Seismic Testing, Use of Dynamite Approved on Highland Township Property
Large booms that were reported in the Highland area for several months were determined to be caused by a company doing seismic testing using dynamite.
Residents who reported hearing loud booms all over Highland for the last several months may soon hear a lot more.
The Highland Township Board of Trustees approved the request of West Bay Geophysical to conduct seismic testing for gas and oil with the use of dynamite in the township park off Hickory Ridge Road where the soccer fields are located.
The approval is conditional upon the company providing the township with a copy of the insurance certificate and its agreement to notify the fire department and area residents of days and times testing would be conducted.
It was determined last month that the booms residents heard were from the company, which has been working in the area along land belonging to Oakland County.
The request was originally brought before the board during last month's meeting, but members decided to table it because they did not have enough information.
Highland Supervisor Rick Hamill said that the testing was not about actual drilling, but about finding if there are any resources there and that no fracking would occur.
According to Hamill, if oil was discovered, the township owns 25 percent of the property's mineral rights while the state owns the other 75 percent. This is because either state funds or grant monies were used to purchase the park property and as a byproduct, the state took 75 percent of the mineral rights.
Hamill said that the company would be using dynamite on the property, but the damage would be minimal because the small charges are bored deep into the ground.
"It doesn't create a huge crater," he said.
Township Trustee Mary Pat Chynoweth said she had environmental concerns and spoke with a company representative.
"They've done this in a lot of other parks," she said. "It made me feel better that other parks are allowing this and its not doing damage to them."