Report addresses environmental issuesMontana LivingThe Montana Farmers Union has released a whitepaper addressing issues related to the use of hydrofracturing (commonly referred to as “fracking”) in oil and gas operations in Montana.The report, “Fracking in Montana: Asking Questions, Finding Answers,” examines impacts of fracking on water quantity in Montana. Additionally, the paper outlines concerns of farmers, ranchers and landowners regarding possible fracking operations on or near their property. The paper also covers a variety of environmental issues, including water and air quality impacts.
The paper was commissioned in 2014 by the Cooperative Education Corporation), a charitable affiliate of Montana's Farmers Union. Authors of the report include: Bozeman lawyer Hertha Lund, who has represented landowners in a variety of resource disputes; Willis Weight, Ph.D., P.E., hydrogeologist and professor at Carroll College and Helena lawyer Dennis Lopach, who works with public policy issues including utility regulation. The paper was edited by Missoula lawyer Beth Brennan.
Although the drop in oil prices has curtailed drilling in Montana, the paper provides a basis for Montanans to assess whether Montana’s regulatory system is ready to protect our people and our land when the pace of drilling increases.
Montana's Farmers Union became interested in fracking when members began questioning how the procedure will impact their farms and ranchers. “The effects of fracking on Montana agriculture is a subject worth exploring,” Montana's Farmers Union
President Alan Merrill said. “The end product of this collaboration is a great example of our commitment to education, and will provide members and the public with neutral and peer-reviewed information. Members can then make up their minds as to the role of fracking in Montana.”
To view the report visit: http://www.montanafarmersunion.com/pdfs/FrackingQuestionsWeightMFU2015-1.pdf.