We, Nopaxton.com, are a growing group of Lodi and Saline residents that are concerned about the impact that oil and gas drilling and associated operations may have on our land and environment. Those who live here appreciate the natural beauty, clean water and air, and relative peace and quiet, and want to keep it that way. Based on substantial freely and publicly available information, it is clear that exploitation of oil, gas, and other mineral resources under our land may result in a variety of unintended, unwelcome side-effects, and we do not intend to allow that to happen.

If you live in Lodi or Saline and have been approached by a company calling itself Paxton Resources, or are concerned about potential side-effects of oil and gas drilling on your or your neighbors properties and want to learn more, please contact us at: nopaxton at gmail dot com

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pleasant Lake Rd / Parker Rd Possible Oil Wells

On Sunday November 18 a member of NoPaxton was in the checkout line at Buschs around dinnertime.   The person in front of him was having a conversation wtih the cashier and the word "oil" was mentioned and the person was purchasing a Congratulations greeting card.

Being curious our NoPaxcton member struck up a conversation with the other shopper.

NoPaxton Member: excuse me; did I hear you say oil?
Person: yes. Oil. We are celebrating

NoPaxton Member: Yeah, I heard that they found some oil in Saline Township south of Michigan Av., Do you live in that area?
Person: no, I live on Pleasant Lake and Parker

NoPaxton Member: Pleasant Lake road and Parker?
Person: Yes.

NoPaxton Member: wow, that was quick, didn’t they just test a couple of months ago?
Person: yes and they found oil. They already pickup drilling spots for me and my neighbor

NoPaxton Member: Have you looked on the internet to see what is going on?
Person: yes, I have. I wanted to get a better deal than what they offered. I got a lawyer and got a much better deal; time to celebrate.
(he says that as he gets his money from the casher and leaves).

This is not good news to those of us who want to keep our land beautiful and free of chemicals and industrial wastes.  Unfortunately there are many is our society who are shortsighted and can only see the cash, which may or may not come.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 26 Landowner Oil and Gas Leasing and Michigan Oil and Gas Industry Educational Meeting

The Michigan State University Extension is announcing the following event:

Landowner Oil and Gas Leasing and Michigan Oil and Gas Industry Educational Meeting
Monday, November 26, 2012, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
(Registration opens at 5:30 pm)
Oakland County Executive Office Building (EOB), Bldg. #41W, Waterford, MI 48328

There is an increased interest in leasing oil and gas rights in Oakland County, leading to a potential new income source for landowners. It all begins with the mineral rights owner being offered an oil and gas lese to sign. The lease is a legal contract that can last for generations. When you read the lease, do you understand what it says?  Is there alternative lease language that will help you meet the goals you have for your property? 

MSUE is sponsoring a public meeting for landowners to educate them on the following topics:
  • Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality’s Role in Regulation the Michigan Oil and Gas Industry
  • Advances in Drilling Technology
  • Understanding and Negotiating the Standard Oil and Gas Lease
  • Legal Considerations in Oil and Gas Leasing

Registration fee is $10/person. Advance registration is highly encouraged by Friday November 23, but not required. Please contact the MSU Extension office at 248-858-0887 or smithlin@oakgov.com.

Meeting Agenda:

Welcome and Introductions 

  • Curtis Talley Jr., Michigan State University Extension (MSUE), Farm Management Educator
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Role in Regulating the Michigan Oil and Gas Industry (Representative from the Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals, Michigan DEQ)

  • Introduction to the Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals 
  • Michigan oil and gas well construction requirements
  • Hydraulic fracturing in Michigan
  • Environmental considerations and regulations
Oil and Gas Industry Perspective on Advances in Drilling Technology (Representative from the Michigan Oil and Gas Association)

  • Horizontal and vertical well construction techniques
  • Environmental safeguards
  • Can oil and gas production coincide with residential and recreation areas?
  • What is the future for oil and gas production in Michigan?
Understanding the standard oil and gas Lease (Curtis Talley Jr., MSUE) 

  • What does the language in the lease mean?
  • Why should I be concerned about the lease language when I am getting a bonus payment?
  • What are the long-term implications of the standard lease?
  • Legal Consideration in Oil & Gas Leasing


Attorney
Common pitfalls to avoid
Defining how the royalty is paid
Protecting groundwater quality in the lease
What can be negotiated in the lease?

Question and Answer Period Curtis Talley, MSUE

MSU Extension is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.

Sierra Club Hosts Free Screening of The Sky is Pink Dec. 4 at Kalamazoo Central Library


Event Focuses on Key Environmental Issues in Southwest Michigan

Media Contact: Gail Philbin, gail.philbin@sierraclub.org, 312-493-2384 
Sierra Club Hosts Free Screening of The Sky is Pink Dec. 4 at Kalamazoo Central Library

The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter presents a screening of The Sky is Pink, a  short film about horizontal hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. “fracking”) by Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland, Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 pm at the Kalamazoo Central Library, Van Deusen Room, 315 Rose St., Kalamazoo.


Southwest Michigan residents concerned about the quality of their water, air and natural resources are invited to this free event, which will focus on  important regional environmental issues such as fracking and the Kalamazoo River Tar Sands oil spill and how concerned citizens can get involved. The “25x25” effort Michgan Energy Jobs– getting utilities to use 25% renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2025 -- to make Michigan a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency will also be discussed. To RSVP, email William Strong at williamstrong@sbcglobal.net.


The Sky is Pink is an 18-minute documentary about New York state’s urgent crisis of drilling and fracking, a brutal but increasingly popular method of extracting deep-seated natural gas that recently has come to southwest Michigan. Exempt from environmental regulations, fracking blasts 3-7 million gallons of chemical-laced water into rock to release gas. The result is air pollution and toxic water wells that can produce flaming faucets, as shown in Gasland, and even earthquakes.


The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter has been working with legislators on a package of bills to delay its actual practice in order to strengthen regulations to protect people from the fallout of this dangerous process. Learn more at Michigan Sierra Club


For more information, email williamstrong@sbcglobal.net.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MARK DRUCKMILLER FOR LODI TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE!


We at No Paxton are excited to pass along the following from Mark, one of the folks that has been impacted by the continuing problems caused by oil and gas exploration and drilling within our township. We heavily encourage those concerned to turn out and vote for Mark, as he's been a champion of protecting your rights and would make a fine Trustee!

******************************************************************************

Greetings, fellow Lodi Township residents!

While it is unfortunate that Byron Staebler, one of our trustees for Lodi Township has passed away, I thought that perhaps this would be an opportunity to help our residents, especially in light of recent events with Paxton and other corporations moving in on our land and drilling.

I am running as a write-in candidate for Township Trustee, to fill Mr. Staebler's vacancy. I am doing this, not just because of Paxton oil, but to help benefit our residents, and help take the side of the resident and taxpayer, rather than allow corporations to control our future in the township. In other words, I'm not a one-issue candidate. I want to live here in Lodi Township for as long as I can and make it one of the best places to live...anywhere. I DO want to also having a thriving economy in our township, but I want to do the right thing as well.

There are four other write-in candidates besides myself: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/clerk_register/elections/2012-elections/november-6-2012-general-election-unofficial-city-township-candidates

I hope to make myself available to all of you to represent the township and your interests. I am NOT aligning myself with a particular political party yet, as I see no benefit to do so at the moment.

My goals are:
1) To do what's best for our residents and preserving their homes, their land, and living conditions.
2) To take the side of the residents when business or corporations act or attempt to act to defeat Goal #1.
3) To do what is fair for both residents and businesses when it is a"win/win" for all.

I will do my best to serve and it's all I can do.

Personally, I am currently a real estate agent and Realtor with Elias Realty in Livonia. While my office is based in Livonia, I also work out of my home office (in my house here in Lodi Township) and I specialize in selling and buying homes for residents here in this area of Washtenaw County. I've lived here 10 years, I'm married and have two children here in the Saline school system. But as a real estate agent, I am VERY sensitive to the things that go on in our township and the area. So the activities of Paxton Oil concern me greatly in more ways than one.

I enjoy debate and I usually think of myself as having an open mind, so if you wish to discuss issues with me, I'm all ears. I may have an opinion that could be different than yours, but I want to listen to your opinions to mostly understand you so we can work together.

If you have questions, please call me (my cell is  734-369-7419) and I have several email addresses, but the best one to reach me on is mark.druckmiller@gmail.com.

Thank you and I hope to have your support on Election Day.

Mark Druckmiller
7590 Dell Road
Saline, MI 48176
mark.druckmiller@gmail.com
markd@eliasrealty.com
 734-369-7419 (cell)
 734-944-0890 (home)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Elaine Masters, Lodi Township Clerk, Allows Testing on Her Property...What's the Problem?

Seismic testing vehicles herald seismic testing (for oil) beneath Lodi Township. This photo was taken at Pleasant Lake and Alber in the last week. 30 miles west of here, another oil company (Continental Resources) is planning to put in a well using hydraulic fracturing(fracking) technology and has applied to the State for a permit to doso. Even if no oil is found in our area, most leases state that drywells (test holes and exhausted wells) can be used for toxic wastedumps - that includes the fracking fluid that is recovered from otherwells. Are we willing to be a dumping ground for others who are earning $$ from this industry? Is this preserving the quality of life in Lodi Township?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Glenn Law, Mayoral Candidate for City of Saline, on Oil and Gas Development in the Saline Michigan Area


We apologize - Glenn did respond back in August, and we simply misplaced the email (!). We apologize profusely! Mr. Law had this response to our inquiry:

I am strongly opposed to any effort to drill for oil or gas here or anywhere in the state without first checking all of the safety aspects of such procedures. Even then after all safety steps have been addressed (health wise and environmentally) I would only support it on a limited basis. Our wells and water are one of our very important and vital natural resources. Michigan takes pride in being home to the greatest concentration of fresh water in the world. We should take every step possible to protect it. On the other side of the coin I pride myself during the years I was on city council of making sure all sides of an issue were heard. I make no exception here. I want to hear what your group and the "opposing" group have to say about the matter. It is only fair and right that all voices are heard. How else can elected officals make a proper and sound  decision. As mayor I would continue to oppose such measures until all safety aspects have been addressed. I hope this helps you and members of your group understand where I stand. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to call me or e-mail me.

So, there it is, folks - compare with Mr. Marl's response, and the choice is yours!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Brian Marl, Mayoral Candidate for Saline City Council, Provides His Views On Oil Drilling


Like the Lodi Township Supervisor race, we emailed both of the candidates running to become Mayor of Saline. While we have yet to receive a response from Glenn Law, we did get this from Brian Marl:

As a policymaker, and a citizen, I take the preservation of our environment very seriously. I agree wholeheartedly that residents have the right to protect themselves and their families from companies that would ignore the potential environmental and public health impacts of their actions.

I believe that state and federal government should be actively involved on the issue of fracking, to ensure that our community is protected from possible threats to our long-term public health and to our precious natural resources. Community leaders at all levels should actively strive to be stewards of our environment. Throughout my time on City Council, I have kept an open mind in considering new ways for city government to conserve energy, and be more efficient. 

As a pragmatist, I understand the role of traditional drilling in today’s economy. That said, I do believe in rigorous, data-driven oversight by governmental entities, and I believe that companies must be responsible in considering the long-term impacts of all practices. 

Brian Marl
--------------------

This information is provided so as to help you make an informed decision at the ballot box. We will attempt to contact Mr. Law again, so stay tuned.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Costs Of Fracking

A new report from Environment Texas questions one aspect of fracking that rarely comes under scrutiny: its supposed economic benefit.  In addition to other economic costs including decreased property values, increased road repairs, the report mentions $270,000 per day in additional health care costs.  For the full report please see New Report On The Costs Of Fracking.

Paxton Resources has not ruled out fracking in Washtenaw County.  If you have signed a lease with them you  might want to think twice about it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fracking, Just Around the Corner, Up US-12


A permit application has been submitted by "CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC" to begin hydraulic fracturing a well in Adams Township, in Hillsdale County. That is about 40 minutes southwest from the City of Saline.

The application is for a new 6000' deep well, and it clearly states that "the well may be completed using hydraulic fracturing." The application document is here MDEQ Well Permit Applications 09/10 - 09/14.

If you're not happy with the idea of hydraulic fracturing around your wells, lakes, streams, or those of your neighbors, we suggest dropping a line to your local legislators. If you need help figuring out who to contact, let us know by contacting us..

Will Paxton Resouces frack in our area? They won't rule it out...

Paxton Resources Says They Cannot Rule Out Fracking In Washtenaw County

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lodi Township Supervisor Race: Where Do the Candidates Stand on Oil and Gas Activities?


The future of Lodi, Saline, and surrounding areas depends in large part upon the will of our legislators and representatives. These individuals can choose one of three paths:

• They can side with the folks they represent and pass and/or enforce ordinances and laws that protect our homes and environment
• They can ignore the problem and take a “wait and see” approach
• They can side with out-of-town oil interests and their paid supporters as they extract resources while putting our area at risk 

The best way to impact the situation is to elect representation that truly represents your views on the topic. In the spirit of a supporting a well-informed electorate, nopaxton.com has asked local legislators vying for positions to provide position statements on oil and gas exploration, drilling, and extraction in the Saline/Lodi/Washtenaw County area.  We emailed all three Lodi Township Supervisor candidates and present their responses below:


Jeff Feldkamp’s Response:

 I would like to be able to tell you that if elected I would curb alldrilling activities. Unfortunately we both know that in the state of Michigan it would take a very small amount of time for the courts to allow the drilling to restart. If elected I would want to support the owners of property who do not want drilling to occur and would try to educate and assist in any legal avenue which can be determined to be helpful in accomplishing this goal. Currently our residents are selling out their neighbors for a shot at the gold (oil) royalties and are doing this usually at a fast talk by a quick witted sales team.

There are many concerns about deep drilling which I have been discussing with our neighboring water purveyor, Fracking is also a concern which although has been verbally discussed by the drilling company as not going to happen has never been written into any contracts anyway to my knowledge. We need to move forward with our economy and to do this our state is allowing oil exploration but ourcommunity needs to know what its giving away and what dangers there actions may cause.


 I hope this quick statement will help you make an informed decision for the upcoming election I want you to know that the preservation of our township and its controlled improvements is of the utmost concern to me. Respectfully, Jeff Feldkamp




Jan Godek’s Response: 

 Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the gas/oil exploration currently taking place in the county. As you know, per the Michigan Enabling Act, townships, villages, and cities in the state of Michigan, have no ability to regulate gas/oil exploration, drilling or operations.

I don't see the state changing the law in the near future, the northern lower and Upper Peninsula depend so much on these resources for their economy. That being said, would I actively support a change in this law? Absolutely! Amending the law, even just a little, to give the local units of government some control, would ease so much of the anxiety surrounding these operations. We can regulate other natural resources (like sand and gravel) and this hasn't prevented the mining of those resources. We can require environmental testing, restoration,
hours of operation, and deal with other issues to assure a safe environment for our residents.

I'm not quite sure how to answer your question concerning what I'd do if drilling began in the Township. As indicated above, at this time there are really no options. All I can tell you is I'd use every tool available to be sure residents of the Township would be protected from harm.

I'm sure you'd like to hear a much different response, and I wish I could give you one, but I have to be as honest as I can given the current status of the law. 

Karen Edman's Response
I do not have a position on the Paxton issue. Policy makers need to bring the information to the people that they represent and I would make every attempt to bring reliable and informative facts to the residents of the township. I would hope that I can look to the "Nopaxton" group for credible information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vermont Bans Fracking

The governor of Vermont has signed a bill into law that bans fracking which is the injection of chemicals into the ground in order to extract natural gas from the ground.   Fore more details read Vermont First State to Ban Fracking  


Members of No Paxton are collecting signatures on petitions to help the group Ban Michigan Fracking obtain 323,000 by July 9 to get Fracking on the ballot in November.  If you would like to help us collect signatures please respond to this e-mail or contact us.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EPA Hearing on Brooklyn Waste Well May 23

There will be an EPA hearing on the Brooklyn waste injection well on May 23.  for the West Bay #22 Well draft permit.   Event details are:



Wednesday, May 23


Information Session:
5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Public Hearing:
7 to 8:30 p.m.


Columbia Central High School, Brooklyn, Michigan


Those who cannot attend can submit their comments ahead of time to the  EPA.    For additional information please see EPA Hearing May 23

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ban Michigan Fracking asks Michigan DEQ to treat frack wells as injection wells


For more information, contact:
Ellis Boal 231-547-2626
ellisboal@voyager.net


Charlevoix--On April 27, 2012, Ban Michigan Fracking, together with Deanna Hughes and Heather Schiele, filed a request for a declaratory ruling with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) director Dan Wyant, asking the agency to treat frack wells statewide as injection wells, and to suspend issuing frack permits while it decides the petition.


The petition notes the gas industry agrees a frack well is an injection well, so the DEQ should too.


A ruling would mean applicants for frack wells would have to provide data, among other things, about the chemical analysis of the types of fluids to be injected.  The data would have to be provided at the time of the application so nearby landowners can do efficient baseline water testing before drilling commences.


Hughes and Schiele live in Sherman Township, Gladwin County, where Devon Energy is about to start horizontal fracking in the A-1Carbonate layer, a bit shallower than Utica-Collingwood.


Landowners and residents nearby to other frack wells are welcome to join the request.


Copies of this and additional case documents are on the website of Ban Michigan Fracking

Monday, April 23, 2012

Irish Hills Ruined By Oil Wells

There have been 42+ oil/gas wells completed by West Bay Exploration in the Norvell Township/Irish Hills, over the last two years.  Many of the residents are not happy about how their area has been ruined by the industrial development.  A few of them attended the meeting held in Saline by State Representative Mark Ouimet on April 18.  In talking with one of them, it was unsettling to hear that the oil company will soon, if not already, be drilling horizontally under Wamplers Lake. There's an oil/gas well not more than 400 or 500 yards from the edge of the lake. The reality is that communities, dependent on an environment shared by all, is under siege by companies with an interest in what lies underneath their land.


Other examples of what's happening in the Irish Hills include hearing what sounds like a jet turbine at night; hearing about a neighbor's two-year old child developing asthma; and seeing dead fish floating in Wamplers Lake-- one fish having died in the midst of devouring another. 


And then there's the story of a health care professional, who lives in a neighboring town who has endured endless frustration and shame while pleading with the DEQ and the oil/gas company to listen to her distress at not having windows open in the summer, or sitting out on the porch on a summer's evening; at witnessing her horses struggle with impaired lung disorder; at consolling her friend when she lost all her goats; or watching her friend's health deteriorate with chronic nose bleeds and a breathing disorder; at knowing that no one will buy her home if she decides she can no longer live on the land she loves. And it doesn't help the value of her home when eight wells surround it.  

It was hydrogen sulfide emissions from the hydraulic fracked Kelly Well, #60212 HD-1, in Hillsdale County, (completed in 2006) that caused the living hell. Two residences were directly affected, due to the wind blowing in the direction of the homes. Continental Resources, Inc. nor the DEQ seemed too concerned until 2011, when the problem was fixed-- five years later.

These stories are real.   If you have signed an oil lease we hope you will make a serious commitment to terminating the agreement with Paxton.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fracking meeting in Irish Hills provides another side to the 'imperfect process' of drilling in Michigan

A message delivered by environmental expert Christopher Grobbel, president of Grobbel Environmental and Planning Associates, to Jackson County citizens is a universal one: energy recovery is an imperfect process destined to cause problems.  To see the article in the Heritage Newspaper please see  Fracking meeting in Irish Hills provides another side to the 'imperfect process' of drilling in Michigan


Members of No Paxton attended the April 5 meeting in the Irish Hills.  For more info please see our post Recap of April 5 Meeting In Brooklyn

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wed. April 18, 2012 Town Hall Meeting

State Rep. Mark Ouimet is sponsoring a special town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 18 ifrom 6pm to 7:30pm at LIberty School in Saline to allow local residents to learn more about ongoing oil and gas drilling in Washtenaw County and the surrounding areas.  For the full details see Mark Ouimet Sponsors Town Hall Meeting  The meeting agenda is as follows:
  • Mitch Rohde, Founder of No Paxton, 5 minutes
  • Hal Fitch, Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, 30 minutes  
  • Paxton Resources Representative, 5 minutes
  • Question and Answer session, 60 minutes (Written questions may be submitted for the speakers)

Recap of April 5 Meeting in Brooklyn

This post has been updated to include a link to the Powerpoint slides presented by Dr. Chris Grobbel. (scroll down, it is the first item in the list)

Members of NoPaxton attended a meeting in Brooklyn on April 5 where local citizens expressed their concerns over two proposed deep injection wells in Norvell Township.  These wells are proposed by the oil companies for storing toxic waste related to local drilling efforts.  This was the 3rd meeting held on this topic.  It was jam packed with good information but very scary information. 

Chris Grobbel  of Grobbel Environmental was brought in  to speak at the meeting.  Chris is a Phd, teaches at MSU and has worked for the DEQ and in other oil and gas industry concerns in the past. He has quit working for the oil industry and now consults on the side of the environment and teaches. 

In his past career with the DEQ Chris wore a haz-mat suit and participated in cleaning up oil spills.  He has alot of insider information on the DEQ and confirmed some rumors we have heard regarding the DEQ in the past.  Now we know these rumors to be true, Chris confirmed them with dates and facts.  A video recording of his slides will be available soon at Ban Michigan Fracking

The main points we took from the meeting include:

1)  The DEQ keeps saying that 'none of the thousands of wells that have been fracked or drilled for oil have any record of contaminating water or leaking'. We all know this is not true.   Chris gave evidence for that. The DEQ only monitors wellheads and officially they quit doing this in 1995 (that's when they deleted their database called the SAPP list which kept records on contamination. The truth of the matter is that the spills/leaks don't happen at the wellhead. They happen due to human error, from hauling oil/waste, from pipelines and spills on site when someone fills a tanker and leaves a valve open. In reality the number is probably in the thousands. He helped clean up some of them, and he provided expert opinions (for the property owners) in cases where there were spills and  leaks and the DEQ wasn't cleaning it up. He even showed the names of some of the cases. Some cases he couldn't name (due to legal restrictions) but he described the situations.   Some were so bad people had to abandon their homes. 

2) In 2001 there was a study done by Alliance for Great Lakes on 3000 sites in Michigan. There were 200 contaminations from those 3000 sites. Out of the 200, 25% contaminated drinking water, 2% were attempted cleanups, 21% had no action and 0% were fully remediated (we believe the rest were unknown outcomes).

3) There is an internal (non public) list of contaminations the DEQ keeps (since deleting their DB in 1995) and it is purported to have 700 sites with  contamination.  If you extrapolate from the data in, today there are 28,000 wells in Michigan so we could have 1800 contaminated sites from those 28,000 wells.
4) Now the only way to determine how many and where there are contaminated sites is via a FOIA (freedom of information act) request and you have to know  what your looking for.
5)  The OOMG (Office of Oil Gas & Minerals - part of DEQ). does some cleanup and they are known to do the 'wet finger' test.  They figure out which way the wind is blowing and they sniff the air (no  kidding). Rarely, do they do the proper type of soil sampling to see if they've done a job properly. Chris cited one legal case he got involved in where he went to check a site (that was supposedly cleaned-up) and there was crude oil leaking out of the ground and into a stream.  He shared these examples of oil spills in Michigan with us:

  • Example #1 - 'Hayes 22 Central Production' site example (Gaylord) there were 60 separate events of release of contamination. 3 landowners had to have their drinking water wells closed. A computer model of the contamination showed it would take 20-30 years to clean it up. I think these were the homeowners he cited that got into a lawsuit and had their houses bought by the oil company because they couldn't live in them or sell them to anyone.
  • Example #2 - Most of the time the leaks are discovered by landowners, hunters or snowmobilers. Snowmobiler finds brine leaking, it's described by the DEQ as 40 gallons (they don't have to report less than 41 gallons). In reality it was over 400 (it was melting a huge swath of snow).
  • Example #3 - Dairy farmer has a leak on his property. They discover crude leaking on the surface and benzene in the creek.

That harmless brine that the DEQ refers to often... Chris showed a slide of all the chemicals in the brine and it covered the screen. Its' not  Morton salt.  Basically, don't trust the regulator!  (his actual words)

FRACKING
All fracking is not the same. Most of the older wells that have been fracked up north, in Antrim shale, are shallow. Much less risky than what's being done in the main target layer now (the Utica/Collingwood shale layer). The fracking being done in Utica/Collingwood is much deeper, therefore more toxic fluids (millions of gallons) and more opportunity for spills and leaks (it's human error afterall that's the main culprit). Up north only 3 wells are fracked in deep Utica/Collingwood layer. This is the deep hydro-fracking that really has everyone concerned.

Deep, high pressure hydro-fracking wells are not regulated like deep injection wells. They are treated like a conventional oil well. They should (presumably) be treated with the same regulation as an injection well since they are under the same sorts of stress (pressures and volumes).

There is no fracking in this area yet but the oil wells in the Irish hills area could easily be converted into fracking wells (they are in the right layer). The only thing that stops the oil companies from doing this is the price of natural gas and a deep injection well (to get rid of the millions of gallons of contaminated water they will create). Once they're done with the oil, and the price of natural gas goes up, fracking will probably begin.

INJECTION WELLS
Deep injection wells are proposed by applicant (oil developer), approved by DEQ and then the EPA. When the DEQ has a public 'hearing' on deep injection well proposal they only listen, give no response, and then they go away and make their ruling.

They were proposing two injection wells for toxic waste store in Norvell. Norvell township supervisor discovered after calling DEQ that now they are proposing 3. He also discovered that the DEQ had already approved them (when he told the audience this at the meeting there was a gasp). People were extremely alarmed to discover that the DEQ had approved the wells before the EPA had their public hearing.

Injection wells are typically class I or class II. Class I is most toxic. Michigan has 1500 class II but only 7 class I. A class II can be converted into a class I.

THE GOOD NEWS
Grobbel cited 2 cases where public hearings on deep injection wells had gone in favor of the public (denying the applicant/oil company) and he said that the best tactic to use is to get people to go to the meeting and speak and write to disapprove (fill the room with people). These were in Alba and Kingsley (although Kingsley was ruling by judge and a strange one).

Mayfield Township in Traverse City has created effective zoning ordinances to keep oil developers out. But it's very tricky and needs to be part of the master plan.   Dr. Grobbels' slides have been posted on the Resources page of Ban Michigan Fracking.

Saline halts wholesale water sales as concerns surface over oil drilling

The city of saline, which has previously sold water to Paxton Resources to enable their oil drilling operations in Saline Township, has placed a temporary moratorium on water sales to external organizaitons.  For the full details please see City of Saline Halts Water Sales Over Drilling Concerns

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lodi Township Needs to Stand Up

Over the past few months, neighbors have been approaching the Lodi Township Board of Trustees about the potential threats and problems related to oil and gas exploration activities in the area. Initially,  the Board's reaction was that we are all protected, as this activity was subject to regulation under their current mining ordinances.


Given the special nature of the oil and gas activities, and the current State statute that directly tries to take the ability to regulate out of the hands of the municipalities, this is likely not the case, as Supervisor Godek admits in the attached mailing -- see  Lodi Township March 2012 Newsletter to read.  For best viewing click on Full Screen.


Unfortunately, the Supervisor seems to say that there is no hope in terms of regulating these activities. We respectfully disagree, and communities around the county are showing that they will and can protect the local population and environment though State law would seem to try to restrict them otherwise. We would suggest that it is time for Lodi to pass an ordinance like the one that is on the books in the City of Ann Arbor, or in Middlefield, NY, or in Dryden, NY, or look to the County or specialized legal expertise for additional guidance and assistance. It is time for the Lodi leadership to stand up and protect us. It is time for the Lodi leadership to protect our well, our air, our roads, our homes, and our property. It is time for Lodi leadership to stand up and fight!


This issue is far more important then a few chickens in someone's backyard....     And if your dog is against oil drilling then this is for him/her:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Announcing the No Paxton Zazzle Store

If you would like to show your support for No Paxton and let others know how you feel about oil drilling in our area  please check out our Tell Paxton No Zazzle Store  Below are a few products that we have recently designed.




Monday, April 2, 2012

Saline Township Planning Meeting Tuesday April 3 at 7:30pm

Welcome to the new members from Saline Township who have recently joined No Paxton.    We'd like to make everyone aware of the Saline Township Planning Commission meeting.  It would be a good place to voice your concerns over the oil drilling that has the potential to ruin our quality of life in Saline and Lodi townships.  


As you may be aware many of the Saline Township board members have signed oil leases with Paxton Resources so they are very supportive of Paxton and have made it very easy for Paxton to operate in Saline Township.  Unfortunately, Lodi Township shares a border with Saline Township.   The members of No Paxton are very upset with the leniency of Saline Township when it comes to oil wells.


Today No Paxton obtained copies of these well permit applications for proposed wells in Saline Township by Paxton Resources.  It is our understanding that both of these wells will be in the Macon Rd. area.  If you click on the images below they will be more readable.








So if you are against these oil wells as much as we are then please attend and voice your concerns to the Saline Township Planning Commission.


Saline Township Planning Commission Meeting
Tuesday April 3, 2012 at  7:30PM


Saline Township Hall
5731 Braun Road
Saline MI, 48176




Saturday, March 31, 2012

City of Saline Sells Water to Oil Companies, Deep Injection Disposal Well Planned for Norvel Township

This excellent article from Sean Dalton at Heritage Newspapers (March 26, 2012) provides some recent updates on the situation.  Commissioner Prater and Washtenaw County are coming to the situation with open ears and minds and are very concerned.  Some of the scarier things going on include the City of Saline selling water to the oil companies for drilling, and that there are plans for a deep injection waste well in Norvell Township (a couple miles West of Manchester)!!  Folks, it gets scarier and scarier - is a major disposal site next for Lodi and Saline Township?  And why is the City of Saline assisting in generating risks to our land, air, and water out here in the townships?  Folks, it's time to speak up!  See the entire article here:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Seismic Testing in the Saline Township Area

It has been noticed by neighbors in the Austin/Dell/Grass area that surveying stakes have been going up all over the place this week.  Apparently, Paxton and their subcontractors are attempting to mark off territory so that they can perform additional seismic testing.  The purpose of the testing is undoubtedly to identify pockets of oil.   While the flags run across many fields and directions, a neighbor found the map of Saline township below.  It is assumed that the green areas are those that have already signed leases, the yellow are areas that have given permission to test (but not necessarily signed leases), and the red are those that have not given any permission or signed leases.  We apologize for the quality of the image, but it should be fairly obvious if compared with Google Maps or eWashtenaw site or this map of Saline Township

Saline Township starts just south of 7980 Grass Rd. so about 1/3 of Grass Rd. is in Saline Township and the part north of this address is in Lodi township.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paxton Resources Denied Lease of Land by Washtenaw County Road Commission

Since at least December 2011, Paxton Resources has sought to lease a small parcel of land from the Washtenaw County Road Commission for inclusion into a new drilling unit just south of downtown Saline.  A lease was being negotiated between Paxton and a representative of the Commission, and the lease was placed on the "consent" agenda for March 20, 2012.  While the size of the parcel is supposedly small relative to the overall unit, obtaining a lease from the County was important to Paxton, as without it they must either not drill in this area or go through legal proceedings to execute "compulsory pooling."

Nopaxton.com members attended the March 20 meeting to convey additional information to the Commissioners so that they could make the most well informed decision possible on the lease and to convey their opposition.  Some highlights included:

  • A local citizen showing off a lease he received from Paxton Resources - notarized but without any signature!  Commissioners were surprised someone would engage in such practices, with a legal advisor stating that it was clearly not good practice.    The citizen conveyed that it was his feeling that this was representative of the manner in which Paxton conducts business.
  • Another citizen talking about the stench from the current wells that Paxton Resources owns and operates in the area, and how when he bikes through the area he feels sorry for those that must live with the air pollution.
  • A Washtenaw County Commissioner expressing his frustration with the DEQ and their seeming inability to respond to Washtenaw County's requests for information.  The Commissioner (Mr. Wes Prater) decried the State's attempts to strip the powers of local government to protect its citizens, conveyed that he believes there are significant questions to be answered, and did not support the leasing of Washtenaw County land to Paxton Resources.
  • Mr. Greg Vadnais, who works for Paxton Resources and is the son of one of the owners, expressing how he was surprised that the lease was open for public consideration as it was on the "consent agenda."
  • Mr. Vadnais also claimed that he had heard no complaints about their work, was unaware that unsigned notarized documents were being sent out, and claimed that any accusations were simply cherry- picked statements or things that occurred a long time ago.  He also used the phrase, "throw you under the bus" when referring to the County Road Commission and Paxton's plans to go forward regardless of the desires of the Commission or the concerned citizens.

The Commission voted a unanimous "NO" on leasing the property, and the lease was turned down.  We'll see whether Paxton Resources chooses to subvert the decision of the Board and the desire of the local citizenry by attempting to force the issue via compulsory pooling.
 
WELL DON
E COMMISSIONERS - THE CITIZENS APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paxton Resources Requests Lease from Washtenaw County Road Commission

We apologize for the short notice.  No Paxton has just been made aware of a Washtenaw County Road Commission meeting at 1pm on Tuesday March 20.  One of the agenda items will be the leasing of land owned by the Road Commission to Paxton Resources.  We plan to attend and voice our concerns. 

For more information on the location of the meeting please see 



Leasing May Make It Difficult To Obtain Financing

We will no longer be financing homes with gas leases,” Jennifer
Jackson, Program Director for Rural Loans, US Department of
Agriculture, New York office.


As awareness about the potential contamination and downsides of oil and gas drilling grows, so too will the reluctance by banks and financial institutions to finance properties around which this is occurring. The title quote comes from a March 18, 2012 NYT article that you can read below:

Correction: Monday March 19 Lodi Twp. Meeting Starts at 7pm

The oil and gas educational meeting at the Lodi Township hall starts at 7pm tonight Monday March 19 and not 7:30pm.  We apologize for any confusion caused by the original notice which stated 7:30pm in the title.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reminder - Lodi Township Meeting Monday March 19 7:00PM

Just a  reminder to please attend the oil and gas education session on:

Monday, March 19, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Lodi Township Hall
2755 Pleasant Lake Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Guest speakers include:
  • Curtis Talley Jr., MSU Extension Area Farm Mgmt Educator
  • An area Attorney with experience in Oil & Gas Leases
  • DEQ Representative to address regulations
  • Matt Kapp, Michigan Farm Bureau Land Use Specialist
Oil and Gas Education For Landowners

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Will leasing impact your property value?

This short article, from Steve Coffman of Dundee, NY, points out a few of the issues associated with leases and their impact on property values and bank financing. It's focused on gas drilling in the NY area but applies here in Washtenaw County in very much the same way...


Will Leasing Depress Your Property Values?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oil and Gas Lease Educational Program Monday / 7PM March 19 Lodi Township Hall

Monday, March 19, 2012  7:00 p.m.


Lodi Township Hall
2755 Pleasant Lake Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI  48103


Guest speakers include:
  • Curtis Talley Jr., MSU Extension Area Farm Mgmt Educator
  • An area Attorney with experience in Oil & Gas Leases
  • DEQ Representative to address regulations
  • Matt Kapp, Michigan Farm Bureau Land Use Specialist
Oil and Gas Education For Landowners

Myths and Realities of Oil/Gas Development from our friends in Ohio!

NEOGAP is an Ohio-based group that follows the issues surrounding oil
and gas development (particularly in Ohio) and has a wealth of
excellent information on thier website. I encourage everyone to check
out http://www.neogap.org/. I also encourage folks to review this
article from NEOGAP:

Myths and Realities of Oil/Gas Development 

Again, this document focuses on Ohio but much of it applies here.
They hit topics like safety, contamination, inadequate staffing of
State inspectors, whether or not this will help defer our dependence
on middle-east oil, and more. It's also a well-referenced document.

Wall Street Journal reports on latest development in fracking wells and contaminated water supplies....

Findings may indicate faulty well construction rather than the fracking method itself.  If subterranean cement seals or casings have been improperly constructed, contaminants can leak into the shallower aquifer layer or to the surface.


Oil wells are typically constructed in a similar manner using cement poured into cavities to isolate the well bore.


Environmental Defense Fund spokesperson estimates that 1 in 10 wells fail due to badly constructed cement seals.


Read the full WSJ entry here: Faulty Wells, Not Fracking, Blamed for Water Pollution

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hundreds of Abandoned Oil Wells Deemed a Risk to Muskegon

The Muskegon oil boom that began in the 1920s and resulted in the environmental catastrophe at the former Zephyr oil refinery has another unfortunate legacy: hundreds, perhaps as many as 1,000, abandoned oil and natural gas wells practically on top of which homes and schools have been built. See the full storHundreds of Abandoned Oil Wells in Muskegon

Did you know that if you sign a lease with Paxton, or any oil drilling company, and the well does not produce oil then the well can be used to store hazardous wasteDo we want this in Lodi Township?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hundreds of abandoned oil wells deemed an 'unacceptable risk' to Muskegon County residents

The Muskegon oil boom that began in the 1920s and resulted in the environmental catastrophe at the former Zephyr oil refinery has another unfortunate legacy: hundreds, perhaps as many as 1,000, abandoned oil and natural gas wells practically on top of which homes and schools have been built. See the full storHundreds of Abandoned Oil Wells in Muskegon

Did you know that if you sign a lease with Paxton, or any oil drilling company, and the well does not produce oil then the well can be used to store hazardous wasteDo we want this in Lodi Township?

Monday, February 6, 2012

“My son had sores up and down his legs from the water”

Interesting article on fracking and what kind of "deal" others have gotten and how it played out for them.  Do the tactics of the landmen sound familiar?  Read on...

Fracking in Pennsylvania

Monday, January 30, 2012

Canadian Company Putting in Another Oil Pipeline Through Washtenaw County?

A Canadian company operating out of Toledo is hoping to build another oil pipeline across Michigan, including through parts of Washtenaw County (we're looking into exactly where).  This same company (Enbridge Pipelines) is the outfit responsible for the Kalamazoo spill last year - 800,000 gallons of hazardous material released directly into the Kalamazoo River and related watershed.  Will Lodi, Saline, and surrounding areas suffer?  Read this to start...

Canadian Company Putting In OIl Pipeline through Washtenaw County?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are You Regretting Signing a Mineral Rights Lease?

We recently learned about an organization in New York called FLEASED  They offer support to landowners who are regretting that they signed leases for mineral rights on their property.   Be sure to check out the resources tab which includes information on how to terminate your lease.


FLEASED Resources (see lease termination package)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reminder: Meeting Tonight Jan. 19 8PM

Just a reminder that a meeting will be held on tonight, Thursday Jan. 19 at 8pm at the Union School Gym in Saline.   We have lots  of new information to share so please attend.  Lodi Township Residents Only Please

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Great Summary of Some of the Issues Surrounding a Mineral Rights Lease

A coalition of concerned homeowners in New York put together an
EXCELLENT summary of the issues you should consider before signing 
any mineral rights lease.  Obviously, Michigan is slightly different but 
all the key information is correct/the same:
The document:  Newsletter 1
 Their website: Meredith Coalition 
 
It's good to see there are others banning together around the country
to protect their air, water, and land!
 
Please follow us on Twitter NoPaxton
The next meeting will be held on Thursday Jan. 19 at 8pm at the Union School Gym in SalineAll concerned citizens are welcome to attend.   
Lodi Township Residents Only Please
 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bothered by Edward Peters, Petro Vest (or is it Oak Meadows Company)?

Apparently, another landman has begun approaching and pressuring
landowners in our area to sign leases.  He called a number of folks
today/tonight (1/12/12) with the same old lines - "all your neighbors
have signed" type of stuff.  It is unclear whether or not he's working
for Paxton Resources, for another interest, or for himself, but in any
case one needs to consider whether a high pressure salesman on the
phone or at your door is really someone (or something) you want to
deal with.  If you have any questions about mineral rights leases or
drilling, check out the stuff on this website and/or email us with any
contacts or concerns.  If you'd like to contact Mr. Peters with your
opinion, his information is below:
 
Petro Vest/Oak Meadows CO
P.O. Box 653
Mount Pleasant,MI     48804-0653
 
Edward Peters
4240 E. Millbrook Road
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858-8126
w 989 772-5494, c 989 621-2344, h 989 772-6104
edsteroil@yahoo.com
 
See you Lodi landowners next Thursday night at the meeting!
 
Please follow us on Twitter NoPaxton
The next meeting will be held on Thursday Jan. 19 at 8pm at the Union School Gym in SalineAll concerned citizens are welcome to attend.   
Lodi Township Residents Only Please
 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oil Giant's Shell Game Nets Elderly Farmers

In Northern Michigan, hundreds of farmers and others expected a
windfall when they leased their land....only to have the shell
companies fronting for a larger oil company back out for little or no
reason.  This highlights the point that no matter the wording of the
contract or the promises made.... (read the full article below)
 
Oil Giants Shell Game Nets Elderly Farmers 
Please follow us on Twitter NoPaxton
The next meeting will be held on Thursday Jan. 19 at 8pm at the Union School Gym in SalineAll concerned citizens are welcome to attend.   
Lodi Township Residents Only Please

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NoPaxton Obtains Copies of Permits For Saline Township Wells

The next meeting will be held on Thursday Jan. 19 at 8pm at the Union School Gym in Saline.   We have lots  of new information to share so please attend.  Lodi Township Residents Only Please

NoPaxton has obtained copies of the well permits applied for by Paxton Resources from the Michgan DEQ for the oil wells that are in or planned to be in Saline Township (Braun Rd. area).     Please see the links below.  For easiest reading click Full Screen once the permit document loads.