Steven Freiburg approached the Sugarcreek Township council concerning the issue of fracking and disposal of fracking water. An issue that was thought to be far away from Ohio has now been proven to be a little closer to home that originally thought. It is now an issue that the Sugarcreek Township is researching.
“Has the township taken measures to protect our drinking water?” questioned Freiburg. “Our water is a very precious resource. I live on an aquifer and we have the wetlands in this area and I would hate for a company to swoop in here and us try and repair, after the fact what we haven’t legislated properly to protect this area and I think it is something that we need to look into,” continued Freiburg.
Fracking, high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, is a newer drilling technique that reaches natural gas reserves that requires millions of gallons of fresh water and unidentified harmful chemicals that could end up being radioactive. “Fracking is the use of sand, water, chemicals that are injected into the ground at high pressures to blast open shale rock and release the trapped gas inside,” according to The Ohio Environment Council.
“We are not really situated for fracking in this area,” responded trustee, Scott Bryant.
Fracking companies are having a hard time finding places to dispose of the fracking water.
“I am not willing to risk the safety of our children and our drinking water here in Sugarcreek Township and see our property value go down because some corporation wants to take advantage of our area and dump their waste here. It is easily done if some farmer decides to that he could make some money on selling some of their property rights and let a company dump waste water,” Freiburg said.
“If you have immediate concerns about the well fields, we have a well-head overlay district that covers part of the Ferry Rd. commercial corridor and then we have an even greater expansion area that is a protection area that limits what kinds of business can happen and what kinds of things can go on. This would include, of course, the discharge of fracking water. It would be limited under the current regulations that we have in place,” said Director of Planning and Zoning, Cara Tilford. “So, we do have a mechanism in place to protect the water that the city of Bellbrook pulls from that the residents drink.”
Anita Dobrzelecki, resident on S. Alpha-Bellbrook, is also concerned about the fracking waste fluid possibility in this area and has offered to help the Township on this issue. “I have been an associate supervisor of the Greene Soil & Water Conservation Board since 2000 and I have gathered a lot of information regarding this topic.”
The board agreed that this is a grave issue that needs to be addressed and agreed to put the wheels in motion. “By having residences voice their thoughts during meetings is how we learn about things. This is an issue that we will look into,” said trustee, Michael Pittman.