Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 8, 2013

Mtn. Ridge students to give fracking report at FSU

Science classes study drinking water supply

FROSTBURG — Students in Tom Kozikowski’s environmental science classes at Mountain Ridge High School will give a presentation April 17 at noon in Frostburg State University’s Lane Center as part of the Focus Frostburg event.

The students will report the results of their prefracking baseline water quality data from the drinking water supply of Frostburg and surrounding areas.  

With the recent support of the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, FSU and the FSU Foundation, the students have had more than $69,000 in grant money to conduct their research in an effort to supply reliable and unbiased information so that rational decisions can be made regarding hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.  

The nearest proposed fracking site is one-half mile uphill from the Frostburg reservoir, and two tributaries to the reservoir originate in Pennsylvania, a state where fracking is frequently permitted. When started more than a year ago, this pilot effort was the first of any government organization, community group or university in the state of Maryland to initiate fracking-related baseline testing on local waters.  

Maryland is still under an unofficial moratorium preventing fracking; however, all moratorium and ban bills on fracking were recently denied in the Maryland General Assembly.   

Mountain Ridge’s 107 participating students have been collecting water samples on a monthly basis since February 2012 and will continue to do so for several years beyond the start of fracking in order to have data before, during and after it begins.  Looking for changes in bromide, barium, strontium, total dissolved solids and several other key fracking-related water quality parameters is the focus.

The presentation will provide a summary of key findings gathered to this point and provide comparisons of current chemical levels to chemical levels in frack fluid.

The students recently traveled to Salem, Ohio, where gas drilling is commonplace. The group interviewed many local residents. “It is one thing to hear media interviews from an industry employee or hysterical citizen after an accident,” Kozikowski said. “An entirely different perspective is gained when everyday people are interviewed on the street. We hope to share this unique perspective with those who attend our presentation.”

The findings from this field trip as well as from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Government Accountability Office, and other published scientific reports will be included in the April 17 presentation.

To visit the project website, go to www.statefarmyab. com/ projects and click on the circle over Western Maryland.

The students have been assisted by Mike Griffith of the Frostburg Water Treatment Plant, Michael Kashiwagi of the Maryland DNR, Dan Soeder of the U.S. Department of Energy, Johan Schijf and Keith Eshleman of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and Matt Baker of the USGS.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Kona Ice owners dole out treats, give back to the community Kona Ice owners dole out treats, give back to the community

    CUMBERLAND — In addition to serving tasty treats and putting a smile on patrons’ faces, Oakland residents Wheeler Stewart and Jeff Orr, owners/operators of Kona Ice Mountain Maryland, do their part to give back to Allegany and Garrett counties. The number one theme of Kona Ice is that if you give it back, it’s going to come back to you, said Stewart.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2.jpg New 'very eclectic' business opens in Cumberland

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Advocates call for expansion of summer lunch program

    CUMBERLAND — It’s the first year that St. John’s Lutheran Church on Arch Street has participated in the summer lunch program for children. The Rev. Tormod Svensson, the pastor at the church, said that while the church has offered food programs before, this is the first time they’ve been officially part of the Summer Food Service Program.

    July 23, 2014

  • Two face additional charges in child’s death

    MOOREFIELD, W.Va. — West Virginia State Police have served arrest warrants on Joseph A. Christy and Summer L. McDaniel in the case of their 26-day-old infant’s death.

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping others Helping others

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners set to vote on plan

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County commissioners are scheduled Thursday to vote on the 266-page, 2014 Allegany County Comprehensive Plan. The portion of the plan that has stirred some controversy is the inclusion of the Terrapin Run Development. If commissioners approve the plan, the development will be an official part of the county’s land use development plan for the future.

    July 23, 2014

  • Iron Rail Street fire Faulty electrical outlet sparks Mount Savage fire

    MOUNT SAVAGE — Tuesday’s fire that caused an estimated $30,000 property loss in a residence on Iron Rail Street has been determined to be accidental, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Brief - 07/24

    July 23, 2014

  • Frostburg to use ARC grant for Braddock Road improvements

    FROSTBURG — The city of Frostburg will use a $1.275 million federal grant to improve access to a 25-plus acre site that is available for commercial and industrial development, according to an announcement by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski.

    July 23, 2014

  • Shooting suspects arrested at Altoona mall

    July 23, 2014