by Kerry Barger
Trying to build on lessons learned from Pennsylvania’s drilling debacle, state Sen. Greg Ball continued his campaign for tougher regulations on hydraulic fracturing in New York State at Lewisboro Library this past Wednesday.
Ball’s presentation, which was borrowed from the executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, focused on the environmental impacts of “fracking,” specifically its affects on groundwater and public health risks associated with the natural gas extraction process. Through comparing Pennsylvania’s current environmental mess and civil unrest to what could potentially happen in New York should it go unregulated, Ball has drawn attention to the need for tighter restrictions if fracking is realized as an industry in the state.
“[Pennsylvania] just doesn’t have the manpower to prevent—they have more punitive manpower in place but they can’t prevent it and they’re actually actively allowing it because they lack the regulations to protect the environment and the water supply,” Ball said. “When you’re in Pennsylvania, you realize it’s the sportsmen, the farmers and the private property owners that are being affected.”
During the presentation, Ball spotlighted the cocktail of chemicals used when companies expel the water solution deep down into the Earth to fracture the rock; a mixture of surfactants, organics, metals and radioactive elements—all of which go largely unregulated, resulting in groundwater contamination and polluted runoff into lakes, streams and ponds. The slideshow also highlighted the wasteful nature of these drilling companies, which use about 10 billion gallons a day for fracking.
“The wars of the future are going to be fought not over oil, but over water and we have gotten away for a very long time in the Northeast with having a vast supply of water,” Ball said. “So this is very scary talking about a resource like this that can become easily contaminated.” (READ MORE)
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