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.