BARNESVILLE, OH -- When the village of Barnesville announced an agreement to allow oil and gas drilling at the Slope Creek Reservoir, a number of Barnesville area residents voiced concern over the potential dangers of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing.
Slope Creek is the largest of the three Barnesville reservoirs, representing 82% of the drinking water for about 13,000 people, including Bethesda, Quaker City, and the Switzerland of Ohio Water District, which includes Somerton, Malaga, Jerusalem, and Beallsville.
Gulfport Energy has plans to place multiple well pads within 500 feet of Slope Creek Reservoir. Citing evidence of well casing and cement failures, contaminant spills, and other environmental disasters in the shale gas industry, concerned citizens asked the Village Council if the proposed well pads could be moved outside the immediate watershed of the reservoir.
While the council expressed similar concerns and agreed to approach Gulfport about moving the proposed well pads, members of the community took action of their own, starting a petition that now has over 2,300 signatures.
“We felt it was imperative that Gulfport fully understood how important this issue is to the communities served by Slope Creek“ stated Lacy Burkhart, one of the volunteers for the petition drive. The petition became a focal point for the newly formed Concerned Barnesville Area Residents, an organization dedicated to preserving the quality of local water resources, including water and air. The petition circulated in both paper and Internet formats over the summer and fall, with support coming from a broad spectrum of the community.Continue reading by clicking here.
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