• By MICHAEL ROKNICK Herald Business Editor

Proposed wells for fracking waste stir up Brookfield residents

BROOKFIELD – Teresa Mills advised Brookfield residents who oppose fracking in their town to buy rubber chickens.

This wasn't a culinary suggestion. Rather, she said residents might need them at the next township meeting.

"You need to ask them questions and voice your concerns on fracking,'' Mills said. "If some of them don't show up, put the rubber chicken on their chair and raise it up every time you ask a question.''

It was one of the lighter moments when she spoke to 30 listeners Friday evening at Wyngate Manor, a manufactured home community in Brookfield. The Columbus environmental advocate gave a brief overview on fracking, then listened to audience members' worries and answered questions.

Mills works with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a nonprofit advocacy organization. She also is focused on what she sees as fracking industry abuses by working with the Buckeye Environmental Network, a non-profit environmental advocacy group.

A number of Brookfield residents oppose two disposal wells proposed for the township by Highland Field Services. Waste liquid from from hydraulic fracturing in the drilling process for oil and gas would be pumped into the wells. The residents' biggest fear is the wells might contaminate drinking water.

There are other concerns about these well, Mills said.

"These wells have a large volume of extremely salty brine and chemicals,'' she said. "Companies often inject this waste water down a shaft into a deep layer of porous rock for permanent disposal – which can trigger an earthquake.''

For the past several years small earthquakes in Trumbull and Mahoning counties in Ohio have been blamed on these injection wells.

"The industry is denying that there is a connection with drilling and the earthquakes,'' Mills said. Read more.

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