Sunday, March 17, 2013

Summary of Risks to NYC people from Fracking

My friend asked me to summarize the potential
risks of water contamination to NYC and LI people
should fracking occur in NY.

Here is my answer. Feel free to share with
with other NYC people, especially with downstate
legislators.

There are several vectors of concern.
I will narrate, then summarize at the end.

The NYC watersheds seem to be somewhat protected
from drilling in the SGEIS by a 2,000' setback.

1: BUT-- Is 2,000' enough? LIKELY NO:
We have 2 known cases of water contamination
which have migrated 4,000'.

a) Franklin Forks, Susquehanna Co. PA (several homes affected)
b) Paradise Road, Terry Twp, Bradford Co. PA. 
(several homes affected)
2: Also, I have video (not online yet) of Carter Strickland,
who is head of the NYC DEP who wanted a SEVEN MILE
setback
from the NYC aqueducts. This is not in the
SGEIS or the Regs.


3: there is a 4,000' setback around the NYC watershed, but there is NO PROHIBITION from drilling UNDER the NYC watershed.

4: NYC and LI are likely to be accepting frack waste fluids to be disposed by POTWs (sewer plants) there, which means lots of trucks which might spill, and concerns about ocean currents
and beaches.

Listen to the testimony by the guy from the Business Council:
He is directly asked about this, and he can't give a straight answer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o79JV44aak&list=PLo1TDxDrIRYpAcsgGWrfdkc6TwvH3n1bW#t=32m38s

5: DEC seems to be planning on allowing
land spreading and road spreading of flowback /
produced wastes by obtaining a Beneficial Use Determination.

This is from the new regs.

750-3.12 Disposal of HVHF wastewater

(a) All HVHF wastewater must be treated, recycled, or otherwise properly disposed through the life of the well in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws.
(b) The discharge of flowback to the ground is prohibited. The discharge of drilling fluids, formation fluids and production brine to the ground is prohibited, EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF A B.U.D. (Beneficial Use Determination). 

See: http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/2012/12/pa-now-allows-dumping-fracking-fluids.html

6: There are already landfills in Upstate NY taking drill cuttings from PA. These produce toxic leachate which pose risks to groundwaters. There is NO prohibition of this in the SGEIS or the regs, so these COULD come to NYC and LI landfills.

http://www.fractracker.org/2012/03/where-does-the-waste-from-pas-marcellus-wells-go/

7: Risks to the NYC foodshed due to upstate drilling. THESE RISKS EXIST TODAY due to

SUMMARY:

NYC watershed is AT RISK from the following causes
  1. 2,000' setback from NYC watershed insufficient,
  2. NYC aqueducts AT RISK due to micro-seismic events and no setback (Seven Mile was requested by NYC DEP)
  3. Risks of Watershed contamination from drilling UNDER NYC watershed
  4. Risk of chemical spills and contamination of beaches related to waste disposal at NYC and LI POTW facilities.
  5. Risk of surface water contamination from "Benefical Use" road and land spreading.
  6. Risk of surface water contamination from NYC and LI landfills accepting toxic and radioactive drill cuttings.
  7. Risks to NYC foodshed due to drilling activites in PA and upstate NY. (this is a REALLY BIG one)

Hope this helps-- BH


--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

1 comment:

Dwain Wilder said...

Great list, Bill. On the matter of setbacks, the Duke study found that water contamination from thermogenic (fracked) methane was common within 1000 meters (3,280 feet).

--Dwain