LETTER: In support of full disclosure

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

The enactment of this resolution [Sanford city resolution in support of full disclosure of chemical components with regard to hydraulic fracturing involved in the extraction of shale gas] is very important for the future health and safety of our citizens.

Many citizens do not fully understand the potential harm that awaits us should fracking for shale gas in Lee County begin. There is no guarantee that problems will not arise here like in other parts of the country, but especially within our local and very sensitive geological Triassic basin formation, where our water table is perilously near the shale to be fracked for gas.

If the rush by pro-frackers to harvest shale gas in this municipality and county is not stopped or delayed, I believe that there is a high probability that eventually contentious fracking chemicals and toxins, which we know exist and are used, will leach into the soil, and that our groundwater and river tributaries may be put in jeopardy. I hope and pray this will not happen, but who can say ... just look around and listen to what an increasing number of better-informed and ground-tested citizens 20 years later in these shale gas-producing states are saying and feeling about the real costs versus benefits to the total affected population; yes, [there are] some big winners — but sadly many losers.

At the very least, we should expect, no we should demand, that local emergency service personnel have full and complete disclosure of actual chemicals and amounts used in any hydraulic fracturing operation within seven days after the operation, and, at least seven days in advance of a fracturing operation knowledge of the chemical classes and estimated amounts for purposes of potential emergency response. This disclosure should be, on a continuing update basis, the responsibility of the gas industry.

Hopefully you are in full agreement to be prepared, take charge and maintain the rights to defend and protect ourselves!

Richard Hayes