Save The Susquehanna, Seriously

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/

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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.

Water withdrawn from the Basin will never be returned to the water cycle, let alone to the Basin itself. It will be either trapped in the deep shale formation forever, or shipped off to deep injection wells in other states since there is no existing treatment method which removes radioactivity from the flowback wastewater. This is repugnant and unacceptable! For a scientific and scholarly comment to the SRBC in this matter, read University of Cincinnati Law Professor James T. O’Reilly’s letter to the SRBC Secretary, Stephanie Richardson.

New Rules! Adding Insult to Injury…

Pennsylvania’s representatives on the SRBC are attempting to silence opponents of these massive fresh water withdrawals, as was reported by Susan Phillips’ recent StateImpact PA post, The Susquehanna River Basin Commissions New Rules For-Radicals.

See explosive video of how well SRBC’s restrictive actions went over at the December 15, 2011 meeting here.

A Week of Phone/email Blitzing

Monday through Wednesday, we wage a call-in (and e-mail) campaign to the three decision-makers we think we can best influence. Consensus is that PA Governor Tom Corbett is a lost cause, but feel free to urge him to have his representative vote NO by calling (717)787-2500, or e-mail him here. Alternately, feel free to try to influence his right hand man in his Philadelphia office, Adam Gattuso, whose e-mail address is agattuso@state.pa.us

Monday, March 12, 2012, CALL:   Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley  (410)974-3901 or (800)811-8336

He could very well be the “Jack Markell” of the SRBC, meaning, he may be the decisive link who throws a monkey-wrench into the SRBC’s unquestioned consensus, and convinces SRBC to rethink this issue!

When you call, mention that you have a detailed comment, and ask if you might speak to a staffer. (You may be required to give a MD zip code when you call.)

Suggested script:   “Vote NO to water withdrawals for shale gas drilling at the Susquehanna River Basin Commission meeting on Thursday. MD is in the position to suffer disproportionately from the rush to drill in PA…all the contamination flows down and hurts the Chesapeake Bay area. The Susquehanna is the source of 1/2 the fresh water which enters the bay. PA fracking is definitely NOT good for MD!

Long Version:   “Hello. I am concerned about the Susquehanna River Basin Commission vote that is going to take place on March 15th in Harrisburg, PA. It has come to my attention that the Commission is slated to vote to approve over 60 permits for withdrawals from the Basin for the purposes of risky and toxic shale gas drilling taking place in PA. Mayor Carolyn Sorge of Betterton sent a letter of comment to the SRBC voicing her opposition to the PERMANENT removal and CONSUMPTIVE use of these public waters as “a death warrant” for both the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. She pointed out that the endangered Susquehanna bears drilling-related contamination into the Bay which unfairly impacts the livelihoods, safety, and drinking water of MD residents. She insisted that issues of environmental integrity and public health demand a cumulative environmental impact study. On the grounds that fracking operations in PA adversely impact MD citizens, I URGE Governor O’Malley to have his representative vote NO to any further water withdrawal permits for Marcellus shale drilling until such a study has been completed and the results evaluated. The water resources of the Basin must not be granted for activities that disproportionately injure the citizens of MD for the purposes of corporate profit agendas in PA. Governor O’Malley needs to defend the interests of MD citizens at the SRBC vote!

BONUS POINTS: e-mail him: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/mail/
(Copy and paste the phone script into the message area! 🙂

~

Tuesday, March 13, 2012  CALL:   President Obama (202)456-1111 and Army Corps of Engineers representative Colonel Christopher Larsen (347)370-4501, alternate number for his personal secretary Jo Ellen Darcy (703)697-4672

White House comment line script:   “I am concerned about the March 15th meeting of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission where they will vote on over 60 water withdrawal permits for PA fracking operations. Until the SRBC studies the cumulative environmental impacts of the permanent removal of billions of gallons of water from the Basin which feeds the Chesapeake Bay, and considers the detrimental effects of fracking-related contamination of the Susquehanna on downstream communities in the SRBC member state of MD, Obama should instruct his representative to vote NO on any further water withdrawals for Marcellus shale gas drilling.

BONUS POINTS–> e-mail him: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
(Copy and paste the phone script into the message area! 🙂

Army Corps of Engineers (both phone numbers) script:
“I am concerned about the Susquehanna River Basin Commission vote coming up this Thursday in Harrisburg where over 60 applications for permits for water withdrawals for shale gas fracking activities may potentially be approved. The SRBC has been utterly negligent in its mandate to minimize pollution throughout the Basin with respect to fracking. The SRBC operates on the basis of “joint authority,” which requires policy coordination and uniform standards among member states regarding water usage and management. Nonetheless, the rush to drill in one member state, Pennsylvania, is controlling the SRBC’s decisions even though the other two members, Maryland and New York, have not yet decided to permit drilling. The SRBC must uphold its mandate to have a comprehensive plan in place for water usage and management by studying the cumulative environmental impacts of Marcellus shale development, and must not issue ANY more permits for water withdrawals until New York and Maryland have completed their studies of fracking impacts and have adopted related regulations. I demand on behalf of the citizens of the Basin that the Colonel vote NO on Thursday.”

BONUS POINTS:  e-mail him: nad-exec@usace.army.mil
(Copy and paste the phone script into the body of your e-mail! 🙂

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012  CALL:   NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (212)312-1420 and/or (518)455-3791

* It’s imperative that you are prepared to give a New York zip code when you call.

Suggested script:  “I am concerned about the Susquehanna River Basin Commission vote coming up tomorrow [Thursday] in Harrisburg where over 60 applications for permits for water withdrawals enabling shale gas fracking activities may potentially be approved. Considering the fact that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has a lawsuit pending against the Delaware River Basin Commission to prevent them from allowing shale gas drilling to commence without cumulative environmental impact studies being conducted; and considering that the SRBC has undertaken exactly ZERO studies of any kind; and considering that the issue of regulating or even ALLOWING fracking is completely undecided in New York, I expect consistency from Governor Cuomo, and insist that he vote NO to any further water withdrawals in order to slow Marcellus shale drilling. The SRBC should not make it easier for gas companies to get permits or promote drilling on account of growing evidence of pollution produced by the industry. The endangered Susquehanna River pours drilling-related contamination into the Bay which unfairly impacts the livelihoods, safety, and drinking water of MD residents. The SRBC must uphold its mandate to have a comprehensive plan in place for water usage and management by studying the cumulative environmental impacts of Marcellus shale development, and must not issue ANY more permits for water withdrawals until New York and Maryland have completed their studies of fracking impacts and have adopted related regulations. I demand on behalf of the citizens of the Basin that Governor Cuomo show leadership by having his SRBC representative vote NO on Thursday.

BONUS POINTS:  e-mail him: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
(Copy and paste the phone script into the body of your e-mail! 🙂

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THANKS for all your efforts on behalf of our beleaguered AND beloved Susquehanna River Basin, and all the ecosystems and animal and human LIFE which depend upon her waters!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

PLEASE: Share this event on your wall and walls of other concerned organizations and communities, and take 5 minutes and invite your PA, MD, and NY friends!!! Much gratitude for your time and commitment on this issue!

***TOGETHER WE **CAN** MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!!!***

Whose Water? Our Water!

There is a direct action training planned for 6pm on March 14th, @ Quaker Meetinghouse, 1100 N. 6th St. Harrisburg, 6pm-9pm, Harrisburg PA. Please contact: Alex Lotorto (570)269-9589.

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2 Responses to “Save The Susquehanna, Seriously”

  1. Iris Marie Bloom Says:

    Awesome post!! And hey if you get done with all that, please get all your MD friends to keep calling Maryland’s Governor O’Malley — and add one more phone call to SRBC Commissioner: Dr. Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment (410) 537-3084, who more closely determines the actual vote on Thursday and supposed to be really paying attention.
    Technically Summers votes according to the Governor’s will, but at the same time he is advising the Governor on why this vote is important. So tell him how important it is to stop permitting water withdrawals for fracking! By the way, 90% of all the water in the northern Chesapeake Bay comes from the Susquehanna… even if 50% of the water overall in the Bay comes from the Susquehanna. Keep those fracking chemicals out of the northern Bay, which is critically endangered enough already!
    Oh yeah, last I checked people from Baltimore like to drink clean water too, and Sandra Steingraber recently gave a talk in Baltimore so they are surely waking up. Two days to tell all your Baltimore friends to write and call by 5 pm Wednesday.

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