Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania Watersheds’ Category

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…)

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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…)

EPA Shoots DEP “In The Back” Says Krancer

November 17, 2012

DUG In Deep

PA DEP Secretary Krancer was in Pittsburgh last week, marshaling his forces at the Drilling Unconventional Gas (DUG East) Conference, and peppering his pro-gas speech with an unnerving number of Civil War references. According to Don Hopey in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Krancer “referred to several dozen protesters outside as less imposing than opposition he sees as a Civil War re-enactor.”

Lest we forget, the Mason-Dixon line once divided The Marcellus Shale, too.

Access to the Pittsburgh conference was limited to those who meet DUG’s self-prescribed “press pass policy.” Indeed, it’s only getting more difficult to gain entry to big gas shows, even if you are willing to pony up nearly a grand to register, even if you are a legitimately credentialed member of the press, like Buck Quigley of ArtVoice.   (more…)

Frack Brine On Montgomery County Roads?

November 14, 2012

DEP’s Permit Pickle

Pennsylvania’s municipal water treatment plants were designed to handle the bio solids of sewage, not the radioactive compounds contained in shale gas drilling waste. They can’t handle the massive volumes of frack flowback produced in our state.

It takes 4.5 to 9 million gallons of fresh water to hydro-frack a single natural gas well. There are more than 30,000 permits awaiting approval in Pennsylvania over the next 10 years. In addition to the 8,982 frack wells currently operating in Pennsylvania, that equals 165 billion gallons of fresh water, largely from the Special Protection Waters of the Delaware River Watershed and the Susquehanna River Basin. Once removed, this water is destined to become toxic, radioactive frack “flowback.” And, by the way, that’s way more water than we actually have.

At first blush, recycling frack flowback – both onsite and at regional treatment plants – seems like the perfect solution. There’s now a long list of companies who want to sell or lease their services to drillers, along with their glorified mobile distillation units. But this, too, poses new problems and raises even more questions about shale gas waste regulation and oversight. Ultimately, waste recyclers still have to deal with the disposal of the super salty waste bi-product known as brine.

So now, recycled frack brine is to be sold – at around $.05 a gallon – to PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) to spray on our roads for deicing in winter, and something called “dust suppression.”

Seriously, dust suppression.

Untreated frack brine has been shown to include barium, radium, strontium and a range of radionuclides. Sometimes, there’s even uranium. (Yes, there’s uranium down there, too.) Flowback may also contain sodium and calcium salts, iron, oil, numerous heavy metals, diesel fuel and industrial soaps. And now this stuff might be on my running shoes, and the wheels of my kids’ bikes. Heavy snows and spring rains will carry these compounds into our rivers and streams, lacing our waterways with toxins. Are you kidding me?

How is it, though they’re using taxpayer dollars to buy this supposedly “clean” brine, that there was no public input?

Because DEP stamped a permit.

(more…)

It’s The Cement, Stupid

September 30, 2012

Or Why I Favour A Ban On Fracking

According to Global Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing, a facebook page administered by Luke Ashley of Wrexam, England, “Understanding how fracking and repeated fracking can result in failing well integrity. Gaps and cracks in the annular casing cement allow unwanted contaminates to migrate between formation layers and aquifers. After a well has been repeatedly fracked and is no longer economically viable, it is plugged and abandoned but nothing is or can be done to ensure adequate well integrity between the casing and drilled well bore.”

      Cement Isn’t Magic. All Frack Wellbore Seals Fail Eventually. 

(more…)

Vedge On The Edge

September 28, 2012

The Importance of Rain Gardens

A little more than halfway through the The Delaware Riverkeeper Network‘s Virtual Canoe Race, and I’m happy to say that our boat, The Green Zombies, is not in last place. Currently, Adirondacker and Pampitus have a commanding lead, with Howler paddling hard through Port Jervis and gaining fast. Shout out to Sojourn 5, in position 27 – they know it ain’t over! There’s plenty of river miles left, and we’re having a blast despite our virtual blisters.   (more…)

The Delaware Riverkeeper’s “Virtual” Canoe Race

September 15, 2012

Pull! Pull!

Please join me in supporting the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s upcoming Virtual Canoe Race.

Adults and junior paddlers can join this fun race by “virtually” paddling down the scenic, historic Delaware. Or you can simply cheer on the racers by sponsoring a “virtual canoe.”

The Delaware River is the last major free flowing river in the Eastern U.S. Unlike most major river systems, the Delaware has no dams and so it can be canoed for its entire length. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is committed to keeping the scenic, historic Delaware River Watershed free flowing, clean and healthy.

Each week, starting with a posting on September 30, a series of multiple choice questions and extra mileage opportunities will be posted to the Race Website. You will have one week to answer all of the questions correctly. The sooner you get in the questions the more river miles you earn. The more correct answers you have the farther down the River you will paddle!

Thanks for sharing my concern for our precious watershed environments, and for getting to know this amazing organization!

FracFocus Hocus Pocus

August 27, 2012

Bogus US Drilling Chemicals Database No Substitute For FRAC ACT

Make no mistake… the “Chemical Disclosure Registry” found at FracFocus.org is a sophisticated instrument of industry propaganda, not an independent, academic webtool. Though basically useless as a database, the site accomplishes more than simply informing the public about the chemicals a gas driller may, or may not, be using when hydraulically fracturing a well near you. FracFocus cleverly packages the information in an attempt to legitimize the use of the many dangerous toxins required in unconventional horizontal drilling.  (more…)

Get The Truth From SkyTruth

August 27, 2012

Environmental incidents such as unconventional gas drilling accidents – or fraccidents – must be reported, wherever they occur.  SkyTruth is a whiz-bang non-profit based in West Virginia. Their team uses remote sensing and digital mapping technologies to combine environmental protection with environmental awareness. Their motto: “As soon as WE know – YOU know.”  (more…)

No Bats, No Food

August 20, 2012

Press Release from the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, August 17, 2012:

“New Report Raises Red Flag for Bats from Shale Gas Drilling”

Bristol, PA – The Delaware Riverkeeper Network released a new report authored by a bat expert at Bat Conservation International considering and documenting many potential impacts shale gas development and fracking can have on bat populations living in the Delaware River watershed. According to the report, the water withdrawals, water pollution, air pollution, and massive land disturbance associated with shale gas development pose serious threats for bat populations, including the little brown bat and the federally endangered Indiana bat. The report notes that bats have been significantly impacted by White-nose Syndrome and as a result are at increased risk from human impacts such as shale gas development. The location of the Marcellus shale, now the targeted shale formation for drilling across Pennsylvania, New York and elsewhere, overlaps some of the areas hardest hit by White-nose Syndrome.   (more…)

Power To The Sheeple!

August 7, 2012

Get It In Writing

Online petitions aren’t ba-a-ad, but nothing’s more valuable than hard-copy signatures. Lots of `em. Because people who are willing to put their name to paper are also more likely to go out and vote. That’s why PennEnvironment has been busy spear-heading the largest anti-fracking petition in Pennsylvania.

Powerful gas industry lobbyists and their allies in Harrisburg are pushing through policies that would expose our environment and communities to the dangers of Marcellus Shale gas drilling. But they’ve got a fight on their hands — thousands of Pennsylvanians are joining our call to help stop gas drilling from contaminating our drinking water, polluting our air, destroying our forests and threatening our health.”

You can print & sign the PennEnvironment petition here:  PennEnvironment Marcellus Shale Moratorium Petition

Already more than 50, 000 petitioners are calling on legislators “to support a moratorium on further shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania until it is proven safe for our environment and the public’s health.” The current goal is reach 100,000 so ask all your friends to sign it, too!

If you’re on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall. You can copy/personalize/forward an email to your friends, including this handy link: http://bit.ly/PAMoratorium(more…)

Merchants of Drought: Private Water Utilities

July 23, 2012

Bechtel, a private water corporation operating in Bolivia, once went so far as to prohibit citizens from collecting rainwater…  Sounds extreme, yet are rising water prices in the United States merely the first wave? As shale gas drillers ‘consume’ millions of gallons of fresh water everyday in Pennsylvania, depleting and despoiling local water tables, what will it mean for the million-plus well-water users across the state?

“Water is for life, not for profit!”

Get The Frack Out of Our Drinking Water!  

STOP THE FRACK ATTACK!  ~  Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sign the Water Bill of Rights via the website for the landmark film, Last Call At The Oasis, by Academy Award-winning director, Jessica Yu, based on the book by Karl Weber.  Learn more, start here …   (more…)

‘Mystery Moratorium’ Sticks In Pennsylvania’s Craw

July 12, 2012

“Democrats Exploded”

Gotta hand it to our sneaky, fathead governor. The ban on unconventional gas drilling in the South Newark Basin has been as divisive as a new Duke water study.

Since the Bucks and Montgomery county moratorium was tucked into the new state budget, which was signed on July 2, 2012, the articles, posts and Op-Eds decrying the hypocrisy of the measure have been proliferating like crazy. The Inky editorial, Fracking Ban Is About Our Water, says it all. Turns out, when you slyly slip seven all-important paragraphs into a late draft of an already cumbersome state budget, as did Sen. Chuck McIlhinney [R-Bucks], the body politic leaves for summer recess with a sour taste in its mouth. Reporters Michael Macagnone and Angela Couloumbis lay out the details in Local Drilling Moratorium Rankles Rest of State on Philly.com.  (more…)

Drill, Baby, Drill?

July 11, 2012

Not In Anyone’s Backyward!

Health is the Number One Concern of people opposed to fracking. If you have concerns about the potential adverse health effects resulting from unconventional gas extraction, visit The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project at environmentalhealthproject.org for valuable tips and clinic information. Read more about this landmark project in Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project To Address Fracking Health Concerns from the Associated Press via HuffPost Green.

(more…)

Just Ask A Pennsylvania Politician

July 8, 2012

Natural gas drilling is complicated. I’ve been known to go on about it long past the point of being polite. Woe to those who ask a simple question because there are no simple answers. Yet if you care deeply about our environment, about public health and the health of future generations, it’s difficult not to get a little impassioned when the subject comes up. Thankfully, it comes up a lot more often. When I’m fortunate enough to have the ear of a state official, I keep it brief but I let them know I’m alarmed by specific impacts of Shale Gas Production. I stick to the facts, and mind my manners of course.

FACT 1:  (more…)

Bucks & Montgomery Get Gas Drilling Moratorium

July 1, 2012

Political Powder Kegs For Pennsylvania’s Other Sixty-Five Counties

A 6-year unconventional gas drilling moratorium in the little-known South Newark Basin…  Few saw it coming. Iris Bloom did. She immediately mobilized Protecting Our Waters and its allies to help stop the measure which was slipped into the Pennsylvania Fiscal Code Bill, HB1263, in the eleventh hour. Laura Olsen reports on Sen. Chuck McIlhinney’s [R-10th, Bucks] successful, powder-keg provision in Oil and Gas Permits on Hold in Southeastern Pennsylvania in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bloom’s email alert, sent early Saturday afternoon, was the first many had heard of this extraordinary measure. It was extraordinary because McIllhinney is the among the self-same legislators who, only four months ago, crammed The Marcellus Shale Act down the Commonwealth’s collective throat – all in the name of “consistency” and “uniformity.” Now, McIllhinney is seeking exemption from the very zoning restrictions he would impose on the rest of Pennsylvania. (more…)