Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Andrew Meggison
Green News Quickies: Fracking Waste And Philly Gets Gassy
Time now for the first green news roundup for 2014, and the New Year is off to a bang with stories including fracking waste found in the NY snow, chemicals linked to infertility found in fracking waste water in Colorado, and Philadelphia adopting alternative vehicles into the city’s fleet.
Fracking Waste Found In NY Snow
More than one dozen municipalities in the state of New York have received approval to spread fracking waste product on the roads for de-icing. The waste product, referred to as “brine”, of course does not stay on the roads – it ends up in the once fresh and clean snow bank and of course in the drains and local water ways.
Fracking is the controversial method of shooting a mixture of water and chemicals down into the Earth’s shale rock. The pressure of the fracking mix breaks up the shale rock and releases once unobtainable natural gas. The kicker of this is that New York has a freeze on fracking in the state. So companies cannot frack in the state but the negative impact of fracking is still felt through clever marketing and municipalities looking to save a buck.
Chemicals Linked To Birth Defects and Cancer Found In Water At Fracking Sites In Colorado
A recent study published in the journal Endocrinology has found chemicals that have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer in water around sites where hydraulic fracturing has occurred in the state of Colorado.
Additionally, the study found elevated levels of the hormone-disrupting chemicals in the Colorado River. How did those chemicals get into the Colorado River you ask? Well, Colorado was impacted by floods that caused fracking spills throughout the state. These waste spills found their way into the mighty Colorado River.
One of the newly discovered problems with fracking is that the impact of fracking does not stay localized to the fracking site. Revealed in the same Endocrinology publication, tests of water from sites in Colorado where no fracking was taking place showed increased levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals known to be used in the fracking process.
Philadelphia To Welcome Alternative Fuel Vehicles To The City Fleet But Hesitant On Using Natural Gas
The city if Philadelphia has around 5,800 vehicles ready for replacement, and city officials would like to use alternative fuel vehicles to restock the fleet. One hold up that Philadelphia city officials are contending with, however, is the negative push back of using natural gas powered vehicles.
Natural gas is an alternative fuel source and currently costs around a dollar less per gallon than gasoline. However fracking, the controversial method of accessing natural gas, has been the subject of much negative scientific findings and global protest. Supporting the natural gas industry could lead to problems, perhaps political problems for some city officials, later on down the proverbial road. Add to this that while natural gas does pollute less that regular gasoline, emission standards are improving meaning the pollution gap between natural gas emissions and gasoline emissions in vehicles is narrowing.
Perhaps electric vehicles might be a better option…
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.