After a childhood spent moving around, Patti Gorcheff vowed that she'd never uproot her daughter. But she says an oil and gas drilling frenzy in her area has forced her to change her mind.
She and her husband are selling the family home and fleeing with their 15-year-old before the drinking water becomes contaminated, said Gorcheff, 56, of rural North Lima in northeastern Ohio. She's heard the accounts from neighboring Pennsylvania of contaminant-laced water being discharged into rivers — and of fears there that, despite officials' assurances, drinking water might be harmed.
"I've never been so afraid," she said. "They're taking advantage of us because we're one of the poorest areas in the country. We have to move out of this area, we just have to.
Ohio residents like Tish O'Dell of the Cleveland suburb of Broadview Heights are skeptical. O'Dell said many of her neighbors were vulnerable to deals offered by lease buyers, known as landmen, because of the down economy. One woman, she said, had no idea such destruction would occur.