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Thu., Oct. 8
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Dangers of hydrofracking revealed


I expect our elected officials to do the right thing and look out for our common welfare. I also expect the press to call officials on their “stuff” when they try to deceive the public. So I was (once more) appalled by all the information that we have not been told about hydrofracking. For those who haven’t watched it, I am referring to the information shown on Canadian TV. The program was “the Nature of Things.” The show was “Shattered Ground.” I recommend that everyone who hasn’t seen it try to get a copy of this show.

I can’t go into all the issues, but I do want to mention the most important facts presented. The gas drillers do not know which wells will shatter as planned and which wells will shatter vertically into an aquifer. The drillers do not know how to clean up the contamination once it enters the aquifer. They do not know which wells will have their cement liners crack under the force of the high pressure water used in the process. What we do know is that contaminated water can’t be cleaned properly and changed back into drinkable water. I had thought that the water was being sent to filtration plants, but apparently it didn’t work.

We know that vast amounts of our drinking water are used to drill each well, and it is brought in by an army of huge trucks. This water must then be trucked away and buried deep underground, where it is lost for human consumption forever. This process has caused earthquakes. We are talking of whole lakes’ worth of our water gone forever with no one saying “No, we can’t afford to lose this much drinkable water!” Why is only this lone Canadian show talking about this?

The show also reported that the poisonous fumes from the operating wells are allowed to release over 1,300 tons of toxic fumes including neurotoxins into the air every day, and wells can be within 350 feet of a residence. Kids are coming down with all kinds of respiratory symptoms. No one has done any long-term studies of health effects. What has happened to environmental impact studies?

According to the show, methane gas levels reached explosive levels in homes after a well as put in..

The industry has rushed in for profits before the technology is ready and only Vermont has banned hydrofracking. Who really benefits from the drilling, and who is really paying the price?

The madness must end. The problems need to be solved first. Please write our state officials.

Claudia Smith


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