year, with sites near Bethany and Wellsburg in particular, and we, too, expect to see more well sites popping up throughout the Northern Panhandle in the coming months.
It is an exciting time for many of us as this industry has helped to spur the economy in many of our neighboring counties and communities. It is no secret, after all, that our area could use the extra revenue stream to help in providing services.
However, it also will be a time where many of us will now need to make some adjustments, in particular on the roadways.
We are sure to see an increasing number of tanker trucks and equipment haulers traveling our local roads as additional fracking and pumping sites sprout up. That means we must all be extra vigilant while on the road to make sure we don't get into any accidents.
It may also be a time for county officials to pay extra attention to the condition of the roads. The gas industry will put some extra wear and tear on our area's streets and highways, and it would be a good idea for officials to do whatever they can to make certain they are kept in as good a condition as possible.
We know emergency officials and the commission already has met with Chesapeake Energy for some of these discussions, and we hope that effort continues in the future.
This will all be a process, and it will take some time to get used to it all, but we believe this also will provide our area, and our people, with better opportunities for the future.