ENVIRONMENT: Truth in labeling of fracking fluid

While driving the upper west shore road of Keuka Lake, Yates County Road 76, I saw some old-style vertical gas wells that had obviously been “fracked” to extend the productive phase of the wells. Each has a white polyethylene tank labeled “produced water.” So there is a water separation process to dry the gas, and the tanks hold the water for periodic emptying. What is in the “produced water”?

We have not been told that in detail, but there is a required placard, which readers have likely seen in other places: a square array of four inner squares, displayed diamond-fashion, standing on one of the corners. At the gas wells, the blue square to the left has the number “4” displayed. According to the National Fire Protection Association Regulation code 704, that means that the contents present a health hazard and that the stored amount is more than 10 gallons.

The NFPA code is a system used by professional emergency and health and safety workers. These well sites are at the roadside or are connected by driveways without barriers. A better system for such public exposure would be the OSHA Globally Harmonized System of pictograms, which in this instance would display the skull and crossbones to warn against drinking the fluid; another, human torso symbol to indicate health hazard for contact or inhalation, and a tree symbol to show environmental hazard.

Or the letters on the tank could say: “Poison – stay away.”



FILM: Societal messages from the movie

City reviewed “That’s My Boy” at the same time the Greece bus-monitor incident went viral. As the reviewer said, it isn’t a good film, but its irresponsible message and language are played out in the lives of our children.

A sad image of our society.



POLITICS: Questioning Obama’s actions on national security

Bravo to Urban Journal’s “War, Counter-terrorism, and the Presidency.”  It’s gratifying to see a newspaper exercise its mission to ask the uncomfortable questions in the search for truth and present the information in non-biased way. We should be asking questions about rendition, drone strikes, terrorist hit lists, and the administration’s refusal to come clean with Congress and the People.

Why back in April of this year did the Department of Homeland Security order 450 million rounds of 40-caliber hollow-point ammo from the ATK company? The Geneva Convention forbids its use by the military. It’s for domestic use. It’s for “home-grown terrorists.”

Why did Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently testify in front of Congress that the US military responds to the needs of the UN, NATO, and the prerogatives of the president?

Why was the National Defense Authorization Act passed in the dead of night?

It is the duty of every citizen to be involved with the running of our government. This means asking uncomfortable questions. Dissent is part of the American DNA.




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