West Village + Chelsea Market About to Get Fracked Up; NYC Restauranteurs Beware!

I wanted to keep this blog mainly about food, but here’s an issue directly pertinent to New York’s foodies. It’s about fracking– fracking going on underneath the posh restaurants and trendy nightclubs of the Meatpacking District, a dangerous business potentially filling your steak tartares and cosmopolitans with radiation.

The West Village has been up in arms about fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, for a long time, but it was always an issue I felt would resolve itself- the consequences seemed hyperbolic, unreal, like something out of a disaster movie. Basically, the residents are pissed about a gas company called Spectra Energy laying down toxic chemicals in the bedrock from Gansevoort north; the pipeline runs under NYC staples like The Standard Hotel, Spice Market, and Dos Caminos, not to mention Chelsea Market, where most of the chefs on the West Side run to fill up on ingredients for the dinner rush.  Not six blocks from Union Square, Spectra wants to sink toxic chemicals to break up the foundational bedrock, a practice associated with falling buildings, giant explosions and flaming water spewing out of the pipes.

More importantly, Spectra Energy’s plan is to draw high-radon gas from underneath our municipal water pipes and subway lines. Those bottles of filtered water going for 6$ a pop at Gemma and Bobo might just be potential molotov cocktails, or the equivalent of toxic waste. The beet salad you just ordered? Washed in municipal water. Might as well suck on a nuclear reactor. With the city filling the tunnels with cancerous tracer gases, in July, come November when the pipeline begins to flow, New York’s West Side might start to look less like Project X and more like Zombieland.

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