As the Department of Environmental Conservation considers ways to regulate fracking to protect New York citizens from the dangers of air and water (among other) pollution, it is important that residents of the Southern Tier speak out.
Regulation cannot guarantee that dangerous chemicals in the hydrofracking fluids won’t contaminate groundwater and aquifers. What happens a mile below the surface is unknowable, but as fluids are pumped at high pressure, it is highly probable that toxic chemicals will find fissures in the shale and will leak into the water supply, as has happened throughout the country.
Setbacks cannot prevent such infiltration in the deep recesses of the Earth, and the consequences to the water and air we rely on for life could be catastrophic. In my opinion, no economic benefit is worth the risk of water and air pollution that inevitably will be caused by fracking operations in our state. The negative consequences of fracking will be long-term and significant to individuals and communities, due to irreversible harm to the environment.
The shortcomings in the revised DEC regulations simply show the impossibility of ensuring the safety of New York’s natural resources and the health of New York state citizens against the hydrofracking industry. That is why the state should not pass these regulations, but should enforce a total ban on fracking. The economic gains from fracking will be short-lived, but the damage to the environment and to everyone and everything living here will irreversibly damage the welfare of the state’s citizenry for generations to come.