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Impact of Hydrofracking to Be Topic of Public Program

The impact of hydrofracking for the extraction of natural gas will be the topic of a public program hosted by the League of Women Voters and Dalton State College Wednesday, Nov. 29 beginning at 7 p.m.

The free program will be held in Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall.

“Since our area sits above the Conasauga Shale which is believed to contain as much as 625 trillion cub feet of natural gas, there seems to be growing interest locally in understanding how this technology works, what the potential negative effects might be, and what kind of legislative steps may be taken to regulate the industry,” said Dr. John Lugthart, a biology professor at the College.

April Lipscomb, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, will be the guest speaker.

“My plan is to present the facts and not advocate for or against fracking,” Lipscomb said. “I will explain what fracking is, why fracking might be possible in Northwest Georgia, and mention some of the risks associated with fracking, including groundwater contamination, noise, property rights concerns, earthquakes, and others.

“I will also point out that those risks can be greatly reduced when appropriate regulations are in place and when the industry complies with those regulations,” she said. “I’m also comfortable explaining that there is a debate over the extent to which fracking actually causes or is linked to groundwater issues, earthquakes,” and other environmental concerns.