New concerns about fracking surface at Board of Health meeting

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Updated: 2/15/2013 9:50 pm
The Board of Health that met Friday, largely consisted of routine updates.  One, However, has been an emotional topic for a long time: Hydraulic fracturing.  The engineering commonly used to recover resources from the earth.  The pros and cons have been so often debated, and now a new concern was brought up, one that hadn't been discussed among the group, at least.

Lubbock resident, David Haynes, spoke at the city council meeting Thursday, said "every source that I found in regard to fracking, there were horror stories to follow."

Since the subject of fracking in Lubbock was brought up, it has been an emotional topic for many residents.  Some are against the practice, some believe fracking is only helping.

Dr. Donald May of the Lubbock Board of Health told us "fracking has brought down, just in the past two years, it has brought down the cost of natural gas from about 12 dollars per thousand cubic feet to about two dollars per thousand cubic feet."

Concerns that have been brought up before are water pollution, air pollution and the effect on property values.  The latest worry, brought up at the meeting, would effect everyone in Lubbock.

Dr. Anne Apstein who is on the Fracking Committee for the Board of Health said "I think it's of tremendous importance of us in Lubbock, is concern about water quantity issues."  Lubbock resident Grace Rogers added "Lubbock just doesn't have a lot of water to spare.  And so to frack wells is, is scary for me."

Chair of the Lubbock Board of Health, Dr. Brian Carr, agrees great care needs to be taken when considering the use of such a vital resource. "We need to be good stewards of it and jealously guard it.  And so I think as long as there's a concern that water depletion as well as contamination of ground water is something that we want to make sure that that's not going to be a problem, even in our quest for energy which is good for all of us.  In the end we can import our oil, but we can't import our water" he said.

Rogers was astounded when she found out how much water is required for fracking, but she still balls for a balanced approach, "we live basically in an arid land where we live.  And without water we would not have a city like we do.  And I realize we need energy too, so it has to be done thoughtfully and wisely and balanced."

Board of Health members will continue their research and dialogue on fracking before presenting recommendations to city council.
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