Fracking - Rochester, NY area
Some would say if you are ‘pro’ Fracking or ‘anti’ Fracking you cannot be objective on Fracking. I say that is the wrong heuristic because the focus of our attention should be on the health of our environment, not on the health of a particular industry. Our media needs to change their notion of ‘objectivity’ when it comes to environmental issues, especially as Climate Change becomes the lens from which we should view all environmental issues.
New York State Bans Fracking (December 17th, 2014)
New York State Department of Health Completes Review of High-volume Hydraulic Fracturing Acting DOH Commissioner Zucker Recommends Activity Should Not Move Forward in New York State DEC Commissioner Martens Will Issue a Findings Statement Early Next Year to Prohibit High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing The state Department of Health has completed its public health review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) and Acting DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recommended that high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not move forward in New York State. Dr. Zucker announced his findings and recommendations today at a Cabinet Meeting in Albany. "I have considered all of the data and find significant questions and risks to public health which as of yet are unanswered," said Dr. Zucker. "I think it would be reckless to proceed in New York until more authoritative research is done. I asked myself, 'would I let my family live in a community with fracking?' The answer is no. I therefore cannot recommend anyone else's family to live in such a community either." In 2012, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens asked the DOH Commissioner to conduct a review of the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement for High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (SGEIS). Dr. Zucker's report fulfills that request. December 17, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) [more on Fracking in our area]
"Hydraulic fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer caused by the presence of a pressurized fluid. Hydraulic fractures may form naturally, as in the case of veins or dikes, or may be man-made in order to release petroleum, natural gas, coal seam gas, or other substances for extraction, where the technique is often called fracking[a] or hydrofracking. This type of fracturing, known colloquially as a frack job (or frac job), is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations. The energy from the injection of a highly-pressurized fracking fluid, creates new channels in the rock which can increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of fossil fuels. The fracture width is typically maintained after the injection by introducing a proppant into the injected fluid. Proppant is a material, such as grains of sand, ceramic, or other particulates, that prevent the fractures from closing when the injection is stopped. " Hydraulic fracturing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Still wondering what the heck Fracking is? Go here: Hydraulic Fracturing 101 Hydraulic fracturing - What it is Geologic formations may contain large quantities of oil or gas, but have a poor flow rate due to low permeability, or from damage or clogging of the formation during drilling. This is particularly true for tight sands, shales and coalbed methane formations. Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking, which rhymes with cracking) stimulates wells drilled into these formations, making profitable otherwise prohibitively expensive extraction. Within the past decade, the combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling has opened up shale deposits across the country and brought large-scale natural gas drilling to new regions. EarthWorks
Climate Change will strain NYS’s water even if we don’t Frack New York State has a lot of fresh water and, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), we are going to weather Climate Change.
The West and the South of the United States are not going to fare so well. So you might think that piling on hydrofracking (or Fracking), which will require a lot of our fresh water for drilling, to the stresses that will be caused by Climate Change wouldn’t matter much. more...
Discussions on Fracking issues concerning the Rochester, NY area. Click on the article and join in one of the discussions below at my blog Environmental Thoughts.
- Having banned Fracking, New York can be a leader in renewable energy and jobs Maybe the greatest victory for the anti-fracking activists in New York State is switching the burden of proof from the victims to the producers. [December 2014]more...
- Fracking Ban in New York State important step towards COP21 Paris Thursday, December 17th 2014 will go down in history as the date that Governor Cuomo finally decided to ban Fracking in New York State. This matters because NY is the second and by far the largest US state to ban this dangerous, unhealthy, methane-leaking, extreme fossil-fuel extraction method in a place that actually has a lot of shale gas. That particular fossil fuel will now stay in our bedrock, not in our air. [December 2014] more...
- Addressing the “anti-Frackers are hypocrites!” charge The question, as we move deeper into Climate Change, is not how many anti-frackers in New York State heat their homes with natural gas (It’s one of the ways anti-frackers are dismissed. [July 2014] more...
- Aftershocks of NYS landmark decision on local Fracking bans The New York State Court of Appeals ruling on Home Rule that upholds local Fracking bans in Dryden (Tompkins County) and Middlefield (Otsego County) has made the “170+ fracking bans adopted by NYS municipalities legally incontestable”1. [June 2014] more...
- NYS Fracking hiatus presents Rochester media with an opportunity Governor Cuomo’s suggestion that a decision on “…hydraulic fracturing for natural gas might not come before November…” has annoyed a lot of folks. Some pro-Fracking people, furious that the six-year delay will be extended yet again, have decided to sue: Rochester’s media, despite the almost-certain link between Climate Change and humanity’s use of fossil fuels for energy, continually frames our energy issue around their obsession with Fracking. [January 2014] more...
- NYS hesitation puts an undue burden on the Fracking industry—Oh puh-lease While we here in New York State wait to see if Governor Cuomo Fracks us out of our economic woes, we should be entertaining more sustainable business models for our region. . [June 2013] more...
- Sky is falling on Fracking New York State Many dismiss alarmist claims by activists against Fracking New York State that instead of talking science the activists cry “THE SKY IS FALLING!” (See Chicken Little.) (January 2012) more...
- Protecting New York State’s environment against Fracking Why any state would assign their environmental protection agency (DEC in New York) with the task of enabling gas drilling companies to wreak havoc on their environment at all is very curious. more...
- Fracking tail wags NYS energy policy Angry and impatient as the Fracking industry may be with New York State, we have a moment to examine whether our media has properly characterized the Fracking issue. Fracking cannot proceed without the completion of the SGEIS report and that report cannot proceed until the health impact analysis review is complete; so we have a little time. We should use it wisely. [November 2012] more...
- NYS Fracking, the rush job The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has a drop-dead date of Nov. 29 to complete new regulations for Fracking—or, god forbid, we will have go through the review process all over again. Billions of dollars and jobs will be lost if this ‘new boom’ is delayed. At least this is the way the situation is framed in the media. (November 2012) more...
- To Frack or not to Frack NYS: That is not the question. By now, regardless of where you stand on Fracking in New York State, you’re probably getting weary of it. (October 2012) more...
- Bottom of the ninth on Fracking New York State, but it’s not over Ok team. I know; it looks bad. We had the home-town advantage and somehow we blew it. We’re trailing far behind. I know that. The other team, heady with imminent victory, is already popping their Champagne corks. Sure, they didn’t completely walk all over us. (August 2012) more...
- Let’s be reasonable on Fracking and Climate Change It’s hard to figure out why so many are so complacent about the looming Fracking decision coming to New York state and the lack of discourse on Climate Change in this year’s presidential elections. Both are going to come to a conclusion soon and will have very long-term impacts, maybe forever. (August 2012) more...
- Shrugging off the risk of Fracking to our NYS water As the moment looms nearer when Governor Cuomo makes his final decision on lifting the moratorium on horizontal Hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) in New York State, we should reflect on what risking our environment actually means. (August 2012) more...
- Towards a more realistic baseline for sound actions on Fracking As the deadline for lifting the New York State moratorium on Fracking (horizontal Hydraulic fracturing) looms, the news, rallies, and articles are getting more strident. (July 2012) ...more
- Will the Fracking boom bypass NYS and set us up for a greater economic boom? New York State seems to be balking at the idea of riddling our countryside with natural gas production. (March 2012) more...
- Why add more methane (GHG) leaks from Fracking when our existing gas system is a clunker? This article by NPR begs an interesting question given that New York State is about to end the moratorium on Fracking: How much gas (methane) is normally leaked into our atmosphere via the existing system of gas pipes in our state, or our country for that matter? more...
- Fracking, EPA study, NYS moratorium on Fracking and connecting the dots The media is abuzz over the recent EPA study (Investigation of Ground Water Contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming) as to whether contamination in Wyoming lake water is due to a nearby hydrofracking operation. more...
- Wait! Before you let NYS start Fracking, this is already on our plate: Soon, on December 12, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will close public comments on the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (September 2011. more...
Climate Change will strain NYS’s water even if we don’t Frack - Rochester Environmental News | Examiner.com New York State has a lot of fresh waterand, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), we are going to weather Climate Change. The West and the South of the United States are not going to fare so well. So you might think that piling on hydrofracking (or Fracking), which will require a lot of our fresh water for drilling, to the stresses that will be caused by Climate Change wouldn’t matter much. And that is actually the conclusion of the Report 11-18 Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID)report that NYSERDA funded and completed last month. This report is a very comprehensive look at Climate Change in New York State. What the report suggests is that “As much as 7 million gallons of water may be required to hydraulically fracture a well.” (Page 94, ClimAid) “Increased consumption due to natural gas drilling in deep shales” will be “low.” (Page 444, ClimAid). The report also states that we should feel assured about our fresh water because “The commissions already have guidelines for determining acceptable withdrawals during low-flow periods, and other possible guidelines have recently been proposed in the generic environmental impact statement related to shale gas drilling in New York State.” (Page 100, ClimAid) Continue reading on Examiner.com Climate Change will strain NYS’s water even if we don’t Frack - Rochester Environmental News | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/environmental-news-in-rochester/climate-change-will-strain-nys-s-water-even-if-we-don-t-frack#ixzz1mjyXp2jM
Check out the next NO FRACK ALMANAC. Please consider donating to Jeremy Alderson who has been creating this paper singlehandedly: There are several volumes available. “Could you bear to lose this?”; “Is this the face of the gas boom?”; “Stories From Hell (aka Pennsylvania)”; “FRACKING Comes To Ohio”; “We NY, but...”, and “Ripping the flesh off Pennsylvania”
How we get our energy is one of the most important factors in Climate Change in our region. Using fossil fuels--gas, oil, coal, even biomass--creates even more greenhouse gas and warms our atmosphere. Read these reports and studies that link how we use energy to Climate Change:
- Toward an understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development: an analysis of the peer reviewed scientific literature, 2009-2014 Conversations on the negative environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development continue to play out in the media, in policy discussions, and among the general public. But what does the science actually say? While research continues to lag behind the rapid scaling of shale gas development, there has been a surge of peer-reviewed scientific papers published in recent years. In fact, of all the available scientific peer-reviewed literature on the impacts of shale gas development approximately 73% has been published since January 1, 2013. What this tells us is that the scientific community is only now beginning to understand the impacts of this industry on the environment and human populations. Hazards and risks have been identified, but many data gaps still persist. Importantly, there remains a dearth of quantitative epidemiology that assesses associations between risk factors and human health outcomes among populations. (December 10, 2014) PSE Healthy Energy
- COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION) 2nd edition December 11, 2014 Foreword to the Second Edition The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium) is a fully-referenced compilation of the evidence for the risks and harms of fracking that brings together findings from the scientific and medical literature, government and industry reports, and journalistic investigation. It is a public, open-access document that is housed on the website of Concerned Health Professionals of New York (www.concernedhealthny.org). Since its release in July 2014, it has been used and referenced all over the world. The Compendium, a subject of public health forums on both sides of the Atlantic—and on both coasts here in the United States—has been translated into Spanish and adopted for use in the European Union, South Africa, and Australia. Here in New York State, it serves as the foundation and comprehensive rationale for a minimum three-to-five-year moratorium on fracking: from its first publication, the evidence contained in the Compendium leads us to this unwavering conclusion. (December 11, 2014) Concerned Health Professional of New York [more on Fracking in our area]
- Health impacts of unconventional natural gas development: A comparative assessment of community information needs in New York, North Carolina, and Ohio "Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) has expanded rapidly in recent years in areas with shale gas resources (USEPA, 2014). We use the term UNGD to refer to the process of shale gas extraction that includes horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) to extract natural gas, as well as associated above-ground operations. Many communities welcome the economic development promised by the growth of UNGD. At the same time, many residents, community groups, and health professionals have questions about the potential health impacts of UNGD (Ferrar et al., 2013; Brasier et al., 2011; Kriesky et al., 2013). However, public health concerns have not figured prominently in the policy discourse until recently (Witter et al, 2013; Goldstein et al., 2012; Finkel, 2011; Schmidt, 2011). "Project Report, UR-UNC-UC Supplement 2012-13 2 Sept. 15, 2014 [related news release: Communities Contemplating Fracking Grapple with Long List of Concerns A new report has examined the host of potential health-related issues that communities in areas of the country suitable for natural gas extraction may face. The goal of the study was to determine how future research can best address communities’ health questions and inform their decision-making. “We hope that this assessment will help create a framework that provides for ongoing community engagement in research on the potential health, environmental, and economic impacts of natural gas extraction,” said Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D., director of the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core and lead author of the study. “While this study is just a first step, it clearly indicates that the communities in areas that are considering hydraulic fracturing have many questions and environmental health research priorities – and that these priorities may differ from those of technical experts and government agencies.” (September 15, 2014) University of Rochester Medical Center
- COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION Horizontal drilling combined with high-volume hydraulic fracturing and clustered multi-well pads are recently combined technologies for extracting oil and natural gas from shale bedrock. As this unconventional extraction method (collectively known as “fracking”) has pushed into more densely populated areas of the United States, and as fracking operations have increased in frequency and intensity, a significant body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate that these activities are inherently dangerous to people and their communities. Risks include adverse impacts on water, air, agriculture, public health and safety, property values, climate stability and economic vitality (July 2014) Concerned Health Officials of New York
- Concerned Health Professionals of New York "“By insisting on a comprehensive health impact assessment as a precondition for a decision to permit or prohibit hydraulic fracturing in our state, Concerned Health Professionals of New York is upholding the fundamental principles of preventive medicine. The unique vulnerability of children to chemical contaminants and air pollution – of the kind we know are associated with drilling and fracking operations – means that we must undertake the most thorough investigation and seek the input of many experts. This is no time for secrecy. Members of New York’s medical community must have access to the documents that are now under review by the team of outside reviewers. The public – who are being asked to assume risks of fracking – must likewise have input to the scientific process that is judging those risks.” "
- Report 11-18 Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID) Responding to Climate Change in New York state: the ClimAid integrated assessment for effective Climate Change adaptation in New York state (November 2011)
- Don’t miss this great article on Fracking by Bill McKibben. Bill really gets at the heart of why it would be so disastrous to Frack in NYS, or any other place for that matter. Few are able to articulate the real danger our addiction to fossil fuel represents for mankind at this point in time. We keep searching for that cheap energy source to fuel a way of life that is chewing up our environment—as if we haven’t learned a thing about our environment in the past one hundred years. Check out this important article and spread it far and wide. Why Not Frack? by Bill McKibben | The New York Review of Books "As the International Energy Agency reported last summer, the numbers are significant: their projections for a “Golden Age of Gas” scenario have atmospheric concentrations of CO2 peaking at 650 parts per million and temperature rising 3.5 degrees Celsius, far higher than all the experts believe is safe. In September, the National Center for Atmospheric Research tried to combine all the known data—everything from methane leakage in coal mines to the cooling effects of coal-fired sulfur pollution—and concluded, in the words of the scientist Tom Wigley, that the switch to natural gas “would do little to help solve the climate problem.” " Table of Contents - March 8, 2012 | The New York Review of Books
Fracking by the Numbers Key Impacts of Dirty Drilling at the State and National Level Released by: Environment New York Research & Policy Center Release date: Thursday, October 3, 2013 > Read News Release > Download Report (PDF) Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States. As fracking expands rapidly across the country, there are a growing number of documented cases of drinking water contamination and illness among nearby residents. Yet it has often been difficult for the public to grasp the scale and scope of these and other fracking threats. Fracking is already underway in 17 states, with more than 80,000 wells drilled or permitted since 2005. Moreover, the oil and gas industry is aggressively seeking to expand fracking to new states—from New York to California to North Carolina—and to areas that provide drinking water to millions of Americans. --from Environment New York State
It is possible, because the Rochester region lies within the Utica Shale, that hydrofracking, or Fracking, could become a grave environmental issue in our region. Here are the main sources in our region to stay abreast of this on-going issue:
- Read a series of reports on Clean Water & Fracking from the Environmental Advocates of New York.
- Get the latest updates on Fracking every day: Recent Gas Drilling News (07-09-12 11:59PM EDT) - from Sustainable Otsego "Sustainable Otsego is a loose, minimally structured network of local activists and supporters who seek to promote sustainable practices in the rural Leatherstocking region focused on Cooperstown and Otsego County, New York. It listserv provides a forum for the discussion of sustainability issues. When we were founded, in 2007, our main concerns were with peak oil, energy descent, relocalization, and their consequences -- all continuing vital issues. We were the incubator for the Kid Garden at the Cooperstown Central School; we have lobbied our county government on a range of sustainability issues, including the need for a county sustainability plan. "
- Fracking - ProPublica "Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat "
- Drilling for Natural Gas in the Marcellus Gas Shale: Everything you wanted to know: pressconnects.com | Binghamton Marcellus Shale | Press & Sun-Bulletin
- What you need to know about fracking | Environmental Working Group "Hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades. But now, natural gas producers are deploying a new gas drilling method called high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing to release gas locked in untapped shale formations. According to a report by the Department of Energy's outside advisory panel on natural gas, in 2011, shale gas reached 29 percent of total dry gas production in the lower 48 states, up from 6 percent in 2006. " from EWG Home | Environmental Working Group
- NYS DEC on all things related to Frackiing: SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs The Department of Environmental Conservation regulates the development and production of oil and gas resources in New York State. The development of a potentially significant gas resource in the Marcellus Shale uses horizontal drilling and a high-volume hydraulic fracturing technique known as "slick water fracturing." This technique requires large volumes of water and requires further review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") before any well permits can be issued.
- Welcome to R-Cause: Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction - ABOUT R-CAUSE "Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing. "
- Find out how that Fracking is working for our friends in Pennsylvania. Track the number of operators, active wells, violations, and fines. Those poor people. Shale Play: Natural Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania | NPR StateImpact: Issues That Matter. Close To Home. "The Marcellus Shale has been underneath Pennsylvania for centuries, but the extraction of natural gas began only recently. The gas boom is changing the landscape of northeastern and southwestern Pennsylvania. Use this tool to learn which operators are drilling, and where. Find gas-producing wells in your county or municipality — and see whether the drillers have been cited for violating state environmental regulations. Read more about the data. " from NPR StateImpact: Issues That Matter. Close To Home.
- Drill Bits: Revisiting the Hydro-Fracking Debate - GrowWNY Originally published in July of 2011, we are republishing this introductory article to offer information for Western New Yorkers wishing to get involved with hydro-fracking issues. To find out more about what is going on today, read this article by Sierra Club member Art Klein and visit the webpages for Western New York environmental organizations that are involved with this issue. --from GrowWNY
- Safeguard Drinking Water | Riverkeeper updates on Fracking from Riverkeeper - NY's Clean Water Advocate
- Shale Gas Review "Tom Wilber has been in the newspaper business for more than 20 years and has written for the Central New York Business Journal and the Watertown Daily Times. For 17 years, he worked for the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, covering business, health, and environment beats. "
- FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry "Welcome to FracFocus, the hydraulic fracturing chemical registry website. This website is a joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. On this site you can search for information about the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. You will also find educational materials designed to help you put this information in perspective. "
- Marcellus Shale - Tribune-Review
- Stay up to date with banning Fracking in New York State: action, news, events, and more: New York <i>Ban Fracking Now</i> Action Center "We've got so much going on in New York's campaign to Ban Fracking Now for you to be involved with. Take a look at all the events and volunteer opportunities! Sign up to be involved and we'll be in touch. And don't forget to share this page with your networks by using the buttons to the right. Every bit of outreach we all do helps to grow the movement to Ban Fracking Now! " from Food & Water Watch
- For those still unclear about what horizontal hydrofracking is, check this interactive feature from the New York Times. Fracking is not your grandmother’s single, straight down drilling for oil. Extracting Natural Gas From Rock - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com "A look at the process and hazards of hydraulic fracturing. "
- Fracking | from EcoWatch "EcoWatch is a global non-profit news organization that covers issues relating to water, air, food, energy and biodiversity. Our mission is to unite the voices of the grassroots environmental movement and mobilize millions of people to engage in democracy in pursuit of a sustainable future. "
- Hydraulic Fracturing ("fracking") - from Grassroots "Grassroots is a New York-based non-profit organization founded in 2000 with a mission to educate the public about the links between common environmental exposures and human health, and to empower individuals to act as catalysts for change within their own communities. "
- MarcellusGas.Org "The MarcellusGas.Org website was created to provide easy-access information related to Marcellus gas wells in Pennsysylvania. The site was launched in September of 2010, and continuely adds new features to provide members with improved information tools and resources. "
- The FLRWA Announces its position on Hydrfracking -from Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance (FLRWA) In 2010, nine lake and watershed organizations representing the inhabited Finger Lakes in New York State formed the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance (“FLRWA”). This alliance represents over 10,000 individual property owners, residents and voters across the entire Finger Lakes region. The purposes of FLRWA are to bring together the members, expertise and desires of the Finger Lakes watershed associations to preserve and protect their watersheds with a collective regional voice; to join forces to advocate for mutually beneficial regional changes, backed by sound research; and to promote collective actions that represent the desires of the entire Finger Lakes region.
- Concerned Health Professionals of New York "is an initiative to amplify the voices of hundreds of health professionals in New York who have been calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to conduct a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing. As health professionals who everyday serve and care for New Yorkers, it is critical that the public health and safety of our communities is taken into consideration before any decision is made on whether or not to lift the current moratorium on fracking in New York."
Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the state-wide risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing.
Numerous studies on Fracking
- Fracking Fumes: Air Pollution from Hydraulic Fracturing Threatens Public Health and Communities Hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and other well stimulation methods have led to a rapid expansion of oil and gas development in the United States.1 This expansion has brought oil and gas development closer to backyards and communities and increased the potential for human exposure to new contaminants and threats. At the same time, a growing body of new research points to health threats from unconventional oil and gas development and fracking in particular. Although health discussions, particularly in eastern states, have focused on drinking water contamination, there is mounting evidence for a range of health threats from air pollution as well. For example, research has linked pollution from fracking to unhealthy levels of smog and of toxic air contaminants. Exposure to this pollution can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, respiratory illnesses, central nervous system damage, birth defects, cancer, or premature death.2 At the same time, the oil and gas industry has been exempted from many regulations that limit air pollution from industrial activity. 3 At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued new standards to limit harmful air pollution from the oil and gas industry—but these still contain major gaps.4 Health protective regulations are also hampered by lack of scientific data on the potential cumulative risks posed by the combined emissions from a dense network of wells and associated infrastructure such as pipelines, compressor stations, and roads. State regulations are patchy and enforcement often cannot keep up with the industry’s rapid expansion, resulting in insufficient protection from air pollutants (December 2014 Natural Resources Defense Council )
- Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations A letter Robert W. Howarth · R Received: 12 November 2010 / Accepted: 13 March 2011 © The Author(s) 2011. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com "Abstract We evaluate the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas obtained by highvolume hydraulic fracturing from shale formations, focusing on methane emissions. Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the lifetime of a well. These methane emissions are at least 30% more than and perhaps more than twice as great as those from conventional gas. The higher emissions from shale gas occur at the time wells are hydraulically fractured—as methane escapes from flow-back return fluids—and during drill out following the fracturing. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential that is far greater than that of carbon dioxide, particularly over the time horizon of the first few decades following emission. Methane contributes substantially to the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas on shorter time scales, dominating it on a 20-year time horizon. The footprint for shale gas is greater than that for conventional gas or oil when viewed on any time horizon, but particularly so over 20 years. Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years. "
- EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources At the request of Congress, EPA is conducting a study to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. The scope of the research includes the full lifespan of water in hydraulic fracturing. The progress report was released in December 2012 and a draft report is expected to be released for public comment and peer review in 2014. EPA [more on Fracking in our area]
- Before we even think of Fracking NYS wouldn’t we want make sure existing drilling regulations are being followed? Breaking All the Rules: Oil and Gas Enforcement We have released a national reportabout state enforcement of oil and gas regulations. The national report examines the current state of oil and gas enforcement in Colorado, New Mexico,New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania andTexas. This report arose from discussions with oil and gas agency decision-makers, inspectors, members of multi-stakeholder oil and gas organizations, former management-level industry employees, oil and gas and environment attorneys, members of conservation organizations, and representatives of academic institutions - all around the question of what makes enforcement effective. (September 26, 2012) EarthWorks
High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development Executive Summary "The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is charged with protecting the public health of New Yorkers. In assessing whether public health would be adequately protected from a complex activity such as high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), a guarantee of absolute safety is not required. However, at a minimum, there must be sufficient information to understand what the likely public health risks will be. Currently, that information is insufficient. In 2012, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requested that DOH review and assess DEC’s analysis of potential health impacts contained in DEC’s draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement (SGEIS) for HVHF. In response to the original request from DEC, DOH initiated an HVHF Public Health Review process. In conducting this public health review DOH: (i) reviewed and evaluated scientific literature to determine whether the current scientific research is sufficient to inform questions regarding public health impacts of HVHF; (ii) sought input from three outside public health expert consultants; (iii) engaged in field visits and discussions with health and environmental authorities in states with HVHF activity; and (iv) communicated with multiple local, state, federal, international, academic, environmental, and public health stakeholders. The evaluation considered the available information on potential pathways that connect HVHF activities and environmental impacts to human exposure and the risk for adverse public health impacts." New York State Department of Health
- Water Pollution Risk Associated with Natural Gas Extraction from the Marcellus Shale In recent years, shale gas formations have become economically viable through the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These techniques carry potential environmental risk due to their high water use and substantial risk for water pollution. Using probability bounds analysis, we assessed the likelihood of water contamination from natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. (August 2012) Rozell, D. J. and Reaven, S. J. (2012), Water Pollution Risk Associated with Natural Gas Extraction from the Marcellus Shale. Risk Analysis, 32: 1382–1393. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01757.x
- The Costs of Fracking The Price Tag of Dirty Drilling's Environmental Damage Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies – hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – to unlock new supplies of fossil fuels in underground rock formations across the United States. “Fracking” has spread rapidly, leaving a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes in its wake. In fact, a growing body of data indicates that fracking is an environmental and public health disaster in the making. However, the true toll of fracking does not end there. Fracking’s negative impacts on our environment and health come with heavy “dollars and cents” costs as well. In this report, we document those costs – ranging from cleaning up contaminated water to repairing ruined roads and beyond. Many of these costs are likely to be borne by the public, rather than the oil and gas industry. And as with the damage done by previous extractive booms, the public may experience these costs for decades to come. September 20, 2012) Environment New York [more on Fracking in our area]
- American perceptions of hydraulic fracturing | Download the PDF “Fracking” controversy and communication: Using national survey data to understand public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing by Hilary Boudet, Christopher Clarke, Dylan Bugden, Edward Maibach, Connie Roser-Renouf, & Anthony Leiserowitz - from Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
- Toward an Evidence-Based Fracking Debate Science, Democracy, and Community Right to Know in Unconventional Oil and Gas Development DOWNLOAD: Toward an Evidence-Based Fracking Debate (2013) -- Executive Summary Toward an Evidence-Based Fracking Debate (2013) -- Full Report Hydraulic fracturing—better known as fracking—and other technological advances, such as horizontal drilling, have resulted in the rapid expansion of "unconventional" oil and gas extraction. Communities across the country now face difficult decisions on fracking. Promises of economic growth have led many communities to embrace unconventional oil and gas development, but questions about environmental and health risks, and about the duration and distribution of economic benefits, are causing deep concern. These decisions become especially challenging when the public lacks reliable information about the impacts of fracking. Inadequate governance, interference in the science, and a noisy public dialogue all create challenges for citizens who want to be informed participants in fracking discussions. --from Union of Concerned Scientists
Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom Published: September 19, 2013 By: Sharon Wilson, Lisa Sumi, Wilma Subra Download this publication From the report SUMMARY (7 pages) In an unprecedented investigation of oil and gas operations and government oversight in Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale, Earthworks reports a toxic mix of irresponsible industry operators and negligent regulators, and the families who suffer the consequences. Specifically, Reckless Endangerment while Fracking the Eagle Ford, reveals: Residents requested state regulators provide relief from oil and gas air pollution; Regulators discovered pollution so dangerous they evacuated themselves; Regulators took no subsequent action to warn or otherwise protect the residents at risk; Regulators took no subsequent action to penalize the responsible company; Residents continue to live with exposure to dangerous oil and gas air pollution. Oil and gas operations in shale formations release chemicals to air, water, and soil that are hazardous to human health. Government shares the blame for these releases because rules governing oil and gas development don’t protect the public. Adding insult to injury, state regulators don’t reliably enforce these rules. By failing to deter reckless operator behavior, regulators practically condone it, thereby increasing health risks for residents living near oil and gas development. --from Earthworks
Groups against Fracking in NYS.
- R-Cause: Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction “R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing.”
- NYRAD "New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD) is a grassroots network of local residents who are opposed to unconventional gas development in New York State. High volume hydraulic fracturing threatens our land, air, and water, jeopardizing the economic and physical health of our communities. Thousands of wells, many miles of pipelines, and large noisy compressor stations could turn our rural communities into giant industrial zones. Therefore, we are joining together to: educate ourselves and our neighbors about the long-term negative economic, environmental, health, and community impacts of gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing; advocate for legislation to safeguard our communities from these threats; encourage the development of alternative, green, sustainable energy sources; We believe that all people have a right to clean air and pure water, and that it is our duty to preserve and protect the natural, scenic, historic, and commercial assets of this beautiful state we live in, for ourselves and future generations. "
- Protect Hemlock and Canadice Lakes "DEC's Hemlock-Canadice Draft Unit Management Plan allows for the Leasing of land to the Oil and Gas Industry "
- Frack Free Genesee "A coalition to protect the western finger lakes and Genesee valley "
- Food & Water Watch "Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping the global commons — our shared resources — under public control. "
- Welcome to Sustainable Otsego "Sustainable Otsego is a loose, minimally structured network of local activists and supporters who seek to promote sustainable practices in the rural Leatherstocking region focused on Cooperstown and Otsego County, New York. It listserv provides a forum for the discussion of sustainability issues. When we were founded, in 2007, our main concerns were with peak oil, energy descent, relocalization, and their consequences -- all continuing vital issues. We were the incubator for the Kid Garden at the Cooperstown Central School; we have lobbied our county government on a range of sustainability issues, including the need for a county sustainability plan. We have been particularly occupied recently with resistance to shale gas drilling in our region. We sponsored a series of forums in the spring of 2009 which brought wide publicity in our area to problems associated with shale has drilling, and we have continued public education efforts in this regard, as well as political lobbying. Sustainable Otsego is one of scores of organizations statewide in New York who oppose current drilling techniques as too unsafe and costly to be permitted. "
- RAFT - Residents Against Fracking in Tioga "RAFT was formed in January 2012 by a group of Tioga County residents who have educated themselves about the dangers of fracking and have come to the unshakable conclusion that there is no way fracking could conceivably be done safely. We are concerned about the safety of the water, air, food supply, land, environment, communities, and people. We therefore have dedicated ourselves to educating our neighbors and fellow community members, and to helping to write laws that protect our towns and county from fracking. "
- Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy "Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy is an all volunteer grassroots organization working to prohibit dangerous hydraulic fracturing (fracking) since 2008. We support the American Clean Energy Agenda. Find out how your organization can also lend its support email@example.com. "
- Save the Southern Tier "We are mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, business owners, farmers, young people, retired people, faith leaders and chefs who care deeply about our community and home. Save The Southern Tier is a broad-based network of existing grassroots groups who are working to stop fracking from happening in our home and in the state at large. Our movement is diverse in tactics and strategy, but our numbers are growing and we will work tirelessly to prevent fracking from happening. "
- Grandma's Thinking ... Ban fracking: the realities of the technology and industry lies must be exposed! Stop the fracking disaster before it kills off the very planet we live on. YOUR survival depends on it! Now is the time!
- Hector Clean Waters The Town of Hector is facing the very real threat of high volume hydrofracking destroying our pristine water, air, and growing local economy. Our work is focused on educating Hector residents, landowners and government officials on the danger fracking poses to our way of life, and working to protect our water, families, and health.
- Hudson Valley United Against Fracking "Hudson Valley United Against Fracking will serve as a network to amplify, build and broaden the citizens movement against fracking in this region of New York State. With a rich history, the Hudson Valley has long been the center of state and national leadership on environmental and public health stewardship. The Hudson Valley is united against fracking because fracking threatens our health, the integrity of our communities, our economy, and our precious environment. A majority of residents in the Hudson Valley are opposed to fracking. A large and growing number of elected officials, business owners, environmental and citizens organizations have been voicing their concerns about this dangerous gas drilling practice for years. Meanwhile, the Hudson Valley stands ready and eager to help lead a swift transition to renewable energy and efficiency across all of New York State. "
- Citizens' Alliance for a Pristine Perinton (CAPP) "Support Town of Perinton elected leaders in their efforts to protect our clean air and water rights, and our food safety... Description Citizens’ Alliance for a Pristine Perinton (CAPP) is an organization of members of the Perinton, New York community. We live here, we own or rent our homes here, here we attend Perinton’s schools and houses of worship, we walk its pristine parks and trails, we recreate on and along our beautiful Erie Canal, Thomas Creek, Irondequoit Creek, White Brook and other waterways, and we vote and otherwise participate in the great civic enterprise of our American Democracy. We are authors, economists, historians, leadership development, special needs education, higher education, law, the graphic arts, information technology, advertising, historic preservation, and the health sciences. We are of all ages, and all political and spiritual convictions, ethnicities, and genders - we are a spectrum alliance reflecting all Perinton citizens. "
Americans Against Fracking "Fracking and drilling associated with fracking poses a direct and immediate threat to the drinking water, air, climate, food, health and economies of communities across the United States. Americans Against Fracking is comprised of entities dedicated to banning drilling and fracking for oil and natural gas in order to protect our shared vital resources for future generations. Our goal, quite simply, is to ban fracking. To that end, we support federal, state and local efforts to ban fracking and to stop practices that facilitate fracking like natural gas exports, frac sand mining and the construction of pipelines. From halting plans to open the Delaware River to fracking, to passing over 250 municipal measures against the practice, the movement to protect Americans from fracking has won significant victories. Regulations alone won’t protect us from this toxic, polluting process—we need to ban fracking now. "