Bolen said there should be little impact on the river, but McBee said the city has never really studied gas drilling's effect on the river. He also questioned whether the city should allow more drilling at Chesapeake's site on East First. The company already has several wells, a disposal well, a compressor station and other operations there.
The three sites are among four that drew criticism this month when the city posted incorrect legal notices about them. The permits aren't supposed to be approved until after an informational meeting, but the legal notices said they were scheduled for a City Council vote Feb. 4 and an informational meeting Feb. 28.
A number of residents asked the city for a monthlong delay, especially because the proposed wells are near parks.