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Fracking a health risk

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With Gov. Andrew Cuomo poised to make a decision on hydrofracking in New York, the gas companies have been blowing smoke and downplaying the negative effects that fracking will have on our water supply and overall health of New Yorkers.

It really worries me when I read an opinion piece like the one from Oct. 12. Kenneth Schwarz tries to say that the environmental impact fracking will have on our air and water is “negligible,” and that gas companies are committed to keeping it that way. This is clearly an uninformed statement at best and gas industry propaganda at worst.

All you have to do is look next door at Pennsylvania and see the problems that they are having with fracking. In the last several years the gas companies have committed more than 3,500 violations — more violations than there are gas wells. This has polluted drinking water and the air Pennsylvanians breathe and threatened their health.

Why would anyone think that the environmental degradation and health impacts happening in Pennsylvania wouldn’thappen here in New York? Hydrofracking has shown time and time again that it pollutes water, spews toxins into our air and causes asthma and other health impacts in virtually every state where it has been allowed.

It’s too bad that some people have become so blinded by the promise of gas royalties that they are willing to risk the health of our families.

Laura Purton

New York City

The writer is with Environment New York.

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