Last updated: August 10. 2014 8:01AM - 621 Views

Members of Pee Dee W.A.L.L. and their families stand outside the Anson County Government Center in Wadesboro, displaying anti-fracking signs.
Members of Pee Dee W.A.L.L. and their families stand outside the Anson County Government Center in Wadesboro, displaying anti-fracking signs.
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A local environmental group is stepping up the pressure on state officials to keep the process of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale rock, from coming to Anson County.

Pee Dee W.A.L.L. is inviting all Anson County residents to “an urgent meeting on fracking” Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hampton B. Allen Library in Wadesboro. Pee Dee W.A.L.L. plans to adopt a chemical disclosure resolution that members of the group say can potentially stop fracking from coming into Anson County.

“If you have never been involved in environmental issues before, this is one issue worth fighting,” said Denise Lee, president of Pee Dee W.A.L.L. “I know you love your family and county too much to allow this great fracking tragedy to happen here.”

For the past year and a half, Pee Dee W.A.L.L., a nonprofit group of concerned citizens, has been working to protect Anson County’s environment and natural resources from fracking. In order to “frack” one well, up to 10 million gallons of fresh water and sand tainted with a cocktail of over 500 hazardous chemicals is pumped into the ground. This water can never be used again.

Cary Rodgers, pastor of Pathway to Peace Ministries and community organizer with Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, said, “From my detailed research, there is nothing good about fracking for Anson County. Reports from other states that have allowed fracking reveal that both well and municipal water systems are at high risks of contamination.”

He continued, “Water is one of our most valuable resources, especially for our farmers. Once our water is contaminated with fracking’s toxic brew it will never be the same again.”

In addition to a decline in water quality in areas where fracking is allowed, there have also been reports of increased air pollution, agricultural damage, sick livestock and an increased burden on rural community infrastructure.

Last spring, Pee Dee W.A.L.L., along other Anson County citizens, were able to strategize and energize a grassroots effort to convince Anson County commissioners to place a five-year fracking moratorium in Anson County. Earlier this summer, however, the N.C. state legislature made fracking legal statewide. Currently, provisions in this law can legally challenge Anson County’s fracking moratorium and make it null and void. It is projected that the state will begin issuing permits for oil and gas companies to drill as early as next spring.

“Despite the legalization of fracking in the state, we can still put together more legal strategies to protect our water, air, lives, and assets in Anson County,” Lee said. “Did you know that the current N.C. fracking rules now allow a fracking well to only be 650 feet from your house? Do you want that?”

Rodgers added, “We are still at great risk and the fight is heating up. We need each other to keep up the fight. This is not the time to sit and relax. Do you want a loud industrial, air and water polluting fracking well next to your country home or neighborhood? I did not move here for that!”

For more information, visit www.nccitizensagainstfracking.org, email peedeewall@yahoo.com or call 704-826-6324.

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