Late this October a lone town councillor in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario named Jamie King tabled a resolution that should be heeded by everyone whose health and welfare depend on the quality of water we draw from our Great Lakes for drinking and other purposes.
It was a resolution that called on r government leaders on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border – municipal, provincial, state and federal – to investigate a plan to take the chemically contaminated waters from hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) operations in the northeastern United States and discharge it to the Niagara River near the world-renown Horseshoe and American Falls through a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Niagara Falls, New York.
The effluent that would be flushed to the Niagara River and Lake Ontario originates from a practice petrochemical corporations are now employing to extract natural gas from layers of rock below the earth’s surface. The process involves mixing water with a cocktail of chemicals these corporations, thanks to the former Bush administration, are exempt from disclosing the identity of, even to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators like the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
As a reporter who covered the Love Canal disaster in Niagara Falls, N.Y. and the migrations of dioxin, PCBs and countless other toxins to the Niagara River and Lake Ontario three decades ago from numerous sources, including the Niagara Falls, New York wastewater treatment plant, I appeal to all of you to join Jamie King’s call to our government leaders to take this plan to discharge fracking chemicals to the Niagara River before it is too late.
Thanks to the actions of public citizens, governments and private companies on both sides of the Niagara River, hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars have been spent over the past three decades restoring the waters of the river and downstream Lake Ontario to health. Let’s not sit back and allow the petrochemical industry brink these previous waters back to the brink of environmental catastrophe.
I am including on this post a link for a powerful video clip from the MSNBC Rachel Maddow show on the perils of fracking. Rachel Maddow’s program is broadcast on that network (if you are on Cogeco it is on Channel 133) weekdays at 9 p.m. I don’t mind saying that she has been one of the few to bravely take on the fracking issue and she is one of my few heroes hosting a news commentary show on TV. Here is the link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_r88nblg5U