Fracking ban ensures water protection, public health

Supes have an obligation to ensure public health

The author, a longtime Oroville resident, is the spokesman for Frack-Free Butte County.

Frack-Free Butte County’s steering committee wishes to commend the members of the Board of Supervisors for voting 4-1 last April to craft an ordinance banning fracking in Butte County.

We all must be diligent in protecting our county’s most valuable resource—water. A recent report by the California Water Resources Control Board discusses the contamination of previously clean Kern County aquifers due to improper waste water disposal from nine injection wells, so we know the threat is real. Meanwhile, the number of contamination reports within California continues to grow, raising great concern of this continued trend.

We also must protect the health, safety and welfare of our county’s residents. Fracking poses significant public health risks. These risks have been well- documented by New York’s recent scientific health studies, convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking in that state.

Preventative action is the best policy in protecting the public’s health. The use of vaccinations to protect ourselves from diseases and quarantine procedures to protect our agriculture industry from perilous insects and diseases are well-known. The Board of Supervisors must take a preventative approach to the dangers of fracking.

Butte County counsel has completed an ordinance prohibiting fracking in Butte County at the supervisors’ request. This is a carefully drafted ordinance that should be implemented. It is our county’s best approach to preventing harm to our water, economy and citizens’ health. We implore the members of the five-person panel—Larry Wahl, Maureen Kirk, Doug Teeter, Bill Connelly and Steve Lambert—to support the ordinance.

Frack-Free Butte County gathered more than 10,000 signatures from Butte County residents who favor a ban on fracking. This is a clear statement from the supervisors’ constituents. They expect protections for our region’s precious water resources. They expect their representatives to stand up to political pressure from corporate interests.

If the supervisors do not pass this prohibition, Frack-Free Butte County will continue our campaign to pass our citizens’ initiative to ban fracking and vigilantly support candidates who will protect our precious water. The supervisors are expected to vote on the ordinance at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 10, so now is the time for citizens to make their voices heard. For more info on Frack-Free Butte County visit and