Our View: Potential harm of energy projects not something to be taken lightly

DKS Editors

Earlier this month, a chemical used in the coal-preparation process leaked into West Virginia’s Elk River, leaving about 300,000 people without clean water to drink or use.

More disconcerting is the recent discovery that the government has little-to-no knowledge about the harmful effects of exposure to the chemical, Crude MCHM, causing many to wonder if it’s OK to drink the water again is actually valid.

In Portage County, Sunoco Logistics Partners recently held an educational meeting about pipelines, which included discussion of its current pipeline carrying liquid ethane that runs through Portage County and Akron as well as a proposed pipeline that would carry gasoline and diesel through Ohio to Pittsburgh.

Local citizens voiced concerns about the safety of the pipeline.

As technology and energy continues to evolve, we need to take a step back and consider the possible harmful effects of projects before they begin.

If the pipelines were to leak, the possible effects on us and the environment could be disastrous, as they were in West Virginia.

These projects evolve at a rapid rate, and because of this, there is little understanding of how potential accidents and leaks could actually harm people.

Before people allow projects like this to move forward, it is important for the companies completing them to slow down and do some research so those at risk have a good understanding of what it could mean to them and their families.

Open discussions between companies and communities are essential to making projects like these as safe and useful as possible.