Will Hydrofracking Affect Local Streams?
Volunteer to Monitor Local Stream Quality
No one can say with certainty how or if hydrofracking will impact our streams, lakes and rivers. The Community Science Institute (CSI), based in Ithaca NY, will be recruiting and training several groups of volunteers in the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed to find out.
The Community Science Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower citizens to monitor and protect their community’s natural resources, especially water. In addition to partnering with volunteer groups, CSI also operates a state certified water quality testing lab (NYSDOH-ELAP #11790). CSI’s currently partners with eight volunteer groups in the Cayuga Lake watershed and Upper Susquehanna River Basin, covering over 800 square miles of drainage area.
Water monitoring by volunteer groups in partnership with the certified laboratory is a low-cost and effective strategy for tracking water quality. With support from the CSI lab, volunteers will perform regular “red flag” field tests on stream samples to assess whether or not contamination occurs from shale gas operations. If a “red flag” is found, the CSI lab will perform further testing. CSI will be holding the following Information Sessions about “Red Flag” Monitoring:
Monday, April 2nd 6:00 PM at the Vestal Public Library Meeting Room at 320 Vestal Parkway East in Vestal.
Tuesday, April 10th 6:00 PM at the Tioga County Office Building Hubbard Auditorium at 56 Main Street in Owego.
Thursday, May 3rd 6:00 PM at the Chenango County Cooperative Extension Office at 99 North Broad Street in Norwich.
Tuesday, May 8th 6:00 PM at the Schuyler County Human Services Complex Room 120 at 323 Owego Street in Montour Falls.
Additional sessions to be scheduled in Steuben and Chemung Counties.
Come and find out how CSI’s stream monitoring program works and how to get involved! These events are hosted by the Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Schuyler County Cooperative Extension Offices. CSI is not affiliated with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Here’s the text from the FAQ about Red Flag stream monitoring (might go best under water resources section?):
Who is the Community Science Institute?
The Community Science Institute (CSI) is a nonprofit organization based in Ithaca, NY whose mission is to empower citizens to monitor and protect their community’s natural resources, with a focus on water. CSI is a unique nonprofit in that we operate a state certified water quality testing lab. In partnership with volunteer groups, our lab produces more than 5,000 certified data items each year and publishes results in our open online database at http://communityscience.org/
What is “red flag” monitoring?
In response to the need for more scientific data on the effects of high volume slick water horizontal hydraulic fracturing, CSI will be recruiting and training several groups of volunteers in New York’s Southern Tier. These “red flag” monitoring groups will monitor for five parameters: Temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and total hardness. These parameters are considered “red flags” because they can detect low-level contamination without performing costly tests. If a “red flag” is found, further comprehensive testing will take place in order to determine whether or not contamination occurs from nearby shale gas operations.
How can I get involved? What kind of commitment do I need to make?
Volunteers will collect samples and perform field tests at chosen stream locations between 6-12 times per year. Random samples will be sent to the CSI lab for certified testing to verify accuracy. CSI will provide data quality support to ensure that volunteer data is comparable to data generated by remote sondes (robot monitors) and certified labs.
Training will consist of three half-day workshops in spring and early summer 2012 with monitoring continuing for at least four months after training. After training, volunteers should expect to commit 3-4 hours per month.
What does it cost?
CSI receives financial support from local governments and foundations, which allows us to train volunteers at no cost to the group. The only costs involved are purchasing of field kits and meters ($200) for each team of 2-6 volunteers. CSI supports volunteers in efforts to raise local funds to cover these costs and to ensure the longevity of the volunteer groups.
As for the table of results, we only have it in PDF, sorry. We’re in the process of updating our website and I’ll send you the direct link to that document when we have it up online.
Let me know if you’d like more information. Thanks for helping us spread the word!