Public Release:  Cary Institute Hydrofracking Forum

Exploring impacts to water resources, human health and socio-dynamics

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

On Saturday, May 5th from 9AM to noon join the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. for a special forum exploring hydrofracking. The event's goal is to provide citizens and decision makers with current information on the natural gas extraction technique, which involves injecting a high-pressure mix of chemically treated water and sand thousands of feet underground to release gas trapped in shale.

Hydrofracking has been the focus of environmental and economic discussions in New York State, with conversations centering on the future of the Marcellus Shale formation. There is currently a moratorium on hydrofracking in New York, while a task force appointed by the governor investigates the economic and environmental impacts of the drilling practice. Several of the speakers are from Pennsylvania--where hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale is already underway; one sits on the peer-review panel for the EPA's hydrofracking study.

Topics to be covered include groundwater contamination, the treatment of hydrofracking wastewater, human health effects, industry innovations, and the social impact that rapid gas booms have on small communities.

Speakers will include:

  • William Schlesinger, Ph.D., President, Cary Institute, Introduction
  • Avner Vengosh, Ph.D., Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Methane and Water Contamination Associated with Shale Gas Development and Hydrofracking
  • Radisav Vidic, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Wastewater Quality, Quantity, and Management: Lessons from the Marcellus Shale Region
  • Bernard Goldstein, M.D., Dean Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Potential Public Health Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Mark Boling, J.D., Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Southwestern Energy, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations-Separating Fact from Fiction
  • Simona Perry, Ph.D., Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rapid Shale Gas Developments and Stress Factors in Northern Appalachian Communities
  • Emma Rosi-Marshall, Ph.D., Aquatic Ecologist, Cary Institute; Moderator, Q&A Session

Free and open to the public, the event will be held in the Cary Institute's auditorium, located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike (Rte. 44) in Millbrook, New York. RSVP is required, name tags will be provided at sign in. Information and registration is available online at:


The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is a private, not-for-profit environmental research and education organization in Millbrook, N.Y. For more than twenty-five years, Cary Institute scientists have been investigating the complex interactions that govern the natural world. Their objective findings lead to more effective policy decisions and increased environmental literacy. Focal areas include air and water pollution, climate change, invasive species, and the ecological dimensions of infectious disease. Learn more at

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