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Brea community seeks discussion on fracking close to home

3 years ago by in ( City Guide , News , Welcome to Brea )
The oil- and gas-extraction technique that is used in Brea area is on the public’s mind.

    BY TERRI DAXON

      Are you aware that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is done near Brea’s city limits? I wasn’t, until the May 20 Brea City Council meeting when 13 people spoke during Matters from the Audience about fracking and the need for some public discussion on it. Many of the speakers were from the newly formed group Stop Fracking Brea and from the Brea Congregational Church.

        Hydraulic fracturing is a technique the energy industry uses to extract oil and gas from rock. They inject high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals deep into the ground.

          Another method employed by oil drillers is acidizing, a process that injects hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid into oil wells to dissolve underground rock and allow the oil and gas to flow up through the oil well.

            According to sourcewatch.org hydrofluoric acid corrodes glass, steel and rock. Imagine what it does to our air.

              Many authorities claim fracking causes earthquakes. According to Lucy Jones, U.S. Geological Survey Seismologist and Southern California’s renowned earthquake expert, fracking itself does not cause earthquakes.

                Instead, Jones stated in a reddit.com Ask Me Anything discussion after the March 28 La Habra earthquake, the polluted water and chemicals used in the process usually are pumped deeper into the earth, far below the water table.

                  She said that is what is setting off earthquakes on the East Coast. Could that happen in Brea?

                    Eric Nicoll, Brea’s director of Public Works, said Brea owns and leases 19 oil wells near the sports park but no fracking takes place at that site.

                      Fracking in the Brea area didn’t get much attention here until the La Habra earthquake.

                        Jennifer Hefner said she first learned about fracking near Brea and the possible connection of fracking and earthquakes through Brea’s nextdoor.com a private social network for neighborhoods.

                          “I knew of fracking but did not learn that fracking was taking place in California or that it could be happening here in Brea,” Hefner said.

                            She and others started stopfrackingbrea.com.

                              Via email, Mayor Brett Murdock stated that he and Mayor Pro Tem Christine Marick have instructed staff to be prepared to place on the agenda a discussion and information item on fracking.

                                “We have requested that the item be in the main council chambers so there will be plenty of room for all participants and the information will be recorded so that community members that cannot make the meeting can learn about the issue as well.”

                                  Councilman Marty Simonoff said he asked nearly two months ago that a town hall meeting on fracking be held.

                                    “I knew the issue would be coming up,” he said.

                                      Nicoll said this is a regional issue and a public meeting should include all of the north Orange County cities, experts from both the oil and gas industry, and those opposed to fracking.

                                        At the City Council meeting Tuesday, City Manager Tim O’Donnell said fracking would be on the Council’s July 15 agenda. It’s a start.

                                          Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. As a Local Opinion Columnist for the Orange County Register, She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at daxoncomm@earthlink.net
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