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Activists call for shutdown of Blott Road well, protest water sale

Published: Fri, March 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



Environmental activists again appeared before Mahoning County commissioners to protest the sale of water from the county’s system to CNX Gas Co. for a well-drilling site off Blott Road in Jackson Township.

“Words cannot describe my sense of betrayal and anger,” Judy Vershum of Canfield said of the commissioners’ Feb. 7 decision to sell the water.

“You have neither the moral nor the ethical authority to do so,” Vershum said Thursday, conceding that she assumes commissioners have the legal authority to make the sale. “This water will be poisoned and taken out of the natural water cycle forever,” she added.

The Blott Road well is in the watershed of Meander Reservoir, from which the gas well’s water supply and the area’s drinking-water supply originates.

Vershum urged commissioners to “do everything in your power to shut down that well and protect our watershed.”

Another speaker, Lynn Anderson of Youngstown, expressed concern about what she said was a cracked protective casing at the CNX drilling site. “That is what conducts this pollution into the surface waters and into Meander Reservoir, so we need this well shut down,” Anderson said of the split.

“Do not sell 500,000 gallons of water a day ... to frack this well,” she urged.

However, Bethany McCorkle, communications chief for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said: “There are no casing or cementing problems with CNX wells” in Jackson Township, Mahoning County, including the one on Blott Road.

The commissioners said they’d listen to and investigate complaints about oil and gas well drilling, but Commissioners Carol Rimedio Righetti and David Ditzler said ODNR issues oil and gas well drilling permits, not the county.

The county commissioners also bought six replacement sheriff’s cruisers for $166,054; a 2013 cargo van for the sanitary engineer’s office for $19,080; and a 2013 Ford Explorer for the county auditor’s real estate appraisal department for $25,791, all through a state purchasing cooperative.

Department representatives said they tried to buy vehicles from local vendors, but their prices weren’t competitive. James Fortunato, county purchasing director, said the county cannot legally give preference to local vendors if the prices are not competitive.


1glbtactivist(321 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

The county didn't even know that poisons had been spilled from that well near the valley's water supply. Nobody is protecting us from the greedy foreign energy companies. They should not be selling our water to those terrible companies. Don't be suprised if we have a lawn watering ban this summer because of this sale causing a shortage of water.

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

I ran the numbers on the chemical concentrations in fracking water, and the levels are so low that they do not meet any USEPA thresholds for toxicity.

It really does nobody any good to create all of this false controversy over something that is not toxic. But don't take my word for it. Go to fracfocus, search for the well and read the list and quantities of each chemical compound used. You will have to do some math to convert it to gallons. I did, and what I found alleviated any concerns that I might have had about toxic contamination.

Do your own research and learn, or you can continue to remain ignorant and be looked at as a fool. Your choice.

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3kurtw(1832 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

In all the comments on this thread the only one that made any sense was no: 2 (Ytownsteelman) and his view more or less reflects mine: wells are fracked thousands of feet below the water table and the chemicals used (other than water and sand) are no more toxic- according to available evidence- than those used in conventional drilling methods. The problems arise near the surface where well casings leak or where there are accidental or intentional spills (read the "Idiot" Lupo-). Other than that fracking is a predominately safe procedure and the risks that are connected with it can be managed like any industrial process.

The people opposing hydraulic fracturing now are irrational- re-incarnated "Luddites", the zanies who, in the 19th. Century, opposed modernization in British Textile Mills to the point they set about going around smashing them up. The original Luddites are now historical oddities,and I think the new ones will end up the same.

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