Residents concerned about fracking rally in Cochrane

About 40 people living in and around the Cochrane area west of Calgary gathered Saturday to rally against fracking.

The fracking process involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground — fracturing rock — and releasing oil or gas.

More than 170,000 fracking sites have been drilled in Alberta in the last 60 years.

Many people including Karen Faulk are concerned about air and groundwater contamination.

“When you start taking random stories, you start to see patterns and for me I ask why?,” Faulk explained.

Her concerns are echoed by many who showed up to the rally including.

“A fellow drove by one of those flare shields — he came to me the next day he had a bubbling red rash…he had boils on his forehead; one of my other neighbours had to shoot six cows that had rampant cancer,” said Gary Tresidder at the rally.

Local residents say people living near the wells are losing their hair and they worry cancer rates are higher in those areas.

The people at the rally also said they’re not trying to stop big oil and gas companies, rather they are trying to make them use more environmentally friendly extraction techniques.

"I’ve had meetings with them to be sensible about this and be concerned with people's health and not just come in here and rape the country for the almighty dollar," Tresidder said.

But so far, Tresidder said he's had very little success in getting the companies to address his concerns.

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