FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News From Protect Michigan Waters From Fracking Campaign
Monday, Nov. 7, 2011
Package of bills introduced in state legislature would enact common-sense reforms for hydrofracking in Michigan
GRAYLING – Michigan conservation groups and concerned citizens joined together today with Representative Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing) outside a Northern Michigan drilling site to support newly introduced legislation to protect Michigan’s waters from fracking. Three additional events were held Monday around the state in Lansing, Bloomfield Hills and Grand Rapids to urge the legislature to take action on similar legislation.
“My livelihood is predicated upon clean water,” said Lance Weyeneth, who owns a local business in Gaylord. “Michigan’s waters drive our tourism industry and we must ensure that we do not harm our water resources.”
Today’s press conference was held outside of an active fracking well pad on Sunset Trail Road between Grayling and Kalkaska. The Excelsior 1-25 HD 1 natural gas well in Kalkaska County, operated by Encana Oil & Gas Incorporated, is one of several active fracking sites in Michigan, which continue to endanger Michigan waters.
“The common-sense solutions in this package of bills will ensure safeguards are in place to better protect public health and our natural resources,” said Nic Clark of Clean Water Action. “By requiring the full disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process and enacting stronger water and air protections, we are mitigating the risks fracking poses to Michigan’s water resources, including the Great Lakes.”
“As a property owner on the Au Sable River, I know the incredible value of Michigan’s fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hunting economy,” said Representative Meadows. “The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that hydrofracking does not impact our water resources.”
The package of bills as introduced would:
- Remove the exemption status for the natural gas industry, requiring them to comply to existing state water withdrawal regulations.
- Pushes pause on fracking by establishing a moratorium on drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing in certain shale formations until recommendations are issued by the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Committee.
- Require the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Natural Resources (DNR), to conduct a comprehensive study of the impacts associated with the extraction of natural gas and fracking process.
- Require companies to disclose chemicals being used in drilling and fracking operations in Michigan.
The Protect Michigan Waters from Fracking Campaign is comprised of members from various environmental groups, including Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC), Friends of the Jordan River Watershed, Lone Tree Council, Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition, and the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC). The campaign is calling for common-sense solutions – like the legislation introduced Thursday – that will reduce the risk fracking poses to the public and Michigan’s natural resources.
The package of bills were introduced on Thursday, November 3rd in the Michigan House of Representatives.