Summary of the “Fracking” Meeting held by Environment and Human Health, Inc. on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at the Yale School of Forestry for all those people in CT who were, and are, interested in the fracking issue for Connecticut.
There were about 45 people at the meeting including 4 Legislators – Senator Len Fasano and Senator Carlo Leone’s Aide, Andrew Ammirati, and Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Matt Lesser .
Many groups were represented. To name a few: CT Sierra Club, Watershed Partnership, Rivers Alliance, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Grassroots Environmental Education, Middletown Conservation Commission, Middletown Garden Club, Environmental Concerns Coalition of Milford, Environment and Human Health, Inc., New Haven Environmental Justice, Thimble Creek Research, Yale Forestry School, Democracy for America, Old Lyme Conservation Commission, and three people hired by the Heinz Foundation in Pennsylvania working on the health issues caused by fracking in Pennsylvania.
As well, there was a representative from the CT Petroleum Council – Steven Guveyan
TOPICS RAISED FOR DISCUSSION
Fracking raises many areas of concern and there were many issues raised for discussion
1. How much shale is actually in CT and do we need to be concerned? The meeting felt the answer was yes and the unassessed shale is under Hartford and goes through the middle of the state – pretty much following the I-91 Corridor.
2. Fracking’s damage to drinking water and underground aquifers was discussed. What chemicals are put into the deep ground in order to frack and what additional chemicals come up from the underground rock such as radon, arsenic and other toxic compounds from the “Deep.”
3. CT will need to protect itself from accepting other states’ toxic fracking waste. New Jersey is already getting PA’s waste without the New Jersey Legislature having acted upon it.
4. What happens when the toxic waste from fracking is injected into the ground? Some states have had small earth quakes where this has been allowed.
5. Huge amount of truck traffic is generated by fracking.
6. The Gas Industry usually goes after farmlands as a place to frack offering farmers large amount of money. CT has spent large sums of money trying to protect CT Farms.
7. David Brown, Sc.D. Public Health Toxicologist, reported what he has seen happen in PA. He has been hired by the Heinz Foundation of PA to look at those harmed in that state from fracking. He has seen respiratory problems, intestinal issues and skin rashes. Generally many people near the fracking sites are unwell as are their farm animals.
8. Each well site needs thousands of gallons of water and that will need to come from somewhere.
9. Vermont banned Fracking this year as well as banning any fracking waste from being disposed of in their state. In VT’s words – the ban “ensures that the state’s underground sources of drinking water remain free of contamination…….”
10. Vermont like Connecticut has no fracking taking place — or yet proposed to take place – but that state saw the potential damage fracking could have on their state and they chose to get ahead of the problem. Should CT do the same?
DECISIONS ABOUT WHICH FRACKING ISSUES SHOULD ADDRESSED AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
1. There should be legislation that bans accepting other states’ toxic fracking wastes from coming into CT. The fracking toxic waste should not be allowed to enter our waterways or be injected into deep underground wells.
2. There should be a bi-partisan educational meeting held at the Capitol either the 2nd or 3rd week in September for all legislators. Sen. Len Fasano, Rep. Matt Lesser and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg have kindly offered to host the meeting. Sen Fasano offered to get another Republican Representative so to have 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats.
3. CT DOH Health and CT DEEP should be invited. As well the CT petroleum Council will be invited – so to make this a balanced meeting. As well it was suggested to have the Attorney General’s Office represented. Because fracking often affects farmlands – it was suggested that the Working Land Alliance be there as well.
If I left anything important out – I apologize. There was much that went on.
Thanks to all of you who were able to come – it is greatly appreciated,
Nancy Alderman, President
Environment and Human Health, Inc.