Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Hazards of fracking deserve closer look

In an article about natural gas drilling ("Md. environment chief wants more U.S. oversight of fracking," April 13), The Sun's John Fritze reports that to "extract natural gas through fracking, companies use millions of gallons of liquids," but that explanation is inadequate. Anyone interested in information about fracking for gas extraction should watch the HBO documentary, "Gasland," or drive up to Bradford County, Penn. and see the devastating results of this process.

Toxic chemicals are pumped into the ground with water and sand to force the gas up. Sixty-five of the chemicals used are considered dangerous to human health. Water buffalos sit on properties where the wells have been contaminated with methane and other toxic substances. Some homes must be "vented out" when the methane inside becomes dangerously high. Property values of homes with contaminated wells have plummeted in Bradford County. Tanker trucks carrying water to the gas extraction sites and removing the contaminated water for disposal travel 24/7 through the area.

Contaminated well water is not safe to drink and is too polluted for bathing, cooking, laundry, etc. Home owners are responsible for the cost of testing well water. These tests are not the standard tests and costs between $500 and $1,000. The gas company supplies water to the residents with contaminated wells, but will not claim responsibility for the contamination. Methane has been observed bubbling in the Susquehanna River around Sugar Run, which eventually empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

The Halliburton Loophole, part of the Bush Administration's 2005 Energy Bill, stripped the EPA of its authority to enforce the Clean Water Act by exempting the energy companies. Besides restoring authority to the EPA, it's time to invest in clean energy.

Janet Stringer, Havre de Grace

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • On fracking, O'Malley betrays his supposed principles

    On fracking, O'Malley betrays his supposed principles

    Wenonah Hauter's Dec. 3 op-ed, "There is no safe fracking, Mr. O'Malley," was exactly the kind of criticism that the O'Malley administration, and their self-proclaimed commitment to "protecting our environment" deserves. Opening Maryland to fracking undermines any goal the O'Malley administration...

  • The frackers are coming, the frackers are coming!

    The frackers are coming, the frackers are coming!

    History, myth, and legend informs those of us in the United States that on a chilly night in 1775 a relative of mine mounted his horse, and as loudly as he could, rode through the streets of Boston proclaiming that an invading fleet was entering the harbor aiming to muzzle and arrest any acts of...

  • Fracking will boost Maryland's economy

    Fracking will boost Maryland's economy

    Wenonah Hauter's recent op-ed on the dangers of fracking in Maryland missed the mark completely ("There is no safe fracking, Mr. O'Malley," Dec. 3).

  • Garrett benefits from vacationers

    Garrett benefits from vacationers

    A recent article by reporter Tim Wheeler about the issue of natural gas development in Garrett County contains a statement from a local Chamber of Commerce board member and farmer who has been a fairly vocal advocate for natural gas development ("Fracking debate intensifies in Western Maryland,"...

  • Sierra Club opposes fracking plan

    Sierra Club opposes fracking plan

    A recent article reported that the Sierra Club "praised the administration's conclusions" regarding opening the state to fracking ("O'Malley administration sets out path to fracking in Md.," Nov. 25).

  • Western Md. faces fracking threat

    Western Md. faces fracking threat

    The recent article about fracking in Western Maryland seemed to me to raise more arguments for not drilling for natural gas in Garrett County than for it ("Fracking debate intensifies in Western Maryland, those benefits would be relatively short-term since "Western Maryland's gas reserves are limited."

  • Fracking in W. Maryland is not a done deal

    Fracking in W. Maryland is not a done deal

    I am sending this letter out as a mother, as a small farmer, as a Garrett County property owner and tax payer, and as a member of a community that I care deeply about.

  • Thank God Hogan wasn't in charge of the fracking report

    Thank God Hogan wasn't in charge of the fracking report

    Maryland's recent report on fracking safely is an example of smart governing ("O'Malley administration sets out path to fracking in Md.," Nov. 25). In July 2011, Gov. Martin O'Malley ordered a commission to be formed by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources....

Comments
Loading
84°