Scio Residents Fear Oil Drilling In Township Could Contaminate Their Drinking Water

SCIO TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – A proposal to drill for oil in a small town in Washtenaw County has a some township residents up in arms.

A group in Scio Township is challenging a plan to drill for oil in a farmer’s field. The residents, who are on well water, fear their drinking supply could be contaminated.

Environmental attorney Christoper Grobbel says contamination could happen if there’s a spill.

“The biggest danger is that there could be a spill, whether at the well head or at the numberous trucks that go in and out of the site once it’s developed,” said Grobbel. “A good component of the city of Ann Arbor’s drinking water comes from the Huron River which is maybe three-quarters of a mile away from the site.”

Grobbel tells WWJ’s Sandra McNeill that the leaking of oil typically results in water contamination — ground water and drinking water.

“The residents in the area are on their own private water systems, drinking water well,” added Grobbel.

But spokesman Patrick Gibson of West Bay Exploration says it’s not a problem.

“There have been thousands of wells drilled in the state of Michigan under these current guidelines without one single case of ground water problems,” said Gibson.

“The state of Michigan has very strict guidelines that we follow during the drilling process that are put there to make sure that there is no chance that the groundwater can be contaminated.”

The state will decide on the well next month.

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