Robert Jereski (a writer for the New York Observer and Counterpunch)
has forwarded me an email exchange between you and he regarding
the story I uncovered that there are 98 unconventional gas wells within
the headwaters for the Susquehanna river just 15 miles upstream
from the intake for the Binghamton City water supply.
In just 11 days since publication, this has become the #8th most read posting
since I began blogging 4 1/2 years ago (748 page views).
Clearly some people consider this newsworthy.
Supporting documents and maps:
As you probably know, I have been covering the shale gas story
nearly exclusively for Shaleshock Media since the EPA hearings
in Binghamton Sept 2010 (2 years). I (and my colleagues) have documented
hundreds of hours of town board meetings, informational sessions,
and public hearings, including all 11 sessions of hearings on the SGEIS.
I consider myself very well informed on this issue.
I was SHOCKED to learn that Binghamton City's water may have
already been contaminated from fracking operations in PA.
This is a potential Public Health EMERGENCY affecting ~50,000 people.
and people are IGNORANT OF THE CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER OF HARM
- FACT: there are 98 Unconventional Gas Wells within Binghamton's Headwaters
(Sources: SRBC maps http://gis.srbc.net/WRP_FV25/ ,
and PA DEP data sourced by Karen Edelstein/Fractracker, personal correspondence)
- FACT: the City of Binghamton has at least one intake directly from the Susquehanna River
(source: Bret Jennings, James Little)
- FACT: Every NY city West of Binghamton which draws directly from the river IS ALSO AT RISK
- FACT: Any surface spills or "inadvertent return to surface" of fracking chemicals or drilling muds
WILL EVENTUALLY END UP IN THE RIVER. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drainage_basin
- FACT: Every one of those 98 wells is a potential and likely source of contamination and poisons
- FACT: There are many abandoned (orphaned) wells which are conduits to the surface.
- FACT: Many of these poisons are biologically active in PARTS PER BILLION
- FACT: There have been many reported problems in SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY PA
at sites within Binghamton's headwaters
Do you dispute any of these facts?
Have you attempted to verify any of these facts?
Read this carefully:
There have been many incidents of surface spills, blowouts of drilling muds,
and "inadvertent return to surface" of fracking fluids and produced water
within this drainage basin.
Here are just a few of which I am aware:
- Depue well 8H in Franklin Forks PA -> Methane leaks
(the conduit for methane to leak can allow other toxins to leak too)
- Heavenly Angles Restaurant in Franklin Forks has contaminated water.
- Private wells in Franklin forks with so much methane the have been
documented erupting like Old Faithful
- Black water reported in a dozen homes in Great Bend Borough PA
coincident with drilling operations 4000' away for 2 weeks in August 2012.
- There were FOUR BLOWOUTS of drilling muds during pipeline construction
under Laurel Lake Creek.
Again-- I'm going to make this bold so that you get the point:
ALL of these incidents have occurred within the headwaters/drainage basin
upstream of the intake for the City of Binghamton's water source.
People in NY largely think their water is safe, because of the NY Moratorium.
PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW there has been ACTIVE FRACKING
within their water supply for 4 years.
(maybe a few dozen people do know of the 45,000 people living in
the City of Binghamton who understand this now, because of my efforts)
This is a potential PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.
This needs an immediate response from the City of Binghamton
and Broome County Emergency Management.
WHAT ARE THEY DOING to ensure the safety of the City's water supply?
I have been emailing various people in the local media for the last 2 weeks
urging them to report this story. The silence is deafening.
I asked you to report this as news: NOTHING.
I asked for 600 words for a guest editorial: NO RESPONSE.
Someone anonymously wrote me on Facebook
asking me for proof of contamination.
I have since learned from Robert Jereski's email that this was
you, Jeff Platsky, although you refused to identify yourself to me.
Here is what you wrote him:
>> We have asked Mr. Huston to provide independent verification
of his claims such as water samples or other proof.
He has been unable to provide that verification and we have been
unable to independently verify the accuracy of his claim.
It is clear from this that you have not read, or comprehended what I've discovered,
or perhaps you are intentionally stonewalling me with this bogus straw man.
I have not made claims of ACTUAL HARM,
however it appears this is the threshold which makes it newsworthy?
I do not agree.
DEFINITION OF "SAFE":
Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk
There are three levels of risk here:
- Binghamton's water is safe, not exposed to danger or risk from drilling:
=> This was 5 years ago, prior to drilling in the drainage basin.
- Binghamton's water is unsafe, exposed to danger or risk from drilling.
=> This is where we are today.
- Binghamton's drinking water has been proven to contain toxins from drilling operations
=> THIS IS WHERE IT BECOMES NEWSWORTHY??
Let's give a couple of other examples to put this in context:
- A man holds a baby over a railing 20 stories up.
IS IT SAFE? NO! He goes to jail for endangering a child.
- A man starts shooting inside a busy shopping mall. No one was injured.
IS IT SAFE? NO! He still goes to jail for VERY UNSAFE ACTIVITY even though no one was harmed.
- Fracking inside a the headwaters for the water supply of a major NY City
IS IT SAFE? NO! It is highly risky.
This IS NEWS NOW. It should be reported AS NEWS.
It is IRRESPONSIBLE for you to be silent on this story.
THE PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THIS.
I expect to see this reported within 48 hours.
Thanks & Best Regards,
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)