Consider the dangers of drilling

Consider the dangers of drilling

Wake up, neighbors. There’s a frack well in the protected watershed of the Meander Reservoir — in a floodplain area — next to a creek that feeds into the reservoir. ODNR permitted it, CNX is fracking it, and the Mahoning County commissioners not only gave their consent, they are selling 10s of millions of gallons of our fresh drinking water to facilitate fracking. Ohio EPA wasn’t consulted since state law does not require their input on drilling.

Consider the fact that CNX, LLC, has an egregious environmental record: over 22 environmental violations in Pennsylvania from 2010 through 2012. Most of these violations involve failure to properly control or dispose of industrial waste, and discharge of toxic material to waters of the commonwealth.

Then consider that all well casings will fail over time; 6.2 percent fail immediately, as did the Cadle well casing during testing on Oct. 13, 2012. There was a 4-foot vertical split at the surface, which was repaired by none other than Haliburton, the same “experts” whose cement job was implicated in the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

Something else to consider is that ODNR has sole authority over all oil and gas activity in the state, and ODNR is largely funded by the permits they grant. Are you thinking, “conflict of interest” or “fox guarding the hen house?” And don’t forget about the perpetual revolving door among regulatory, legislative, and oil and gas industry jobs.

Do you know about the chemicals used in the fracking process? The industry will tell you they use a few chemicals: 1) surfactants 2) biocides 3) guar. They neglect to mention benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, along with a myriad of other toxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine-disruptive chemicals.

This is our drinking water that’s being put at risk. Do you want to think about how fast your property values will plummet if there is a blowout or a spill?

Are local emergency teams equipped to handle a major toxic spill or conflagration? Do any of our local elected officials have a contingency plan if our water becomes fouled? Somebody better start thinking about a serious plan of action should the unthinkable occur.

We deserve better. We have inalienable rights to clean air, clean water, and clean land. Tell the Mahoning County commissioners to do their due diligence and oppose any additional sale of our water to CNX and to do everything in their power to shut down the Cadle well.

Judy Vershum, Youngstown