Traverse City Record-Eagle

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August 18, 2013

Fracking waste worries grow


Public in the dark

Beemon, of the anti-fracking group, said she doesn't believe DEQ officials intentionally hid the information, but no one from the public knew enough to ask the question.

Minutes from an October 2012 Cheboygan County Road Commission meeting indicate county officials weren't aware of what went on their roads.

Cheboygan Road Commission Manager Michael Roper said he questioned Team Services' representatives, whom he described as "honest" about the use of fracking fluid.

"They said none of the fracking flow-back fluid was shipped to Cheboygan County and if it had come to Cheboygan County it was approved by DEQ," Roper told his board in October 2012, according to the board minutes.

It wasn't until anti-fracking groups received their public records request in December 2012 that they realized Team Services had applied another 19,000 gallons of fracking liquid onto Cheboygan County roads and into a private campground.

Nic Clark is Michigan director for environmentalist group Clean Water Action. He's followed the fracking fluid brining incident in Kalkaska County because he hails from Torch Lake and his family deer camp is off of Sunset Trail, where more than 21,000 gallons of fracking flow-back fluid were applied on less than five miles of road in the spring of 2012.

"I have deep personal concerns about the issue," Clark said. "There are so many areas where the regulations for fracking could be improved and many other areas that none exist."

Legislation for a moratorium and study of fracking introduced in the state legislature in 2011 failed to go anywhere. Clark said environmental groups are working to get the legislation reintroduced this year.

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