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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/23/19

Navajos Speak out on the Cultural and Biochemical Dangers of Fracking around Chaco Canyon

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Message Sally Waukazoo

As a member of the Navajo Tribe, the majority of my 29 years have been spent within 15 miles of one of America's truly most sacred indigenous sites, Chaco Canyon, especially sacred to the Hopi and other pueblo groups, which descended from the Anasazi.

This sacred site was constructed more than 900 years ago, as primarily a repository and residence for an agricultural priesthood that used the archeo-astronomical observatory called the Sun Dagger to predict the solstices, and thus the best time for planting.

If you drew a triangle between Crownpoint, Farmington, and Cuba, New Mexico, you would be looking at the great Chaco Canyon area, which the Trump administration turned over to the Bureau of Land Management to in turn make available to large energy companies for fracking.

These corporations include at least: WPX Energy and LOGOS Resources, and a Canadian company, Encana.

No one needs to belabor the well-known harmful effects of fracking, which stem from the use of hydraulic fracturing and some very nasty toxic chemicals mentioned in this Yale University article.

Chemicals in fracking fluid and wastewater are toxic, Yale study shows

The team members analyzed 240 substances and concluded that 157 of them - chemicals such as arsenic, benzene, cadmium, lead, formaldehyde, chlorine, and mercury - were associated with either developmental or reproductive toxicity. Of these, 67 chemicals were of particular concern because they had an existing federal health-based standard or guideline, said the scientists, adding that data on whether levels of chemicals exceeded the guidelines were too limited to assess.

"This evaluation is a first step to prioritize the vast array of potential environmental contaminants from hydraulic fracturing for future exposure and health studies," said Nicole Deziel, senior author and assistant professor of public health. "Quantification of the potential exposure to these chemicals, such as by monitoring drinking water in people's homes, is vital for understanding the public health impact of hydraulic fracturing."

click here


From BallotPedia, on fracking in New Mexico:

Oil and natural-gas production in New Mexico is concentrated in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico and the Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico. Additionally, there was natural-gas production in the Raton Basin in north-central New Mexico as of March 2017. As of March 2, 2017, there were 29,996 approved oil wells and 27,780 approved natural-gas wells in New Mexico. As of this date, however, the state did not track the number of wells that were hydraulically fractured.

This article focuses on fracking in New Mexico and state-specific, rather than federal, regulation of the process. The article begins with general information about fracking and applicable federal laws and regulations covering fracking and includes state-specific information about where fracking occurs and state laws and regulations covering fracking. In addition, this article includes relevant oil and natural-gas data for New Mexico and surrounding states. While states have primary regulatory authority over fracking, oil-and-gas operators must meet requirements in the following federal environmental and public-health laws, among others:

The Clean Water Act, which regulates all pollution discharges into surface waters and requires oil-and-gas operators to obtain permits to discharge produced water--fluids used during fracking as well as water that occurs naturally in oil- or gas-bearing formations--into surface water.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, which requires oil-and-gas operators to report the release of hazardous substances during oil-and-gas operations and allows the EPA to investigate hazardous-substance releases and require operators to restore areas affected by hazardous spills.

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I am an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, and I am deeply concerned about the overpowering effects of this era of corporate manipulation as it affects the indigenous people of both North and South America. I am also an artist exploring many (more...)

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Navajos Speak out on the Cultural and Biochemical Dangers of Fracking around Chaco Canyon

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