Baseline Testing of Well Water, Good Idea or Not?

This subject will be discussed on June 17, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith College, 601 S. Main St., Geneva, NY in a meeting co-sponsored by the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) and the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA). Two experienced people who deal with contamination issues in water sources used for drinking water and their impact on health, will discuss these issues in the context of the potential drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale of the Finger Lakes region. This monthly meeting of SLPWA co-sponsored by FLI is open to the public and free of charge.Stephen Penningroth, Executive Director of the Community Science Institute (www.communityscience.org), a not-for-profit organization in Ithaca, NY that includes a certified water quality testing laboratory will present an introduction to the industrial process of extracting natural gas from shale, an overview of the hazardous chemicals involved in the process, the general risks these chemicals present to human health and the environment, and strategies for baseline testing of drinking water wells before gas wells are drilled and hydraulically fractured in the area. For the past year, Dr. Penningroth has been a frequent speaker throughout the region, offering a scientific perspective and the risks that hydrofracking poses to our drinking water. He authored a recently published textbook (2010) entitled “Essentials of Toxic Chemical Risk”, published by Taylor and Francis. Previously, Penningroth was an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and is presently a Senior Lecturer in Toxicology at Cornell University. He lives in Trumansburg.Tom Scoles of the Seneca County Health Department will also provide the Health Department’s perspective on baseline testing and what resources are available from the counties or NY State Health Department to water well owners who are concerned about protecting their wells and health. Discuss the role of the Health Department in well water safety and what recommendations and services the Health Department has to help well owners protect and ensure the safety of their well water as their primary drinking water supply for humans and livestock. Presentations will be followed by discussion of these topics with the speakers. The meeting is scheduled for 7 to 9 PM on June 17th.

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