FOOD SUPPLY CONTAMINATION
If groundwater is contaminated, how will farmers water their crops?
Colorado’s agricultural industry relies heavily upon groundwater; approximately ninety-six percent (96%) of the ground water produced is consumed by agriculture. Colorado has over 3,200,00 acres of irrigated cropland.
Groundwater is used to supplement surface water for irrigation, and in large areas of the state it is the only source of water available. Groundwater is the primary source of irrigation water for the eastern high plains and the San Luis Valley, and it supplements surface water irrigation along major rivers and streams such as the South Platte River and Arkansas River.
Toxic emissions can damage forage and food crops
The health impacts of drilling go beyond the fracking chemicals, said Thomas Shelley, a chemical safety and hazardous materials specialist. The diesel and natural gas emissions from trucks, compressors, pumps and other equipment contains a complex of benzenes, toluene, and xylene as well as other volatile organic compounds.
Drilling activity and traffic create high levels of dust, and methane from venting and flaring contributes to the air pollution. These chemicals may combine with nitrogen oxides to form ground level ozone.
The EPA recently proposed lowering the allowable level of nitrogen oxides and ground level ozone to protect human health, Shelley said. But ozone can also damage forage and food crops, decreasing yields in alfalfa, grapes, pumpkins and leafy vegetables.
How gas drilling contaminates your food
What fracking might do to the food eaten by people living hundreds of miles from the nearest gas well -- has received little attention.
Profit-hungry energy companies -- and the politicians that their campaign donations support -- are determined to exploit that resource, even though it could destroy the livelihoods of thousands of small farmers.
O zone is more lethal to crops than all other airborne pollutants combined, and of all crops, few are more susceptible to it than clover, a nutrient-rich feed that is critical to his method of sustainable cattle raising.
While ozone is normally associated with automobile exhaust, fracking generates so much of it that Sublette Country, Wyo., has ozone levels as high as those in Los Angeles. This, despite the fact that it has fewer than 9,000 residents spread out over an area the size of Connecticut. What it does have is gas wells.
A 2012 study conducted by Robert E. Oswald, a biochemist and Professor of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University, and Michelle Bamberger, a veterinarian with a maste r' s degree in pharmacology documented cases where food-producing animals exposed to chemical contaminants have not been tested before slaughter and where farms in areas testing positive for air and/or water contamination are still producing dairy and meat products for human consumption without testing of the animals or the products. Some of these chemicals could appear in milk and meat products made from these animals.
"If the air is fouled and the animals are drinking water that contains poisonous fracking chemicals, then products from those animals are going to have poisons . We would have to stop buying from them. There is no doubt in my mind , " said the m anager of Brooklyn's Park Slope Food Coop.
Park Slope Food Coop is a retail food cooperative owned by 15,800 members who purchase s millions of dollars of New York State produced agricultural products annually. H is environmentally conscious organization would be forced to seek alternatives to New York meat and produce if fracking becomes commonplace.
They guarantee that their members will not want the fruits and veggies that come from farms in an industrial area, regardless of whether the grass fed cows were drinking contaminated water and breathing air fouled by numerous enormous trucks that will support the hydrofracking process and the process itself.
Still births, sterile livestock
In Garfield County, animals that had produced offspring like clockwork each spring stopped delivering healthy calves, according to Liz Chandler, a veterinarian in Rifle, CO.
A bull went sterile, and a herd of beef cows stopped going into heat, as did pigs. In the most striking case, sheep bred on an organic dairy farm had a rash of inexplicable still births -- all in close proximity to drilling waste pits, where wastewater that includes fracturing fluids is misted into the air for evaporation.
Many instances of cattle, horses and pets dying or having reproductive problems after drinking from streams contaminated by fracking wastewater are in the 2012 Cornell researchers year-long study of farm animals. It's based primarily on interviews with animal owners and veterinarians in six states , including Colorado .
Seventeen cows died after drinking unreported spill of fracking fluids that washed into their pasture
April 28, 2009, 17 cows died in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, after apparently drinking fluid that had spilled from a nearby natural gas wellpad.
Citizens noticed the dying cows in a pasture owned by Cecil and Tyler Williams on state Highway 169 near the corner of Keatchie-Marshall Road in south Caddo Parish. Witnesses reported hearing them bellowing and seeing them bleeding before they fell over dead.
At the time, Schlumberger, as a contractor of Chesapeake, was performing routine fracturing of the natural gas well. LDEQ determined during its investigation that fluid leaked from the well pad then ran into an adjacent pasture after a rain.
Less than one percent of the fluid that leaked consisted of additives to the water. Yet it appears that the fluid was toxic enough to kill cows almost immediately upon drinking. Chesapeake stated that it did not report the spill because it was not a reportable quantity of fluid.
In March 2010, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its contractor Schlumberger Technology Corp. each must pay $22,000 for violating state law in connection with the deaths of the 17 cows.
Why Fracking and Farming Don't Mix
Chefs for the Marcellus http://chefsformarcellus.org/our-food-and-fracking
Health Impacts of Gas Drilling Examined
Shale gas drilling and public health: From CDC's National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Drill for Natural Gas, Pollute Water
How gas drilling contaminates your food http://www.salon.com/2011/05/18/fracking_food_supply/
Park Slope Food Co-op Concerned about Hydrofracking
Print Restaurant, NYC, statement from Chef Heather Carlucci
How toxic are hydraulic fracturing fluids? Ask Louisiana.
Chesapeake, Schlumberger fined $22,000 each in cows' deaths
Cornell Study Links Fracking Wastewater with Mortality in Farm Animals
How fracking is harmful
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