Dennis Welch: Open pit storage wrong

October 29, 2013 

The Oct. 25 letter “N.C. not ideal for fracking” raised important concerns.

The concern that fracking fluids and wastewater can get into ground and lake water because of our region’s geology should also include severe weather events. Heavy rains from a hurricane on our coast would easily inundate ground-level storage of fracking fluids and wastewater, thereby polluting our waters and lands. Such pollution would occur especially if there is approval of the rule proposed by N.C.’s Mining and Energy Commission to allow fracking wastewater to be stored in open pits. Besides the stink and air pollution from open pits, underground leakage from them would be inevitable because (as the EPA has shown) no pit liners, even if doubled, can withstand a corrosive brew of caustic chemicals over the long term.

Gov. Pat McCrory, the General Assembly and the MEC have repeatedly promised that N.C. will have the “safest hydraulic fracking regulations in the country.” Ignoring our region’s geology and storing fracking wastewater in open pits will break that promise.

Dennis Welch, Cary

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