Clean drinking water is a life-sustaining resource and it is in danger in New York State.
Efforts to retrieve natural gas through a pressurized injection process that forces water, sand, and dangerous chemicals into the earth (hydro-fracturing) may contaminate the state’s water supply for generations to come.
Hydro-fracturing, often called fracking, is assumed to release chemicals such as benzene, methane gas, arsenic and others into groundwater.
“Water has caught fire in other states where fracking occurred,” says Buffalonian and anti-fracking demonstration leader Rita Yelda. “We don’t want that kind of contamination and we don’t want people getting sick.”
Yelda and concerned citizens across the state have organized a unified demonstration to take place tomorrow, June 15, in front of local Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) offices throughout NY.
“The demonstrations are to get people to realize that we are here and we support these bills [Englebright/Addabbo] so when it gets to Paterson he realizes this is important to us,” Yelda said. “We want the people upstairs to realize how relevant this grassroots movement is. This is the people organizing this and it is happening all over New York State tomorrow.”
The bills establish “a moratorium upon the conducting of hydraulic fracturing in the state” until 120 days after the completion of a report by the federal Environmental Protection Agency on “the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water quality and public health.”
Currently there are no federal regulations on fracking because of legislation passed by Congress in 2005. These bills could change that, but people have to act fast because new drilling permits are set for issuance in August of this year.
If you are interested in joining the Buffalo demonstration be at 270 Michigan Ave in front of the DEC tomorrow at noon. Yelda expects the demonstration to last for around one hour.
For more information on fracking or how you can help, visit www.frackaction.com.