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New York ready to approve controversial fracking

New York state is poised to legalize the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” making it the “latest flashpoint” in the controversy surrounding the method, CBS reports.

Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of sand, water and potentially toxic chemicals deep underground, breaking up underground shale deposits and freeing natural gas for collection. It’s controversial because of concerns that the toxic chemicals might pollute the groundwater where fracking takes place.

According to CBS, legalization of fracking in New York has been on hold for four years. Meanwhile, extraction operations in Pennsylvania have proceeded on an underground natural gas reserve that extends into both states, called the Marcellus Shale.

The report says land owners in Pennsylvania have been making money leasing property to fracking operations, and some New York property owners are hoping for a similar arrangement in their state.

But many New Yorkers are concerned about fracking’s safety hazards.

The report quotes environmental scientist Sandra Steingraber, an environmental scientist, as stating that anyone who says fracking can be done safely is wrong. And that applies to the Energy Secretary, the president and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Steingraber is quoted as saying: “When you shatter the bedrock, it’s not only full of methane, it’s full of benzene, it’s full of tylulene, its full of a lot of poisonous hydrocarbons. You blow that up and you put cocktail straws down into the ground to try to get the methane up, you create portals of contamination for other chemicals to come up into our ground water, aquifers and into air.”

Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.

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