GREENFORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio - The service road has already been made where Pittsburgh based Consol Energy wants to set up a rig and drill for natural gas in the Utica Shale formation.
Consol wants to set up off of Knauf and Western Reserve Roads in Greenford Township. Barb Schlosser lives two-tenths of a mile near the drilling site. "It's a nice thing for the area, but my concern is about the water because our wells around our neighborhood are around 79-80 feet deep. So if you're going that far are we going to have gas coming out of our water? Does it have to be tested?" Schlosser said.
Consol held a town hall event at the Holiday Inn in Boardman Thursday night to address Barb's questions and the concerns of those who live near the drilling site and any future drilling sites.
"We want to be as transparent as we can as a company. What we want to do is dispel some of the rumors, myths, concerns that people have," said Harry Schurr, General Manager of Consol's Utica Shale Division. "We have everyone here from land people to drillers to completion people. So anything you want to know we're hoping we can answer any questions."
And in response to Barb's question about fracking and her water, Sam McLaughlin with Consol Energy explained, "We run multiple strands of casing in cement to protect ground water. We're looking at three to four different strands of casing to run through the water table."
Schurr adds, "We also have a water sampling program where we sample people's water sources as long as they are willing to provide a sample. We'll analyze before we come in and drill the well and we'll analyze it after and compare the two to show we haven't done anything to their well."
A lot of the land that Consol is drilling on already has legacy rights to through its 150-year history in the coal industry. But there are many residents who are interested in drawing up contracts to lease their land to the company.