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My take on hydrofracking

November 10, 2011

I have had a keen interest and connection to hydrofracking in New York and surrounding areas for some time. I have no financial interest or gains derived from it. My concerns are strictly around the water withdrawals, disposal of wastewaters, chemicals used in process, ground and surface water effects, community and public health, infrastructure concerns and such. What I am concerned about at this point is not just in NYC watersheds or Syracuse, but all of the watersheds in the southern tier and west.

I have attended public meetings across the state for several years as a concerned conservationist and citizen. I’ve heard both sides of this story. I have heard from oil and gas people their take and reputed their stories. Misleading and untruthful at times. I read an article in a recent newspaper talking about “Range Wars” out west. I recollect that ranchers infringed on water rights of other ranchers and this similarity could develop in NY. You and your communities may not understand the importance of your water supply. Wait until it is lost or contaminated as has been suffered in Dimock, PA and across the country. If a gas company takes your water and then a contamination may occur, you’re out of water.

Farmers and landowners say it will stay in my property. Not always true. Take the example of the recent devastation in the Catskills from Irene and Lee. Problems would have occurred all over the place, and water supplies could have been lost forever in some cases. I sympathize with farmers and landowners but when one’s property is compromised, and contaminated, mortgage and property values diminish as well and insurance becomes hard to keep.

We need to seriously consider all aspects of gas drilling before we let the Department of Environmental Conservation pass the SGEIS.

Ron Urban
Port Ewen, NY