Raisin Township residents worried about proposed fracking injection well

Raisin Township residents worried about proposed fracking injection well

RAISIN TWP., MI (WTOL) - A proposed underground injection site from a fracking operation has some residents in Lenawee county worried and looking for answers.

According to Jim Palmer, the superintendent of the township of Raisin, there was no public input regarding the installation of an oil well along E. Valley Road which used fractured drilling, more commonly referred to a "Fracking".

Now an injection well is also being planned, and he wants to make sure a public meeting takes place before it is built.

Fracking uses a high pressure water mixture to break up rock deep below the surface to expose more natural gas or oil.

The well on E. Valley Road was fractured last year by Savoy Energy out of Traverse City.

The company then paid land owners so they could lay a line down for the oil to travel.

"They're pumping that oil from here, to about 3 miles to the west of us, to a main site and it's going through residential properties," said Palmer.

A planned second pump site here has been put on hold because it would have been adjacent to a historic cemetery.

But the EPA has approved a permit for an injection well on the same property, about 400 yards away from the well that is currently being drilled.

"The state has already been out here, they've been out here about 6 or 8 times," said Cal Byrn who owns the property that neighbors the drill site.

After fracking is complete, the water that was used becomes a toxic Brine.

That brine is what will be pumped into the injection well, 2,300 feet below the surface and sealed in cement.

But folks here are concerned about that toxic substance being under their land, and less than a mile away from the River Raisin.

"Of course, I think we have every right to have some opinion on it for, you know, as long as we've lived here, and this is still our property up here, we should have some say so on it," said Cal's wife Linda Byrn.

Though no public input is legally needed for Savoy to build the injection well, they still need approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

And Jim Palmer feels if people here are concerned, they deserve to hear answers from the company directly.

"We want to learn what is going on. It's only fair to tell the truth," said Palmer. "I mean, if they've got methods to keep it very very safe, and there'd be no problems, well then tell us, show us!"

Palmer will request the Raisin Township Board to file an appeal to hold a public information meeting before the EPA permit becomes effective.

If you live in Raisin Charter Township, and would like more information on the fracking project, you can call the township office at 517-423-3162.

You can also read the permits yourself at the Lenawee County Public Library.

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