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Mill Creek MetroParks board urged not to lease mineral rights



Published: Wed, October 17, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Members of the public pleaded with and demanded that the Mill Creek MetroParks board of commissioners deny oil and gas drilling rights on park land.

Tuesday night’s public forum at Fellows Riverside Gardens was the first of two the MetroParks will have to gather information and gauge county residents’ response to the possibility of drilling on park land. The second forum will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield, where the Guardians of Mill Creek Park will discuss their opposition to drilling in the park.

The meeting kicked off with an hourlong session from Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Program. Reda explained the drilling process, as well as the extraction process — commonly known as hydraulic fracturing.

She said that “techniques have changed significantly,” and drill bits with multiple casing layers are used to protect the top layers of ground-water from contamination.

“I don’t want oil and gas in my water, neither does anybody else, so we have to take care to protect [the water],” she said. “If we truly want to be less dependents on outside energy sources, every community that consumes energy should produce it.”

About 150 county residents attended the meeting, and while some said they appreciated Reda’s presentation but need more information on drilling, most want to put the issue to bed.

Linda Kovachik, one of about 20 people who spoke during the forum, said she’s concerned that drilling inside the park will result in more earthquakes like the ones the Mahoning Valley experienced on New Year’s Eve 2011.

“I wonder with all this well-digging, how damaging will it be to the Mill Creek MetroParks,” she said. “I’m not against this, but I am here to get an education because I’m worried about the water, the gas and our property.”

Glen Garwig said the board needs to listen to the public, who have a vested interest in the park, and not the oil and gas industry, which has an interest in profits.

“These people in attendance represent a small number of the people in this community who love the park,” he said. “Don’t let it be seized by people who don’t care.”

Miller said the park currently has about 1,500 acres on which they could decide to lease mineral rights. He said these public hearings are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the fact finding the board has done and will continue to do.

“We wanted the board to have the opportunity to hear both sides and weigh what’s best for the MetroParks,” he said. “A decision needs to be made eventually, but there’s no timetable on it.”


Comments

1GeorgeinYoungstown(76 comments)posted 2 years ago

Make no mistake, they're not going to construct the rig pads in the middle of the 8th green at the par 3 short hole gold course --- or in the middle of the Lily Pond. (Although it will be more likely that the average golfers handicap will be affected as the ground under her shakes from a new frack right as she's trying to sink a 3' putt on the 18th hole of the long hole course.)

No, they're going to construct the pads on the outermost fringe of park land, then drill the horizontal wells nearly a mile down and another mile horizontally right under the park.

The immediate impact will be felt by the surrounding communities, especially those folks on well water. Their water will become contaminated in a few years - if not sooner - as well as the surrounding aquifers, and then the tributaries flowing into the park.

The level of air contamination from the onsite compressors, the venting tanks and the 10,000 truck hauls per rig (8-10 horizontal wells per rig x avg of 1,000 truck hauls per well = up to 10,000 hauls per rig), will lead to elevated cancer rates primarily in the downwind communities of Boardman, Poland, Lowellville, North Lima, and Western PA.

Some wildlife will be killed in the form of fish-kills, and birds will become contaminated as well as other ground dwellers who rely on the park water. But, for the most part, wildlife will simply migrate away from the park, as they sense the contamination levels.

If you don't believe me, then simply read the internal industry documents where you'll find that wells will leak, no matter the amount of casings or "plasticized" cement used in their construction. Google "Schlumberger internal well leakage documents."

That's where you'll find the information the Rhonda Reda's and Mike Chadseys' of the World conveniently forget to reveal to you...

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2southsidedave(4784 comments)posted 2 years ago

That's all we need now is for some cash-crazy idiots to come and begin dismantling our Park system.

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3Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years ago

Let the PUBLIC VOTE ON IT. THESE MEETINGS ARE A JOKE.

I can't believe this is even being considered. The answer is NO. And if you didn't hear it the first time it is NO. The public does not want it nor does the public want to hear the canned crap this hired PR person has to say.Don't believe me put it on the ballot. If the voting isn't corrupted fracking will go down in flames.

Suggest removal:

4Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years ago

If you want an education lady go watch Gas Land you won't get one from a hired PR person. Get real.

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