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Fracking opponents: What they said

“We want unannounced reviews and inspections by DENR. It’s like a drug test. You tell them they’re going to be drug tested? They’re clean. So we want unannounced inspections, number one. We want records kept for a minimum of 50 years, not 5 years. We want no wide-range variances on regulations. We don’t want favors given out to criminals that are fracking our land.”

— Louise Heath, Cherokee tribal member


“What’s the point of giving a person a job only to ultimately poison the community that person lives in?”

— Nick Breedlove, mayor of Webster

“This is not right for our state. This is not the kind of jobs we want to see here in North Carolina. And please when you go home tonight, think about the families and neighbors who you’ll potentially be putting in harm’s way. I strongly encourage you to put the best laws we can have in place, in place.”

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— Timothy Sedler

“You’re basically saying after six months if there’s not elevated levels [of contaminants] they can stop testing on the full parameters. That definitely won’t stop slow-moving contaminants.”

— Valerie Blandnette

“The rules do not address eminent domain, forced pooling, split estates, how landowners are going to be compensated due to decreased property value.”

— Susan Leading Fox, Bryson City

“If they can save themselves a half a million dollars by reinjecting toxic fluids into that well, what’s your $10,000 fine going to mean to them? We have to at least set it up so if they violate a law, the fine is at least 10 times as much as the money they would save by violating that law.”

— Bettie Ashby, Dillsboro

“The closer that you live to a fracking well, the more dangerous it is for you. That’s why the 650-foot setback from buildings is woefully insufficient.” 

— Amy Adams, North Carolina campaign coordinator for Appalachian Voices

“You need to broaden your definition of fracking to include acquisition of sourcewater,  well construction, well saturation and wastewater disposal. Your rules need to stipulate that they regulate both the exploration and the production.”

— Donna Dupree, Jackson County 

“I urge you to please revise the rules so it bans surface discharge of treated fracking wastewater. North Carolina has no framework to deal with those chemicals and no treatment facilities.”

— Sarah Kellogg, Jackson County

“Water that can never be rendered clean. Water that can poison everything felt and seen. Leaving future generations a wasteland to call home. And with nowhere left to roam.”

— Thomas Crowe of Tuckasegee, reading for Dillsboro poet Michael Revere

“Inspections must be done by the North Carolina DENR and they must be unannounced to the fracking companies. Expecting the companies to self-regulate would be like expecting my students not to cheat if I left the room and told them to be honest.”

— Sara Martin, environmental biology teacher at Haywood Community College

“Bonds are supposed to provide a guarantee to landowners, to local governments, to the public, but the rules allow for a wide range of financial instruments such as letters of standby credit or assignments from savings accounts that simply do not assure the state that sufficient resources will be there in case of accidents or damage.”

— Sally Morgan, Clean Water for North Carolina

“The setback distance of only 650 feet from occupied homes and high-occupancy buildings is much too short based on the finding of the study by the Harvard researchers. The minimum setback distance should be at least 1 mile.”

— Jim McGlinn

“The real problem here is not at the state level. It’s at the federal level.”

— Tom Hill, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, referencing the group of exemptions called the Halliburton loophole

“There is a future, and it’s spelled S-O-L-A-R.”

— David Wheeler

“The current draft rules fail to address these huge risks to our health and the environment. I’m talking about air and water. I believe that the wells would have to be 10 miles from any [water] well, either public or private.”

— Cathy Holt

“We were told [at the Sept. 2 forum hosted by N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin] that bananas also have radiation. In reference to a question about earthquakes, we were told that seismic activities can be caused by us walking across a stage. In reference to a question about methane gas, we were told that cows produce just as much methane. I feel that we were being mocked. You don’t have to convince me that the energy companies are just as flatulent as our bovine friends. 

— Soloman Erfan, Macon County

“The next generation of Americans, my generation, we already have a crippling national debt to put up with, so frankly I don’t want to have to put up with an ecological disaster as well.”

— Cody Elder, political science major at WCU

“Remember, you’re humans, we’re humans. We’re one people. We need you to stand with us.”

— Russell Johnson, political talk show host in Asheville

“Industry representatives claim these studies are invalid because there is no baseline data to show that the water was not contaminated prior to fracking. This is a misunderstanding about how science works, but it does make an important point about the need for baseline data before fracking begins.”

— Barbara Hart, biology teacher at Southwestern Community College

“You don’t even know where the landslide risks are, let alone how to establish protections that can deal with the specific problems. That’s because these regulations aren’t addressed to Western North Carolina.”

— Peter Robbins, Madison County

“Clean water is not a partisan value. Clean water is a Western North Carolina value. I support reinstating the moratorium on fracking.”

— Jane Hipps, candidate for state Senate

“I no longer recognize the state in which I was born.”

— George Rector, Cullowhee

“I can’t find anywhere in your proposed rules any mention of compensation or assistance for people displaced by fracking. They must compensate the affected residents at a minimum of $8,000 to $10,000 if you have to move your trailer, because that is expensive to do.”

— Garrett Lagen, Jackson County social worker

“The commission should request that the Environmental Management Commission adopt state air toxic standards and permitting requirements for pollutant not currently regulated by the state’s air toxic’s program and address air toxics related to diesel as well. In addition, continuous ambient air monitoring for fracking wells near occupied buildings must be required.”

— Katie Hicks, Clean Water for North Carolina

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