Choose Youngstown: Jobs and development versus irrational fears.
A Youngstown neighborhood group, formed to combat crime in their community, now say they also have to worry about earthquakes, among other things.
The West Side Citizens Coalition gathered Tuesday night to hear an expert talk about fracking and its possible effects on the local environment. West side residents were said to have felt the strongest effects of the New Year’s earthquake.
The coalition sponsored a presentation by Dr. Jeffrey Dick, Chairman of Youngstown State University’s Geology Department. Dick says there is a possible relationship between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes being felt all over the area.
People we talked to say they are now more concerned than ever over drilling that’s taken place near V&M Star.
Eileen Wegendt of Youngstown said, “I was most concerned about, obviously, the earthquake activity. After listening to the speaker tonight, and learning about six million gallons of fresh water used in the fracking process, that’s taking good drinking water and making it unusable.”
Many people the say they are most concerned about the possibility of water contamination both ground water and surface water.
Howard Markert of Youngstown said, “The earthquakes to me are the lowest risk factor of the fracking process, including the injection wells, because they are more likely to have human or mechanical error on the surface that results in spilling or contamination.”
Joyce White of Youngstown said, “My concern is with the insurance situation. If you don’t have earthquake insurance, it’ll be an out of pocket expense. With the earthquakes occurring, if you don’t have it you’re not going to be able to afford to buy it now.”
The more people learn about injection wells the more frightened they become. And while the process has been deemed safe by government authorities in other areas, folks here continue to be fearful of its effects.