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SUBMITTED by Nancy Kasper, North Rose, NY (11-Feb-2012)

Letter to the Editor

Wake up! If everyone opens their eyes to the facts about hydrofracking, every man, woman and child would scream, Stop! That's Crazy! Because the truth about hydrofracking, (the natural gas extraction process that pumps millions of gallons of toxic chemical-laced water into the ground) is that it could mean the end of us, and it would be by our own hands.

As time passes the gas industry is finding it harder to ignore the mounting evidence disproving claims it could be done safely. That's proving devastatingly false. EPA studies and DEC findings now show ground and well water contamination occurring and indicate the likelihood it can't be controlled. Check the information on hydrofracking available on the Internet, including reports of spills contaminating streams and rivers, the Cornell Study of the Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health, and the EPA statement linking contaminated well water with hydrofracking in Wyoming and Pennsylvania.

Just think about this. Each well requires a minimum three million gallons of water mixed with tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals injected underground to loosen or dissolve mineral obstructions and only about half of that fluid returns to the surface as highly contaminated “flowback” fluid. – Fluid that requires storage, treatment and eventual disposal. There are no treatment facilities in NY designed to properly decontaminate the waste fluids. In fact, there is no treatment available to remove the radioactive material brought up in the process. The costs for transporting or treating frack fluid has not been calculated or included into the economic picture. Neither have the health costs. And what happens to the fluid that doesn’t return? Think about that.

Consider the recently released EPA annual analysis of the Toxics Release Inventory, a compilation of all  reported toxic chemical releases and disposals into our air, land and water by multiple industries, showing a 16% increase in one year. A staggering 3.93 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment nationwide in 2010. And that's only what was reported. At that rate the total will double in under five years. That's without the input from thousands of planned gas wells the industry is pushing to develop. That doesn't account for unreported (illegally dumped) releases or spills. (See YouTube for evidence.)

The industry did say there's lots of money to be made, making it very difficult for struggling farmers, rural residents and towns to resist. But what was presented as easy money may come at such a heavy price one could liken it to selling one's soul to the devil.

How many stories of sickened family members, dying livestock and family pets, how many accounts of contaminated drinking water, fish and wildlife kills, how many devastated lives will it take for us to wake up? Pumping millions of gallons of toxic fluids underground is nothing short of slowly killing our beautiful and bounteous planet. If that's what industry is safe or government says is in our “national interest”, they’re wrong.

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1 Comment to "Fracking Nightmare"

  1. Belinda Said,

    It's not only the environmental impact but there is an economic impact as well. More truck traffic, destruction of landscape by heavy equipment. Elmira is experiencing an economic growth in Micro Hotels being built. Not one but three. Once the gas companies leave the area there will be 3 empty hotels as well as businesses going out of business. People are buying up dilapidated homes and renting them out to the gas company workers. Fracking is not good for tourism either.

    Posted on Tue Feb 28, 12:31:00 PM EST

     

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