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Students take on hydrofracking

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Albany/HV: Students take on hydrofracking
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A school trip to see how hydrofracking has affected a community in Pennsylvania has some elementary students joining calls for a moratorium on gas drilling in Sullivan County. Our Lori Chung reports.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Lots of drilling rigs," said fourth grader Jack Altman. "It was pretty weird."

"The trucks going by, being so loud," fourth grader Patrick Kinney said.

For elementary students at the Homestead School in Glen Spey, a trip to Dimock, Pennsylvania leaves a lasting impression. The children got a personal look at a town coping with the effects of fracking.

"It was just like where I live, but everything was ruined," said sixth grader Parker Hamill.

"We gave them some of our clean water and they gave us dirty water back," said fourth grader Uma Bullock. "And I felt really bad for them."

The DEC found that Cabot Oil and Gas leaked methane and combustible gas into drinking wells in Dimock. Students say residents there have a new term to describe the water.

"They call it Dimock lemonade, because it looks exactly like lemonade, but it's actually water with dirt and methane in it," said fifth grader Matthew Koplick.

Now that the students are back in school, the children will be focusing on sharing what be turning their attention to sharing what they say, to urge leaders to keep Sullivan County from becoming another Dimock.

"The kids are going to actually make their own postcards, they'll probably use some of their photos from their Dimock trip," said Peter Comstock, the Head of Homestead School.

Comstock says the students will be participating in a postcard blitz to urge the Delaware River Basin Commission to wait for a full study before issuing water releases. The kids are also preparing a presentation to convince Town of Lumberland officials to get behind calls for a moratorium on drilling until an EPA study is complete.

"I think that drilling could be safe, they just have to figure out a way that it is safe," said Hamill.

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