Ithaca Blog

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hydrofrackers Dump Toxic Water in Cayuga Lake, Says NY Times

The NY Times reports today that companies drilling for gas in Pennsylvania are knowingly and systematically dumping toxic wastewater into sources of drinking water, including Cayuga Lake.

Documentation shows that the wastewater, from the drilling process called hydrofracking, contains levels of radiation and carcinogens which cannot be successfully treated.

The levels are hundreds of times above standards considered safe.

The wastewater - essentially untreated - is dumped into public water, unfettered by regulation.

With lobbying money, gas companies have evaded regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. Special clauses in federal regulations exempt the gas companies from disclosing the chemicals they use in hydrofracking.

The Times reports that a company in the southern tier of New York, near the Pennsylvania border, is dumping hydrofracking wastewater into the southern portion of Cayuga Lake, a source of drinking water in Ithaca.

The toxic waste is also being dumped into rivers serving Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and hundreds of other communities. The population affected totals over a million.

At least three of the highest-ranking state officials in Pennsylvania with responsibility for overseeing gas company activities there have left the government for jobs with the gas companies.

The population affected has been served this week, by corporate journalists, with news about Charlie Sheen.

Here in Ithaca, there has been no notice of these issues by local media; but citizen groups have been laudibly active in spreading information. Two of the foremost are Toxics Targeting, and Shaleshock. They are readily available on the Internet and in person, and can certainly use your help.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

No comments: