Residents want Mars Area school board members to continue fighting gas well

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Even though members of the Mars Area School Board voted not to allow drilling under district schools, their roles are not done, residents told board members Tuesday.

Residents who are fighting the permit for a gas well on a farm near the campus urged board members to join them.

“The issue is far from over. There is a large group of very dedicated individuals doing everything they can to prevent this from being beside our school,” said Jackie Smathers. “If we had the school board behind us, supporting us, that would be very powerful.”

The school board last month unanimously rejected an agreement to allow Rex Energy to drill under a portion of district property. Rex has applied to put a gas well on property belonging to Kim Geyer, a former school board president. The well will be 0.52 miles from the Mars Area campus

Resident Patrice Tomcik, a geneticist, presented board members with several pages of information about the chemicals used in drilling and fracking, and the health effects potentially caused by those chemicals.

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: First Published April 1, 2014 11:26 PM

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