This is a taxpayer cost issue. Redding is already on the hook for paying for cleanup of the wire mill. This is a way to prevent future “21st Century Wire Mill” situations that could be similarly costly to taxpayers. Spills (of which over 6,600 have occurred nationwide) or leaching from contaminated fill (which has happened in Greenwich) can costs tens of millions to clean up. Radioactive waste that has spilled in other states takes 4000 years to break down and is simply too expensive to remediate. This is a way to protect against the problem by preventing it and/or providing a legal framework for requiring polluters to pay for cleanup—for example from a spill on interstate roadways. Entire counties in New York have passed this ban to prevent future remediation costs as has the state of Vermont and parts of Massachusetts and New Jersey.
This is a watershed issue and a LI Sound issue. Of the few hazardous waste treatment plants in CT that could receive the waste water, two (Meriden and Bristol) have bans in place. That leaves Bridgeport as the primary remaining recipient. In Bridgeport waste would be treated and diluted and sent to Westport and Stamford wastewater treatment facilities where it would be treated in systems designed to treat sewage and then returned to LI Sound. As everyone knows, the Sound is a fragile and vitally important nursery for ocean life. It is crucial that we work to protect it in order to protect ocean life in the Atlantic at large. Radioactivity and chemical contamination have occurred in other states after treatment of fracking waste water. There has been bio-accumulation up the food chain resulting in fishing and other recreational activities posing health problems.
This is a drinking water issue for well owners. If chemicals from a spill seep down to the aquifer, which has happened several times in PA and other states, drinking water is contaminated. Period. Yale research has found traces of fracking chemicals in well water 5 years after contamination. The costs of repeated testing, legal action and remediation fall to homeowners. Restitution costs to municipalities and the state can be exorbitant.
Let’s send a message to Hartford. The state has failed to pass a ban three times in the last five years. The assembly has passed a statewide ban, but the state senate has failed to bring it to a vote. Local ordinances are a way to show Hartford that CT doesn’t want this waste by banning it from all six CT watershed towns.
Who wrote the ban and how good is it? The ban CT towns are using was written by attorneys at Riverkeeper in Washington DC and it closes many loopholes that the current, and expiring, moratorium on fracking waste in CT allows. The ban is comprehensive and designed to protect public health, water quality and towns financially from remediation costs. See the ordinance here as used in Redding: http://norwalkriver.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/fracking-waste-ban-petition.pdf
UPDATE ON WATERSHED TOWNS
REDDING: Vote taking place to ban fracking waste Monday, January 8th.
WESTON: Work is underway in Weston. Jen Siskind of Food and Water Watch will present the case for a local ordinance to the Board of Selectmen on January 18 at 7:30 at the Weston Town Hall. All are welcome.
RIDGEFIELD: Work is just beginning. To join the effort, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILTON: We need leaders in Wilton to step forward. Write to your First Selectman and ask for your town to adopt this ban.
NEW CANAAN: We need leaders in New Canaan to step forward. Write to your First Selectman and ask for your town to adopt this ban.
NORWALK: We need leaders in Norwalk to step forward. Write to your First Selectman and ask for your town to adopt this ban.