LETTER: How fracking may change Sanford

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

I recently attended the Chamber of Commerce meeting. I was so pleased to hear how the business leaders are going to try to make Sanford a destination point, with added sidewalks, parks, a water park and a better shopping experience. I immediately thought of Newtown Square in Pennsylvania — a quaint bed-and-bath location.

I know that money won’t be well spent when fracking invades our county.

Mr. [Jim] Womack [chairman, N.C. Mining & Energy Commission] doesn’t want to share with you the social costs of fracking — his reply is, “ I won’t lie to you, there are always growing pains.” The fact is fracking impacts rural communities with a decline in quality of life and an increase of stress on the social network.

Food & Watch Case Study was a thorough Pennsylvania community report published in September of 2013. The report shows the average annual increase in disorderly conduct arrests were three times higher in heavily fracked rural counties. The large influx of transient fracking workers can lead to higher levels of substance abuse and alcohol-related crimes .

Sexually transmitted infections rose fastest in rural Pennsylvania counties where fracking began — 62 percent more than the unfracked counties.

The average annual number of heavy truck crashes increased 7.2 percent in fracked counties. Each fracking well requires thousands of truck trips to deliver hazardous fracking fluids and materials, adding to costly wear and tear on rural roads. ...

These are all facts based on a variety of resources, including Pennsylvania DOT, Pennsylvania State Police Database, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

A question was asked at the commerce meeting “ How will Sanford change?” To get a real inside view, just Google “Life in a fracking boomtown: Man camps, Meth Labs, Strippers, and the gold rush.”

Keely Wood

Lee County