We have recently become aware of a potential health concern spreading through our area, and we would like to pass the word on to you.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a relatively new method of releasing petroleum, natural gas, or coal seam gas from from rock layers for extraction. To put it very simply, fluid is injected into the rock layers, creating or expanding fractures, which allows the natural gas to be extracted. There is rising concern, however, about the fluid that is injected into the rock, and where that fluid eventually ends up.
The majority of the fracking fluid is made up of water. However, between 600 and 700 chemicals may be added to the fluid. These chemicals include known carcinogens, toxins, and neurotoxins, and may, if ingested, cause anything from cancer and bone marrow failure to kidney failure and death.
The concern is that this fluid is contaminating the ground water and well water surrounding the site of the fracking. In one part of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, the water was so badly contaminated that a pipeline had to be constructed to bring in clean water to area residents. Unfortunately, fracking is currently exempted by the US Congress from any regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Fracking is currently allowed in many states, including parts of Pennsylvania. Just last night, however, a vote on whether or not to allow fracking in the Delaware River basin was called off. This vote, involving President Obama as well as the governors of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, was to take place on Monday, and was canceled, in part, due to the strong opposition of thousands of residents in the form of letters, calls, and protests. This is a great display of the power of a public voice!
While this may seem like a small victory, we do not know if the meeting will be rescheduled for a later time. We must remain active and informed on this subject! For more information on fracking and the threat it poses, we recommend watching the documentary Gasland, by Josh Fox. You may view this video here.
We strongly encourage you to educate yourself on this issue, and spread the word! We will try to keep you as informed and updated as possible.