Fracking could contaminate city water: Addabbo

Fracking could contaminate city water:  Addabbo by Karen Frantz, October 19, 2012, Times Ledger
State Sens. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and Tony Avella (D-Bayside) blasted the controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing last Thursday, voicing their opposition to allowing the practice in the state because they say it would pose a threat to the city’s drinking water.

“I look at my district. What’s the district surrounded by? Water,” Addabbo said. “So if you’re going to talk about a process that’s going to jeopardize our water, how could you be in favor?”

Addabbo said the technique has contaminated water in other states that allow it and he is worried carcinogenic and toxic chemicals used in the process could make their way into New York’s water supply. He dismissed fracking supporters’ arguments that allowing drilling in the state would be a boon to the economically depressed region in the north, saying oil companies bring in their own workers from out of state.

“For zero jobs here and for an economy that needs to be boosted 300 miles away, I say you can’t sacrifice our drinking water,” he said. “Once it’s contaminated, there’s no going back.”

Avella said he was concerned that if New York’s water supply, which he said has the highest quality in the country, became contaminated, it would force the city to build a water filtration plant at a potential cost of $20 billion, which would in turn force property taxes and water bills upward. He also contended fracking is too dangerous a process and alternative methods for extracting natural gas need to be found. “We can’t afford this, we don’t need this,” he said. “Let us wait until a better scientific process comes out. The natural gas is going to be there forever. We can afford to wait until the science is there to get it out safely.”

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