Gas drilling likely to cause radon problems

In the Southern Tier of New York, most of the Marcellus Shale is a mile down vertically. All sedimentary rock has been uplifted or pushed down by plate tectonic movement over the millennia. Natural cracks or faults are all over the place due to Earth's restless motion.

Many homes with basements have radon gas seepage due to naturally decaying isotopes of radium and uranium. Radon particles can raise havoc with our lungs by producing scar tissue and/or abnormal cellular growth, e.g. cancer.

Horizontal drilling in the Marcellus Shale accelerates the radon release much more rapidly, as rock is shattered over hundreds of square miles at thousands of existing or proposed drill pads. America's Natural Gas Alliance wants to do in 10 years what it would take nature thousands of years to do. Another problem is that shattered radiated rock — residue from Pennsylvania fracking — is being dragged into New York landfills, where it can contaminate our ground water.

Chemung County ranks 60th out of 62 New York counties with the most negative public health statistics. How long will it take to become "dead last" due to more greed and stupidity in our race to the bottom? We all pay the cost of bad public health.

Ruth S. Young


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