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Groundwater Mystery At Allerage PA

Published: April 22, 2016 2:46 pm ET

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According to an article, Jeff Gural’s lawyers have appealed to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board. The lawyers are pressing the organization to force state regulators to conduct a more thorough investigation of the water at Gural’s Allerage Farm. The move has come after multiple foals at the PA farm have been born with a life-threatening condition.

News of the situation comes courtesy of an article by the Ithaca Journal. It explains that for three years mares that have been foaling at Allerage’s PA location have produced foals that have suffered from a rare condition known as dysphagia. The life-threatening ailment stops the foals from being able to swallow properly. The veterinary team at Cornell University has been able to save 17 of the foals that have been born with the disorder. The foals were cured with treatment (the syndrome causes quite the struggle for the first few weeks of the foal’s life, and the condition can prove fatal).

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection conducted an investigation into the groundwater at the farm. The investigation came to the conclusion that the groundwater was contaminated.

The Cornell vet team suspects that a gas well that was drilled directly next to the farm is the culprit in the mystery of the groundwater contamination, but the PDEP investigation concluded that it is not (hence Gural’s appeal to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board).

Via his appeal, Gural wants the board to conduct a thorough analysis of the makeup of the groundwater on his farm. Gural has gone on the record as saying that he does support the idea of shale exploration – which is sometimes referred to as ‘fracking’ – but that he is upset that companies in PA do not have to disclose what fluids and materials they pump into the ground in their search for natural gas. “That they don’t have to tell you what chemicals they are using is ridiculous,” Gural has said.

Gural has also conveyed that his appeal is the proper move for the PA farm at this point. “We are protecting our interests,” Gural has been quoted as saying. “If you don’t respond now, it’s hard to come back a year later and say there was a problem.”

Allerage Farm also has a location in Stanfordville, New York.

(With files from the Ithaca Journal)

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