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Opinion

March 28, 2013

We need clean water to survive

We need clean water to survive

I found Mr. Mahoney’s Reporter’s Notebook even more interesting than usual Feb. 2-3, when he quoted Mr. Valente’s comment concerning the Constitution Pipeline: “It doesn’t pass the sniff test” he said. “They want something from us.”

Mr. Valente is correct. Take note. The same gas company wanting to do horizontal hydraulic fracturing in New York state is the same company that wants to build the Constitution Pipeline — Cabot & Williams.

Constitution Pipeline wants us to foot the bill for $50 million in pipeline construction. A bill is pending in the state Legislature to do just that: The Natural Gas Infrastructure Act No. 5102. Let’s do the math: $50 million versus $300,000 in “grant money,” a very good return on an investment.

It takes over a million gallons of water to drill one well, times hundreds of wells. That water is then “slicked” up with over 300 chemicals, many toxic. This “drilling mud” is referred to in the industry as “the Chernobyl of drilling fluid, the most chemical-laden goop known to man.” The “slick” water plus sand is pressure-pushed down the well a mile or more to separate the shale so the gas can escape. Those man-made chemicals mix with Mother Nature’s already-trapped and dangerous ingredients, creating one very toxic cocktail. That cocktail eventually migrates back up through natural cracks and crevices and drilling holes. This “flow back” is now not only poisonous but radioactive.

There is no known technology that can clean that “flow back” so it can be made consumable water. It is now hazardous waste.

We cannot drink and breathe gas to survive. We need clean water and clean air to stay healthy and live. Without those two essential life supports, we have lost everything.

Sharon Virgilio

Cherry Valley

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