The Times Herald of Port Huron, Michiganand other news media reported that on December 8, 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "implicated fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — forfracking graphic causing groundwater pollution....The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas. The EPA...found compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found hydrocarbons in their wells...The industry has long contended that fracking is safe, but environmentalists and some residents who live near drilling sites say it has poisoned groundwater."

According to the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, "Michigan has a rich history of oil and gas drilling."  There is new concern however over the type of horizontal drilling required to tap natural gas reserves at depths of 5,000 to 10,000 feet.  "This drilling is not only deeper, it also uses substantially more fresh water and chemicals."

Fracking is a concern not only in Michigan and Wyoming but in many places across this precious land. The following websites provide information on this problematic drilling process: cleanwateraction.org; don'tfrackmichigan.com; sierraclub.org and watershedcouncil.org.  Now is a good time to begin to collaborate with others, or to put even more energy into the actions you are already taking, to help put stronger regulations and good management practices in place to safeguard Michigan's water resources and the water tables of the country as a whole.