fracking presentation coming to Modesto Junior College

09/24/2013 12:00 AM

09/25/2013 10:50 PM

California Department of Conservation Director Mark Nechodom will be at the Modesto Junior College West Campus on Friday to talk about the controversial practice of fracking: how it works, the rules under discussion and the potential impacts of this method of extracting oil and other materials.

Regulations being developed for hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, have implications for groundwater quality, greenhouse gases and many other concerns. Nechodom, fracking “czar” for the state of California, will talk about the drafting of the regulations and his priority to put protection of public health and safety and the environment first.

“One of the most important issues currently confronting society is how extensively should fracking be used to solve our energy needs,” said Steven Murov, an event organizer. Modesto Area Partners in Science sought out Nechodom to offer pros and cons of the practice to kick off their fall series of programs. A list is available at

“This could be the most important MAPS talk of our 22-year history and also one of the most informative talks ever in Modesto,” Murov said.

To accommodate high community interest expected in this topic, MAPS moved from its usual venue to the larger Mary Stuart Rogers Student Center, where 500 seats are available for this week’s free presentation.

Nechodom will provide a comprehensive look at the process currently under way at the DOC’s division of oil, gas, and geothermal resources to develop state regulations. His website notes his mission has been to inspire sustainable production and practices while maintaining a sensible balance between economic opportunities, environmental health and human well-being.

Prior to leading the conservation agency, Nechodom was a senior policy adviser to the secretary of agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He earned his doctorate in political science and environmental policy from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he taught for several years. He is married to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

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