"Proposed Fracking in National Forest Meets Broad Opposition"

"The U.S. Forest Service considers allowing hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in George Washington National Forest in Virginia, stirring concern about risks to drinking water in the Washington, D.C., area."

"BRIDGEWATER, Va. — The headwaters of the Potomac River rise amid the hills and hollows of George Washington National Forest in Virginia. Small creeks dart past oak, white pine and hickory, become streams that nourish farmland and towns, and create a river that courses through two states and the nation's capital.

About 4 million people depend on that water. For decades, the U.S. Forest Service identified preserving its purity as the top priority for the national forest. Now, the agency is considering allowing George Washington to become the first national forest to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The million-acre forest sits on the eastern edge of the Marcellus shale formation, whose vast deposits of natural gas have touched off a drilling bonanza in Pennsylvania and West Virginia."

Neela Banerjee reports for the Los Angeles Times January 22, 2014.

Source: LA Times, 01/23/2014