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NEWS: Calzavara in Niagara Falls, NY tonight to oppose fracking plan

The Niagara Gazette reports, “Niagara Falls Water Board members may be in for an earful tonight. The board has scheduled a public hearing for 5 pm… The gathering is expected to draw attention from at least one environmental advocacy group that is looking to prevent the Falls from becoming a treatment site for hydraulic fracturing fluids.”

“‘We think it’s very dangerous for them to be exploring this plan,’ said Emma Lui, a spokesperson for The Council of Canadians, an organization that believes local treatment of hydrofracking fluids will have an adverse impact on the environment. ‘At the very least, there needs to be communication with all the communities involved. There needs to be a broader dialogue and there needs to be more study about what the impact of this would be on the Great Lakes.’ Lui sent a letter to the Falls water board in September, outlining her group’s objections to the board’s state intent to explore hydrofracking fluid treatment as a potential source of revenue. Lui said Mark Calzavara, a regional organizer with the council, will attend tonight’s meeting to convey the group’s thoughts on the subject to water board members.”

“Hydrofracking extracts natural gas and other fossil fuels from shale using chemicals injected with water into the rock layers. The Council of Canadians and other environmental advocacy groups argue that municipal wastewater facilities like those found in the Falls are not equipped to properly decontaminate the materials found in fracking wastewater. As a result, they fear the discharge of so-called ‘wastewater flowback’ into the Niagara River could have potentially harmful, long-term impacts on the Great Lakes Basin.”

“Officials from the Falls water board are taking a closer look at elements of hydraulic fracturing fluid treatment to determine if the process may offer any benefits to the city’s wastewater system which has been dealing with financial problems for several years amid the decline of population and industry in Niagara Falls. The board cannot move forward with any plan to accept hydrofracking waste until the state Department of Environmental Conservation completes its study of the process. The DEC is currently accepting public comment on the state’s revised draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 12.”

The Council of Canadians opposes fracking because of its high water use, its high carbon emissions, its impact on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the danger it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. The Council is calling for a country-wide stop to fracking operations.

For Council of Canadians blogs on the hydrofracking wastewater treatment plan in Niagara Falls, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22niagara+falls%22.