Neighbors in Collier Co. continue fight against proposed oil drilling
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Protect our paradise. That was the message from some people living in Collier County worried about a proposed oil drilling project in their backyards.
" It is right in the backyard of the residents, it is less than a 1,000 feet away from their homes. That's within the emergency evacuation zone, they're at risk." Resident Karen Dwyer said.
People living in the area near Desoto Boulevard in Golden Gate Estates first got word of the project in April. Since then, they've been standing up and speaking out against it. Tuesday night, neighbors packed a Naples library for an emergency town hall meeting. Karen Dwyer said drilling raises immediate red flags and that digging can cause serious danger.
" We could actually have fatalities if there's a blow out in the middle of the night you could have a gas leak no one could detect it." Dwyer said.
Two weeks ago, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and reps from the oil company met with the neighbors. The company said oil drilling could boost the Collier County economy and promised the project is safe. But Jaime Duran, who lives right next door to the drilling site said his concerns are falling on deaf ears.
"They see us, the 30 families that are nearby as expendable people. Some that are going to make less noise and give them less trouble. We are number one in the blast zone and I'm not sure they are properly prepared to deal with a disaster and I'm not really sure they care." Duran said.
Neighbors will now take comments and concerns to the Florida DEP which is expected to make a decision on whether or not to issue the drilling permit next month.