To the Editor:
(Dec. 2012) A set of rules that govern how [hydraulic fracturing] will be practiced in New York State was released in November. The regulations provide no precautions to shield our food from fracking-related water and air pollution. There are no setbacks for pastures, fields, vineyards or orchards.
Even though animals exposed to fracking have tested positive for air, water and soil contamination, the regulations allow a drilling and fracking operation to be a measly 500 feet away from a residential water well or a spring used as a water supply for livestock or crops. This virtually assures chemicals will make their way in to our food supply.
Arbitrary setbacks offer little protection; an overflowing waste pit in Pennsylvania sent fracking chemicals into a pond and a pasture where pregnant cows grazed: half their calves were born dead. In 2009, 17 cows died gruesome deaths in Louisiana after drinking fracking fluid, which was 99 percent water. This stuff is deadly.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation draft regulations are not sufficient to protect the health of our families. Please tell the DEC to ban fracking. Write to: Draft HVHF Regulations Comments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-6510 or online at dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html.