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Fracking opponents rally in N.Y.

According to a story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, opponents of the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” gathered in Albany to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to allow it in the state of New York.

The rally included a coalition of groups opposed to the practice, who marched along the Hudson River for a rally culminating at the state Capitol. Activists scheduled to speak included environmental author Bill McKibben, actress Debra Winger, state Sen. Tony Avella and filmmaker Josh Fox.

Fracking uses millions of gallons of chemically-treated water to break open underground shale formations, releasing the natural gas they contain.

A natural gas deposit called the Marcellus Shale underlies southern New York, and also extends into Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. New Yorkers who support approval of fracking point out that it’s legal in Pennsylvania, where some property owners are making money by leasing their land to natural gas companies.

But opponents point out that Pennsylvanians are also dealing with the environmental concerns that accompany fracking. The chemically treated water used in the process contains a number of toxic chemicals, including the carcinogen Benzene. People in the areas where it occurs are worried about potential contamination of drinking water supplies.

According to the report, the U.S. Department of Environmental Conservation will soon complete an environmental impact study and new regulations for gas drilling using fracking technology. When that study is done, Cuomo is expected to allow limited drilling near the Pennsylvania border.

Although New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has publicly endorsed natural gas development in the state, New York City officials got the DEC to ban drilling in the city’s watershed region in upstate New York. Opposition groups say if drilling isn’t safe near New York City’s water source, it isn’t safe in elsewhere.

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.

See the story here: