Thursday, October 27, 2011

Letter to the editor ( Livingston county News )

A group of alarmed citizen's from Livonia and surrounding townships have banded together to form a coalition against the immediate threat that Hydraulic Fracturing poses to our families, health, jobs, and beautiful region. FrackFreeGenesee joins the many groups across New York state that have risen to defend our homes by informing our neighbors and pushing for moratoriums and bans against Fracking in our townships. We believe the immediacy of the situation, in addition to the unwillingness of governor Cuomo and our Political leaders to acknowledge the dangers of the Fracking process ,warrant this action, exercising the right to home rule under New York State law.

There is a ban enacted by the state already in place in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds. They cite that the reason for these bans is because the water supply is unfiltered. Why are the hundreds of thousands of private wells in New York left out? Why are we to be subjected to the contamination of this dangerous industry. The current set back requirement by the DEC is 300 feet, the range of contamination as recorded in peer reviewed studies at Cornell University is 1000 meters! The Frack fluid or "Slick Water" used to extract the methane gas is comprised of thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals per well. This would easily be classified as toxic waste if not for the 2005 exemption from the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency's) Safe Drinking Water act granted to the oil and gas industries. This extremely controversial exemption is currently under review by the EPA and is expected to be finished sometime next spring, however the DEC is intent on rushing Fracking permits through, closing the public comment period december 12th and the generic environmental impact statement or dSGEIS soon there after! Why would the DEC allow permits to be granted to an industry exempt from Safe Drinking Water regulation into our backyards before the EPA finishes it's investigation?

We need only look to the plight of our neighbors in Pennsylvania for evidence against Hydraulic Fracturing. Ruined are roads, bridges, and quiet small towns from the 1000's of semi trucks required for the drilling of each well. Methane contamination in wells so bad that residents may actually light their faucets on fire. Residents from the town of Dimock have sued a gas company for well contamination and won, receiving twice the value of their properties and $30,000 dollar filters, none of which have proven effective. Is this the atmosphere we wish to invite into our region, already rich in agriculture, tourism, beautiful lakes and hills, all of which sustain and better our lives.

There will be a public forum at the UCC church in Lakeville this coming Tuesday the 1st of November at 7:00 for anyone interested in learning more. You may also visit our website: Please realize the urgency of this situation and call for a moratorium in your townships.

Jamie Carestio

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