Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania Watersheds’ Category

Big Poisons, No Plan: List of PA Streams with Frack Fluid Spills

April 15, 2014

Van Wagner teaches Environmental Science at Lewisburg High School in Pennsylvania. He’s also an accomplished country-folk musician who has donated his time to teach music to kids at Pennsylvania summer camps. I came across this compelling plea on Wagner’s website:

“I have played music at several summer camps for children who are cancer survivors.  Camp Victory / Camp Dost and Camp Can-Do to name a few local examples.  These children are amazing.  I’m always amazed how grateful they are to me for spending a few hours simply singing with them.  It is I who should be thankful.  These children have smiles worth their weight in gold.  They are filled with joy and know more about love and friendship than most adults.  I challenge any fracking advocate to donate some time at one of these camps.  While there sit down at the dinner table with these kids and try to explain to them why grown-ups want to put more cancer causing chemicals in our environment because of things like energy, stock values and jobs.   (more…)

River of Doubt: Ex-Water Exec Appointed New DRBC Chief

March 11, 2014

What’s it gonna be, Steven Tambini?

As former Vice President of Operations at Pennsylvania American Water, who also previously served on the board of trustees for the American Water Works Association and the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin, the National Association of Water Companies – Pennsylvania Section, Steven (don’t forget the Rancocas Conservancy) Tambini seems like the ultimate water industry insider. Just sayin.

Mr. Tambini’s work on both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey sides of the Delaware River has allowed him to develop and build relationships with regulators and stakeholders throughout the basin,” states the Delaware River Basin Commission press release.

Somebody ought to ask Mr. Tambini to define exactly who those “stakeholders” are. I want to have faith, really, but Tambini’s resume is pretty thin on conservation, and darn heavy on extending private water industry interests. One can’t help but worry that he will be inclined to keep on carrying water for the water industry. (more…)

There’s No Replacin’ A River Basin

November 26, 2013

It’s Time To Save The Delaware River From Fracking, For Good

Food & Water Watch wants you to know that the Special Protection Waters of the Delaware River Basin are more endangered than ever.

For the past two years, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has upheld a moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River Basin due to massive public outcry. But right now, Carol Collier is calling for a strategy around gas drilling in the basin before she retires as executive director in March. Join us by telling President Obama and the governors of NY, NJ, DE and PA that the only strategy we support is a ban on fracking!

Gas drillers want in. They want to produce and transport, and to frack, baby, frack. DRBC’s Collier has indicated that she intends bring a new drilling “strategy” to a vote before departing her post. It may be her idea of a legacy, though I certainly wouldn’t want all those undisclosed chemicals on my conscience.

President Obama – the man who campaigned on a pledge for a sustainable energy future yet now favors the term “energy independence” – may well deliver the deciding vote on the DRBC via the federal Army Corps of Engineers. Conscience, per se, probably won’t factor much into that decision.

As ever, the only way to protect the Delaware River Basin from the massive impacts of shale gas industrialization is with massive pubic outcry.

Permanent Protection 

Start by adding your name to the the growing list of Americans who oppose expanding our dependence on fossil fuels, along with any plans to allow shale gas drilling the Delaware River Basin. Sign the Food and Water Watch letter addressed to President Obama and the governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, Protect the Delaware River Basin With a Ban on Fracking

Let legislators know that the only long-term strategy for protecting the Delaware River Basin is a permanent ban on fracking.   (more…)

A Ban In The Basin

November 23, 2013

Take Note: DRBC Wants To Vote On Shale Gas Drilling Regulations

It’s time once again to save the Delaware River basin from the toxic impacts of shale gas drilling.

At the next public hearing of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, a coalition of concerned advocacy groups will present a scrapbook entitled The Delaware Is Me.

The idea is to celebrate the Delaware River and commemorate another year without fracking. The point is to show the commission why this high-value, highly productive watershed ought to be spared from the ravages of industrial shale gas drilling.

The magnificent, historic Delaware River touches 15.6 million lives, and extraordinary photographs has been literally flowing in. As you may have guessed, no two images – or reasons – are alike. You can glimpse some of the photos and join the event on Facebook at The Delaware Is Me, or follow on Twitter #TheDelawareIsMe.

Better still, attend the public hearing and stand behind watershed advocates and activists in Trenton on December 3rd.

BAN IN THE BASIN

The Delaware Is Me project is co-hosted by Green Door Magazine, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

What’s It Gonna Be, DRBC?

November 1, 2013

Deciding The Fate Of “The Little Giant”

Outgoing Delaware River Basin Commission Director, Carol Collier, has done an impressive job withstanding extreme political pressure. I’ve been highly critical of the DRBC, yet I do believe Collier deserves our gratitude – as long as she doesn’t do anything rash.

The small interstate agency has received sharp letters of admonition from an impatient, gas-happy governor, experienced even sharper budget cuts, and suffered an uneasy tension with an increasingly feckless PA DEP.  By July, 2013, the working relationship between the two agencies had deteriorated so badly that former DEP secretary, and current gubernatorial candidate, John Hanger informed readers of The Times-Tribune that “DRBC Should Have ‘No Confidence’ In Corbett’s Drilling Oversight.

It’s true, DRBC has approved too many pipelines.  In March 2013, Maya van Rossum, The Delaware Riverkeeper pressed the Commission on the need for greater oversight of planned projects. Deforestation and watershed fragmentation are growing concerns, as are leaks, ruptures and explosions.

dinner_collier_9042

But generally speaking, under Collier’s leadership, DRBC has stood firm in the face the mighty gas extraction lobby, and it has managed to keep them at bay, and protect our vital, shared fresh water resources all this while. For this, we owe Collier our thanks. She must be exhausted.

Carol Collier, DRBC  Credit:  www.nj.gov

At this point, it seems unlikely that Collier, who departs in March, 2014, will rally a vote on gas drilling regulations in the Delaware River basin, but one never knows. All you can do is check the DRBC website from time to time.

Taking the long view, however, has been a hallmark of Collier’s tenure. Meetings are long and tedious, populated by scientists and engineers, and packed with data. Collier has led the agency along this plodding, empirical course for the past 15 years, so there’s little reason to suspect she’s planning to suddenly go out with a bang.   (more…)

Marcellus Spills Fill PA Waterways

July 25, 2013

“Pretty Please” Doesn’t Stop Surface Discharges

Nearly everyday it seems there’s a new report of Marcellus shale gas waste spilling in Pennsylvania’s wetlands and streams, DEP violations like this recent “discharge” reported by SkyTruth:

Issued to Energy Corporation of America on July 22, 2013 — Code 307CSL: Discharge of unconventional industrial drilling waste to waters of Commonwealth without a permit in Clearfield, Girard Township (ID#673076)

And this large spill reported by Laura Legere in DEP: Spill At Well Site Seeps Into House, Miniature Horse Farm in The Times Tribune on May 1, 2013:

An unknown amount of the fluid escaped the pad, flowed down a hill, crossed a road and entered the basement and garage of a nearby farmhouse, Ms. Connolly said. It soaked property at the horse farm, whose owners were out of state, but a farmhand kept the animals safely away from the fluid.

On both sides of the shale gas safety debate, experts agree that “surface spills” hold the greatest threat for surface water and groundwater contamination. Pennsylvania, by the way, is home to more fresh water resources than any other state in the continental U.S.

Surface spills of fracturing fluids appear to pose greater risks to groundwater than hydraulic fracturing itself,” writes Bryan R. Walsh in Shale Gas: It’s Not the Fracking That Might Be the Problem. It’s Everything Else, Time Magazine, on February 17, 2012. While Walsh pays short shrift the long term impacts of deteriorating wellbore seals, his premise certainly rings true right now. Every week, we see more spills, more overturned tankers and leaky valves, each one a small-scale, highly toxic event unto itself, and it invariably concludes with a dead stream and DEP asking drillers to promise not do it again.

A Water-Tight Case?

And then there are spills so big and negligent that the EPA has no choice but to step in and sue the driller, as is the case of this EXXON/XTO Energy violation, reported earlier this week:

US Sues Exxon Fracker in Pennsylvania Over Polluted Drinking Water:  A federal lawsuit claims hydraulic fracking has polluted public drinking waters in Pennsylvania with toxic wastes by Erin McAuley, AlterNet, July 24, 2013

Yup, it’s true. Obama Administration Sues Exxon for Polluting Pennsylvania Drinking Water with Toxic Fracking Waste, AllGov.com, July 24, 2013   (more…)

Drillers Still Drooling Over The Delaware

June 24, 2013

Can A Watershed Get A Little Respect?

[Updated]

Few headlines instill more angst among Delaware River watershed activists than the one I read this morning:

Wayne County Commissioners Urge Quick End To Drilling Ban by Steve McConnell, The Times-Tribune, June 22, 2013

Who are these people? And why do they think they have the right to force a heavily industrial deep shale extraction process into a highly protected watershed which supplies drinking water to 17 million people from New York City to Wilmington, Delaware? It would seem this handful of county commissioners is ready to risk it all, for roughly 5% of the U.S. population, while shushing valid environmental concerns with the vague promise of jobs. Who’s gonna want the jobs if you can’t drink the water?

Tell DRBC: Pennsylvania’s Last Frack-Free Watershed Deserves A Permanent Ban!
(more…)

Got Civil Rights? Flaunt Them In Harrisburg With Josh Fox on June18th

June 15, 2013

Now We’re Cookin! (But Not With Gas)

CALL TO ACTION!  

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Rally In Harrisburg With Gasland II Filmaker Josh Fox  

Tell Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, “No More Cover Ups for the Drillers!”

Tuesday, June 18 – 12 Noon

Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg PA

Please join Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network and many others. (more…)

161 Reasons You Can’t Trust The DEP

May 22, 2013

Pennsylvania State Documents Reveal Rampant Water Contamination In Gas Sacrifice Zones  

Several excellent articles have been posted recently about the inadequate, often shoddy, records keeping practices of The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. They’re linked here and shouldn’t be missed. Bottom line is, if you think PA DEP is actively protecting Pennsylvania’s water supplies from the impacts of shale gas drilling, think again.

In Open Records Case Produced Untracked Drilling Documents The Times-Tribune, May 19, 2013, Laura Legere writes:

Scattered records kept by the state Department of Environmental Protection offer one answer to a key question in a new age of fossil fuel extraction in Pennsylvania: How many water supplies have been damaged by drilling?

Gas proponents might continue to insist that gas drilling has never damaged a single water supply, yet we now know there are plenty of instances where it has. As it turns out, PA DEP knows this, too, though they had to be sued to produce the evidence. They claimed, unsuccessfully, that the public records requested by The Times-Trbune were “too burdensome” to find. In The Times-Tribune’s Sunday Times Review of DEP Drilling Records Reveals Water Damage, Murky Testing Methods, Legere reviews the pages eventually furnished by the civil servants of this hyper-reluctant state agency:
“State environmental regulators determined that oil and gas development damaged the water supplies for at least 161 Pennsylvania homes, farms, churches and businesses between 2008 and the fall of 2012, according to a cache of nearly 1,000 letters and enforcement orders written by Department of Environmental Protection officials and obtained by The Sunday Times.”

The Times-Tribune editors have even included a detailed groundwater complaints map with the help of the genius geeks at FracTracker.org, “a non-profit organization that collects, shares and visualizes data related to the oil and gas industry.

Drilling Complaints Map, The Times-Tribune, May 19, 2013.   (more…)

Best Documentary On Fracking Ever

May 6, 2013

Triple Divide  – Trailer

Visit TripleDivideFilm.org to get your sustainably-produced DVD of the highly acclaimed new film Triple Divide – considered essential viewing by Organizations United for the Environment.

At TripleDivideFilm.org, you’ll also find more information on Public/Private screenings in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.

Find even more local screenings at Triple Divide on Facebook.

Everyday People, Harmed Everyday

April 15, 2013

Pennsylvania Stands Witness To The Adverse Impacts of Shale Gas Drilling

More than 1,208 individuals have gone on record (to date) on The List of The Harmed. The list is meticulously compiled by Jenny Lisak of The Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air. It’s got to be a full time job, as the number of people harmed easily keeps apace with drilling.

Even a list as long as this can’t do justice to the people whose lives have been ruined along with their land, air and water.

Ready or not, Americans have to make a choice. They can believe the slick TV ads, buying into the false promise of safe shale gas, or they can try to understand what impacts large-scale, industrial hydrofracking really brings to our ecology, landscapes and the communities who inhabit them. They can listen to the experiences of people living in the new gaslands of Pennsylvania, and not just the stories that grab headlines, but the common, garden variety suffering wrought by a single extreme extraction industry.

Postcards From The Sacrifice Zone 

Rebecca Roter and Frank Finan listen. They listen to their neighbors and friends, and they speak out. They relay the stories they hear, and they encourage others to share their experiences, too.

Document Your Shale Related Health Complaint with the PA Dept of Health is an open facebook event inviting people to:

Stand witness, encourage friends and family with skin rashes, upper respiratory problems, etc that appear shale related to DOCUMENT your experiences in your own voice, let a volunteer health advocate make sure the Dept of Health DOES ITS job and takes your shale related health complaint. Help save the next generation, so the claim cannot be made there are no health impacts in shale corridors. Impacted individuals can call Volunteer Health Care Advocate Celeen Miller 215-680-1452, 215-249-3619, 800-200-2229 to report complaints. Call Dr McKenzie, 215-662-2354, University of Pennsylvania, Occupational Medicine, for treatment.

Max Chilson, As Told By Frank Finan:   (more…)

It’s Only The River – Updated

January 30, 2013

We All Live Downstream

Take The PLEDGE To Protect The Delaware River And Its Tributaries 

“These legal challenges are vital opportunities for protecting our communities from the damage that pipelines bring, as well as the devastation brought by the drilling and fracking these pipeliens induce and support.

“There are not many organizations with the resolve or the resources to pursue legal claims on behalf of the River and our communities the way the Delaware Riverkeeper Network does.”  

~ Maya van Rossum, Delaware River Voice

Via Delaware Riverkeeper Network:

If the Delaware River Basin Commission, the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland, the President of the United States, or any of our state or national leaders permit any processes or infrastructure in support of shale gas development in any part of the Delaware River Watershed, I pledge to join with others to engage in lawful non-violent acts of protest, including demonstrations and other lawful non-violent actions, as my conscience leads me.” ~ Pledge of Protection For The Delaware River Watershed

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URGENT ACTION NEEDED!

The Delaware River Basin needs protection right now. New gas drilling activities such as high pressure gas pipeline networks, slated for high value streams and tributaries, threaten to destroy the quality of our water supply. Special Protections were created for our fresh drinking water resources, yet they have been systematically eroded by a single industry – unconventional shale gas production – whose influence extends throughout Harrisburg and Washington, and along both sides of the aisle.

The Delaware River is an irreplaceable source of drinking water for 17 million people…  Spills, leaks, explosions, and toxic air emissions do not belong the most productive watershed in the Northeastern United States. Don’t Let Gas Drillers Frack OUR Watershed!

To learn more and take the pledge, CLICK HERE.

~

Protect the Susquehanna River!

Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper

On Facebook, visit:  Corbett & Obama Must Protect The Susquehanna From Fracking

 

With Love, Marcellus XOXO

January 23, 2013

The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project has finally come to Philadelphia. The images collected “tell stories, through photographic images, of how the lives of Pennsylvanians are affected by the Marcellus Shale Gas Industry. By creating a visual document of the environmental, social and economic impact of drilling, the work aims to engage communities in the current Marcellus debate while providing important historical images for the future.”

Images, like this pipeline cutting through a southwestern Pennsylvania cow pasture, leave an impression. This stirring collection is on display at The Gershman Y in Philadelphia until February 14, 2013.

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Photo by Brian Cohen.   (more…)

More Renewables For Montco, Please

January 18, 2013

No NIMBYs In SEPA: Citizens Say “Yes!” To Clean Energy In Everyone’s Back Yard!

PA Dems to hold a hearing on non-fossil renewable energy for Delaware and Montgomery counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Show your support for solar and wind! Free, open to the public.

The Democratic Policy Committee:  

Renewable Energy Legislation Hearing

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 10am

Ludington Library, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

~

via Rep. Greg Vitali (D-PA, Delaware County):   (more…)

The Year Fractivism Exploded

December 30, 2012

KeepTap’s Stats Reflect An Anti-Gas Movement On Fire

The momentum behind clean energy has been building like never before. In 2012, several grand-scale, public events like Shale Gas Outrage in Philadelphia, Stop The Frack Attack in Washington DC, and the sold-out 350.org  Do The Math tour. Colleges and universities are now being asked by alumni, faculty and student bodies to take a leadership role in addressing Climate Change by pledging to divest from dirty energy and Go Fossil Free.   (more…)

Go Frack-Free In 2013!

December 29, 2012

Resolve to get more involved in the incredible fossil-free grassroots movement that’s been springing up across the USA. No one should be an energy company guinea pig! Help your community maintain control over rampant, unregulated shale gas fracking, toxic waste water, pipelines, compressor stations and dehydration units. Chances are – wherever you are – there’s a local group fighting for our right to clean air, land and water.   (more…)

Merry Christmas, Mighty Delaware

December 23, 2012

            24PAINTING-1-blog480

On December 25, 1776, in the middle of a dark winter night, General George Washington crossed the icy Delaware River from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Artist Mort Künstler strives for historical accuracy to depict a most realistic image of Washington’s perilous yet ultimately successful journey. From Crossing the Delaware, More Accurately by Corey Kilgannon, New York Times blog.

         Happy Holidays, Fractivists and Fractivistas!

                                                   Ever In Solidarity, Liz

Pipeline Destruction Is Coming To Town

December 20, 2012

Document Pre-Pipeline Stream Conditions in The Delaware River

DECEMBER 22-23, 2012

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network needs your help:

We have 19 days to stop this fracked gas pipeline from cutting through healthy pristine habitat and rural communities   (more…)

Christmas Is In The Air

December 18, 2012

“Santa’s Pre-Flight 2012 Over Frackland” 

From the folks who gave us classics such as Hydraulic Fracturing Party!Marcellus Shale Fish Kills and Gas Wells, Frac Pits and School Coexist come two brand new holiday classics. Cineplex Rex filmed high over Wetzel County, West Virgnia, Greene County and Washington County, Pennsylvania throughout 2012, and the aerial images they captured depict a state that is fundamentally changed by a single, heavily polluting industry.

Naughty

Not Nice…

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a healthy future for the children of the Marcellus Shale.

A Pennsylvania Mom 

DRBC: The Delaware River BS Commission

December 11, 2012

[Updated: December 13, 2012]

Science Has No Agenda, Right?

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is the only governing body standing between fracking pollution and the fresh drinking water for 15.6 million people living in the Mid-Atlantic megapolis – a full 5% of the US population. So what is the DRBC doing to protect this precious, highly productive watershed from volatile shale gas pipelines and extreme fossil fuel extraction? Lately, not much.

The DRBC is an interstate commission, which is not a common thing. It’s comprised of the governors of PA, NY, NJ and DE (or their representatives), plus a representative of the Federal Government from The Army Corps of Engineers. It was created because the citizens in these states deemed the protection of their shared freshwater resources important enough to warrant utmost oversight and protection. That was 1961.

Today, DRBC commissioners act like children with mouths full of candy. It’s difficult to get a straight answer out of them, even at their own public meetings.   (more…)


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