Hydraulic fracturing threatens WNC’s beauty, water

Western North Carolina has it all: picture-postcard scenery with pristine water. Unfortunately, hydraulic fracturing threatens it.

Fracking is an industrial process using millions of gallons of our pure mountain water mixed with toxic chemicals pumped underground at extremely high pressure to break apart natural gas-infused rock.

Each well poisons 3 million to 5 million gallons of clean water. There is no “safe” treatment or disposal for this when it returns to the surface.

There has been a huge increase in earthquakes since fracking began in Oklahoma (according to CNN).

Well water has been permanently poisoned in many areas that have been fracked in Pennsylvania (according to USA Today).

Homes have become uninhabitable as a result of toxic air pollution caused by fracking in Texas, where nosebleeds, migraines, vision problems, nausea, rashes and vomiting were caused by a neighbor’s fracking wells (again, CNN).

We don’t need huge trucks rumbling by our homes at all hours, clear-cutting for new roads and pipelines crisscrossing our fragile mountainsides. We don’t need 20-foot-tall gas flare-offs lighting up the night sky and the whine of giant compressors keeping us up night after night.

There are no rules, no promises, no regulations and no amount of money that can fix fracked groundwater. Once the groundwater is contaminated, it is poisoned forever. That risk is unacceptable.

Our homes are our greatest investment, our greatest achievement, our greatest gift to our children. Let us preserve this gift for future generations. Tell our county commissioners. Tell our state legislators.

State Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, now claims that fracking probably won’t come to WNC, yet the law he co-sponsored was designed so that local citizens can’t block it. In November, we need to retire Mr. Davis. We need to outlaw fracking before it starts, before it’s too late.

Dan Kowal

Franklin

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