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News Opinion

Pa. fracking has been a disaster

All those bucolic scenes of gas wells set against a blue sky are fantasies. I know because I have a farm in upstate Pennsylvania in Tioga County. Nearby there are many dirty, polluting gas wells. They spew out carcinogenic chemicals, some radioactive. Tons of methane gas, 20 times worse than carbon dioxide, contribute to greenhouse gas, according to the EPA. Children near gas wells in Texas had three times the rate of asthma as those in other parts of the state.

In Pennsylvania more than 1.3 billion gallons of fracking fluid, which was originally clean drinking water, had been sent to wastewater plants, which were not equipped to handle the toxic and radioactive chemicals. Put into rivers and streams, this waste gets into our drinking water, increasing the risk of cancer for us and our children.

My greatest worry is our loss of clean drinking water. We have just suffered the most severe drought in decades. A U.S. Drought Monitor report showed 60.1 percent of the lower 48 states had some form of drought since summer. The 5 million gallons of water needed daily to frack a well takes this clean water out of circulation forever. My question is, Would you rather have water or gas?

Dr. Sandra Folzer, Philadelphia

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