Following a tour of Pennsylvania communities affected by hydraulic fracturing, Sen. Greg Ball, D-Patterson, has scheduled a public hearing on the issue he’s calling “Getting the Facts on Fracking” on Tuesday in Katonah, Westchester County.
Ball this month accompanied filmmaker Josh Fox, who directed the controversial “Gasland” movie, on a tour through Tioga, Bradford and Wyoming counties in Pennsylvania while he was shooting footage for a second documentary, “Gasland 2,” about the effects the natural gas drilling process has on people, animals and the environment.
“I want nothing more than to create jobs in New York. But I will not roll out the red carpet for companies that are not willing to be held accountable,” Ball said last week following his trip. “I saw beautiful communities booming with economic activity. I also heard horror stories from families and farmers who’ve suffered health problems, lost livestock and seen a 90 percent devaluation of their homes and properties.”
According to Ali Skinner, a spokeswoman for Ball, the film crew encountered people with radiation poisoning, fifth-generation landowners whose properties are now rendered useless and a farmer who reported 75 percent of his calves were stillborn.
In the hydrofracking process, millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are used at high pressure to crack rock beds and release the natural gas beneath. According to the Environmental Advocates of New York and other environmental groups, when the wastewater is brought back to the surface, it can be hundreds of times more radioactive than what is considered safe for drinking water, and it is difficult to treat and dispose of safely. (READ MORE)