Jan. 7, 2009: No gas drilling in the Catskills

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To The Editor:
Did you know that the 2005 Energy Act provided the oil and gas industry with a loophole in federal law? Energy companies were exempted from clean water laws for the purposes of gas drilling! They are presently allowed to use dangerous chemicals in “fracking,” a process that uses powerful fluids to fracture rock underground.
Just small amounts of the following industrial chemicals used in fracking are known to be hazardous and carcinogenic to people, wildlife and domestic animals: benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, ethalene, napthalene, methanol, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and others. There is at this time no agency that monitors gas drilling, nor are the companies required to fully disclose the chemicals being used.
Drillers introduce fracking fluids into the ground where it contaminates the water system. In addition, they also release vapors which spew into the air and contaminate surrounding areas. People who reside near gas drilling sites have reported neurological effects, headaches, ears ringing, dizziness, fatigue, disorientation, loss of smell, loss of taste, irreversible brain damage, numbness in fingers, swelling of extremities, brain lesions, breathing problems, seizures, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis and other health problems.
In view of the above, please contact local, state and federal officials to let them know that we don’t support gas drilling in the Catskills.

Gloria Zola-Mulloy,
Fleischmanns