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Oil and gas Fracking in our Lake Conroe Area National Forest: Dangerous to Drinking Water?

From: Wayne A. Stroman, 14500 Hwy 105, Conroe Texas 77304

This is for decision makers and anyone that is concerned about the quality of Lake Conroe’s surface (water from the Lake) and the area’s ground water (water from wells). You should read this as there may be an impact by oil drilling in our National Forest close by. The government does a minimal notice before granting leases, that this may be approved pending comments from area residents. Few have voiced concerns to date and I thought it would help to get the word out. The deadline for comments is October 11, 2019.

I just became aware of this though the Lake Conroe Association letter below and then reading the US National Archives statement, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas; Oil and Gas Leasing Availability Analysis Environmental Impact Statement: found at

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/27/2019-18357/national-forests-and-grasslands-in-texas-oil-and-gas-leasing-availability-analysis-environmental If this is not a link as you see it copy and paste it into your browser.

There you fill find the address to send a comment on your feeling about the matter and I hope you do.

I have worked in the oil exportation industry for geologists for AMOCO when I was in college and I am not against oil exploration and drilling. The fact is we are not desperate for oil as we were in the early 1970s rather the US has become virtually non-dependent on foreign oil as of late and we should be proud of that. So for the reasons I will cite I think we do not need to tap into our reserved pristine lands for oil and gas.

The US has been leasing government owned lands for oil and gas on and offshore for decades and the technology has improved quite a lot. The oil fracking technology however is experiencing some environmental hiccups and it may be time to let private citizens continue to decide if they want drilling on their land and conserve or protect the national treasures of government owned lands especially our National Forests and Grasslands.

I won’t get into all the problems of oil drilling and will try to stick to what concerns me about the implications of drilling in our area and the effects on our water quality. These same reasons do go beyond the Lake Conroe area as citizens nationwide are concerned too.

Water run off with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling sites: There could be some drilling site run off upland from Lake Conroe that will make its way into Lake Conroe and other area river tributaries and that is not good. Be it an accident or miscalculated prevention there are always some spills on every drill site, trucking of fluids and piping of production. Lake Conroe water is now used for drinking since we added a large water plant by the Lake Conroe dam in operation for a few years now. That water adds to wells for the Conroe and the Woodlands public water supply used by those residents.

Oil and gas Fracking leaks and migration into potable water tables: We have all seen this in the national news and is highly possible from any oil and gas drilling but probably higher from fracking efforts. If this happens it affects everyone.

For the above reasons and related material I would like to object to drilling for oil and gas in our National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. Please suspend leasing those lands.

Send written comments to Oil and Gas EIS Project, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, 2221 N. Raguet Street, Lufkin, Texas 75904. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the project website or via fax to (936) 639-8588.

Thank you for considering this request,

Wayne A. Stroman

Letter from the LCA:

By: Mike Bleier, President, Lake Conroe Association

Under the radar of State and Local leadership, The National Forest and Grasslands in Texas (NFGT) is attempting to lease land in our Sam Houston National Forest for Oil & Gas Exploration (most specifically, fracking). THOSE OPPOSED MUST FILE OBJECTIONS BY OCTOBER 11, 2019
NFGT purports to have followed all required notifications of such an action, and most likely have complied with the minimal effort the government requires. Minimal effort also minimizes objections. Maybe this is why the September 26, 2019 Public Meeting held in Willis and presented by NFGT was attended by less than 10 people. Without help from the Center For Biologic Diversity, the Lake Conroe Association (LCA) would not have known about this proposed lease. Once aware of the situation, the LCA contacted the following entities – none of which had heard of the lease: San Jacinto River Authority, City of Houston, Montgomery County, Texas Parks & Wildlife, State Senators and Representatives. We guess minimal effort in NFGT’s notification worked to minimize objections.
We are not opponents to Oil & Gas Exploration like some. But fracking in our National Forest and around our water supply reservoir, Lake Conroe? The dangers seem obvious even taking into account the safety reported by the fracking industry. Explanations from NFGT like “The contractors will have adequate insurance to cover any damage they cause” and “Contractor sites will be continually monitored” do nothing to stop possible land and water contamination; nor alleviate the indescribable damage that could be caused to our water supply, air quality, wildlife, plants and trees.
And why would NFGT put our community in danger? Certainly not because we need the oil or gas. Our government has this month reported that we have the lowest dependence on foreign oil and gas in our history. Between the East Texas Oil Field (the 2nd largest oil field in the U.S.) and the Newark East Gas Field (the largest producible reserves in the U.S.), Texas or our nation do not need the minimal (by comparison) production that could come from the Sam Houston National Forest and neighboring Lake Conroe. We can see no other answer than NFGT wants the money associated with leasing our National Forest. We thought the National Forests were designated to protect the environment and serve the public’s need for recreational areas. Aren’t they supposed to be used for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and pure relaxation with nature? Guess how much fun those activities will be with fracking rig towers, water pits, odor and noise pollution. Then there’s Forest roads occupied and damaged by oil field equipment, damage to the Forest floor, restrictions on where you can hunt and fish, and that outside possibility of environmental and water supply contamination. The reward is not worth the risk.
YOU CAN HELP by writing your objection by the October 11, 2019 filing deadline. NOT MUCH TIME. For more information to this proposed lease, you can go to http://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/27/2019-18357/national-forests-and-grasslands-in-texas-oil-and-gas-leasing-availability-analysis-environmental. You can submit comments via this website; or by mail to Oil & Gas EIS Project, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, 2221 N. Raguet Street, Lufkin, Texas 75904; or by fax to (936) 639-8588. Further, you may contact the local coordinator of the project: Robert Potts, Robert.potts@usda.gov, (936) 639-8539.



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