A quick fix is not the answer, I want a fracking ban in Westerlo

To the Editor:

First of all, a sincere "thank you" to Mr. Bill Kowal for his kind comments on his applauding Dianne Sefcik, myself, and others for our "civic efforts and concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing in Westerlo and the surrounding area." I have taken this as a compliment and it is greatly appreciated.

I have a response to Mr. Kowal’s letter printed in the Nov. 28 edition of The Enterprise. In reference to Dianne Sefcik's trip, Mr. Kowal stated, "I hunted an area in Pennsylvania about 30 years ago and found the same foul odors. This was due to the high sulphur content in this area; it had nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing.”

To ask Mr. Kowal's own question back to him, "What scientific evidence" supports the fact that both of you experienced the same odors (with yours representing about 30 years ago) ? "What scientific evidence" supports the fact that both of you experienced these odors in the same location? "What scientific evidence" supports the fact that hydraulic fracturing was not the cause of these odor s in Ms. Sefcik’s trip?

Additionally, I believe, out of the long list of chemicals that are used in the fracking procedure, that at least one or a combination of chemicals could possibly smell like sulphur.

In any event, it is my opinion that the residents of Westerlo and the neighboring communities would not want to breathe air with any chemicals on a daily basis, especially those individuals who are afflicted with respiratory problems, including allergies, COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease], and lung cancer plus every individual who has to read the backs of any meds (warning signs).

I certainly believe we should not add to their health struggles.

In reference to Mr. Kowal's statement about my writing, "Drilling can possibly wind up going under the ground to or through your property": Mr. Kowal, you stated it was "erroneous."

My compliments to you — nice word; however, the procedure for horizontal hydraulic fracturing drilling goes down vertically, then horizontally, with its water, sand, and chemicals. If you select to research compulsory or forced integration, along with mineral and mining rights and leases, you will become more knowledgeable on that subject.

I know it is extremely difficult to understand all this data. I believe there might be only two sentences on a person' s deed that refers to the latter part, which is also advisable for anyone to research.

Unfortunately, there are many people, of all ages, in this world who will ignore advice and will not heed a warning no matter how you present or disclose information.

Many of these individuals might act in haste and would rather face the consequences because that is what I believe, to be part of their character.

I agree with Mr. Kowal — in part— pertaining to New York State. Yes, it is the state’s responsibility, but not "totally."

I believe the responsibility also belongs to the counties, towns, and each and every one of us. Yes, I also believe there are positives and negatives. Fortunately, Albany County has taken action in reference to its owned property, which includes many water sources that flow through the township of Westerlo. Albany County has enacted moratoriums.

My thoughts are that a quick fix is not the answer. Many studies are still incomplete and more information needs to be obtained and carefully investigated and examined. Air quality testing (its effect on human, animal, and plant health), the greenhouse effect, chem-trails, baseline water testing, earthquakes, mudslides, mining and mineral rights, the disclosure of individuals’ names who have pre-signed leases — and the list goes on. All of these topics should be addressed.

An extremely important issue that seems to get overlooked pertains to our local townships' volunteer ambulance rescue and fire departments. Many of them are operating on bare-bones budgets

How will hydraulic fracturing impact their lives, families, and work? Hydraulic fracturing chemicals and hazardous materials, in my opinion, are potentially deadly. Remember 9 /11? Remember the exposure these individuals encountered?

Yes, I stand for anti-fracking. Yes, I want to see a ban in Westerlo. Most importantly, people, please do some research.

Remember the quote? "The life you save may be your own.”

Anita Marrone

More Letters to the Editor