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Letter: Fracking is Coming to Portage County

Letters to the editor may be emailed to matt.fredmonsky@patch.com

To the Editor:

As a retired property owner in Portage County, I dread the arrival of the oil and gas industry’s rush to fracking. Although we haven’t signed a lease for our land, we know that in this rural area, the industry only needs 65 percent of owners to agree — then they can drill even if we say no.

And when drilling is planned near homes, most banks, HUD, and FHA won’t give loans, so we can’t expect to sell and move elsewhere. Also, as soon as a drilling permit is signed, property values will be cut in half — money home-owners planned for old age. In the event of an accident causing surface or well contamination, our property will be worth nothing.

Fracking is on its way to Portage County. Already chemically laced frack fluid waste water is being trucked into beautiful Hiram for disposal right off S.R. 82. It is transported here in massive trucks because Pennsylvania banned it there. Do we really, really want all this?

I fear for our air, water aquifers, lovely lands, and (of course) for my own financial future. We just can’t give all this up for the profitable corporations of oil and gas.

Mary Greer

Portage County Resident

Greg August 22, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Sixty drinking water wells were examined in New York and Pennsylvania to look at contamination by fracking. The results: "Methane concentrations were 17-times higher on average in shallow wells from active drilling and extraction areas than in wells from nonactive areas." The methane was from "deeper thermogenic," sources, not "shallower, biologically derived." Source: Osborn et al. 2011. Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Michelle Sahr August 22, 2011 at 03:53 PM
Seems like there is a lot of debate. I've heard intelligent arguments on both sides of this issue. My problem with it is that this process is relatively new and we do not know the long term effects it might have on our water, our environment and our health. I am not sure that I trust the information put out on the safety of "fracking" because of the profit motive behind it. It is all a big question in my head and the benefits don't outweigh the potential risks. @ Mary I am wondering why you feel the home values will go down so much? Do you have data on this?
L Babbey August 22, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Michelle, For simple examples of property devaluation read "Houses for Shale," Pike County Courier, June, 2010. Also read "Drilling Can Dig Into Land Value" September 2010, Denton Record Chronicle. These are only two examples of what's happening across the country.
David Badagnani August 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM
"Already chemically laced frack fluid waste water is being trucked into beautiful Hiram for disposal right off S.R. 82." What does this mean--the wastewater is being dumped onto the ground or into a ditch on the side of the road?
Kelly August 23, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Hydraulic fracturing has been used by the petroleum industry since the late 1940's.
David Badagnani August 23, 2011 at 05:03 AM
This is a misleading comment. Anyone who has done their research on this issue knows that deep shale low viscosity hydro-fracking (hydraulic fracturing)--the kind that injects water mixed with toxic chemicals such as benzene, then brings them back up along with all kinds of other substances that were already down below such as radioactive radium 226, creating a serious problem of disposal--is new.
Dave August 23, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Move over Silver Oaks, Patch commentators have a new axe to grind!
Jim Moore August 23, 2011 at 01:18 PM
What is the name of the company that wants to drill in Portage county?
jennifer wang August 23, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Water vs. gas. Which is vital to our existence!? It's water for me.
Liz Rosenbaum August 23, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Banks in Pennsylvania won't write new mortgages for pending sales in shale country because the water source is suspect. There's been a lot of coverage about this in our local papers. It's like we're using gold (water) to drill for silver (gas). But the Real problem here is the toxic waste, and the overflow waste that winds up in neighboring states.... Liz R., KeepTapWaterSafe.org
Chriss August 23, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Interesting fracking is to begin, just across the street from Silver Oaks.

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