The Norman Transcript


May 15, 2014

Water shouldn’t be subjected to risks

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

At the April 30 Council Oversight meeting, council members discussed possible rate increases for bulk water purchases. This meeting was partly a response to the concerns raised in recent Journal Record articles. These stories have focused on a gas driller purchasing large volumes of city water.

There are other important public health issues that need to be considered, as well. Norman has no policies to ensure gas drilling sites remain a safe distance from groundwater sources, watersheds or residential areas. This complete lack of regulation makes our city a very inviting place to frack.

The well site at Franklin Road is within the Little River watershed. It is surrounded on three sides by the Little River itself. The site also is bordered by three residential areas.

There no air pollution abatements in place to protect neighbors from the hazards associated with gas drilling — escaped methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemical vapors and exhausts from heavy truck traffic and electric generators.

The driller also has leased property just next the North Fork Little River to use as a disposal site for the so-called “drilling muds” and wastewater. The land application of shale gas wastewater is known to contaminate stormwater runoff and carry pollutants to surface waters.

Surface waters like the Little River and its tributaries replenish Lake Thunderbird, our main source for drinking water. If a large spill occurred, our existing water treatment facilities would be unable to remove many of the undisclosed chemicals used in fracking.

These other unregulated aspects of gas drilling have not received much attention locally, but they are equal in importance to the issues of groundwater quality and bulk water sales.

Many cities around the country are adopting all-out bans on drilling in watersheds and residential areas. In December, the Dallas City Council adopted a law requiring a minimum buffer of 1,500 feet between gas wells and homes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Natural beauty makes way for parking

    Editor, The Transcript: In support and response to an editorial in The Transcript on June 28 by Pam McIntosh, I am writing this article. In the early ‘70s, many years ago, I lived in what was known as the Sooner Mobile Home Park on South ...

    July 20, 2014