TagAlbany * Allegheny County

Engineering Expert Calls Fracking a “Chillingly Effective and Thorough Method” of Poisoning Drinking Water


Few people know fracking better than Paul Hetzler. He’s an environmental engineering technician who for years worked for New York’s Department for Environmental Conservation (DEC). Mr. Hetzler managed dozens of groundwater remediation projects in the 1990s. He’s pored over “thousands of lab results from contaminated wells,” and he’s intimately familiar with the...

Time Magazine Dubs Fracking America’s “Biggest Environmental Issue” of 2011


Time Magazine got it right when it outed hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as the biggest environmental concern our nation is facing as we head into the new year. Why fracking? The world’s largest weekly news magazine, boasting a global circulation of 25 million, points to “the threats that shale gas drilling could pose to water supplies” and the fact that “natural gas...

Ohio Officials Halt Fracking Operations After “Suspicious” String of Earthquakes Hits Youngstown Area


More evidence rumbled in over the holiday weekend tying fracking operations to earthquakes. The most recent and largest tremor – in a “suspicious” string of 11 – to hit the Youngstown area since last March measured 4.0 on the Richter scale. The epicenter, according to a Jan. 1 New York Times report, is “a well that has been used for the disposal of millions of gallons of brine...

The Drinking Water “Reeks of Chemicals”: EPA Ties Fracking to Severe Groundwater Pollution in Wyoming Town


There’s something very wrong with the water in Pavillion, Wyoming. It reeks of chemicals. Local health officials warned residents not to drink it after the EPA found pollution in their wells. Some residents have reported health problems – shortness of breath, nausea, itchy skin and rashes, headaches and dizziness – consistent with chemical poisoning. So what’s causing all the trouble...

Fallout from the Fracking Zone: Natural Gas Drillers Bury Toxic Sludge on Private Property – With Impunity


As fracking operations are exploding across the country, so is the promise of big money – in royalties and bonuses – for property owners who allow gas companies to drill on their land. Think (in concept only) “Beverly Hillbillies,” the 1960s TV sitcom featuring a backwoods family that moves to a lavish Beverly Hills mansion after striking oil in their backyard. It all worked out...

Putting the Brakes on the Fracking Boom: Federal Panel Warns of “Excessive Environmental Impacts”


A federal committee has formalized in a highly critical report what many of us have been shouting about for years: Fracking will cause “excessive” damage to the environment if steps aren’t immediately taken to minimize its impacts. A little late to the party, but we appreciate the first truly candid federal assessment of a natural gas extraction process known to contaminate...

The Fracking of America: New Website Devoted Exclusively to Tracking Our Most Urgent Environmental Threat


Fracking represents the most urgent environmental threat the United States has faced in 30 years. It’s a threat that demands our attention and a robust national debate. An informed public is imperative as we – as a nation – grasp to strike a balance between our thirst for energy resources and the need to protect the environment and ensure public health and safety. To that end, we are...

Epic Contamination: Fracking Could Foul the Ancient Roman Hot Springs of Bath


Julius Caesar is rolling over in his grave. Some 2,000 years ago, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing compound around Great Britain’s only hot spring. To this day, the complex in the ancient city of Bath flows with natural, steamy waters known around the world for their health benefits and powerful healing qualities. During the heady days of the Roman Empire, it was said...

Caving In To Fackers: Feds Move to Dismiss NY Lawsuit Aimed at Protecting the Drinking Water of 15 Million Americans


In a brazen pro-industry legal maneuver, the U.S. government has obtained permission from a federal judge to move to dismiss a lawsuit in New York that represents the last line of defense in protecting the drinking water of 15 million Americans. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against federal regulators on May 31 seeking a thorough examination of the negative impacts...

Earthquake Outbreak: Arkansas Bans Fracking Operations Inside Thousand-Square-Mile Area


As if radioactive wastewater, exploding wells and flammable tap water weren’t bad enough, fracking has now been tied to another environmental threat – earthquakes, thousands of them. Geologists have tied fracking wastewater disposal wells in central Arkansas to an outbreak of more than 1,200 so-called “minor earthquakes” (an oxymoron if ever there was one). At least one startled...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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