MICHAEL CLINE: Writer concerned with plans for injection well

To the editor:

Following is an Open Letter mailed to Ross Micham of the EPA Water Division regarding the potential approval of a injection well in Fork Township.

November 7, 2015

Mr. Ross Micham

U.S. EPA Water Division

UIC Branch (WU-16J)

77 W. Jackson Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60604-3590

Re: Smith 1-17

Permit # MI-107-2D-0013

Dear Mr. Micham:

As a longtime resident of Big Rapids, MI in Mecosta County, I am greatly concerned that the permit you are considering for an injection well in Fork Township of this county will negatively impact the residents of Fork Township, the Village of Barryton, and the entire county.

I offer the following from a ProPublica Report:

  • There are more than 680,000 underground waste and injection wells nationwide, more than 150,000 of which shoot industrial fluids thousands of feet below the surface. Scientists and federal regulators acknowledge they do not know how many of the sites are leaking.
  • “In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted,” said Mario Salazar, an engineer who worked for 25 years as a technical expert with the EPA’s underground injection program in Washington. “A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die.”
  • “There is no certainty at all in any of this, and whoever tells you the opposite is not telling you the truth,” said Stefan Finsterle, a leading hydrogeologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who specializes in understanding the properties of rock layers and modeling how fluid flows through them. “You have changed the system with pressure and temperature and fracturing, so you don’t know how it will behave.”

If the aquifers of Fork Township are ruined from the brine/toxic waste from this injection well, residents of the area will have no source of drinking water and that catastrophe will not only render the area uninhabitable, but the entire county will be economically devastated.

I am urging you to conduct a public hearing on this permit so that the residents of this county can become aware of the dangers involved with this permit. In any event, I am requesting that this permit be rescinded.

Sincerely,

Michael E. Cline

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