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Source: Environmental Headlines

Media Campaign Exposes Public Health Concerns from Toxic, Radioactive Waste

Posted: January 29, 2014
Originally Published: January 28, 2014

A coalition of public health groups, environmental organizations and concerned citizens is coordinating a radio and internet campaign this week designed to alert Connecticut citizens to the potential danger posed by the importation, processing and/or sale of waste materials produced by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). The spots, which began on Monday are running on broadcast radio stations in New Haven and Hartford through the end of the week, and are also being circulated through social media.

(A video version of the spot is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRCwhYcFo5A)

The coalition, known as the Connecticut Fracking Waste Ban Coalition and using the slogan “Don’t Waste Connecticut” as a Facebook page, includes Citizens Campaign for the Environment, CT Families Against Chemical Trespass (ConnFACT), Environment Connecticut, Environment and Human Health Inc., Food & Water Watch, Grassroots Environmental Education, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, the Watershed Partnership and the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club.

“I don’t think the people of Connecticut have any idea what is headed their way,” says Doug Wood, Associate Director of Grassroots Environmental Education who created the spots. “Exposure to radiation and other toxic chemicals contained in fracking waste poses a significant and long-lasting threat to public health. It’s up to the legislators to make sure it doesn’t come into the state in the first place.”

“As a legislator, my job is to protect Connecticut citizens from the health and environmental risks associated with the fracking waste generated by the hydraulic fracturing extraction process,” says Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport). “Particularly because of the radioactivity found in the Marcellus Shale gas deposits, we have to be certain that such hazardous waste can be handled safely in our state, or err on the side of prudence by keeping it out of our state altogether.”

“Drilling and fracking a single shale well can produce millions of gallons of toxic wastewater and hundreds of tons of potentially radioactive solid waste,” says Nisha Swinton, New England Director for Food & Water Watch. “Disposal of these wastes poses serious environmental and public health risks to citizens. Connecticut legislators must protect the health and safety of voters by keeping fracking waste out of the state”

“Connecticut state law lacks strong protections to keep our water resources from being contaminated by the storage, treatment and disposal of out-of-state hazardous fracking waste,” says Louis Burch, Connecticut Program Coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE). “CCE is working to educate Connecticut residents about the inherent dangers of handling these toxic waste products, while mobilizing them to take action. We need our legislators to safeguard our water resources and our health by banning hazardous fracking waste in Connecticut, before it’s too late.”


“There is nothing more effective than individuals calling their legislators at all levels of the government to stop toxic, radioactive fracking waste from coming into the state of Connecticut,” says Ellen McCormick, Secretary/Treasurer of CT Families Against Chemical Trespass (ConnFACT). “People have a right to know what chemicals and toxic substances they might be exposed to. The members of ConnFACT are making it their mission to travel around the state giving lectures and showing movies at local libraries to inform the public of this very hazardous situation.”

The coalition members are hoping the radio and social media campaign will encourage people to contact their legislators and demand a ban on the procurement, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment, processing, application or disposal of oil and gas drilling waste in Connecticut.

More information about fracking waste can be found at the coalition web site: http://wastefreect.org/