From Ohio eco-groups:
On June 1, 2013, individuals and representatives from different environmental groups will be prepared to present testimony before the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) Conservancy Court in New Philadelphia. Concerned citizens will ask the Court to stop water sales by the MWCD as well as leasing for horizontal, high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of public reservoirs needed for safe drinking water and other industrial, agricultural and recreational purposes.
Citizens continue to await a tribunal hearing about water sales. The Conservancy Court has yet to respond to the request to testify this year, but testimony from Food and Water Watch, Ohio Environmental Council, NEOGAP/POGCO, Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water, Buckeye Forest Council and others will be submitted. Although the rally that was held last year will not take place, there will be opportunity for the media to meet with organizers after the Conservancy Court hearing.
“We are prepared to provide testimony to show the Court that even though the MWCD appears to ignore our pleas, scientific justifications, and even our demand letters from our attorney and a commissioned hydrogeologic study to warn of the dangers of fracking around and under important public reservoirs, we continue in our efforts to build the record of those culpable for future damages to our economy and environment in the area,” stated Lea Harper of Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water.
The FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio (www.FWAPOH.com) will also present a scientific report from a renowned radiation expert that warns not only of the contamination of leased reservoirs in the future by toxic frack fluid pollutants and methane, but of the water-soluble radiation from the deep shale that can seep into public drinking water supplies and accumulate over time.
“The MWCD’s approach to selling off public water and leasing public lands to the fracking industry is short-sighted,” said Nathan Johnson, staff attorney for the Buckeye Forest Council. “The ‘shale boom’ will probably be short-lived, but many of the environmental and human health risks associated with fracking will be permanent. Local residents shouldn’t be forced to worry about water quality six months, five years, or 10 years or more down the line.”
“All this is being done now to hold the MWCD liable for future damages caused by decisions made now so that the taxpaying public is not forced to pay through assessments for any remediation or damages, including loss of property values and detrimental health effects to people and livestock,” stated Harper. The groups’ efforts are part of an on-going push to provide the necessary warnings, documentation and scientific research justification to build the record to the MWCD about the dangers of fracking and the potential liability it may incur in the future.