Archive for March, 2012

Toxic Treatment: Chlorine vs. Chloramine for Public Water Disinfection

March 30, 2012

The New Normal? Updated
Methane contamination has become such an issue that one of PA’s largest water suppliers, Pennsylvania American Water Co. in Hershey, PA, is working to stay ahead of the toxicity curve. David Templeton and Don Hopey report in Water company plans to change disinfectant used in some systems, in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the company will switch more treatment plants from Chlorine to Chloramine for disinfection in order to control “carcinogenic disinfection byproducts including trihelamethane and haloacetic acid.

According to Heinz Award winning Ecologist and Author, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., when you chlorinate water that is contaminated with methane you end up with disinfection by-products such as Trihalomethanes, or chloroforms, which are known to cause bladder and colon cancer.

Use of Chloramine in public water supplies is more widely opposed than Chlorine. While complaints from Chlorine are mostly aesthetic, such as taste and smell, complaints from Chloramine include skin rashes, respiratory and digestive problems. EPA admits that not as much research has been done on Chloramine as Chlorine. Nevertheless, PA American Water is looking to increase their use of Chloramine wherever possible. (more…)

Marcellus Workplace Injuries on the Rise

March 29, 2012

Get Lawyered Up!

I was first introduced to attorney Jon Ostroff years ago, when he married my treasured pal, Amy. He left an impression on me as the type of guy who prefers mediation over litigation. In other words, he was one of the least litigious lawyers I’ve ever met. When I last saw Jon, a while back, his good-natured, altruistic energy was focused on an orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa that he and Amy had recently adopted. Today, thanks to their family’s intelligent, caring efforts, Love to Langa, is a flourishing foundation which has helped create many a happier, healthier childhood.

Fast forward to the Fracking Boom, and my pleasant surprise at finding Ostroff Injury Law focusing its energy on providing legal recourse for those injured by industrial Marcellus shale gas drilling. (more…)

Watershed Wisdom

March 28, 2012

Catching Up On Reading

Everyone cares about water. Luckily, there’s new information on watershed protection everyday, making it relatively easy to comprehend the urgent issues confronting the 15.6 million people who rely on the Delaware River Watershed. The “Little Giant” generates $22 billion in revenue for eastern Pennsylvania each year, according to The University of Delaware, and gas drillers should not underestimate how much the City of Brotherly Love loves this 333-mile long river.

(more…)

Stealing Pennsylvania, One River at a Time

March 27, 2012

Citizens Call for Water Sovereignty

Last week, it came to light that Aqua PVR LLC is displacing 32 families in Piatt Township, Lycoming County, so they may syphon off hundreds of millions of gallons of Susquehanna River Basin water for gas drillers. News of this outrage traveled quickly through blogs and on Facebook pages like StopFrackingPA! There was talk of how best to get information about Aqua PA’s heartless corporate behavior out to Rachel Maddow.

Watch a brief, moving video about the difficulties facing Riverdale residents, Marcellus Shale Reality Tour Part 6 Eviction Notice, by Scott Cannon of Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition on You Tube. (more…)

The Uncensored Consensus: Fracking Really Is a Bad Thing

March 25, 2012

I’ve been called every nasty name you can think of, in the Comments sections of articles about Fracking that is. Epithets hurled at me include: tree-hugger, Chicken Little, anti-, Leftie, kool-aid drinking hippie and – my personal favorite – a nimby. I’ve also been called a liberal, idealistic, elitist, obstructionist and a dumb Democrat. Those are the accusations that actually make me stop and think. Have I somehow gotten this “frac’ing” thing all wrong? Is it possible that drilling for shale gas is the best thing since sliced bread? Maybe I’m merely raging against the machine, opposing something that truly is a “blessing under our feet”?

Most recently, in the Comment section of Lucia Graves’ Huffiington Post piece, Josh Fox Condemns Fracking About-Face By USDA, I was called a “green zombie” by someone named Oil Patch. (more…)

Aqua PA Gives 32 Families The Boot

March 21, 2012

UPDATE On The Residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Village from Judy Morrash Muskauski:  “A Bryn Mawr-based Aqua PVR LLC has decided it will give most residents of Riverdale Mobile Home Village until June 1 to move.The company received permission from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to withdraw up to 3 million gallons of water per day from the site. The company plans to build a pump station on the site. The water will be transported via pipeline to gas drilling sites. The residents’ leases have been terminated.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZL9wgGqJk1s

ORIGINAL POST:  Displacing a community of 32 families from the Riverdale Mobile Home Village in Piatt Township, PA is just another day on the job for Aqua PVR LLC. For 38-year resident, Doris M. Fravel, however, the news is devastating. The company, owned by Bryn Mawr-based Aqua America, plans to eliminate her neighborhood and build a water withdrawal facility for the Natural Gas Industry.

I could sit down and cry my eyes out,” the 82 year old widow told David Thompson of The Williamsport SunGazette in his article, 32-Unit Village No More.

Loretta J. Gary, POWer extraordinaire, called attention to the story which has quickly become emblematic of the way pro-gas interests are cramming drilling-related activities down Pennsylvania’s collective sore throat. It’s on anti-fracking organizer Alexander Lotoro’s considerable Facebook radar, too. (more…)

Shale Gas Realities

March 16, 2012

PA Watersheds Further Imperiled …

  • SRBC Approves Massive New Water Withdrawals

Yesterday, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission approved 48 more water withdrawal permits despite vocal protests and the lack of public comment. According to StateImpactPA, there were Protests, But No Arrests at the March 15, 2012 Hearing in Harrisburg. The Wall Street Journal also picked up the story by the Associated Press.

Unlike other utilities and recreations large-volume water uses, withdrawals for unconventional gas drilling – fracking – become permanently toxic and are largely un-returned to the watershed. They forever deplete the hydrological cycle. (more…)

Fracking Scrapples On Philly’s Main Line

March 16, 2012

Clean Water Action Gas Drilling Discussion Series at Radnor Memorial Library on Mon, March 26, 2012

PennEnvironment Marcellus Shale Citizen Empowerment Project Comes to Bryn Mawr College on Thurs, March 28, 2012

Sixty-five percent of the U.S. public favors greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing, according to a Bloomberg News National Poll conducted March 8-11, 2012. Pennsylvania now leads the nation in unconventional gas production. The shale gas boom effects us all. Learn from a local perspective at two upcoming local events where experts will lead public discussions on the environmental and economic impacts of industrial shale gas drilling in our region.

Have You Joined The Great Statewide Debate?

(more…)

CNNMoney Breaks the PA DEP Enforcement Code

March 14, 2012

Caveat Emptor: DEP Not Required to Report Gas Drilling Violations to Landowners

Violations at Pennsylvania Mar­cel­lus Shale gas drilling well pads and asso­ci­ated infra­struc­ture occur at an average rate of 12-a-day, according to Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters in Showdown Expected at the SRBC Corral by Susan Phillips of StateImpactPA. Some violations are more serious than others, but one thing they all have in common: the PA Department of Environmental Protection is not required to notify landowners of any violations on their leased properties, even though they’re on the line for damages. (more…)

DEP Water Tests Aren’t “Naturally Occurring”

March 13, 2012

Dimock…  Butler County… and now Franklin Township, PA… Whose water will be polluted next?

UPDATE  [March 22,2012]Marcellus shale driller offers water to Franklin Homes by Laura Legere, in The Times-Tribune, Thursday, March 22, 2012.

UPDATE [March 15, 2012]:  DEP announces sampling of Franklin Township water wells DEP tracking-source-of-more-methane-in-wells by abc27.com

[Original Post]:  Gas drillers want you to think Pennsylvania’s water supply was rife with shallow methane before they began fracking the Marcellus Play. Obviously methane deposits can migrate, but why would these towns have been settled in the first place if the water table was bad? Listening to residents in these Northern and Western gas drilling locales, you hear recurring themes about a whole new kind of water problem.

Up until November, I could drink my water.

It’s black.

It’s really slimy.

Up there, a coupla houses, they’re starting to have some issues.

It won’t freeze.

Now, there are elevated chemicals…(more…)

PennEnvironment’s Winning Attitude

March 11, 2012

No matter how powerful and well-heeled the gas industry lobbyists may be, when people come together to defend our environmental values, we almost always find a way to win.

                       ~ David Masur, PennEnvironment State Director

(more…)

Get Radical! Marcellus Truth & Action Conference in Bethlehem PA

March 10, 2012

[UPDATE: APRIL 5, 2012]  Visit shaleshockmedia.org for full-length video of keynote speech by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell University, and other highlights from the conference.

~

[Original Post]  Marcellus Shale Exposed: A Symposium for Truth and Action on Fri., March 16th & Sat, March 17th at Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA is a great place to get informed and involved in the effort to protect our land, air and water from the ravages of Unconventional Gas Drilling. Presenters will include: Jeff Schmidt, Sierra Club * Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper Network * Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth * Deborah Rogers, Energy Policy Forum.

Free Admission – Register here!

(more…)

Save The Susquehanna, Seriously

March 10, 2012

by Stop Frackin’ PA!

UPDATE [March 15, 2012]:

A sad day for the Susquehanna. Permits for MASSIVE water withdrawals were approved. Read more in Natural Gas Industry Gets Water Permits for Fracking While Science and Public Get Ignored by Earthworks at EcoWatch.org.

LINK: http://ecowatch.org/2012/natural-gas-industry-gets-water-permits-while-science-and-public-get-ignored/

~

ORIGINAL POST:

On Thursday, March 15th at 8am in Harrisburg, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission will convene for a public vote on more than 60 permit applications for large-scale water withdrawals. These hotly contested withdrawals will amount to mega-millions of gallons over a four-year period, for which users are charged a mere $.005/gallon. The vast majority of this fresh water is bound for toxic Industrial Shale Gas Drilling. (more…)

Getting The Fracts, Environmental Bloggers On A Roll

March 8, 2012

Ads Cost Money But The Truth About Shale Gas Drilling Is Free
I laugh a little when I hear Gas Industry folks complain about how well-funded the anti-fracking movement is. To which groups are they referring? I’m a fractivist. I volunteer, and I’m in very good company. The organizations I support are transparent about their funding, too, even if it’s the wrong brand of donor, as was recently the case with Sierra Club. Difficult as it must have been, Sierra came clean about Chesapeake Energy underwriting its Beyond Coal campaign. Now, I suspect, they’re working doubly hard to get beyond Gas.

It’s true, there’s a growing list of major environmental groups who want to ban or limit Unconventional Gas Drilling, (more…)

Defunding & Defeating The Delaware River Basin Commission

March 8, 2012

In case you missed it on Philly.com…

Financial woes shake the DRBC
3 of the 5 commission members have either shrunk payments or stopped paying

by Sandy Bauers

DEP’s Permit-Fee Economy

March 7, 2012

Can steep budget cuts to the PA Department of Environmental Protection be offset with gas drilling permit fees?

At the February 27, 2012 Democratic Policy Committee Meeting in Bryn Mawr, PA, the word “overwhelmed” was repeatedly used to describe the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Most notably, George Jugovic, Jr., then Senior Attorney and newly named CEO for PennFuture, and former Southwest Regional Director of the PA DEP, stated that when he asked Joyce Epps, DEP Bureau of Air Quality director, what her department needed most to effectively regulate Marcellus air emissions, she replied emphatically, “We need more people.” (more…)

Spread a Little Love: Philly’s Anti-Phracking Movement Is Building

March 5, 2012

I started this blog a year ago, freaked over Fracking and the hydrological catastrophe coming to Pennsylvania. I was determined to reach one thousand people with the message that industrial shale gas drilling will forever destroy beautiful, economically struggling regions of rural PA. I wanted them to know that the unchecked, under-regulated shale gas industry is already polluting the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Mostly, I wanted people to Take Action to protect the imperiled Delaware and Schuylkill River watersheds. (more…)

Is The EPA Tackling Fracking?

March 1, 2012

Current Drinking Water Impact Study Emphasizes “Scientific Integrity”

Many fractivists think EPA Chief Lisa Jackson isn’t doing enough to protect citizens from the environmental ravages of Fracking. Iris Bloom, Director of Protecting Our Waters, recently posted that EPA is falling short in its duty “to ensure our rights under the Pennsylvania Constitution to clean water, air, and a healthy environment.” Bloom is putting out the call to rally EPA officials to use their authority to compel Rex Energy to continue delivering replacement water to families in Butler County, whose water has become toxic since drilling began. These families have found no satisfactory recourse with the PA Department of Environmental Protection who, characteristically, insists their water is fine.

Governor Corbett and DEP Secretary Krancer have made it clear they think EPA is overstepping when it regulates Pennsylvania’s shale gas drilling. They routinely refer to EPA’s oversight actions as “duplicative” and “unnecessary.” DEP can manage just fine on its own, thank you. There’s no need for EPA to investigate why the water in Connoquenessing Township suddenly began running red, orange and gray. (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 820 other followers