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Fracking threatens natural environmental wonders

Every summer a friend from Boston and I meet in the Adirondack Mountains for hiking and canoeing. This summer the weather forecast for our weekend away predicted an 80 percent chance of rain with thunderstorms. We ditched the tenting and met at a hotel in Albany. The rain held off and we chose to walk the length of John Boyd Thacher State Park, 15 miles southwest of Albany.

The trails at the park are beautiful. There were lovely panoramic scenes of the Mohawk and Hudson valleys, which were breathtaking. The most prominent feature of the park is the Helderberg Escarpment and its waterfalls. It reminded me of a Western New York treasure, Letchworth State Park.

As I went along the trail there was a piece of shale on the path. I thought about all the fracking in the area and wondered if we could lose this natural wonder. Upon my return home The Buffalo News reported on Aug. 13 that fracking is occurring in areas near water sources. Fracking fluids contain a host of chemicals, including known carcinogens and neurotoxins.

The EPA documented in 2004 that these chemicals leaked into drinking water sources when companies extracted natural gas from coal seams.

On Sept. 21 there will be a People’s Climate March in New York City. The date coincides with a United Nations meeting regarding Climate Change. The march will address economic, environmental and social justice.

Richard Steinberg

Buffalo