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Next Town Hall Meeting on Drilling, Possible ‘Fracking’ in Oakland County is April 22

Drilling is coming to Oakland County, but it may not necessarily include "fracking," a practice critics say is environmentally risky and may negatively affect property values and quality of life.

Oakland County residents' next opportunity to talk about drilling and fracking is April 22 in White Lake Township. (Patch file photo)
Oakland County residents' next opportunity to talk about drilling and fracking is April 22 in White Lake Township. (Patch file photo)

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash will hold another in his series of town hall meetings to focus on the impact of state-issued oil and natural gas drilling leases in Oakland County.  

The leases could bring drilling and potentially hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to the area.

The town hall meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Dublin Senior Center at 685 Union Lake Road in White Lake Township.   A question and answer period will follow a presentation by Nash.  Representatives have been invited to attend and present information from the oil and gas industry and the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality.

Last month, about 250 people attended a similar meeting in Rochester Hills, where a group a “Don’t Drill the Hills” group has organized to oppose the practice, which some critics say carries environmental risks and raises questions about  property rights, property values, mortgage and insurance complications.

Fracking is the common term for slick water horizontal fracturing.  Companies drill wells up to two miles into the Earth, then turn the drill bit horizontally and drill up to two more miles. The resulting well is then filled with millions of gallons of fresh water mixed with sand, salts and chemicals. This mixture is then subjected to bursts of intense pressure to loosen rock formations and release natural gas.  The used fracking fluid must be trucked away for injection into permanent deep injection wells.  It cannot be returned back to the water supply and can contaminate groundwater if spilled or released into the environment.

Critics of the process fear possible contamination of groundwater resources, and also have raised concerns about the disposal of the resulting fracking fluids.

Nash said oil and gas exploration and drilling are coming to the area, although “fracking” may not be part of process in Oakland County. Many homeowners are worried about spills, noise, groundwater contamination, and increased truck and equipment traffic in urban and suburban settings, Nash said.       

“We want our residents to be informed and learn more about important topics that can affect our quality of life,” he.  “As more and more leases are being signed across the county, residents need to know how this industry can affect the environment,” he added.    

Thousands of acres of land in Oakland and the region have had their mineral rights sold or have been leased to Jordan Exploration and other companies over the past year for exploration and possible drilling.

TELL US: Fracking and drilling in Oakland County – good or bad idea? Tell us below in the comments.
Sandi B April 26, 2014 at 10:56 AM
The only thing this article shows is that there is a need for the oil & gas industry, along with the DEQ, to be mindful of providing safequards, which is exactly what the Sierra Club proposes. Read the entire article and you'll see the family is back living at their ranch since Aruba Petroleum put units on their well sites to clean the air. Lisa Parr says she's not opposed to the work oil companies do. She simply wants them to do their business responsibly. "We are not anti-fracking or anti-drilling". She jus wants the oil companies to be respectful & careful.
Marjorie Findley April 27, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Note: this case took YEARS to bring closure and other energy companies also involved, settled out of court (see last para.) -- meaning they paid too but now the co. names cannot be disclosed. Many poor people have signed gag-orders so that the gas/oil company will supply drinking water in a tank (called a 'pig') placed in the yard, when their water wells became toxic from drilling/fracking. This case is the tip of the iceberg....
Marjorie Findley April 27, 2014 at 08:16 AM
See the " List of the Harmed", by the Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air, for an ever-growing list of individuals and families harmed by fracked gas and oil production in the USA. Currently, it lists 6,000 cases !! Including location, exposure, symptoms and news/source link.
Marjorie Findley April 27, 2014 at 08:17 AM
LetsBanFracking.0rg will host a table TODAY at the YMCA Earthday festival in Milford !! Hope to see you there.
K. Scott April 27, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Hello Sandi, how many years did it take for the family to get relief? What did the family ultimately have to do to get relief? Only when they went to court did the companies involved start to do the right thing. If the oil companies had a track record of doing the ethical thing from the get go, people might have a better impression. But time after time they have revealed through their actions how they intend to conduct business.

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