Story of Angela and Wayne Smith: Clearville, PA

Angela and Wayne Smith are farmers in the rural town of Clearville, Pennsylvania. Before gas-drilling companies started threatening their farm in 2007, they successfully raised beef cattle and harvested blueberries. This is a story of the burdens that fracking can cause and shows precisely why the Stop the Frack Attack efforts are warranted.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company approached the Smiths in 2007 with a lease that would allow them to frack next to the farm but the Smiths refused to sign it. When PG&E came back for the second time, they said that if the Smiths did not sign the contract and gas was found on their land, then the drillers would be able to drill for the gas anyways without paying the Smiths any money. Several storage wells were created nearby in 2007 that caused water problems for the Smiths. In the same year, one of their horses died of a neurological problem. The horse fell to the ground and could not move her legs, which forced the Smiths to put her down. The following year, a cow had the same symptoms and died. The Smiths also have lost a chicken and a dog. They had to watch their animals die in agony because of the dangerous chemicals that have been put in their water by the companies that fracked on their land. They were concerned about their own health and the health of their animals. Fracking threatened their livelihood by impacting their health and their business.

The Smiths later discovered that there was methane and arsenic in their drinking water, and so they bought an $11,000 water unit so that they could have safe drinking water for themselves and their animals. Fracking polluted their aquifer and forced them to pay thousands. But that is not all. The compressor station located across from their property creates a ton of noise and makes their once serene farm a very unpleasant place to live. In 2009, the compressor station exploded and sprayed oil all over their property including their cars and blueberries. The blueberries were contaminated and the Smiths could not sell them. The Smiths had planned to leave the farm to their grandchildren but fracking has destroyed that dream. The value of the property has gone down immensely since the drilling began. When the Smiths bought their farm they had a plan for how their life would go. But the monetary burdens they have faced due to the drilling company’s haphazard and frivolous destruction of the nearby land has ruined their plans.

The Smiths’ story is a call to action. We need you to help us fight against fracking on July 28th! Help us put an end to these injustices. Below is Angela and Wayne Smith’s story on Youtube.