Posts Tagged ‘Iris Bloom’

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…)

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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…)

Moms In HazMat Suits

May 24, 2012

Families fracked as threat of shale gas pollution hits home…

WTFrack.org, an impressive anti-fracking organization in Colorado, recently reposted this item from The Denver Post. The story made me mad. Madd mad.

DENVER — A small group of mothers and children from Erie marched into the building that houses Encana Corp.’s Denver headquarters this morning to present a petition signed by 21,000 people demanding that the energy giant forgo a planned natural gas drilling site near elementary schools and an adjoining neighborhood…

Why should these women have to fight for their children’s right to clean air? Probably because adequate zoning restrictions don’t exist in their neighborhood. And thanks to Act 13, they don’t exist in my Pennsylvania neighborhood anymore, either. I applaud these moms for organizing a direct action. I’m certain they have plenty of other things to do. (more…)

No Riverdale Evictions, Yet…

April 19, 2012

In The Post-Facebook Era, There’s No Excuse for Bad Corporate Behavior

[UPDATE: ay 4, 2012] This report from Protecting Our Waters:

Bad news: the residents of Riverdale Mobile Home Park (on the Susquehanna River near the town of Jersey Shore, PA) have received word from Aqua America subsidiary Aqua PVR’s hired realtor that they will, in fact, be evicted — oops, I mean, have their water and sewer services cut off and have the offer of a token relocation fee of $2,500 removed, on June 1st.  It costs at least $6 – 10K to move a mobile home, so Aqua appears to be willing to force some of these families into homelessness, and all of them deeper into poverty, rather than delay construction of their $24 million water withdrawal facility. Riverdale residents also keep hearing persistent rumors that they will be allowed to stay, so it’s very hard for them to cope or to know what to do.  (more…)

CNNMoney Breaks the PA DEP Enforcement Code

March 14, 2012

Caveat Emptor: DEP Not Required to Report Gas Drilling Violations to Landowners

Violations at Pennsylvania Mar­cel­lus Shale gas drilling well pads and asso­ci­ated infra­struc­ture occur at an average rate of 12-a-day, according to Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters in Showdown Expected at the SRBC Corral by Susan Phillips of StateImpactPA. Some violations are more serious than others, but one thing they all have in common: the PA Department of Environmental Protection is not required to notify landowners of any violations on their leased properties, even though they’re on the line for damages. (more…)

Is The EPA Tackling Fracking?

March 1, 2012

Current Drinking Water Impact Study Emphasizes “Scientific Integrity”

Many fractivists think EPA Chief Lisa Jackson isn’t doing enough to protect citizens from the environmental ravages of Fracking. Iris Bloom, Director of Protecting Our Waters, recently posted that EPA is falling short in its duty “to ensure our rights under the Pennsylvania Constitution to clean water, air, and a healthy environment.” Bloom is putting out the call to rally EPA officials to use their authority to compel Rex Energy to continue delivering replacement water to families in Butler County, whose water has become toxic since drilling began. These families have found no satisfactory recourse with the PA Department of Environmental Protection who, characteristically, insists their water is fine.

Governor Corbett and DEP Secretary Krancer have made it clear they think EPA is overstepping when it regulates Pennsylvania’s shale gas drilling. They routinely refer to EPA’s oversight actions as “duplicative” and “unnecessary.” DEP can manage just fine on its own, thank you. There’s no need for EPA to investigate why the water in Connoquenessing Township suddenly began running red, orange and gray. (more…)