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Residents fear fracking on former Idora land



Published: Wed, September 5, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Jeanne Starmack

starmack@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Concerns over drilling for natural gas under Mill Creek Park brought about 15 neighbors to a park board meeting, but commissioners headed them off at the door.

The meeting, park board commissioners Bob Durick and Jay Macejko told the crowd who gathered in the rain outside Birch Hill Cabin on McCollum Road, would be closed to the public. The board can close a meeting, according to state law, while discussing personnel or legal matters.

There would be no discussion about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, under the park, commissioners said.

Park neighbors and members of a group called Guardians of Mill Creek Park showed the commissioners a notice they’d received that says Chesapeake Appalachia LLC has a contractor doing predrilling water testing in preparation for fracking in the park. The notice also says three shallow wells on abandoned Idora Park property have been “unitized and pooled” by a number of gas companies who will use fracking, a controversial drilling technique that involves vertical drilling several thousand feet down, then horizontal drilling as far as a mile away into the Utica Shale. After the drilling, millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are forced into the shale at high pressure to crack it, which makes the gas easier to extract.

Activists and environmentalists have said fracking fluid contains toxins that pose a threat to ground water if cement and steel well casings are faulty or fail. Wells have also contaminated surface water after blowouts and leaks, and people living near them have complained of air pollution.

Durick said the notice was written by someone who had no knowledge of what was really going to happen at the meeting.

“I don’t know anything about this,” he said when he was asked if the information in the notice is true.

Neighbors said they are frustrated because the don’t believe they are getting enough information from the park board.

“We’re concerned,” said Liz Khumprakob. “We live in the area and we want answers.”

“It’s a lot of frustration, ‘cause you don’t get straight answers,” said Sherri Martz.

“What’s horrifying to all of us here is, we’re expendable,” said Diana Shaheen.

The next regular meeting of the park commissioners is 6 p.m. Monday at the MetroParks Farm, McMahon Hall, state Route 46, Canfield.


Comments

1Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

There should be absolutely no drilling in, under, or near the park. Who are these commissioners that they think they can ignore the people of this republic? Cockroaches and rats sneak around in darkness carrying on their affairs.

“I don’t know anything about this,...” - -Well your incompetent. How is it that the citizens know about and you supposedly don't? Keep drilling out of our park!

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2UticaShale(854 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Here is your answer; of the 4500 acres plus which is Mill Creek Park, approximately 3000 acres have and is leased with Clinton well production for decades now. The old leases are intact and valid for the new technology of horizontal drilling. According to the Vindy, these older leases have been sold to the larger energy companies that will begin to horizontally drill down to the Utica. The law is on the side of these energy giants and Mill Creek Park 's position today is to reap their share of the royalties once the newer wells are producing...substantially royalties. As a lessee, Mill Creek Park is not privy to the proprietary information that is the energy company's, therefore it is correct that Mill Creek will not have these answers, neither will the protestors.

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3UticaShale(854 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I meant Lessor (landlord), one who leases their property.

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4dd933(252 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for correcting that Utica. And Ben, while I sympathize with your views regarding the protection of our planet, accusing someone of incompetancy is way out of line. (Also please learn the proper use of possesive pronouns and contractions, i.e. it's not "your incompetent." it is "you're incompetent." Learn enough little things like this and somebody may appoint you to a board and you can be accused publicly of being incompetent as well.)

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5Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"The old leases are intact and valid for the new technology of horizontal drilling." - - There is a vast diffidence in the two types of drilling. That is kind of a stretch. Was there any horizontal drilling when the leases were signed?
dd already arguing off topic and focusing on a grammatical error, and nonsense. I can't protect the planet but that park was founded by an individual with PRESERVATION in mind not exploitation of the park.

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6dd933(252 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I commend you for knowing how to spell incompetent...maybe we should take up a collection to buy back the leases.

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7Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Is there legal precedent for vertical drilling leases being sold as vertical leases and then transformed into legitimate horizontal drilling with regard to a park such as Mill Creek?

"I commend you for knowing how to spell incompetent...maybe we should take up a collection to buy back the leases."- - -- Why how gracious of you thank you dd. However, I have a feeling that the collection would be proprietary like the fracking fluid and apparently many other things associated with fracking.

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8Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

It would also be useful for the park to provide where the money for the drilling within the park has been spent to date. Surely that is not proprietary.

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9Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"Park neighbors...showed the commissioners a notice they’d received that says Chesapeake Appalachia LLC has a contractor doing predrilling water testing in preparation for fracking in the park. The notice also says three shallow wells on abandoned Idora Park property have been 'unitized and pooled' by a number of gas companies who will use fracking...

“ 'I don’t know anything about this,' he said when he was asked if the information in the notice is true." - - -Well is it or is it not true?

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10Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The park commissioners are not the owners of that park nor are gas companies we the citizens are. The commissioners are to answer to us regarding our property.

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11Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Here is an article from the Vindy February 19, 2012

"Everflow, however, in late 2011, planned to assign deep-drilling rights to a subsidiary of Chesapeake, the largest holder of Utica shale mineral rights in the Valley. The company already has drilled the first Utica well in Mahoning County’s Milton Township.

But that plan has a hitch: Because Mill Creek had the 1993 lease agreement vetted by its attorneys, only Everflow can maintain the mineral rights for the 2,530 acres, presuming it continuously extracted natural resources.

If Everflow did not extract resources by 1996, three years after the lease agreement, mineral rights from portions of the leased land reverted to the park.

Everflow cannot transfer, or sublease, mineral rights to anyone but partnerships and working interest holders, said Atty. Alan Wenger of the Youngstown-based law firm Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell.

Wenger said the ball is in Mill Creek’s court; the park also could decide to allow Everflow the ability to assign deep rights to another company."

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12Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Guess what I didn't call them cockroaches or rats I merely said what cockroaches and rats do. Second according to the article I posted from the Vindy it is in their hands so why don't they know whether or not this happened on park land. If I came across harshly then my apologies maybe they will do the right thing. I feel strongly about that park . I grew up near it and spent many hours of enjoyment there including family reunions ETC. There are thousands upon thousands of acres in the valley being fracked lets leave something as precious as that park alone. I don't want to see it ruined over greed. Can you understand that?

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13Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Artie "They were meeting last night to discuss the 200 page draft of the strategic plan that is being formulated. They were there for several hours working on this necessary plan." A plan to frack?

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14Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"They were there for several hours working on this necessary plan." -- "...necessary..." to whom?

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15Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"...working on this necessary plan." - - - "...necessary" to whom?

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16republicanRick(1250 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

This was a completely one-sided article by Jeanne Starmack of the Vindicator. She is obviously science illiterate and paraphrases environmental extremists but does not back up the kooks' claims with science fact. Once again, the Vindicator shows their ignorance of an issue and prints an article lacking in facts, only conjecture by tree huggers.

Mill Creek Park has been drilling for decades. They are sitting on $ 60,000,000 in additional mineral rights but refuse to take the money. Remember this when they want a new levy for more taxpayer money with a levy request in 2013.

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17Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"There would be no discussion about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, under the park, commissioners said."

Artie,"They were meeting last night to discuss the 200 page draft of the strategic plan that is being formulated."

I am confused, which is it?

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18Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I had a dental appointment today so I had time to address an article I consider important. As far as worming I don't know what you mean. I never called anyone a rat or cockroach I only said what they do. So you would be incorrect.

Furthermore, If it was misconstrued there was already an apology offered. However, I recall your calling me ignorant and casting accusations and I don't remember an apology for your tone or your comments. So how about it ? How about an apology from you ?

"Too bad most of the comments are by one person who has WAY too much time on his hands. " - -Why is it too bad?

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19Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"Unlike the author of most of the comments, I have a job and am not wasting any more of my time on this site."- - -You seem to have time to post to me. Waiting for the apology.

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20Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

He thinks I'm ignorant and I don't know the difference between rats and a people. This is about rats NOT people. I have had some experience popping them with pellets in an old barn as a youngster. Rats can be untrustworthy opportunistic creatures. I have seen them devour their own dead. I find them to be vile, full of diseases and seem to prefer the company of their own kind. They are invasive and parasitic since they are not indigenous. The brown rat was imported here. They hate lights so if you have an infestation keep your barn clean and keep the lights on.

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21Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Well thanks for the apology.

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22Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

"Now they are complaining about something in Idora Park which is AGAIN NOT ON MILL CREEK PARK PROPERTY!" - -I don't live down there but I can see why people who do would be concerned. I was wondering about potential horizontal fracking on actual park land. I just hope these folks realize how the people of this community love this park and do the right thing.

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23Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Its just my opinion but I wouldn't want those chemicals pumped into the ground next door to me. Try to understand their perspective. If some farmer in Trumbull wants that stuff pumped in his ground I think it is a horrible idea but public property or areas close to people's homes?
How bad would you feel if someone's little kid was to get sick from it or our park was ruined. You just can't put a price on things like that. The Lord said you can't serve two masters, choose.

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