The Athens County Fracking Action Network, formerly Athens FIG, will host a program to ready Athens County residents for the incidents that can arise from hydraulic fracturing. The event will take place on March 10 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 2 S College St, Athens. The “Readiness and Response” program is free and open to the public. Parking is available in a metered garage near the church for $.50 an hour, or in Ohio University lots along Mill St. open to the public on weekends.
Ed Wade from Wetzel County, West Virginia will speak at 2 p.m. about the necessity of preparation for industrial activity related to hydraulic fracturing. Because Wetzel County has experienced fracking since 2007, Wade has seen every stage of the process, including traffic, the building and operation of compressor stations and pipelines.
Wade, who works as a boilermaker, operates a video camera to film trucks on roads, well pads being constructed, and anything else he can find related to the industry. His goal is to help people deal with the situations that arise in a way that’s both informed and effective.
Speaking from years of experience dealing with citizens, land and industry, Wade will discuss responding to reports of incidents and emergencies including traffic accidents, spills and contamination, noise and air pollution, and working for industry compliance with laws and regulations. He’ll share some successful accommodations reached with industry to mitigate effects on citizens.
Following Wade’s address will be a presentation by Athens citizens Nancy Pierce and Kathi Scali on the rights of Ohio landowners and neighbors affected by fracking. Athens County residents want to know: “Do I own my mineral rights?” “Is there a gas lease on my land?” “How do I find out?” These are the kinds of questions on the rights and responsibilities of citizens affected by oil and gas drilling that will be addressed.
To end the program, Matt Trokan of the Ohio Sierra Club will give a brief overview of the Sentinel Program that aims to empower local community groups and individuals with the tools and knowledge to monitor water quality. Following his presentation will be a Sentinel training that will provide citizens with instruction and equipment to successfully monitor water sources. RSVP’s are required to participate in the sentinel training at the end of the program. Email Rachel Hyden at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.