Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
A Letter from Minisink

As fracking expands rapidly throughout the U.S., a vast infrastructure network is being built with alarming speed in New York State. A multitude of new pipeline and compressor station projects, gas-fired power plants, and other facilities have been approved in the last few years, with many more projects on the way. Infrastructure projects are overseen by a federal agency, FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), and local zoning laws and codes are superseded with regard to infrastructure siting. Land that is zoned residential or agricultural can be used for heavy industrial purposes and communities can do little to defend themselves. In the New York State, Minisink, on the border with Pennsylvania and southeast of Port Jervis, has been on the frontlines of this struggle for some time.

Minisink Fights Back

For nearly three years now, residents of Minisink, NY, have fought against the siting of a 12,600 horsepower gas compressor station in the midst of their bucolic, agricultural township in Orange County. Millennium Pipeline constructed the facility beginning in 2012, despite lack of a final legal determination, and by Spring 2013 the facility was on-line. The negative health effects were felt immediately, and have been ongoing among the 200 homes within a half-mile of the facility, some as close as 600 feet.

Along with the greenhouse gas, methane, compressor stations and gas-fired power plants release a mixture of chemicals used in fracking directly into the local atmosphere. Most of these chemicals are known carcinogens, neurotoxins, and some hormonal disruptor, including benzene, styrene, toluene, xylene, hexane, heptane, acetone, acrolein, propene, carbon tetrachloride, and chloromethane.

Symptoms experienced by Minisink residents- adults and children- include nosebleeds, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and disorientation, sore throats, and full body rashes.

The community of Minisink is waiting for a hearing at the U.S Court of Appeals; if successful, Minisink will be the first community to shut down a brand new compressor facility and have it removed from the community. This will empower other communities to better protect themselves with new legal precedent. Conversely, if Minisink does not prevail at the federal level, the industry will be emboldened to do the same thing to communities across NY State and the nation. You can learn more about this case here.
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Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment - frackfreestarkey.com