Town of Middlefield, NY-LAND USE ANALYSIS: HEAVY INDUSTRY AND OIL, GAS OR SOLUTION MINING AND DRILLING (70 pg. report)... Read the whole report here. Here are excerpts from the report.
The Zoning Ordinance amendments, if adopted, would prohibit, “Heavy industry and all oil, gas or solution mining and drilling,” due to concerns for Middlefield’s health, safety, and general welfare from these potential land uses if they were to become established in the Town.
Chemicals include acids, biocides, corrosion inhibi- tors, defoamers, emulsifiers, gellants, resins, surfactants and viscosifiers. The Marcellus shale natu- rally contains high levels of salt and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), some of which will dissolve in the hydrofracking fluid. Estimates are quite variable and generally range from 9 and 35 percent or more (some up to 70%) of this fluid comes back out of the well as flow- back. The flowback contains high levels of total dissolved solids (mostly salt or sodium chloride) and NORMS, as well as added chemicals. The remainder stays underground....Chemicals that appeared most often include methanol, isopropanol, crystalline silica, ethylene gly- col, 2-butoxyethanol, hydrotreated light petroleum distillates, and sodium hydroxide. Their proper- ties vary; for example, 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) is a foaming agent or surfactant in 126 products. Ac- cording to EPA scientists, 2-BE is easily absorbed and rapidly distributed in humans following in- halation, ingestion, or dermal exposure. Studies have shown that exposure to 2-BE can cause hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and damage to the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. In a separate study, the Pennsylvania DEP has derived a list of 54 chemicals that may be used during the process, including sixteen that affect 10 or more health effect categories (including skin, eye or sensory organs, respiratory effects; gastrointestinal or liver effects, damage to the brain, or cardio- vascular effects). These include benzene, acetone, arsenic, heavy metals, bromide, sulfate, toluene, and cylenes.
Hydrofracking fluids sometimes contain diesel fuel. The EPA has stated that the use of diesel fuel in fracturing fluids poses a great threat to underground sources of drinking water....The hydrofracking solution that remains underground (typically 30-70%) has the potential for mi- gration into groundwater depending on rock composition and specific site characteristics. Research has shown that hydrofracking fluids can make their way into local wells, as can methane from the hydrofracking process. ...Trucks used by heavy industrial activities like hydrofracking often involve convoys of 100 or more trucks to a site when it is being mo- bilized and demobilized.
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