Mt. Kisco, N.Y.  – (2/9/12) – On Thursday, February 9th, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) presented some of the potentially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing – an effort to educate the public on some of the consequences of this practice for New York State.  Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as hydrofracking or fracking, is the process of extracting natural gas from gas shale deposits.

Back in August, Senator Ball toured Bradford County, Pennsylvania to witness firsthand some of the deleterious effects the process has had on the county’s natural landscape.

Now, Senator Ball is urging his colleagues in the Senate to take a similar tour of areas polluted by fracking before they consider allowing this industry to move in on New York State.

At the event, Senator Ball provided the residents of Mt. Kisco with photos of contaminated springs, wells, and other affected areas.

“We can’t give a red carpet welcome to an industry that is poorly understood and, currently, not properly regulated,” said Senator Ball.  “In Dimock, P.A., I visited families who had their drinking water contaminated with the toxic concoction natural gas companies use and who saw the values of their homes drop by 90 percent.  I am working diligently to make sure the public becomes both aware and educated on the potential effects of fracking and the proper regulations are put in place to prevent big gas companies from devastating our homes and landscapes.”

Senator Ball has introduced a “Property Owner’s Bill of Rights” (S5879). The legislation will protect all New Yorkers from the financial and health risks associated with the chemical concoction used in the hydraulic fracturing process. With this legislation, these are some of the key items natural gas companies will be mandated to do:

  • Fully disclose all chemicals used and all compounds created from the fracking process
  • Inform the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources what chemicals were injected, the source of water used, how much water was used, and whether any radioactive components resulted from the process
  • Reimburse property owners 150% of the real estate’s market value of property based on estimates prior to drilling and 100% of the cost for full remediation of soil and water in the event that there’s any contamination
  • Provide property owners with free medical monitoring for life
  • Conduct an appraisal of land owner’s property before signing lease agreement using three independent appraisers at the cost of the company
  • Conduct environmental impact assessment process similar to New York’s SEQR Process to assess the potential dangers for hydraulic fracturing

Joan Keating, a board member of the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy, had this to say after the event: “We need this kind of an event on a regular basis all throughout the county, and everyone should watch “Gasland” to learn about [fracking] because it’s very informative.  If [fracking] happens, we’re done for, we’re finished.”

“I think there’s a huge message to be told.  I wish more people had been here to hear it.  It’s a pressing matter that’s going to make a huge difference to our future.  People need to be educated, people need to be aware.  It is a possibility,” said village Trustee Jean Farber.

Erin Heaton of Mt. Kisco added, “This is not anything that New York wants to tangle with.  It’s too difficult, it’s too dangerous, and the science is showing it’s just not a smart move.  I applaud Senator Ball for recognizing that and advocating for all of us.”

For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Brittany Oat (845) 200-9716.


About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
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