Weathersfield woman urges ban on fracking

YOUNGSTOWN – A group spearheading an anti-fracking charter review amendment on Tuesday’s ballot hosted a Weathersfield woman with complaints about the disruption a well in her neighborhood is causing.

Backers of the ”Community Bill of Rights,” as they call it, held a news conference Friday afternoon under a billboard they have erected on North Meridan Road asking residents to vote in favor of the issue.

Pat McCrudden, who lives on Spring Pines Drive in Weathersfield, said drilling operations there have affected her health, claiming she can’t sleep because of the noise and light of a nearby drilling operation.

”It’s been a real pain,” McCrudden said.

Susie Beiersdorfer, a member of the group that put the measure on the ballot, said it is necessary because it would allow local residents to have a say in the drilling process, which is currently regulated by the state.

She said fracking is not safe and locally has caused earthquakes and pollution of the Mahoning River from a company that dumped drilling waste into sewers and waterways that lead to the Mahoning River.

”You are not being told the truth about fracking,” Beiersdorfer said.

The amendment would ban the process of fracking in trying to extract natural gas from the ground.

It also would ban transportation of oilfield waste through the city, ban creation of pipelines and other midstream facilities and ban corporations from using other corporations to engage in extraction of water from any surface in Youngstown for use in extracting shale gas or oil within city limits, along with other restrictions.

Alan Wenger, a member of a group of local businesses opposed to the ballot issue, said the issue can’t ban fracking even if it passes because it can’t supercede state law.

He did say, however, that passage of the measure could affect the city economically because of its prohibitions against the creation of pipelines and the tone it would set for businesses that want to come to the area.

”It does threaten a number of things that would probably result in economic hardship,” Wenger said.