Article courtesy by Russ Mitchel | February 13th 2013 | WKYC
MANSFIELD — The implication of drilling and fracking in Ohio hit home in Mansfield for Law Director John Spon.
“We’re not afraid of new technology, but we have an absolute duty to protect our city,” he explains
At issue are injection wells, which house the brine water leftover from fracking.
A Texas company, Preferred Fluids Management, wanted to drill two of them in Mansfield but, before ground could be broken, Spon raised a red flag.
“No one has ever done a study that determines the long-term affects of injecting millions and millions of barrels of toxic fluid into the ground within a defined area,” he says.
“What we do know, from past history, is that that toxic fluid will migrate and it can migrate vertically, and it can migrate to our water source, our drinking water source. So, that alone says there’s little room for mistake because, without water, that’s the end of the community.”
Spon drafted a historically unprecedented chemical trespass ordinance that would hold companies accountable if toxic fluid migrated into drinking water.
“Any company that really wants to responsibly move forward with their industry, then they need to be a shining example of what can be done when you work hand in hand with both their legitimate interest to make profit as well as the legitimate interest to protect the environment,” he says.
“I am very confident that somewhere along the road, in an age of technology, that we can find a middle ground, but we aren’t there because the industry so far does not want to spend those monies to do anything except maximize their profits for their short-term gains.”
The Texas company eventually cut their losses and backed off from drilling injection wells in Mansfield.
Spon continues to fight for his city’s best interests.
“A city like Mansfield makes nothing from [deep injection wells], and we’re left with the residual problem, which could jeopardize our community for generations to come.”