Gas drilling figures are downright scary

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William M. Foster / Auburn | Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 3:00 am | (4) Comments

“Call your legislators today and say ‘absolutely not.’  No toxic dump wells in the Finger Lakes!”

William M. Foster


Whether you are for it or against it, hydrofracking will significantly alter our way of life, and it’s possible that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will make the decision to the end the current moratorium on June 1. Write or phone — tell him no.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that natural gas drilling companies will drill 71,000 wells along the southern border of the state from Binghamton to Buffalo and up into the Finger Lakes. To frack one well, it takes on average 4 million gallons of water and 250,000 pounds of chemicals. Each well will be fracked on average six times, which in essence means 24 million gallons of water and 1.5 million pounds of chemicals. When you multiply that by 71,000 wells, the numbers are staggering.

Compounding the issue, gas drilling companies are not required to disclose what they use in the fracking fluids nor are they required to follow any of the federal environmental laws put in place to protect public health and our drinking water.

In Pennsylvania, where hydrofracking is in full swing, state regulators have issued more than 1,400 serious violations in the past two years, including contamination of drinking water and chemical spills.

There’s no reason to doubt the same problems will occur here. Are we expecting our first responders to show up to well blowouts and truck accidents without full knowledge of the hazardous materials involved?

We should all be aware that these companies will be trying to site 10,000 feet deep injection wells to “dump” their toxic waste in just as they have done in other states. It’s too expensive for them to do it any other way. We subsidize them by getting to keep their toxic waste.

Call your legislators today and say “absolutely not.”  No toxic dump wells in the Finger Lakes!

Call your state and local legislators and tell them to stop this from happening — now.

In closing, I have used the  DEC SGEIS report on hydrofracking as a guide. My family has lived in this community for more than 100 years but I’m not sure that living here with these changes is possible.

William M. Foster


Foster is a former member of the Auburn City Council

See: Natural Gas Firms Cited for "Significant Non-Compliance With Auburn Sewer Use Law".


See: Christopher Caskey. "Rally planned against gas well water in Auburn." The Citizen. 2011-05-26.

See: Scott Rapp. "Auburn group hopes protest sways city to stop taking wastewater from natural gas drilling." The Post-Standard. 2011-05-29.

See: Editorial. "Our View: Moratorium, study needed on wastewater." The Citizen. 2011-05-29.