.

‘Fracking’ in the Suburbs: Town Hall Meeting in Novi May 22

Oil and gas companies have mineral rights across the state and new wells are expected soon in White Lake Township, Rochester Hills, and other areas in Oakland County.

Drilling is expected to begin soon in some areas of Oakland County. Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash is holding another meeting, this time in Novi, to inform residents of what they can expect. (Patch file photo)
Drilling is expected to begin soon in some areas of Oakland County. Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash is holding another meeting, this time in Novi, to inform residents of what they can expect. (Patch file photo)

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash plans another in a series of town hall meetings to share information about health risks and other possible effects associated with a proliferation of oil and natural gas drilling leases could lead “fracking,” in several suburbs.

The next meeting, which is open to the public, will be from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, May 22, at the Novi Public Library, 45255 W. 10 Mile Road. Nash has held more than a dozen similar meetings, reaching several thousand residents and concerned stakeholders, he said.

“This heavy industrial activity, in urban/suburban settings like ours, is full of risks to our water supplies, our air, our health, and our way of life,” Nash said in a statement. “I want people to know what may be coming to their neighborhoods.”

Fracking, the common term for slick water horizontal fracturing, drills wells up to 2 miles into the earth, then turns the drill bit horizontally to drill several more miles. The resulting well is then filled with millions of gallons of fresh water mixed with sand, salts and chemicals, subjected to bursts of intense pressure to loosen rock formations, which releases natural gas.

Over the past year, Jordan Development Co. and others have leased or purchased mineral rights on thousands of acres of land in Oakland County. Oil and gas companies have mineral rights across the state and new wells are expected soon in White Lake Township, Rochester Hills, and other areas in Oakland County, Nash said.

Next week’s meeting comes on the heels of legal action by a Rochester Hills citizens’ group Don’t Drill the Hills, which is suing that city for allowing gas and oil leases on city-owned parks and a cemetery.

The nonpartisan Don’t Drill the Hills group said a city-signed lease with Jordan Development Co. that allows it and West Bay Exploration Co. to use horizontal drilling to explore explore for, extract and sell natural gas an oil on the public lands violates the city’s charter, Michigan laws and public trust.

A voter-backed 2011 City Charter Amendment says city-owned parks cannot be sold, leased or converted to non-recreation or non-conservation uses without approval of the city’s voters in an open election, the group said. Don’t Drill the Hills maintains the city charter protects not just the surface of the park land in Rochester Hills, but also the entire property, including the subsurface resources.


Ed Callahan May 27, 2014 at 06:03 PM
All of those opposed to Fracking should live by example and live "off-grid". Park the Prius, turn the electricity and gas off, disconnect the cable T.V. and really show us how it is done. Set the standard. Buy a small farm, plow the field with a horse, grow soy, probably a little marijuana and live a happy pre-industrial age agrarian lifestyle. I doubt that they would be willing to live by action and not words alone because in the end they are simply hypocrites, so hop into the SUV and pick-up a latte on your way to the protest.
Love All May 27, 2014 at 06:56 PM
Ed,, fracking results in the excessive use of our fresh water and the potential contamination of our drinking water. What part of THAT escaped your grasp? Your comment is so far off the topic it's not funny. This is about curbing an environmental disaster,, not turning America back into the stone age or some imaginary hippie commune as you portray it.
Steve Krause May 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM
I agree with Love All. We are NOT opposed to the use of oil, drilling, etc. We simply want it to be done in a safe, responsible manner -- and not at the expense of our water and environment. What's more, as a result of climate change and the extensive droughts that we are seeing in the west and southwest areas of our country, it won't be long before WATER becomes more valuable than oil.
Aimee McDowell May 28, 2014 at 03:38 PM
Fracking has been linked to earthquakes, contaminated water wells, the resent mudslide near Grand Junction Colorado up to 250 ft thick at least a half mile wide and 3 or more miles long had fracking close by????
Bob May 29, 2014 at 03:51 PM
Ed is idiot....fracking poisons the water.....BOTH parties are guilty of supporting for the money, so stop fracking at grass roots.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »