2014-03-13 / Front Page

Chaffees’ Sad Saga Continues

Warren Center Residents Claim Fracking Forced Them to Abandon Their Home
—BY DAVID KEELER—

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Without taking away anything

Without taking away anything from the difficulties the Chaffees face here, or from my sympathies with their plight, I must say that the reporting on this story is as pathetic as the story itself. We are told that there is "foul smelling air" in their house, but we have only the word of an anti-fracking activist, Mr. Ferullo, about specific tests. I'd like to know -- are the "SUMA canisters" mentioned approved for home use? If not, is Mr. Ferullo a trained technician who knows how to deploy them? Has the reporter seen anything in writing showing the testing method used, actual concentrations of gases detected, and a comparison to acceptable levels for breathing air? "Above normal" levels could mean 1% above normal, 10%, 100%, or 1000%. How much would it cost to have an independent air quality specialist investigate? Also, have other sources of air contamination in the house been ruled out? The "ambulance company" man who came out at midnight must have been a gas company employee testing for gas leaks. Can we infer that the house must have natural gas service? Has that system been checked for leaks? What about the house's septic or sewer system or drain-waste-vent system? Could that have a leak? Something as simple as a dried-out trap in a sink drain can allow foul odors into the house. Again, my sympathies are with the Chaffees. But including some actual verifiable facts in the article could possibly lead to a solution of their problem.

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