Letter to the Editor: LWVO shares concerns on proposed fracking

Kent Weeklies

Over the years, the League of Women Voters of Ohio has raised many concerns in public forums and through statehouse testimony about drilling for natural gas with the process of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking").  The process uses high-pressure water containing undisclosed chemicals to break up shale deposits a mile or more below ground. There is a big land use footprint in this process.   

In addition to serious problems with air and water pollution at the well site, fracking presents hazardous-materials issues. The reluctance of drillers to reveal the chemical composition of their drilling fluids is of great concern, and LWVO has focused its advocacy on right-to-know legislation so that the compositions will be publicly available.  An added complication is radioactive material released from underground during drilling. Additionally, there have been instances of illegal dumping. 

Therefore, because much research indicates that the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can be detrimental to air and water quality, the League of Women Voters opposes the city of Akron’s plan to sell leasing rights at LaDue Reservoir in Geauga County. 

This is of regional concern because Akron’s two sources of fresh water for 300,000 people throughout Summit County could be affected.  Additionally, many residents of Geauga County rely on wells for their fresh water and the possible ill effects upon their water should also be of great concern.  

Lastly, the Upper Cuyahoga is a designated Scenic and Recreational River and should not be hosting a major fracking operation.  

On Feb.4, Mayor Horrigan Akron announced that he was withdrawing the proposal to allow fracking for gas and oil beneath city-owned watershed land at the LaDue Reservoir.

We urge the city of Akron to look for other means to raise necessary funds for its coffers.   

Rosanne Winter, Ph.D., President, League of Women Voters, Akron Area 

Carol O’Connell, Ph.D., President, League of Women Voters, Hudson