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What You Don't Know About Fracking Can Harm You | Environment

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What You Don't Know About Fracking Can Harm You
What You Don't Know About Fracking Can Harm You

Attend an Informational Meeting in East Aurora This Sunday

EAST AURORA, N.Y. - There could be a toxic site in your community right now, but not the EPA, DEC or your town officials know the effects of all the involved chemicals. These sites are “frack pits”; they contain the flowback fluid from the controversial natural gas extraction technique known as hydraulic-fracturing, hydrofracking, or fracking.

Alarmed Wales residents recently formed Wales POWR (Protecting Our Water Rights). They have been researching natural gas extraction and its effects, educating their community and others, as well as working with their town board to decide how to protect their community from the potential damage from fracking.

POWR, along with representatives from surrounding towns including Aurora Councilman James Bach providing the venue, will be hosting an educational event about hydrofracking. The event will be at the Aurora Town Hall Auditorium, 300 Gleed Avenue, on Sunday February 20th at 2pm. The event will include a short documentary film excerpt, a presentation by Chris Burger, as well as a presentation of how to protect your property value, water supply and environment by Ben Price out of Pennsylvania. Chris Burger is a former County Legislator (Binghamton area) with degrees in chemical engineering and economics, serves on several groups studying this issue, including a gas drilling task force formed by the Broome County Legislature. Ben already was successful in assisting Pittsburgh in protecting themselves from hydrofracking.

Hydrofracking involves driving “frack fluid” down into the rock under high pressure in order to drive out the gas trapped there.  The frack fluid contains water, a proppant such as sand, and hundreds of chemicals components.  Among these chemicals, some are known to be carcinogenic.  To frack a traditional vertical well, it takes about 30,000 to 80,000 gallons of frack fluid, while fracking a horizontal well with high-volume slickwater requires 2 to 7 million gallons. 

Where horizontal high volume hydrofracking has already taken place, such as in Wyoming, Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania, there have been numerous reports of illnesses, water contamination, ignitable water, and large animal and fish kills. The vast amount of water necessary for the fracking jobs is often sourced locally, depleting waterways and aquifers. Also, the flowback fluids require extremely specialized treatment facilities, of which there are few. An estimate by local gas companies on the amount of the fluid returned to the surface is 25%, leaving 75% to migrate unpredictably.

The Marcellus Shale, a potential “gold mine” of natural gas lies under parts of WNY.  While horizontal high volume slickwater drilling has not yet taken place in NYS, there are many vertically fracked wells in WNY and the plans are already in place to move forward with horizontal drilling in NYS once the moratorium is up this summer. Locally, vertical fracking has already been associated with water well contamination, potential health threats and damage to agricultural fields.

To learn more about the effects of hydrofracking and how to protect your land and community, attend the Sunday, Feburary 20th event at the Town Hall Auditorium at 300 Gleed Avenue, East Aurora, NY at 2pm.


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