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Fracking on the Neck raises host of concerns

Date published: 2/11/2014

During the past six weeks there have been public meetings at various levels of government regarding fracking and its possible impact on the Northern Neck.

People have expressed concerns about the impact on sustainable water supplies, fumes in the air, holding pits for hazardous chemicals and impact on the current infrastructure (road systems throughout the area). Also, if things do not go well (small accidents), who will be liable? Who monitors the fracking operations to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and who will be responsible for that financial liability? Will the fox be put in charge of the hen house?

On Dec. 12, the public learned at a meeting in Montross from one of the speakers, Gwen Lachelt, that there are more than 3,000 wells in the area of La Plata County, Colo., where she resides. That area is just a patchwork of wells. The footprint on the land is large and quite invasive.

The speaker's theme during that meeting was for us to be vigilant about the unintended consequences of hydraulic fracturing operations.

Perhaps the historic Northern Neck is not the right place? With its proximity to the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, will this endeavor be worth the risk?

One thing that is certain is it will have a visual impact on the land. It's hard to believe that it would be very attractive.

Brenda Hamilton Hynson

King George