Toxic dump in Ohio, deadline in New York draw concern for fracking on public health, environment
- Year: 2013
- Length: 2:39 minutes (2.43 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Environmentalists and Ohio residents are continuing to ask questions following news that a hydraulic fracturing company dumped an estimated 20,000 gallons of waste into a storm system in Youngstown that drains into the Mahoning River. The company didn’t divulge the incident until five days after it occurred and the information came to light through a whistleblower.
Julian Boggs is with Environment Ohio.
"The lesson that we need to take and learn from this is that we have a serious, serious problem with fracking waste in this state and we do not have an adequate system in place in order to protect public health and protect the environment."
The oil and gas waste water included brine, residue and mud, according the Times Online. Following disclosure of the illegal dumping, state officials pulled the operating permits for D&L Energy and Hard Rock Excavating, both owned by the same person. D&L Energy was also the company who drilled the fracking waste well that caused a dozen small earthquakes around Youngstown. Critics say this is another example that officials are rushing to grant fracking permits, without strong enough health and environmental regulations.
The Ohio incident comes as New York’s Governor Mario Cuomo is expected to announce a decision on fracking in that state. Last Friday, as residents braced for a major snowstorm, a crowd of about 200 gathered outside the governor’s Manhattan office to urge him to postpone the decision.
Daniele Gerard is president of Three Parks Independent Democrats, an upper West Side political club. Her club has been supporting a ban on fracking in the state since 2010.
“Fracking has been proved across the board to be a danger to the environment and a danger to public health. This has happened in Pennsylvania, and all of the other states where fracking is occurring. It would be absolutely insane for continue this practice and to have it happen at all in New York state.”
Cuomo is facing a February 27th deadline at which time fracking regulations issued 90 days ago expire. Activists, including Alex Beauchamp with Food and Water Watch, want the Governor to put off a decision on the regulations and direct the state to conduct a thorough health impact study.
“We’re urging him that without doing a really health study to show really what health impacts this process may have, that he should not go forward without that. So the real worry is that this week he could make a decision and we’re obviously urging him not to do that and instead conduct a real health study that would show us what these health impacts might be.”
Cuomo’s announcement on the state fracking regulations could come any day.