Atlantic Chapter's Water Sentinels Program
The Chapter's Water Sentinel program works to test streams for contamination from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). As horizontal fracking has not begun, this is an essential time to gather baseline data. For coverage on our baseline testing, see here.
As our first June training began (2012), the news was leaked that Governor Cuomo was considering a plan that would allow fracking to proceed in five counties near the PA border: Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben, and Tioga. Our trainings were held in three of these counties and included participants from the other counties. In total, over 110 Sentinels are testing over 55 sites in NY.
Trainings took place in Cattaraugus County, Painted Post (Steuben County), Vestal (Broome County), and Norwich (Chenango County), NY. Chapter leaders Arthur Kuypers, Geri Aird, and Jessica Helm worked with Scott Lauffer (Susquehanna Group Chair), and Kate Bartholomew (Finger Lakes Group Chair) alongside volunteers Bill Mattingly, Jim Tronsden, Gail Tooker, and Tim and Jan Mulroy to host workships and recruit Sentinels. Consultant and trainer Julie Vastine of ALLARM (Dickenson College) provided training to our Water Sentinels.
The trainings emphasize that part of the program involves communicating with local health department officials. We are also communicating with county environmental health directors. The June trainings were attended by several members of environmental health-oriented organizations.
If you are interested in becoming a Water Sentinel, contact Arthur Kuypers or Geri Aird.