It is August, and the summer is beginning to wind down. As the days have been muggy and hot, I hope that everyone has been keeping cool and staying hydrated.
The uninterrupted availability of clean drinking water has caused us to take our valuable resource for granted, and we often fail to realize how regular human activities impact our water quality. Therefore, August has been designated as National Water Quality month
The ways in which we tend to our lawns and gardens, construct and maintain our homes, and dispose of our trash and solid wastes significantly impacts on our water quality. As water plays a vital role in everyone's daily functions, it is imperative that we maintain the cleanliness and purity of our drinking water. National Water Quality month is a time for all of us to reflect on our personal usage habits and on how we can contribute to improving them.
The issue of water quality is inextricably linked to the important topic of hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, and how it might negatively impact on water supplies as well as on the environment. Hydrofracking involves drilling down into shale and then horizontally turning that drill to mine pockets of natural gas. Millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals are pumped in under pressure to "hydrofracture'' the shale and release the natural gas. This water becomes polluted and must be removed; its disposal is a primary and critical matter. Further, the proximity to the watershed that is the source of New York City drinking water poses serious concern.
I am committed to maximizing economic growth and creating jobs, but I also am steadfast in my pledge to maintain our environment. To gain my full support for hydrofracking, exploratory drilling corporations must initiate systems and measures to capture and secure any impurities or residual waste generated by the process. Any threat to the integrity of the New York City watershed that may compromise the health or wellbeing of residents of the five boroughs is intolerable, and I support a moratorium on hydrofracking pending final evaluation by the Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information, and tips on keeping your drinking water safe, please visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website: www.epa.gov/OW/index.html