Officials need to hear NE?Michigan’s concerns

On April 30 I attend a presentation by the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality in Troy, where they talked about horizontal hydraulic fracking for natural gas in Michigan. They must have been expecting trouble from the audience because there were armed guards posted in the auditorium.

They assured us that there were no concerns about the millions of gallons of fresh water used in fracking, the unknown, trade secret chemicals in fracking fluid, the potential for earthquakes from waste wells and radiation exposure from drilling. They assured us that Michigan has been fracking for 60 years with few serious problems and they do not anticipate problems with the new horizontal procedure.

I was pleased to learn that most of the people in the audience were opposed to fracking when I heard the questions they wrote on 3×5 cards. References were made to horrific problems documented in Pennsylvania and New York where horizontal fracking has been done for some time. The most common answer from the panel was, “I’m not aware of that being a problem.”

Similar presentation were held in Muskegon and Traverse City making it difficult for anyone from our part of the state to attend. At 8:55 p.m. the presenters said they were surprised by the large turnout and sorry they wouldn’t get to all the questions. I called out that they needed to schedule a meeting in Northeast Michigan to let us ask questions and hear our concerns.

I believe that fracking will be an economic and environmental disaster for the state and especially our area where tourism and the “Pure Michigan” brand are essential to our future. I hope that everyone will contact state and local officials and demand that the DNR and DEQ respond to our concerns.

Patty Thomas