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NY sanity questioned as state plan shale gas drilling

Posted by feww on January 2, 2010

The Test of Sanity: Clean Water or Shale Gas?

Never mind their door steps, 9,000,000 New Yorkers could have their drinking water fouled

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  warns New Yorkers about the real threat to their drinking water if they drill for shale Gas.


‘Diarrhea water’
. A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

EPA is temporarily halting the drive by energy companies to drill for gas in the state’s Marcellus Shale formation, said to contain enough natural gas to satisfy U.S. demand for at least 10 years, Reuters reported.

“We have concerns regarding potential impacts to human health and the environment that we believe warrant further scientific and regulatory analysis,” reported John Filippelli, chief of the agency’s Strategic Planning and Programs Branch on Wednesday.

“EPA has serious reservations about whether gas drilling in the New York City watershed is consistent with the vision of high-quality unfiltered water supply,” he wrote in .

New York City asked the state to ban shale gas drilling in the city’s watershed last week.

You can’t have your clean water and drill for gas near it, too!

Shale gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” uses toxic chemicals that are known to pollute drinking water wells near the drill sites. AMAZINGLY, fracking is NOT covered by the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Despite the natural gas industry’s denials that drilling poses no risk to drinking water, EPA has previously admitted that  fracking chemicals are in fact contaminating drinking water. According to many reports “private wells near gas installations having water that is discolored, foul tasting, or even flammable because of methane that has escaped from drilling operations.”

“Theo Colborn, a researcher with the Endocrine Disruption Exchange who has drawn links between fracturing chemicals and a range of illnesses including cancer, said the EPA report indicates the agency was taking a new look at fracturing in light of growing public concern and media coverage.” Reuters said.

“The natural gas industry can’t keep saying it’s clean,” she said.

An environmental impact statement issued in September by the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation recommended  that energy companies be permitted to drill in New York’s Marcellus Shale formation.

“We’re pleased to see that the EPA recognizes what the state so far has not, that gas drilling is entirely inappropriate with in the drinking supply for 9 million people,” said James Simpson, a staff attorney for Riverkeeper, a New York environmental group.

New York City officials have warned the city could be forced to build a $10 billion filtration system if shale gas drilling is allowed.

Background:

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

FEWW wrote:

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

‘Diarrhea water’

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

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