Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Toxic Fracking Water & Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority?

A recent Citizen's Voice reported a WVSA and Encana proposal for a new local toxic water treatment facility.  Quote follows.

The plant the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority is considering would treat and dilute the used fracking water, then sell it back to the gas companies to re-use.

Authority officials believe there is a need for such a facility in the region, Minora said. Asked if the authority could make money from it, he replied, "Certainly - that's why we're doing it. If there isn't, why do it?"

I can answer that:  Because it is beneficial to the people of North East PA and the state of Pennsylvania  as a whole.  But before the WVSA can decide if it's beneficial for our region, they have to remember we're here.  Here are some of the questions officials concerned about something other than money might ask:

What kind of accidents occur at similar toxic waste treatment facilities?  How often do they occur and how far-reaching are the possible aftereffects?  How much water is reused?  Does the transport of toxic waste to the facility endanger an even larger population than current practices?  Numbers, if anyone has bothered to collect them, would be fantastic.

Remember this is not about safety or conservation.  It is about cash.  Fracking is a dangerous, ecologically disastrous operation that puts us all at risk.  Toxic, carcinogenic chemicals will leech into our ground water even in the absence of accidents and accidents themselves abound.  Now we are processing the stuff locally.  What are the risks?

Environmental groups are concerned about the huge amounts of water taken from our fresh water supply.  Encana knows this.  My gut feeling is that this is just another PR move.  One Encana hopes will shut people up.  And having some more local officials on board never hurts.  Especially in Luzerne county.

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