Fracktivists March on Canton City Hall as Council Discusses Drilling Proposal

From The Canton Repository:
Service Director Warren Price told City Council on Monday night that the proliferation of gas and oil drilling in the area is one of the reasons for embarking on a comprehensive study of the city’s water system.
Price made the presentation prior to committee meetings Monday.
He said he believes that gas and oil drilling is occurring less than three miles from the city’s Sugar Creek well fields in Tuscarawas County using the process known as hydraulic fracturing.
The Sugar Creek well fields and facility is one of three the city operates. Each facility draws water from an underground source.
Price, however, told council that while potential water contamination related to oil and gas drilling is definitely a concern, the top threat to water safety continues to be a chemical spill on the surface that could seep into the underground sources that supply the three city facilities.
Price and Tyler Converse, the city’s water superintendent, made the presentation to council Monday partly because of the mayor’s proposal to lease the mineral rights on some city-owned properties for gas and oil drilling. Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants, of Westerville, has been hired for the study, which includes water safety.
The mineral rights-related legislation received its second reading Monday.
Councilman Greg Hawk, D-1, said that council needs “a lot more information ... before we make a decision.”
Read the rest of that article here.

Another article from the Repository breaks down the protesters' changed plans yesterday:
A group protesting the possibility of oil and gas drilling on city-owned property changed its plans Monday after a man died working at a Tuscarawas County oil and gas well site.
Local members of Food & Water Watch and supporters had planned a mock funeral, “mourning” potential contamination of city water from drilling on city-owned property.
The plan was for a funeral procession, complete with coffin, from Chesapeake Energy offices at Third Street SE and Cherry Avenue, to City Hall.
“We’re going to do a silent march in honor of that person who died, and then we are going into the council meeting to testify,” said Kristine Vaughan of Perry Township, local coordinator for FWW.
The protest was aimed at Mayor William J. Healy II’s proposal to lease the mineral rights on some city-owned property. Of particular concern is the hydraulic fracturing method of drilling, called fracking.
Read the rest of that article here.

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