Its inconsistent history speaks for itself:
Fracking Waste Ban Timeline:
2013: Failed bill for banning fracking waste
2014: New bill for fracking waste does not pass but moratorium passes in its place
2017: HB 6329 passes House 141-6 but fails to be taken up by Senate
2014-2018: 42 municipalities ban fracking waste
2017-2018: New, improved bill SB 103 is approved by committees and sits on Senate calendar. As of 4/10/18, it is not yet scheduled for vote. Legislative session ends May 9.
July 1, 2018: Moratorium expires
Most recently, Hakes Landfill in NY has been accepting radioactive shale gas drilling wastes, and not surprisingly, there are high levels of radionuclides in the landfill. Sierra Club and other concerned citizens are suing the NYS DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) for this egregious disregard for public health and safety.
Dr. Carpenter, an expert witness in the aforementioned lawsuit states, in part, in his affidavit, "...[L]evels of radon...poses a clear hazard to anyone in the vicinity of leachate. Radon will also be released into the air over the landfill. The leachate will migrate into ground water, where radon will be transported and will appear in the drinking water of people on wells and be ingested. A major hazard will come from hot water showers, where the radon is released from the water by the heat and will fill the shower stall and be inhaled. The radon will also migrate up from the ground water in basements of homes, where it will be inhaled by occupants. When ground water is used as drinking water for those persons with wells they will be ingesting radon, radium and lower concentrations of the other less soluble radionuclides that are dissolved in the water as well particulates containing bound radionuclides coming from the fracking drill cuttings and de-watered mud.”
Click here for the Memorandum of Law filed with Steuben County for more information on this ongoing litigation.
Greenwich already has a storied past with contamination.
For decades, Greenwich dumped coal ash from Cos Cob Power Plant and the Holly Hill Incinerator on what is now Greenwich High School's athletic fields. In 2011, when Greenwich High School began to break ground on MISA (Music Instructional Space and Auditorium) construction, soil tests discovered the presence of VOCs, arsenic, PCBs and heavy metals on the dumping grounds . These levels were much higher than acceptable standards for both residential and commercial use as determined by State and National Environmental Agencies.
Greenwich has already spent $5.6 million for testing and partial remediation and it is estimated an additional $14 million will be needed to complete the remediation. And this is for waste that does not even contain radioactive elements. This should be more than enough motivation to act to prevent additional contamination. Most importantly, the cost and risks of remediation should be absorbed by those polluting our town with fracking waste, not the residents and taxpayers of Greenwich.