HERD ABOUT IT?
by Ana Grarian
For months now there has been an unusual alliance between the folks in metropolitan NY City and those in rural Upstate NY. Concerned about their own water supply, people and officials from NYC have joined in the fight against unsafe slick water fracking for fossil gas in the Marcellus Shale. Now Commissioner Pete Grannis seeks to break that alliance by offering separate more stringent rules for the NYC and Syracuse watersheds that in effect bans drilling in those watersheds.
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced that “due to the unique issues related to the protection of New York City and Syracuse drinking water supplies” applications to drill in those watersheds will require a case-by-case environmental review process to “establish whether appropriate measures to mitigate potential impacts can be developed”.
That leaves the rest of us in grave danger.
Thank you to NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon SIlver for speaking out on behalf of the rest of the residents of NYS….
“While I am pleased that the Department of Environmental Conservation has added an additional level of scrutiny to permit applications for drilling in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds, I strongly believe New York State should take no further action towards the approval of permits in any drinking water sensitive area anywhere in New York State until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completes its study of hydrofracking and companies are required to fully disclose all chemicals used in the drilling process. There is nothing more important than the safety of our water supply and protecting the health and welfare of our citizens. We simply cannot move forward until we have all the facts. “
Respectfully Mr. Silver, Is there anywhere in NYS that is not a
“drinking water sensitive area”?
I’m kind of sensitive about my well and my town’s well, and the lakes which provide drinking water for many small towns in NYS.
I think John Quigley, the recently confirmed secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said it well when he accused the PA Legislature of: “using gas revenues from state forests as a crack cocaine fix to balance the state budget”.
Looking only at revenues from gas drilling without taking into account all of the costs to the public and the environment will lead us down a road paved with Fool’s Gold ending at a massive Brownfield Site and the bill for cleaning it up.
The Faces of Frackland
Not to defend at all, but from what I understand Syracuse has had a real nasty history with pollution which, no doubt, sinks down to well level I would think.
But frankly the whole process is suspect: at best. Just the chemicals and everything else… how can they assure everyone’s aquifer won’t be severely tainted? Or will they “assure” and then sneak away with legislatures: local and state, finding some way to protect them?
They simply assure and ignore. In the movie Split Estate a woman asks who will be responsible for their ruined well. She is told that if the gas wells were drilled using currently accepted procedures – no one is accountable. I don’t know if that will apply in NY.
On the other hand I have heard that property owners who lease their land for drilling, can be sued for damages if that drilling causes damage to a neighboring property.
Similarly in the CAFO cases I have talked about. If a property owner leases his land for a CAFO owner to spread manure on, and the manure contaminates a stream, the property owner, not the CAFO owner, is held liable.