73,910 Signatures and Counting…

At a press conference Monday, November 14, outside the offices of The US Army Corps of Engineers in Center City Philadelphia, a group of the Delaware River’s biggest proponents announced that among them they have a record-breaking 73,910 signatures on letters and petitions to the voting members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) urging them NOT to open the basin to industrial shale gas drilling at their upcoming meeting on November 21, 2011.
The arrival of so many letters and petitions came as a surprise to Colonel Christopher Larsen, who is President Obama’s representative on the DRBC. The groups presenting the petitions included Delaware Riverkeepers, Food & Water Watch, Protecting our Waters, Credo and many others, including a broad range of public health advocates, physicians and faith-based organizations.
There is broad-based public support for keeping fracking out of the Delaware River Basin,” said Karina Wilkinson, Regional Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “Many people I have spoken with are outraged that President Obama hasn’t spoken out against fracking the Delaware, with the serious risks it would pose to public health and the environment.

According to the joint press release: The PA Department of Environmental Protection website reports that in 2010 there were 2,759 violations of environmental permits by drillers, about 7.5 per day; this year through September 2011 there have been 2,859 violations – that’s about 10.5 per day, nothing short of an environmental calamity.

Reverend Jesse Brown called on Colonel Larsen to use “a little restraint” when it comes to voting on new drilling regulation. He went on to assert what we all know to be true: “It is unacceptable that anyone should die from fracking. All of us downstream know it’s gonna fail. Fluids will leak. I’m not gonna wait for that!” He closed his remarks with some common sense, “If we can stop it now, we won’t have a problem tomorrow.

Iris Marie Bloom of Protecting Our Waters spoke next, calling on Pennsylvanians to stand up for their rights in Trenton on November 21st. She reminded us of recent events which demonstrate that drillers are “putting lives at risk.” She pointed to a recent EPA report of frack fluid being detected in a Wyoming aquifer, which was not released for a full year. “Benzene, 50 times the safe limit, arsenic, and too many chemicals to mention.” She spoke of drillers admitting to poisoning people, paying for their medical expenses, but forcing them to first sign disclosure agreements which prevent them from speaking out.

Together, the groups demand that the DRBC must not move forward with these controversial, inadequate new drilling regulations, particularly without a comprehensive impact study. They would like to see a permanent moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River Basin. “This is a human rights violation,” Bloom stated. And Protecting Our Waters has plenty of proof, if you want it. Get in touch at 215.840.6489 or protectingourwaters@gmail.com.

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network, took questions from the gathering of media at the conclusion. The first question: “What will you do if the new regulations are passed? What will be your next step?

We have already joined in a federal lawsuit, like the Attorney General of New York, to stop the DRBC,” she said. “Our next step would be an injunction request.

What about water testing prior to drilling?” a water activist with a “No Frack” sticker on his shirt asked.

Carluccio concurred, “We need money for baseline testing.

More information: SaveTheDelaware.wordpress.com

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One Response to “73,910 Signatures and Counting…”

  1. Altagracia Says:

    you seslouriy need to go back to 6th grade and learn a processes called the water system

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