Morgantown Misses Appeal Deadline – Fracking Ban Now Over

In the ongoing saga of the Morgantown, WV ban on hydraulic fracturing, a ban both within and up to one mile outside of city borders (see here for a list of MDN articles on the topic), the leaders of Morgantown missed the deadline to file an appeal to the West Virginia State Supreme Court. So there will be no appeals and the fracking ban is officially overturned and done.

Two weeks ago, without fanfare, hydraulic fracturing regained fully legal status in Morgantown.

That’s because the city’s opportunity to notify the Supreme Court of Appeals that it would appeal a circuit court rejection of its fracking ban expired on Sept. 11.

It was a 30-day deadline that took the city by surprise.

“I understand that to be a four-month period,” said City Manager Terrence Moore when contacted on Sept. 27.

A few hours later: “I think it’s safe to say we overlooked the recent amendment, and I take responsibility for that,” said lead counsel Robert Bastress.

That relatively recent amendment created a new hurdle for those intending to appeal decisions to the Supreme Court.

“There was a change to the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure on Dec. 1, 2010, requiring that a Notice of Appeal be filed within 30 days of entry of the judgment being appealed,” said Jackson Kelly lawyer Laurie Miller.*

*Channel 7 WTRF (Sep 27, 2011) – Too Late for Morgantown’s Fracking Ban

A little mood music for your listening pleasure to commemorate this auspicious occasion: