Georgia public meeting to address local fracking concerns

The fracking process involves injecting millions of gallons of highly pressurized water, sand, and chemicals into horizontally-drilled wells in underground shale formations. The pressurized mixture causes the underlying rock layer to crack, and the sand holds the cracks open, allowing the gas to escape and flow up the well. (© iStock)

To help property owners better understand their mineral rights and to discuss concerns associated with fracking in Georgia, the Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI) will host an informational meeting on Thursday, February 18.

The agenda will address the wide range of impacts from opening rural areas to oil and gas exploration, including the burdens on local water supplies, industrialization, and the heavy truck traffic involved in storing and transporting the extracted fuel. 

Fracking is a controversial drilling technique used to extract fossil fuels found in underground shale formations. Since 2013, oil and gas companies have increasingly approached property owners in northwest Georgia seeking to purchase mineral rights in hopes of tapping into the Conasauga Shale Field that underlies much of the area. More recently, a number of property owners in the Armuchee area have been solicited.

“Many local residents have contacted us for help and advice, and this meeting is an opportunity to educate individual property owners and the community as a whole about the real risks fracking can pose,” said David Tucker, CRBI Executive Director. “We don’t want this kind of fossil fuel exploration to possibly compromise our air and water. SELC’s insight on fracking impacts and regulatory issues in other states will be valuable as we deal with this issue in our own backyards.”

While parts of the fracking process have been used for decades, recent technological advancements have piqued industry interest in exploring areas previously thought unsuitable for fracking.

Where fracking has occurred, some communities have experienced significant transformation from its large industrial footprint. Without strong regulations in place, these communities can face unwanted disruption and public health risks, including contamination of local air and water resources.

SELC will explore some of the environmental and community concerns around fracking and the rights of local citizens during the February 18th informational session.

Those interested in attending the meeting at 7 p.m. in Armuchee Middle School are asked to register using this link.

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