The possibility that water resources could become contaminated from hydrofracking is a major reason that many opposed the gas extraction method. While the recent announcement of a ban on fracking in New York comes as a relief to those concerned about water quality, it does not mean that New York’s water resources are immune to any impacts from the hydrofracking industry. Contamination from gas wells themselves may be off the table for now, but there are other steps of the hydrofracking process that are active and present in New York State that present risks to local water resources.
CSI and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network are collaborating to hold the 2015 “What’s In Your Watershed?” series, with the first event scheduled for Wednesday, March 4th from 6-8 PM at the Tompkins County Public Library BorgWarner Room West. The event, “Post-Ban Stream Monitoring: What’s In Your Watershed?” will highlight the ways in which the hydrofracking industry has the potential, or is already, impacting waterways in New York.
CSI has collected data on the issue of hydrofracking since 2009. Five years later, CSI’s Regional Baseline Initiative has resulted in publicly available baseline data for nearly 300 private wells across the state, a network of more than 100 volunteers monitoring small streams and creeks with the Red Flag Monitoring program, and a peer-reviewed publication on community-based risk assessment. Since hydrofracking is currently banned in New York, it presents an opportunity to refocus monitoring efforts on impacts from shale gas waste disposal and infrastructure development.
The event will feature a presentation by Rachel Triechler, an attorney who has been providing legal services in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions since 2002, and previously practiced law in New York City for 20 years. She represents clients in real estate, water law, riparian rights, and mineral rights. Rachel will discuss how drilling waste entering New York landfills presents risks to stream water quality. Stephen Penningroth, CSI’s Executive Director, will present on how natural gas infrastructure such as storage and pipelines have the potential to impact water quality.
This event is free and open to the public.