Gov. Cuomo is pushing through fracking — at the expense of renewables and the state and future generations. Please comment. LETTERS ARE DUE JANUARY 11, 2013!
We’re only beginning to get through the regulations to make comments but here is a beginning. Please go to our Atlantic Chapter website www.newyork.sierraclub.org
AND – read through the information found on the cover page under
“30 Days to Save NY from Fracking”.
Letters/Comments may be sent several different ways:
- By e-mail through the Sierra site at the “30 Days to Save Fracking ” spot with the TAKE ACTION button
- OR By regular mail to the Department of Environmental Conservation:
Attn: Draft HVHF (High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing) Regulations Comments
Albany, NY 12233-6510
- OR You can submit comments on the web at the New York State High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Comments page of Department Environmental Conservation’s website http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html
- Hydrofracking companies come under scrutiny from Pennsylvania doctors and media: “Drillers’ insistence on secrecy faces challenge from Pa. doctors, media”
- A recent study published in the journal Ground Water draws new concerns about the safety of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, concluding that fracking chemicals injected into the ground could migrate toward drinking water supplies far more quickly than experts have previously predicted: “New Study Predicts Frack Fluids can Migrate to Aquifers within Years”
- A People’s Hearing on Fracking will be held on Saturday June 2, 2012, from 10:00am – 4:30pm at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY. The collaborative event will give citizens an opportunity to testify on their concerns about hydrofracking in NYS. Sierra Niagara Group with be presenting, tabling and holding a workshop on CLEAN-FIT Programs: Clean Local Energy Accessible Now – Feed-in-Tariff Legislation for renewable energy and green jobs. More information is found on our Events Page and the People’s Hearing website: http://www.peopleshearing.com/March 2012
Amidst reports that New York State might green light hydraulic fracturing this year, the Buffalo Common Council passed a resolution on March 6th to support S4220 and A7218, bills that would prohibit fracking and wastewater treatment in New York.The resolution states that fracking’s negative impacts could affect Buffalo and other Great Lakes communities.
The Common Council also urged Governor Cuomo not to move forward with plans to open New York to fracking, explaining that regulation cannot protect against mistakes, some of which have recently come to light through EPA investigations in Pennsylvania and Wyoming:
“It is important that Buffalo sends a clear message to the State that we are unified in our request to pass a ban on hydrofracking in New York,” said Councilmember David Rivera. “We took action to ban hydrofracking in Buffalo and we now want the State to follow suit.”
On Monday March 5th, the Niagara Falls Common Council passed a resolution similar to Buffalo’s supporting a statewide ban on fracking in a message to Governor Cuomo. The Council also passed legislation to prohibit fracking and fracking waste from entering the city. This action puts the City at odds with the Niagara Falls Water Treatment Authority, which has been investigating processing billions of gallons of frack waste in Niagara Falls. This legislation makes Niagara Falls the latest municipality to pass local legislation protecting their residents.
January 2012 Update
Final comments to the DEC on the high volume hydrofracking and horizontal gas drilling question are due by January 11, 2012. Please go to our hydrofracking page to make your comments. If you wish to ask for a total ban of hydrofracking go to .
Our recent hydrofracking updates:
- Despite industry claims that its triple steel and cement casings are impregnable, a study completed by the engineering firm Hydro Quest and submitted to the Delaware River Basin Committee shows that many if not all underground casings eventually decay, some sooner than later. A letter to the DEC by a former DEC drilling technician, firmly states that all drilling casings will leak.
- To add to the risk of underground leaks, we must now add a variable of earthquakes. After it was discovered that Pennsylvania municipal water treatment plants were unable to process fracking waste, industry began injecting the slick water waste into underground storage wells in Ohio. In recent succession of earthquakes in the Youngstown area near these injection sites, spotlight how industry caused earthquakes can contribute to the damage and deterioration of well casings (link). Industry continues to deny causation between growing number of earthquakes in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and other states.
- Common Cause revealed that the hydrofracking industry has spent a quarter of a billion dollars lobbying and making campaign contributions to ensure that hydrofracking is approved in state legislatures. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, an avid proponent of drilling, has received $1.6 million from the industry. Some $10 million has been spent in Albany to push the process in New York State.
- Locally, the DEC appears to be hoping for a panacea in having the frack waste brought to the Niagara Falls Water Treatment Plant. Testimony by industry representatives and Paul Dorf of the Niagara Falls Water Treatment Authority and hearings in Canandaigua, New York painted a rosy picture. However we know that many of the chemicals used in the fracking process and brought up as fracking waste cannot be treated by the carbon filtration system at the Falls plant.
- A coalition of Great Lakes mayors, are concerned about the prospect of having frack waste from Niagara Falls pollute the fresh water drinking sources in the Great Lakes (link). The Niagara on the Lake Region of Ontario, Canada has already voted for a ban on fracking in the Great Lakes basin because of the threat to drinking water.
- Landowners who have signed leases with drilling companies are finding out that their leases are being purchased by larger companies up to food chain. Lease provisions are becoming increasingly byzantine as multiple landowners are joined into larger units.
- Some Pennsylvania towns have resorted to chopping down trees to block hydrofracking trucks as roads are damaged and companies fail to meet their promises of repair and reconstruction.
- A movement is ongoing in Pennsylvania to amend the States Constitution to permit local control and banning of hydrofracking.
- While the fracking industry touts hydrofracking “energy independence”, it is exporting most of its gas overseas. racking corporation stocks keep going up.
- December 2011 UpdateUPDATE on making comments on the DEC Hydrofracking Draft Environmental Impact Statement: On November 30, 2011, the DEC announced its decision to extend the comment period for another 30 days, until January 11, 2012. This comes in response to numerous requests by environmental groups and others to have more time to review the 2,000 page Draft SGEIS, released in September 2011.
See our newly launched site, http://stopdrillinggoclean.org on the dangers of hydrofracking, the negative economic impacts on local real estate and communities, renewable energy alternatives, and how to make direct comments on the DEC SGEIS.
There is one month left for us to make our voices heard. Please submit comments today!
October and November 2011 Update
HYDROFRACKING AND HORIZONTAL DRILLING COMMENTS
If you’re concerned about the potential serious life and health effects of hydrofracking and horizontal drilling for natural gas, then it is critical to contact the DEC concerning their proposed Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). Public comments will be accepted through the close of business on December 12, 2011 by one of only two methods:
1.) Electronic submission using a web-based comment form available on the DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov (the preferred method), or;
2.) Paper submissions mailed or delivered to: Attn: DSGEIS Comments, Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-6510. Please include your name, address, and affiliation (if any).
Governor Cuomo may eventually be the deciding factor on whether the industrial practice will be allowed. Please send copies of your comments to Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS Capitol Building, Albany, NY 14224.
To make an immediate online comment go to the Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter website at www.newyork.sierraclub.org and go the section on gas drilling. The site contains many suggestions for drafting your letter, including an excellent link to the “top flaws” in the proposed regulations at http://tinyurl.com/2011SGEISFlaws.
SCHEDULED PUBLIC COMMENTS MEETINGS:
The DEC has recently announced opportunities for public comments on the proposed drilling regulations. Locally these are scheduled on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 in Dansville, NY and Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Binghamton, NY. Both sessions will have public comments scheduled between 1-4pm and 6-9pm. Please leave a message on our website on the Contact Us Pageif you wish to attend either of these.
NIAGARA FALLS TREATMENT PLANT
The Niagara Falls Treatment Plant board has been discussing accepting most of the hydrofracking waste which may be produced in New York for processing. They have already hired a public relations firm. Yet they are still studying the ability of their carbon filter plant to treat fracking waste, which includes endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and radioactive material. A number of speakers, including Niagara Group members, spoke before the treatment board on September 22, 2011, requesting a full study of the project. Art Klein has formulated a letter to the board asking for involvement of the Niagara Group in further discussion.
This month the Department of Conservation opened their comments period on proposed regulations for hydrofracking and hydraulic drilling in NYS. Presently the comment period is set to expire December 12, 2011.
There are several ways to make comments. Sierra Club State Atlantic Chapter has an online letter response, to which you may add personal comments, at http://newyork.sierraclub.org/gas_drilling.html.
The Atlantic Chapter is also supporting written letters to Gov. Cuomo at http://www.amillionfrackingletters.com. This site permits you to view some of the most important factors concerning horizontal drilling and write a personal letter to Gov. Cuomo.
In early July 2011, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation proposed regulations to permit hydrofracking and horizontal drilling on our state. Despite the industry’s claims that the process is safe for public health and the environment, the proposed DEC regulations are astounding in that they ban hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds, admitting that the industrial technique is too dangerous for the drinking water. Beyond New York City and Syracuse’s watersheds, the rest of New York State is now open and vulnerable to the impacts of hydrofracking.
We are asking you to please contact Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens requesting that the proposed regulations consider the cumulative impact of thousands of proposed wells, pipelines and compressor stations on water, air and community infrastructure, and to consider the impacts of fracking chemicals, hazardous air emissions and drilling waste for the entire state of New York. The New York State Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter has created an online petition and letter to Cuomo and Martens you can sign right now.
Pennsylvania’s hydrofracking waste, labeled as industrial waste, has been coming into New York State for treatment. The City of Auburn’s Council recently voted to ban the acceptance of this waste at its wastewater plant.
After fracking waste stopped being accepted at Pennsylvania wastewater plants, gas drilling companies came up with their own proposals for treatment which have been delivered to the EPA. These all include self-treatment of the waste, which is unbelievable in light of the industry’s failure to acknowledge the presence of many of the chemicals and carcinogens which have been found. The EPA releases Marcellus Drillers’ wastewater plans on July 6.
The danger of frack waste to the State’s water supply is shown in a study by the US Forestry Service, published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, showing the destruction of forest undergrowth, trees and soil quality where fracking waste was tested in the Monogahela Forest.
“Fracking Fluids Poison a National Forest: New Study Details Changes in Soil Chemistry and Devastation of Trees and Plants”
Some of the findings:
- Within two days all ground plants were dead;
- Within 10 days, leaves of trees began to turn brown. Within two years more than half of the approximately 150 trees were dead; and
- “Surface soil concentrations of sodium and chloride increased 50-fold as a result of the land application of hydrofracturing fluids…” These elevated levels eventually declined as chemical leached off-site. The exact chemical composition of these fluids is not known because the chemical formula is classified as confidential proprietary information.
As is customary, the industry is attacking journalists courageous enough to reveal the true nature of the health hazards of the industry. Ian Urbana, who has written in the New York Times, is currently under attack. Sign an online letter to the New York Times in his support would be helpful.
Meanwhile, the State of New Jersey has passed a bill banning hydrofracking by a vote of 32 to 1 in the Senate and 56 to 11 in its Assembly. This bill awaits the signature of NJ Governor Chris Christie.
Our own NY State Assembly passed a one year moratorium on hydrofracking in early June 2011, by a vote of 91 to 46. The bill was never moved to the floor in the Senate. Please contact your State Senator and ask that the bill be put up for vote on the Senate floor. Please also contact Senator George Maziarz (R), chair of the NYS State Energy Committee, and Senator Mark Grisanti (R), chair of the Senate Environmental Committee, and ask them both to introduce a moratorium bill on hydrofracking and horizontal drilling.
Hydrofracking in the News
You have probably seen or heard advertisements for a “clean” natural gas recently. An industrial boom in the drilling of natural gas has been brought about over the past several years using a new industrial technology developed by Halliburton and others called hydrofracking and horizontal drilling. Political pressure has been used to exempt this new drilling process from important sections of the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and compensation laws among others. For the substantial harmful impacts to upstate New York of horizontal drilling please go to the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter website.
The process itself was first introduced into western states, such as Wyoming, and in the Barnett Shale in Texas. In the past three years the industry began using the new process to extract gas in the Marcellus Shale which runs through West Virginia, Pennsylvania and southern New York.
Hydrofracking Coming to New York State?
Currently a moratorium imposed by former New York Governor Patterson prevents the new horizontal drilling technique from being used, pending development of regulations by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. The national Sierra Club states that it will only support this new technology if it can be proven safe.
On June 6, 2011 the New York State Assembly voted to extend the moratorium on hydrofracking for natural gas for one-year period until June 1, 2012. The approval vote of 91 to 46 was meant to ensure that the industrial practice could be further studied in New York State. At this time the State Senate has not considered a similar measure.
- Take Action on this issue now, by urging your Senator to Act on a bill to extend the Moratorium on hydrofracking, which expires next month, July 2011. Click the link here: http://action.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?s_oo=qgRJabSbqV7bNGLVpsB-aA..&id=6537Please contact your New York State Senator at http://www.nysenate.gov/senators and ask her/him to please vote for a moratorium.
- Please contact State Senator Mark Grisanti, who chairs the Senate Environmental Committee, to urge him to either introduce similar legislation to the Assembly bill or to permit other moratorium legislation to proceed to the Senate floor.
- Other WNY members of the Senate Environmental Committee are Sen. George Maziarz and Sen. Catherine Young.Scientific Studies and Investigations show Hydrofracking a danger to Public Health, Water Supplies and Air Quality
The scientific facts concerning this new technology show many serious public health and water and air quality issues.
The industry itself has been shown to be subject to a boom-bust economy of fossil fuel extraction. Currently the costs of natural gas have dropped from approximately $15.00 per unit to $4.00 per unit due to the new technology in answer to horizontal drilling for natural gas. This reduction in price has dramatically affected the advancement of renewable energy sources in New York State. The lower return is also causing companies to cut corners in the production of gas in Pennsylvania. Real Estate values have dropped where drilling has taken place and buyers are unable to secure bank mortgages in many drilled regions.
Our nation and our future generations are at serious risk due to lobbyists, political contributions, and massive propaganda by fossil fuel giants such as Exxon Mobil. Hydrofracking and horizontal drilling drives out many other productive industries, destroys the economic quality of life, and turn areas into industrial zones. The economies of drilled areas are subject to boom-bust economy of fossil fuels.
Industry’s Claims De-bunked
The gas drilling industry continues to claim that their practice is perfectly safe and that no instances of pollution of water resources has been proven to have occurred from horizontal fracking. They also claim to use very few chemicals and that all chemicals are safe after they have been diluted with the massive amounts of water involved. They also claim to be recycling fracking waste.
All these claims are discussed and questioned at length in the articles and studies below. Some main points to note:
- Over 1,000 cases of polluted freshwater sources have been documented, nationwide. The industry claims its practice is perfectly safe, but limits its claim of drilling safety to the initial drilling process. Claims of pollution of well water are always disputed by the industry with a “prove-it” attitude. Settlements with landowners whose water wells have been polluted are always accompanied by a gag order, forbidding discussion of the source of pollution.
- A multitude of chemicals including carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and mutagens have been injected in wells throughout the United States as part of the process. Almost all wells require use and one of the BTEX carcinogen chemicals – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene or xylene. These chemicals can affect human health either in waterborne or airborne sources. Diesel fuel has also been injected.
- Underground heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, benzene, and radioactive materials such as uranium and alpha radiation are released during the drilling process as part of frack waste.
- At the time the horizontal drilling practice was first introduced into Pennsylvania some of the industry claimed that only water, sand and some lubricants were being used. Once the waste products were processed through wastewater plants, however, treatment bacteria was killed, and the frack waste together with all other waste flowed into Pennsylvania streams and rivers such as the Monongahela. After three serious disruptions of the Pittsburgh water supply, the city, in a symbolic move, voted to ban drilling within the city limits.
- The industry in Pennsylvania then claimed that they were recycling all their waste products. In some instances liquids were used in the drilling process. In others the liquid waste was treated with chlorine and either dumped into streams or back into treatment plants. Studies showed that the frack waste in treatment plants was creating the carcinogen trihalomethane, and the processing of water through sewage plants in Pennsylvania was stopped in May 2011.
- Concerning the solid waste from hydrofracking, recycling often entails using these same carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals, often mixed with radioactive materials from deep underground, as road salt and dust suppressants. This merely spreads the materials over a broader area, and eventually brings the toxins to freshwater sources.
- Former Pennsylvania DEP Commissioner John Hanger has cited business pressure to simply dump the solid waste without processing it. In one year, Pennsylvania was unable to account for 50 million gallons of fracking waste.The New York Sierra Club Needs Your Support
Sierra Club is strongly urging New York State legislation to develop renewable and clean energy sources. Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs are being added to economies such as Germany, Denmark, Ontario, Canada and California from renewable energy development. Energy conservation is also a huge industry which we are ignoring at our peril.
Check our Hydrofracking page for more information concerning the issues discussed above, as well as the New York Atlantic Sierra Club Chapter. Write to Governor Cuomo online and urge him to continue a moratorium. Contact your State Assemblypersons and Senators and ask them to enact legislation to permit the development of renewable energy sources. Requiring utility companies to purchase energy produced by renewable sources at rates which can be adjusted annually will stabilize energy prices and permit the investment in renewables which is sorely needed. The introduction of renewables in other countries and states actually reduced energy costs in the long run by eliminating politically motivated and speculative spikes in energy such as our recent surge in gasoline prices.
Facts on hydrofracturing and horizontal drilling for natural gas:
1. Water Use: Unconventional hydrofracking and horizontal drilling is not the same as traditional gas drilling. Drill pads, often with eight wells, utilize over 40 million gallons of water. “Expert: drilling impact two orders of magnitude bigger….”, Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter, Vol. 41, Spring, 2011.
2. Chemical Additives and Health Impacts: Water used to frack wells contains chemical additives which include carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and mutagens. “Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective” by Dr. Theo Colburn, TEDX, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange.
3. Frack Waste: The frack waste that returns from these wells brings up dangerous quantities of heavy metals and radioactive materials. “Fracking mobilizes uranium in water” and “Fracking poses environmental cancer risk” Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Vol. 40, Winter, 2010.
4. Methane in Water Supplies: Studies show methane gas to be leaking into freshwater sources near drilling sites. – Duke University
5. Problems Treating Waste: Existing waste water treatment plants are not capable of extracting these toxic substances. -Pro Publica
6. States Respond to Industry Waste:Pennsylvania requests industry to stop dumping fresh water into water treatment plants, as carcinogens are being manufactured by the treatment process. <“Pa. wants to cut off gas-drilling waste water”
- In Pennsylvania the Associated Press reported that in in one year 50 million gallons of such wastewater was unaccounted for and presumed disposed of illegally.“Gas Drillers Recycle Waste Water, but Risks Remain,” New York Times
- Maryland sues fracking company for large spill Maryland AP7. Investigative Reporting on Hydrofracking in PA: The New York Times has written a series of articles concerning the destructive effects of horizontal drilling and the political and economic pressure which feed it. An interactive map from New York Times shows high levels of benzene and radioactive activity near Pennsylvania drill sites. Four NY Times Articles:
“Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Waters Hit River”,
“Gas Drillers Recycle Wastewater, but Risks Remain”,
“E.P.A. Struggles to Regulate Natural Gas Industry”,
“E.P.A. Calls for More Testing of Pennsylvania Rivers”
8. Climate Change and Air Quality: Recent studies demonstrate that natural gas from Marcellus Shale has a greater greenhouse gas footprint than either coal or oil. A soon to be released study by Cornell University professors finds that natural gas produced with a drilling method called “hydraulic fracturing”, contributes to global warming as much as coal, or even more. Read an article on the study and controversy in Washington. View short presentation by Cornell Professors on Marcellus Shale Gas and Global Warming.
9. Local Air Quality: Leakage or intentional venting of methane gas and other chemicals in wells or pipelines destroy air quality and creates illness. – “DISH TECQ”; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/business/energy-environment/12gas.html“Studies Say Natural Gas Has Its Own Environmental Problems” – New York Times
10. Economics: Local Real Estate Faltering:: In economic terms, where Marcellus drilling is taking place real estate values are faltering. Banks don’t like loans on gas leased properties. also covered in a the Pike County Courier in Northeast Pennsylvania.
11. Boom-bust Economy: The horizontal drilling techniques force out other industries such as agricultural, tourism and construction, and subject the area to a boom-bust economy, according to a Cornell University Study “Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling: What Does it Mean for Economic Development?” by Dr. Susan Christopherson from Cornell University
12. Destruction to Local Infrastructure and Environment: The drilling process itself is incredibly destructive with some 6,000 heavy trucks being used per well pad, construction of roads through forests and fields, traffic congestion, and compressors running 24/7. After the wells have been drilled, the area is trapped in a web of gas pipelines, compressors, and pumping stations. Summary of Chris Burger’s fact-filled presentation on hydrofracking sponsored by the Niagara Group on October 19, 2010. Chris Burger is on the New York State Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter’s Gas Task Force.
The Extraction process turns drilled areas into industrial zones. – New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
13. Regulatory Review Questionable: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is currently reviewing gas drilling regulations, in its dsGEIS. There is serious question whether the reviewing is merely tweaking the old rules for traditional vertical drilling. The DEC has been decimated by budget cuts in the past several years. The regulations have been drafted with industry consultants or former employees of gas drilling companies hired by the DEC.
14. Cities Ban Drilling: Ban on drilling in City of Buffalo, “Buffalo recently banned hydrofracking”. Bans also in place in Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, State of New Jersey and other areas. Moratoriums on drilling have been enacted in New York State, the Province of Quebec, Canada and the Town of Wales, NY.
15. Short Turn of Water: Animated Earth Justice video on fracking for those who are brand new to the issue.
We’d like you to take action on this:
1. Write to Governor Cuomo about your concerns. – Take action now, sign a petition to Governor Cuomo
2. Write to your Senators or Assemblyperson about your concerns.
3. Write to your Senators or Assemblyperson urging them to adopt a clean energy policy for New York State.
4. Join the Sierra Club’s Activist Network – Hydrofracking Team
5. Download and distribute Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter’s Brochure on Hydrofracking: http://newyork.sierraclub.org/gas_drilling.html Atlantic Chapter Brochure on Hydrofracking
6. Learn more about renewable energy sources and encourage your representatives to support current legislation in New York State to pursue this course of for sustainable energy, green jobs and stable local economies.April 2011:
1. Our State Atlantic Chapter has sent out letters to all our members regarding an emergency fundraiser to mobilize volunteers and fund activities concerning hydrofracking and horizontal drilling in New York State. Please respond generously. See the Atlantic Chapter website:
2. The Niagara Group is sponsoring a showing of the film Gasland and a panel on hydrofracking on Saturday, April 30th in conjunction with Peace on Earth month, at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo at 1:30pm.
3. Hydrofracking in the New York Times again: “Studies Say Natural Gas Has Its Own Environmental Problems” Researchers have found that methane from natural gas is leaking in higher quantities than previously thought.
4. A soon to be released study by Cornell University professors finds that natural gas produced with a drilling method called “hydraulic fracturing” contributes to global warming as much as coal, or even more. Read an article on the study and controversy in Washington. View short presentation by Cornell Professors on Marcellus Shale Gas and Global Warming.
5. Earth Justice created a short animated video that explains fracking for those who are brand new to the issue.
6. NYS Legislative updates related to hydrofracking and water issues:
Recent coverage on the practice of hydrofracking in the New York Times and the Oscar-nominated film Gasland has revamped state and national attention on the issue. New York State’s moratorium on hydrofracking is due to expire in July 2011. You can take action now and sign a petition to Governor Cuomo to voice your concerns.
The New York Times investigative series on hydrofracking practices found that:
- Due to strong political pressure, the EPA suppressed reports that concluded New York and Pennsylvania’s sewage treatment facilities were incapable of treating drilling wastes– including levels of radioactivity 100 to 1000 times higher than drinking water safety standards.
- Drinking water intake plants downstream from those sewage treatment plants were shielded from having to test for radioactivity– leaving grave concerns about the current safety of our drinking water.
- EPA dropped plans to investigate radioactivity in its current federal study of hydrofracking wastes after receiving pressure from state regulators and the gas industry. (As quoted from the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter)Read the New York Times investigative series:Feb 27, 2011: “Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Waters Hit Rivers”
March 1, 2011: “Gas Drillers Recycle Wastewater, but Risks Remain”
March 3, 2011: “E.P.A. Struggles to Regulate Natural Gas Industry”
March 7, 2011: “E.P.A. Calls for More Testing of Pennsylvania Rivers”