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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Using natural gas for the city fleet is ill-advised

July 13, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

The 2005 Safe Drinking Water Act has an exemption that excuses natural gas fracking from the same water quality oversight as other industries.

The gas industry claims fracking is safe and that methane leaks and toxic chemical exposure experienced by property owners near the drilling sites are the result of natural causes.

If this is so, why does the industry need to hide behind their exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law that all other industries have to abide by? Shouldn’t they play by the same rules?

During the fracking process, a concrete cylinder is poured that is 1-inch thick and up to a mile deep. It holds the water combined with the chemicals. If the underground cylinder cracks, the concrete cannot be repaired, and the leaked chemicals cannot be cleaned up.

Does the driveway in front of your house have cracks? How old is it? How many years will 1-inch of concrete protect the water table from being contaminated with the known carcinogenic and neurotoxic chemicals that are used in fracking?

Because it has been told that natural gas is cleaner and greener, the city of Columbia is making a well-intentioned decision to invest in natural gas for some of the vehicles in its fleet and to even participate in an evolving nationwide service station system.

The irreversible damage that is occurring to the drinking water of property owners as a result of fracking should prompt us to reverse that decision.

Evan Prost lives in Columbia.