FLEISHER: NY Marcellus Shale Too Shallow To Frack Safely

LETTER from JAY FLEISHER

NY Marcellus Shale Too

Shallow To Frack Safely

To the Editor:

Any consideration of the potential environmental hazards related to fracking must consider the rocks through which the fracking wells are drilled – it’s called the “geologic setting.”

Discussion of the hazards related to fracking that ignores the geologic setting is flawed by omission. Yet, Tom Morgan’s column in last week’s edition on the topic of fracking makes no mention of this.

As pointed out in my Letter to the Editor of April 15, 2016, fracking has absolutely no harmful environmental impact in the geologic setting of the deep-seated Bakken Formation in Montana, where the rocks being fracked lie 10,000 feet beneath the surface.

Elsewhere, the potential for environmental contamination is real, due to a shallow geologic setting, as is the case in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the Marcellus Shale is just a few hundred feet below the surface.

The difference in depth between these two locations determines the potential for groundwater contamination.

Cherry-picking data or eluding to credible agencies without proper citation is a common practice when raising issues related to environmental quality vs. economic gain. To cite Heartland Institute as a data source, which Morgan does, immediately brings into question his objectivity.

After all, this is also the reference that ignores the overwhelming body of scientific information that indicates our atmosphere and oceans are warming, glaciers and ice caps are shrinking and sea level keeps creeping up, all of which are linked to climate change.

Let’s be clear: When it comes to fracking the potential for environmental contamination depends for the most part on the geologic setting.

P. JAY FLEISHER, Ph.D.
Geologist
Town of Milford


One thought on “FLEISHER: NY Marcellus Shale Too Shallow To Frack Safely

  1. James Willis

    With all due respect to Dr. Fleisher–you’re full of natural gas. I live in Broome County. A couple of miles over the border sits Susquehanna County, PA–the #1 natural gas producing county in all of PA. That one county produces something like 2.5% of all the natural gas produced in the U.S.! Some of the wells in Susquehanna County are less than 10 miles from the border of NY. Do you really want us to believe that gas deposits stop at an artificial boundary called a state border?! You also ignore the fact there’s another layer deeper than the Marcellus, called the Utica, which underlies even more of NY state than the Marcellus, and holds more gas than the Marcellus (consult a recent U.S. Geological Survey report). We have an incredible amount of gas sitting beneath us–yet Cuomo and those who voted for him have sentenced all of Upstate to economic poverty. It’s a crying shame.

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