Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poisoned Water, Endangered Turtles: The Shell-Shocking Effects of Fracking by: Blake Deppe

On Dec. 8, for the first time, federal environmental experts linked underground water pollution with fracking, reports ProPublica. The gas drilling method - also known as hydraulic fracturing - caused contaminants found in central Wyoming. And now, said the New York Times, fracking may have been linked to earthquakes as well.

The EPA's discovery of the fracking/tainted water correlation was part of a larger national study it conducted to determine whether fracking posed a risk to water resources. It concluded, in a 121-page draft report, that the infected waters of Pavillion, Wyo., had more than likely arisen from gas wells and contained several compounds used in fracking fluids.

This may be a potential turning point, said the report, in the way the country views and regulates fracking - including in the coveted Marcellus Shale in New York, where, incidentally, bog turtles are severely at risk due to fracking's effects.

Bog turtles depend on creeks and groundwater - and those resources can experience irreversible damage due to fracking. Gov. Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation need to be warned of the risks, and to reconsider their fracking proposals. That is the viewpoint of the National Wildlife Federation, which is calling for people to take action - to sign their petition and make their voices heard.

If the potential damage off tampering with the Marcellus Shale isn't warning enough of the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, then one can always look to Youngstown, Ohio for further proof.

This Ohio city, said the Times, has been seismically inactive since the Scots-Irish settlers arrived in the 18th century - that is, until Mar. 17 of this year.

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