Falls Water Board Members Continue Fracking Probe

Falls Water Board Members Continue Fracking Probe by Jeff Preval, November 21, 2012, wgrz.com
NIAGARA FALLS, NY – The Niagara Falls Water Board will continue its investigation into who blew the whistle on the board for improperly storing fracking water in its treatment plant. Board members approved the measure Wednesday by a three to two vote. The Niagara Falls Water Board says it’s stumped on who leaked frack water photos in August. “From our standpoint, what’s important for the investigation that’s ongoing now, is who was in there to take the pictures and who damaged the locks,” said Ted Janese, the chair of the board. Someone took pictures of several gallons of frack water that was not supposed to be at the Niagara Falls treatment plant. Several months before that, the Niagara Falls City Council banned frack water from being held or treated in the city.

2 On Your Side’s Jeff Preval was at the meeting questioning board members about the investigation and whether the water should’ve been there. “I don’t know if it should’ve been there or not, if you’re asking about the perspective of what the city council resolution was? [then], probably it shouldn’t have been there and it was addressed immediately,” said Janese. Even though, the board says there’s no frack water there now and all testing has stopped, environmental groups continue to monitor the board. This is because of dangerous chemicals frack water contains. “I hope that the Niagara Falls Water Board realizes the importance of this law and really works to ensure the protection of all of the residents as well as the plant workers by not exposing them to fracking waste,” said Rita Yelda, an organizer for Food and Water Watch.

Another issue in this matter is whether the board lied to the public about having the frack water, which was from out-of-state. “Paul Drof, the executive director of the Niagara Falls Water Board has stated that the waste water was sent back to Pennsylvania, but it was not sent back to Pennsylvania, we found out in August that it was still here,” Yelda said. Janese says that Drof complied with authorities when he was told the water was still at the plant. Janese also says that Drof was unaware the water was there. As far as some specifics on the investigation, the board says Niagara Falls Police and the FBI are now involved in the review, but it’s unclear to what degree. According to police, there’s been no break-in reported at the plant. In addition to locks, security cameras have been added as a safety precaution at the plant. [Emphasis added]

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