Huron County, Mich., Bans Fracking

County commissioners are concerned for groundwater and air contamination and want to outlaw the practice.

by Bradley Massman, The Huron Daily Tribune / June 16, 2016

(TNS) — It’s been a hot topic county officials have discussed in recent months, but this week the commissioners made their stance official.

Fracking is a mining technique used to shatter subsurface shale rock to release oil and gas. It destabilizes the underlying shale, which can result in man-made earthquakes.

Previously, commissioners have considered banning fracking in Huron County because of the concern for groundwater and air contamination.

“I’m opposed to fracking and I think it’s a serious threat to our drinking water and our irrigation water, if fracking occurs in Huron County,” said Commissioner John Nugent. “There’s been too many problems associated with it and I just hope the board gives its full support with this resolution.”

In a 7-0 vote of support, commissioners passed a resolution at this week’s board meeting to officially state its opposition to fracking technology.

The resolution, in part, states: “… Huron County Board of Commissioners opposes fracking in Huron County and the state of Michigan and begs our representatives to recognize the risks of fracking and outlaw this dangerous practice before a catastrophic event occurs.”

The final decision on fracking sits with the state, Bodis added, and the state is not likely going to give the county authority over it.

“If you’re inclined to sign a lease, make sure you read it carefully,” Bodis said, explaining land owners need to fully read over property lease agreements before signing on the dotted line. “Ultimately, that responsibility on that issue falls on those people who sign the lease.”

Commissioner Clark Elftman told the board he recently spoke with Sen. Phil Pavlov and State Rep. Ed Canfield and they both oppose fracking.

“The simplest way to put it is don’t sign the lease. Then we won’t have the issue,” Bodis said.

“We also need the other counties on board because what happens there could affect us,” Bodis added. “I can’t imagine why you’d do that (fracking) when we’re surrounded by the largest bodies of fresh water.”

After each commissioner signed the resolution, a copy was forwarded to all Michigan counties, Gov. Rick Snyder, Pavlov, Canfield and the Michigan Association of Counties.

©2016 The Huron Daily Tribune (Huron, Mich.), Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.