Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Contamination of NY Water: Define, We Guess, Then Prohibit

On the Democracy Now news show today, a representative of the gas industry promoting drilling for natural gas in New York was asked about reports of contamination of water sources in Pennsylvania by the practice.

He said, it depends on your definition of contamination. Not very reassuring.

Maurice Hinchey, Ithaca's representative in Congress, is concerned. He has sponsored legislation, the Frac Act (Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act), to revoke the gas industry's exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Frac Act would repeal legislation that exempts the industry from disclosing what chemicals it uses in hydraulic fracturing.

That would make it easier to define contamination of the drinking water of millions of New Yorkers. And to prevent it.

In Ithaca, a grassroots group called Shaleshock is at the forefront of citizen activism on issues of chemical drilling of the Marcellus Shale in New York. Their office is on the third floor of Autumn Leaves Books on the Commons. Their website is

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

1 comment:

Eric Eckl said...

The natural gas drilling practice in question here has a long track record of polluting underground water supplies -- which SHOULD be the cleanest water available to us. Thanks for raising environmental awareness about this problem.