Concern Over Oil Fields

By: Amanda Humes
By: Amanda Humes

Oil and gas activity has increased in Robertson County and so have residents concerns for their safety and health. The county hosted a public awareness meeting to address those issues.

" Right behind our house is a gas well and it has been burning off 24-7 and people around us are starting to get sick," said Franklin resident Carol Beck.

Beck is concerned about her family's health and safety. She says living next to an oil field puts her in constant danger and the fumes have become unbearable.

" We smell rotten eggs, we smell, like, burnt hair and it gets so bad that you have to stay in your house," said Beck.

Beck voiced her concerns to city officials who arranged for oil and gas industry representatives to come speak to the community.
Energy company representatives explained the oil drilling process and answered questions.

Among the main concerns were mud and waste flowing into their creeks, choking fumes creating poor air quality, and the risks and possibilities of an explosion.

County Judge Fred Elliott calls the meeting positive and says the county is trying to develop a good relationship with the oil and gas industry which brings in tons of tax dollars, all the while keeping the county safe for residents.

" I believe in informing people. We are undergoing some changes at this time, hopefully for the better," said Judge Elliott.

Robertson County emergency management says it's also adding some features specifically for oil and gas businesses.

" We're trying to prepare ourselves for different incidents that may occur. Have the proper signage in place, have people trained, have the equipment available," said Jerry Henry, Robertson County Emergency Management Coordinator.

While the meeting managed to cover a lot of ground, the two sides still have some work to do to find common ground.


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