A coalition of health and environmental groups gathered in Carmel, New York yesterday following the meeting of the Putnam County Board of Legislators to congratulate the legislators for voting to prohibit the sale, application and disposal of waste products in the County from natural gas drilling operations.
The new law bans the sale of fracking waste, the processing of fracking waste at County and privately operated wastewater treatment plants, and the application of fracking brine on County roads and private property including applications for de-icing and dust control purposes.
Putnam County joins the ranks of other county governments, including Westchester and Ulster Counties, that have already enacted similar legislation to protect their water supplies and the health and safety of their residents by banning radioactive gas drilling waste. The groups are urging County Executive MaryEllen Odell to sign the legislation immediately and are also strongly urging local Putnam municipalities to adopt similar local laws without delay.
All gas drilling technologies involve the use of hundreds of toxic chemicals and large quantities of water to extract the gas from deep underground. Much of this highly toxic mixture returns to the surface with the gas along with other contaminants including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, brine (approximately eight times saltier than sea water) and high levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials, including radium-226 and radium-228, which are known human carcinogens. Radium-226 has a half-life of 1600 years and is linked to bone, liver and breast cancers. Other chemicals in fracking fluid are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
TVNL Comment: Even while the debate over new fracking wells goes on, the disposal of radioactive wastes continues to threated the lives of millions of Americans. Join this fight, or become one of its victims. Call your legislators and demand and end to both fracking and the transport of these horrendously dangerous wastes.