Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Amy Goodman Interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting

Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting, an environmental database firm in Ithaca, New York, talks to Amy Goodman in this riveting video. Toxics Targeting went through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s own database of hazardous substances spills over the past thirty years. They found 270 cases documenting fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Many of the cases remain unresolved. The findings are contrary to repeated government assurances that existing natural gas well regulations are sufficient to safeguard the environment and public health. New York State is considering allowing for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale watershed, the source of drinking water for 15 million people, including nine million New Yorkers. Mr. Hang is calling on Gov. Paterson, who has embraced natural gas drilling as New York's best hope for economic recovery, to reject the Draft Supplemental Geologic Environmental Impact Statement just issued in October on the grounds that it is deeply flawed and does not adequately address the documented accidents and incidences which have occurred due to gas drilling activity.

The SGEIS was done because the gas drilling industry needed further review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). A Generic Environmental Impact Statement was finalized in 1992. However, new technology, referred to as slick water hydrofracking, now being used to drill in tight gas reservoirs such as the Barnett Shale (TX) and the Marcellus Shale (PA,NY,WV,OH), is causing a great deal of concern amongst environmentalists and residents who live atop these shale formations. Public hearings are now in progress for the Draft SGEIS. The public comment period has been extended to December 31, 2009. After considering public inputs, the state will decide on additional parameters to be applied to gas drilling and will then issue well permits for gas well development.

To read the testimony of John Hanger, Acting Secretary of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, speaking before the Senate Majority Policy Committee about the Marcellus Shale formation, go here.

After the findings of Toxics Targeting, will the State of New York take seriously the possible, and perhaps probable, costs of drilling on the environment, the public health, and quality of life in New York State?

Does it make sense to destroy essential resources such as water and soil in order to extract one resource- natural gas? Are we to drill first and ask questions later?

*Thinking about buying a home? Check out this free internet map, compliments of Toxics Targeting, to see if there are any toxic problems nearby.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the posting