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Government & Politics

Akron Drops Drilling Proposal Near LaDue Reservoir

LaDue Reservoir
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The water supply for the city of Akron is stored in LaDue Reservoir. After some members of the community spoke out against the city's proposal to lease land nearby for fracking, the city decided to not move forward with the deal.

Land owned by the city of Akron will not be leased for oil and natural gas drilling after all.

Mayor Dan Horrigan announced during a virtual Town Hall meeting Thursday that the city is withdrawing the proposal to lease the land near LaDue Reservoir to DP Energy Auburn LLC.

Horrigan says the deal is being pulled from Akron City Council’s agenda because of widespread community concern. While he understands apprehension about fracking, Horrigan says the city would not jeopardize the safety of citizens and the drinking water. And he’s concerned about misinformation.

He says this issue is not the same as the public health crisis in Flint, Mich., where the city’s drinking water was contaminated.

Dan Horrigan Virtual Townhall 020421 (3).WAV
Horrigan: the proposed deal

“Flint was somebody actually changing the water supply to a lead-laden, mercury-laden water supply from a safe one and then not telling anybody about it. And this was not this at all," Horrigan said. "We're not selling the water rights or the rights to do that. It would have been a lease, and quite frankly, I haven't been bought by campaign donors. I wanted to make that clear to all of that. So we've listened to your concerns.”

Horrigan says he is willing to have a policy debate about the issue of fracking at a later date.

He also says the city will have to think of a creative way in the future to make up for lost revenue from this deal, which would have generated an initial sum of $237,500.