When oil and gas drillers pump millions of gallons of chemically contaminated waste water into the Ohio bedrock, they create significant health risks. Fracking waste water can, and often does, escape the wells and get into the aquifers that we tap for our drinking water.
Under Ohio law, if you, or more likely your child, become ill from drinking contaminated water, doctors will have no way to know immediately what treatment to use.
That’s because oil and gas companies have made it difficult to find out exactly what’s in the sludge they pump into wells, even for health-care professionals.
As a result, doctors probably couldn’t tell that contaminated water caused an illness, making it impossible for them to warn the public.
Companies claim they need this secrecy to protect their trade secrets, but that’s a bald-faced lie. Patents exist for that reason.
If drillers want to make sure no one steals their formulas, they can reveal how their chemicals work by filing a patent, which would make it illegal for anyone to copy them.
These companies probably fear revealing the content of their waste because they’re worried the environmental and human costs would come to light, and that outrage might cut into their profit margins.
Several bills are making their way through the legislature to ensure that doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians in fracking areas know what to look for.
Given that these people need the information to do their jobs, every concerned citizen in Ohio should write his or her state representative and senator encouraging them to support those bills.
Because asking drillers to reveal what they’re pumping into the ground is apparently too much, making certain a health-care professional right-to-know bill passes is both the most and the least we can do.
Invest in Barberton
I know Barberton voters are faced with a tough decision on Issue 3 on May 7 ballot. With these difficult economic times, we tend to look at such issues as a financial burden.
However, today more than ever, children need every chance they can get to succeed. In addition, cities need the foundation to make and keep them strong. The strength of a city depends a great deal on the strength of its schools.
Voters should see Issue 3 as an investment, not a burden. As a graduate of Barberton High School and an employee of one of Barberton’s largest employers, I ask voters to support Issue 3 and keep the momentum of excellence in the Magic City. I thank them for their consideration.
David R. Stephens
Let’s see, it is coming up on five years since the demolition of the old State Road Shopping Center. In that time, little, if anything, has transpired due to continuous delays.
Thank goodness for Councilwoman-at-large Carol Klinger wanting to hold off for a few more days to protect the taxpayers of Cuyahoga Falls. The city administration has bent over enough for the developer.
On April 16, I went for my morning run and wore my 1987 Boston Marathon finisher’s jacket. I proudly carried a small American flag.
The tears came with my footsteps. I grieved and I prayed for those lost and injured in Boston and for their families. Yet I was comforted as my thoughts went to the oft-repeated saying, “The good will outnumber the bad and always will.”