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The Human Toll of Fracking

Paul, Julie and Criag Saunter

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Riverkeeper was proud to stand alongside our fellow advocates and concerned citizens in delivering much needed water to fracking victims in Dimock, Pennsylvania. This delivery was especially poignant because the clean water in the 5,700 gallon truck was sourced from the New York City Watershed.

Cabot Oil & Gas destroyed the water supplies of 11 families in Dimock when it began fracking for natural gas there in 2008. The families’ water supplies became contaminated, making it impossible for them to drink as well as do normal, everyday things such as take a bath, clean the dishes or simply wash their hands. Their water has been found to contain hazardous levels of methane gas, heavy metals, radioactive material and other toxic chemicals such as ethylene glycol – also known as antifreeze.

On November 30, Cabot ceased making clean water deliveries to the Dimock families with approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), even though earlier this year, the agency found them to be at fault for the contamination.

Clean water is a resource we’ve all been guilty of taking for granted. What we witnessed in Dimock paints a portrait of what it would be like to live in a “fracked New York” and drives the human toll of fracking home to us all.

[fergcorp_cdt_single date=”30 Nov 2011″]

The “Cabot Counter” tallies the number of days the families in Dimock are denied water delivery from Cabot Gas and Oil; the water that is their basic human right, water they now have to pay for.

We urge everyone to get their comments on the proposed fracking regulations and environmental impact statement to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens by January 11, 2012 and to call on them to heed the lessons learned in places like Dimock before it is too late.

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