Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Youngstown, Ohio, Town Hall To Discuss Man-made Quakes, Gas Drilling Under Area Parks, Forest, Cemeteries

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2012
Youngstown, Ohio - On Monday, February 27, 2012, a group of concerned Youngstown citizens and panelists will hold the second in a series of open public town hall style informational meetings to provide new and updated information and to answer audience questions about events related to the 4.0 magnitude Youngstown area earthquake, fracking and related processes associated with shale gas drilling, and brine toxic waste injection wells.
New, additional topics will include risks involving the possibility of gas industry-related drilling under Poland Township’s Lowellville Cemetery, Mill Creek Park, and Poland Municipal Forest. The meeting is coordinated by Frackfree Mahoning Valley and will take place at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, Channing Hall, at 6-8 pm at 1105 Elm St. (Elm & Illinois), Youngstown, Ohio.  Media and the general public are invited to attend. 
Ohio State Representative Robert Hagan will be a panelist at the February 27nd town hall as will Geology Professor Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., who will give an earthquake update. Lynn Anderson, member of the Guardians of Mill Creek Park, will explain why hydraulic fracturing (fracking) near Mill Creek Park and the adjacent residential area should not be allowed.
In light of reported high risks of fracking to public health and safety, Frackfree Mahoning Valley is concerned about local and national accounts of actual drilling, or the possibility of gas well drilling, under or near cemeteries, homes, schools, Mill Creek Park, Poland Forest, farms and elsewhere.
According to geologist, Susie Beiersdorfer, who will moderate the town hall meeting, “More and more citizens are waking up to the reality of serious risks of fracking-related processes to drinking water and air quality, as well as man-made earthquakes in our area. The idea that there would be any discussion at all of placing injection wells or hydraulic fracturing wells near cemeteries, schools, homes, parks or forests is appalling and highly misguided, to say the least. It shows disregard of the public’s right to protect our health and safety.”
Despite the gas and oil industry’s lobbying and expensive advertising efforts to try to reassure people of the safety of its new technology, opposition to fracking remains strong.  A Quinnipiac University poll showed that 72 percent of Ohio voters say “…stop hydro-fracking until there are further studies on its impact.” (Quinnipiac University press release, 1/19/12; )
In New York State there is currently a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Officials must respond to citizens’ comments on whether or not to allow the hold on hydrofracking to be lifted. A Syracuse newspaper reports that most of the comments are against drilling. More specifically, “The Gannett newspapers reported in mid-December that comments up to that time were running 10 to 1 in opposition”,  according to The Post- Standard of Syracuse, New York. (2/20/12;   )
Residents from all regions are encouraged to attend the Youngstown meeting and to voice their concerns or questions.
For town hall meeting details or updates, see the Facebook event page at:
See the Frackfree Mahoning Valley website and sign up for a free e-mail announcement mailing list at:
For media inquiries or more information, e-mail: or call:

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