The third of four scheduled public hearings on proposed safety rules for fracking in North Carolina takes place 5 p.m. Monday at Rockingham County High School in Wentworth.

The previous two meetings before the Mining and Energy Commission were held at N.C. State University’s McKinnon Center last Wednesday; and two days later at Wicker Civic Center in Sanford.

Five hundred people attended the Raleigh meeting, and most of the speakers who addressed the commission were opposed to fracking.

Pittsboro resident Sarah Wood, who described herself as a mother of a 2-year-old, asked for a moratorium on fracking, and posed this question to the commission members:

“Would you feel comfortable living within a mile of a fracked well? Would you really feel comfortable living that close? And if the answer is no, that you would no feel comfortable living that close to something that’s potentially that toxic, then it’s your moral duty to protect those who are going to be living that close.”

Only around 200 people attended Friday night’s hearing in Sanford, but the emotions were just as high.

Eighty-six citizens from around the state – again, most of them opposed to fracking – spoke at that hearing. Like the first one, it was marked by occasional boos, snickering and other displays during comments by a handful of fracking supporters.

Back in June, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law that allows permits to be issued for hydraullc fracturing, or fracking. By this method, underground rock is fractured by pressurized liquid to release natural gas.

Opponents say they’re concerned that toxic chemicals used in the process will seep into drinking water. Supporters say they envision more jobs, and increased energy independence.

The fourth and final public hearing before the Mining and Energy Commission is scheduled for Sept. 12 in Cullowhee, which is in Jackson County.