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Parents In Erie Form Group To Fight Against Fracking

ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – Some parents in Erie have comprised a group called “Erie Rising.” They say their issue with an approved fracking project near two of their schools is just the beginning of their fight.

Erie Rising was formed about 4 weeks ago as the drilling site has been getting prepped. In the next few weeks Erie Rising is planning a full campaign attempting a ban on the practice of fracking in the town of Erie.

Encana representatives say Red Hawk Elementary would have the most impact from traffic because of proposed access to the drilling site. Meanwhile, Erie Elementary is closer to the drilling site. That school’s issue will include view and noise. But parents who live there say health concerns are their issue.

“I feel like I’m sitting on top of something that isn’t healthy for my family,” concerned parent Wendy Leonard said.

Leonard is one of many parents in Erie frustrated by fracking. Two of her children attend Red Hawk Elementary.

“The light bulb clicked when I realized how many families that live in Erie have sick children,” Leonard said.

Fracking is the hydraulic fracturing of rock that contains gas and oils so they can be collected. The materials used are controversial and believed to contaminate water and air supplies.

“The start date hasn’t been determined yet,” Wendy Weidenbeck with Encana said.

Encana representatives say they’ve had a presence in Erie since 2006 with 325 producing wells, among other companies drilling on that shale basin. They believe the practice of fracking is safe but recognize that drilling near schools may come with challenges. They will soon meet with school and district officials to discuss concerns.

“And determine if there are things we should look at like traffic patterns, hours of operations, or changing the date all together,” Weidenbeck said.

“I’d like to ask them to show me the proof that it’s safe, because I have proof that it’s not,” Leonard said.

Members of Erie Rising say they want fracking stopped, which is why the group says they are now working with an environmental legal group to try and ban the practice of fracking in their town.

“My plan is, and I’m not the only one, is not to stay here,” Leonard said.

Encana says they will have their meeting with the school district soon, and then hold a community meeting to hear feedback from people who live near the drilling sites.

Erie Rising says they plan to be at a town hall meeting on Jan. 10 to make their fight public.

  • 762x51

    Another liberal moron screeching about something about which she knows absolutely nothing. Fracking has been around for more than 50 years and has never been a problem. Go out and work a rig and see for yourself how it works. Until then, shut the hell up, nobody cares what you filthy libs think.

  • Red_Hawk_Parent

    While I agree that the parents running this group may be reacting emotionally rather than rationally, I think the previous commenter is a bit out of line. Right or wrong, we’re all entitled to our opinions, and thank goodness and our forefathers for that! I’m an Erie parent as well, and my kids go to the same school as the kids of the woman interviewed for this article. I’d love to see her “proof” that Erie’s gas production isn’t safe! From what I’ve heard around town, many of the symptoms blamed on fracking are just the standard side effects of living in a high mountain desert (headaches & nosebleeds).

    • wendy l

      Hi, I’m the “liberal moron” you referred to in your above comment. Actually, I’m more conservative than liberal…but thanks for the stereotyping. Before you start your rant using verbally abusive language, please educate yourself on natural gas fracturing. Obviously, you don’t live in a community that has producing natural gas wells right in your backyard or next to your children’s schools and playgrounds. We have many children who are experiencing symptoms that are in line with recent and chronic chemical exposures. So why don’t you move yourself to Erie, CO within 500 feet from a producing well and see what symptoms you and your children experience…or as you said, “see how it works”.

      • corey

        You really should educate yourself on the technologies and components used in fracturing. Fracing is not something that is new, its been around for 50 years plus with no problems. Now that people have other health concerns they run to whatever they can to place the blame on someone or something else other than themseleves. Erie is a town that has been growing…and with that comes more traffic pollution, water wells being drilled, homes are being built and they use tons of chemicals in that process. People also don’t take into account their own lifestyles, what they eat (the additives in food), what chemicals they use in their homes(cleaners, carpet cleaners, bleach), etc. I grew up in the area around Erie with both oil and gas wells in our back yard; I never developed health probelms nor did my father growing up on the same farm. We are now going on 4 generations living on the same farm with no issues and one well is litertally 40 yds from the front door. This is just something else to complain about….you don’t want to support drilling and natural gas production, but its funny because all of those complainers go home to their warm houses heated by natural gas. And if prices of gas were to go up they would be upset about not increasing the supply.

  • Wendy Hackleman Leonard

    I have educated myself. Thank you for your feedback, but I’ve already come to my own conclusions and don’t feel the need to argue anymore. It’s a waste of my time and energy, when the real issue at hand is making Erie a safer place to live. Thanks for your 2 cents…

  • Jim

    Actually Corey, you should educate yourself before you spread further propaganda on fracking. High volume slickwater horizontal hydrofracturing is a recent development and has only been used for a couple of years. Yes, vertical fracking has been around for years. Horizontal fracking versus the old style vertical fracking is a matter of scale because the wellbores are exponentially longer when the drill is turned and goes sideways through the shale horizontally, up to a mile and a half. Vertical hydrofracking, uses a regulated maximum of eighty thousand gallons of water. High Volume hydrofracking requires three to eight million gallons of water per well and twenty tons of chemicals additives per million gallons.

    So actually it’s you who should “educate yourself on the technologies and components used in fracturing.”

    Interestingly, this new method of HORIZONTAL fracking is exempt from the
    Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. This group of parents have educated themselves and have enough foresight to see that fracking is not in the best interests of the people, but of the corporations who seek to profit at any cost.

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