Letter to the editor: Cost of seismic testing court settlement too high for Monroeville residents
Were Monroeville's residents sold out by settling a court case with Geokinetics that will allow the company to do seismic testing throughout our municipality?
Council compromised the hard-fought ordinance citizens wanted and now our property and health are compromised. The weakened ordinance now allows seismic testing as close as 50 feet from a structure, whereas the ordinance as passed was to have testing no closer than 100 feet from your home. Geokinetics wanted our ordinance to read 35 feet from a building, so 50 feet was the compromise. Other items required by the ordinance were eliminated by the settlement agreement.
Seems the judge urged Monroeville to fold, since the company's permit to conduct seismic testing (a precursor to fracking) was done prior to the enactment of the ordinance. This is what you get when council drags its feet. Knowing fracking was going on in communities all around us, it should have had an ordinance in place three or more years ago. The same goes for an amendment to an oil and gas ordinance to mention unconventional wells, which was proposed in 2012 but has yet to see the light of day.
Monroeville may save money to avoid further litigation, but the cost to residents whose health and property will suffer the consequences of seismic testing and fracking is too high.