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West Bay Begins Oil Drilling Before Scio Township Board Votes On Moratorium

Aug 20, 2014

Efforts to block West Bay Exploration from drilling for oil in Scio Township have failed. The township board will still consider a temporary moratorium even though drilling has begun.

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Scio Township board meets today to consider a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling activities. That appears to be at least one day too late, as drilling has already begun at Miller and West Delhi Roads.

West Bay Vice President Patrick Gibson believes this type of moratorium would be largely symbolic since they already have the required permits from the state. He doesn't think a township moratorium could even prevent additional wells if the initial effort is successful. "I don't believe so, but that's something we'd have to discuss you know, get some legal opinon on and potentially even talk with the State Department of Environmental Quality about it as they are the agency that has jurisdiction over our activity," Gibson says.

Scio Township Supervisor Spaulding Clark says he doesn't believe the fact drilling has begun will impact a vote on the proposed moratorium.

Citizens for Oil Free Backyards earlier tried to get a court order to stop the drilling and called for the temporary halt.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.