PA DEP Asks Drillers To Pretty Please Stop Dumping Waste Into Waterways

For those of us who are pro-water, this is good news indeed. Frack waste is radioactive. But let’s not get carried away. It’s not a law. Heck, it isn’t even a regulation. Is it the first step in the PA DEP’s effort to rigorously regulate? Or it is a red herring put forth to ease public concern while drilling moves forward at an increased pace?

Recycling flowback, even injecting the frack water back into new wells, is hardly an answer to a very serious problem: tons and tons of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, along with massive volumes of fresh water pulled from our Special Protection Waters aquifers, are being blasted into the bedrock beneath our feet. Along with all the other dangerous compounds brought up, they are spewing forth, bubbling up and floating on the breeze. They are radioactive, and the state can’t handle it. The fact remains, the only way to completely mitigate adverse environmental and health effects is to NOT FRACK.

Proud to Be A “Water Child”
We Americans need to wise up, politically speaking, and take responsibility for our land and waters and our health. We think of Philadelphia as the birthplace of American political independence, I think it has the potential to spark the real battle for independence from fossil fuel, too. So what should a more holistic, effective fight for a safer, healthier environment look like? It will, hopefully, take multitudinous forms, and there will be soft pretzels and local, organic lemonade. I do know one fact, proven repeatedly throughout world history: Clean, healthy rivers sustain great cities. We really need to protect ours.

Republican Governor Tom Corbett has a strategy. It would seem, he’s holding hostage the idea of the TAXING the Natural Gas Industry, so it can serve as his big concession to environmentalists and the people of Pennsylvania later on. Then, we can have all scientific studies and green projects we want. It will be how he sells it to the softer, less interested contingent of the current environmental movement. As this is playing out, all the while we are organizing and protesting, Corbett and his cronies will be raping and spoiling the water and land, drilling as fast as they can.

WE NEED: The BREATHE Act–H.R 1204 & The FRAC Act–HR 1084 RIGHT NOW!

The ultimate would be a new statewide moratorium on drilling, and a referendum vote on Water Security. But these two pieces of legislation are finally gaining some traction , and their sponsors could use all the public support they can get. Again, we should look to the state of New York. They lead the way in terms of conservation and environmental protection (and they’ll probably sue us next!) They have a Water Safety Bill. The are are getting it right, because they’re acting fast. After all, it’s not the big that eats the small, rather the fast that eats the slow, and the longer this is drawn out, the less it will matter if Environmentalists “win.”

Locally, we should lend our support new legislation, like SB425 and SB426, co-sponsored by PA Rep. Daylin Leach (Dist. 17) and others, proposed to further define the Oil & Gas Act [PL.1140,No.223] and protect state forest lands from drilling.

Meanwhile, “hardcore” environmentalists – those job-hating liberal eco-terrorists whom one member the Corbett administration attempted to slur by comparing him to a Nazi propagandist – well, we’re still waiting. We know this PA DEP request is but a baby step, akin merely to admitting there’s a problem. While Acting Secretary Hon. Michael Krancer’s leadership is one of the more positive developments in this unfolding saga, it would be great if he’d pick up, and start swinging, a much bigger bat. Time marches on, drillers are drilling, and the river is flowing right through our taps.

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