Forum to discuss dangers of fracking waste
Updated 8:47 am, Tuesday, April 1, 2014
A public forum, "Help Keep Fracking Waste Out of Connecticut," will take place Thursday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m. at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington.
The program will include a screening of the 18-minute film "Fracking Hell? The Untold Story."
The forum will include Celia Lewis, research and communications consultant for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit environmental health organization created to assist and support Washington County, Pa., residents who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by natural gas drilling activities; Evan Abramson, community organizer for Housatonic Valley 350 and Food & Water Watch, Litchfield County; Carlos Canal, president of the Washington Environmental Council; Susan Payne, chairman of the Washington Conservation Commission; Patricia Wood, executive director of Grassroots Environmental Education; and Nisha Swinton, senior organizer for Food & Water Watch, New England.
Hydrofracking for shale gas is producing millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive waste, and the gas companies would like to dispose of it in Connecticut.
Connecticut has no natural gas deposits and, at this time, no fracking is taking place here.
However, the state's close proximity to Pennsylvania and its 6,000-plus gas wells means the state could potentially become a storage or treatment site for the billions of gallons of wastewater generated annually through the process of fracking.
Fracking involves injecting large amounts of water, mixed with sand and various chemicals, underground at high pressures so gas is released.
The wastewater contains harmful pollutants (many of them carcinogenic and neurotoxic), as well as naturally occurring radioactive material such as radium-226.
According to a spokesperson for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there are several sites in western Connecticut possible to accept this toxic waste.
The program will discuss a bill -- SB 237, An Act Prohibiting the Storage or Disposal of Fracking Waste in Connecticut -- intended to ban fracking waste if passed by the close of the 2014 legislative session.