THE PATCH: SENATORS HEAR HYDROFRACKING TESTIMONY AT KATONAH LIBRARY

 

    Credit Marisa Iallonardo

    On Tuesday morning, Senator Greg Ball hosted a hearing at the Katonah library on hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking. Here’s a quick look at what happened.

    • Senator Greg Ball hosted the hearing and Senators Liz Kreuger and Andrea-Stewart Cousins were both on hand to listen to the testimony.
    • Before the hearing began, several people were standing outside of the library holding signs that read “No frackin’ way” and  “Don’t frack with our water.”
    • “Hydrofracking,’ as the practice is known, involves blasting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals deep into rock formations, releasing the gas trapped inside,” wrote contributor Dan Wiessner in an article for Patch earlier this summer. “The method has been assailed by environmentalists nationwide for its potential to leak toxic chemicals into local water supplies. But proponents say hydrofracking is safe, and allowing it in New York would create tens of thousands of jobs, drum up revenue in cash-strapped upstate communities, and potentially decrease utility costs for many New Yorkers.” Click here to read the whole piece, including where the state currently stands on the issue.
    • There was a large turnout for the event, with people standing both at the back of the room and in the hallway.
    • Ball noted that those from the gas industry had been invited to the hearing, but did not attend. To that end, Stewart-Cousins said, “When we come to a hearing like this and the side saying it’s a win-win isn’t represented, it’s a missed opportunity…”
    • About 15 people testified before the senators, including a pediatrician and an economist, among others. Those testifying brought up numerous topics, including what they say would be the negative effects hydrofracking would have on water, tourism, fish and wildlife, health and more.
    • Several people from Pennsylvania, where hydrofracking is currently allowed, discussed the negative impact the drilling has had on their lives. “In every direction from my home, families are living on bottled or replacement water. A few have accepted treatment systems,” she said, showing an example of a bottle with water that had been treated. “Most of them, if not all are still drinking bottled water.” To see short a short snippet from her testimony and photos, click on the photos to the right of this article.
    • Josh Fox, who directed Gasland, the Oscar nominated documentary film on hydrofacking and with whom Senator Ball traveled to Pennsylvania earlier this year, also spoke, submitting both the film and a flash drive of documents to the public record. (READ MORE)
    Publication date: 
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 00:00