By: Elaina Athans
KATONAH, N.Y. — For four hours, expert after expert spoke out about the impact hydrofracking could have here in New York State. Some people drove 10 hours to testify, telling others their water is not only contaminated but also their lives.
“This is the water after a treatment system,” said Victoria Switzer.
Victoria Switzer is a resident of Dimock, Pennsylvania. The town has been coined Ground Zero of gas drilling. She showed up to a public hearing on hydrofracking with cloudy water jugs. She doesn’t use water in her house. Instead, the gas company drilling near her home provides her with fresh water.
“We have our own filtration system for shower and laundry and live with much anxiety concerning what is in that water daily,” said Switzer.
She was one of many taking to the microphone at a forum Senator Greg Ball hosted. Representatives from the drilling industry were invited, but none came.
“Are they getting a free pass here? What’s going on with the industry and the executive branch in this state?” asked Senator Greg Ball.
The State DEC is expected to release a new report later this month about the impact fracking could have on the community. It’ll shed light on things like road infrastructure, air and water quality. But Film Director Josh Fox says he already knows the impact it’ll have.
“She ended up with barium in her blood and in her four-year-old son’s blood,” said Fox.
Fox directed the Academy Award nominated documentary “Gasland.” He visited four continents and 34 states in the country currently drilling.
“In case after case, the gas industry once it has established itself, proves to be more powerful then the state that seeks to regulate it,” said Fox.
The DEC says they will not be releasing permits for drilling until the review process is complete. That’s expected to happen in about a year.
Energy companies say the process can be done safely and can be an economic boost for state and local economies. (WATCH VIDEO)