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EPA must guard citizens from dangers of fracking

In June, it was reported that the Environmental Protection Agency was abandoning its study in Pavillion, Wyo., of drinking water pollution caused by fracking, despite finding benzene, a known carcinogen, at 50 times the level considered safe.

We now know that this abdication of responsibility by the EPA was merely part of a growing trend to leave victims of fracking with undrinkable, poisoned water, and no recourse.

Just recently in Dimock, Pa., the EPA first claimed to have failed to connect water contamination to unconventional gas drilling and fracking operations for residents who have been concerned for years about the safety of their water. But soon after, a report in the Los Angeles Times revealed that EPA officials in Washington chose to close the investigation of Dimock drinking water despite evidence gathered from agency investigators that found “significant damage to the water quality,” from contamination likely caused by fracking.

These stories signal a troubling pattern from the EPA. If the nation’s top environmental regulatory body can wilt under pressure from the oil and gas industries, who can we trust to keep our families safe from the crimes of industry polluters?

When President Obama visits Buffalo today, local residents like myself will be out to greet him with a strong message: “Stand up for Americans and stand against the dangers of fracking.”

Rita Yelda

Regional Organizer

Food & Water Watch

Buffalo