Nine people opposed to fracking spoke to the Barry County Commissioners during public comment time Tuesday encouraging them write county ordinances to control some aspects of the gas recovery process.
Fracking is the process of deep-shale natural gas drilling using high-pressure injection of water, sand, and chemicals to release trapped gas reserves in rocks deep below the earth’s surface.
Critics say the fluids and chemicals will likely migrate out of the original area into a water aquifer and pollute the ground water supply and harm the environment.
They believe the toxic chemicals used in the process are a danger to humans, animals and plant life that will be a legacy for future generations.
Most who spoke conceded that the commissioners may not be able to stop fracking in Barry County like one proposed in Carlton Township, but there are things they could control, like hours of operation to avoid light pollution and noise 24 hours a day, exposure to toxins and unlimited hours of heavy truck traffic damaging county roads.
The speakers said Barry County is a beautiful place with water, land and animals and the environment and residents should be protected. They urged commissioners to “fight the state” on fracking.
Jackie Schmitz, an anti-fracking activist, said other entities control parts of fracking by ordinance and there are several organizations that will help them develop sound ordinances. “There is plenty of room in the legal aspects of fracking,” she said.
David Stager told the commissioners if their hands were tied in one way, they should find another. “These are critical issues for our children and grandchildren…I think you should consider resigning if your hands are tied and you can’t find another way…I’m sure you care about this issue. Do the best you can.”
“I’m trying to understand why we’re not in this together,” another speaker said. “Why are we not all together on this? We’re your fellow citizens.”