Posts Tagged ‘Susquehanna River’

Krancer Dabbles In Climate Denial, Throws Wide-Mouth Bass Under Bus

February 25, 2013

Global Squirming

We know the Marcellus Shale Coalition never put it to a vote, but does Pennsylvania DEP Secretary, Michael Krancer, believe that climate change might determine the new “price of doing business” in our state?

On February 20, 2013, at a Pennsylvania House Budget Hearing, Rep. Scott Conklin [D-77th, Centre County] asked the Secretary exactly that, but the newly bearded Krancer didn’t want to answer.

Published on Feb 20, 2013

Rep. Conklin deserves kudos for asking about the cost of climate change. So does Rep. Matt Bradford [D- 70th, Montgomery County] for following up, as State Impact Pennsylvania’s Marie Cusick reports in DEP Secretary Michael Krancer Clarifies Views on Climate Change, February 21, 2013:

“Climate change. Is it real?”

“Representative, I couldn’t be more clear,” Krancer replied, “the lowering of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions is a good thing.”

“You couldn’t be more opaque!” shouted Bradford.

And, so, the question remains: Is Pennsylvania’s rush to frack increasing or decreasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere?

Methane may be a cleaner fuel to burn (until it explodes) but it’s certainly not a clean fuel to frack from the ground. One glimpse at this infrared video of gas production sites shows how much gas is released, intentionally and otherwise.

Are we really willing to bet it all on gas drillers best practices, minimal air sampling and lousy DEP record-keeping? This seems ignorant and brash when our planet is so perilously close to an atmospheric carbon tipping point.

Pennsylvania deserves better.

“Witnesses criticized the state Department of Environmental Protection for failing to enforce drilling regulations. Some residents in drilling areas brought what they consider as evidence — jugs of orange-brown tap water.”

“As committee member Rep. Kevin Boyle of Philadelphia County said Tuesday, ‘I apologize for DEP. As Pennsylvania citizens, you deserve better.’ ”

Many times over the last few years, we have reached out to the DEP for help, with little or no success,” Headley said. His family has had issues with contaminated water and grass that refuses to grow, as well as issues with a pipeline going in under their stream, he said. “I think DEP stands for ‘don’t expect protection,’ ” Headley said.

At issue is whether deliberate actions by state officials are letting Texas gas industry robber barons do more damage to the environment than was done by coal industry robber barons in the last century, and are endangering people’s health in the process. As I reported in September, I submitted several questions to DEP, in writing, about new DEP rules supposedly designed to protect the environment. Many of the rules, it seemed to me, did the opposite. For example, DEP now allows fracking fluids to accumulate in pits that are only 20 inches above groundwater tables. I’m still waiting for answers.

There is no uniformity within the scientific community on how much the warming is occurring,” said Krancer, “And there’s no agreement about how much is attributable to the human part of it and how much is attributable to other factors.

DEP Throws Wide Mouth Bass Under The Bus   (more…)

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Frack Waste Causing Fish Cancer?

April 17, 2012

The cool, clean headwaters of the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, in the mountainous northern reaches of Pennsylvania and Southern New York, are home to countless species, including birds, reptiles, mammals and aquatic life. Among PA’s wild inhabitants, eagles are the most high-profile, turtles are legendary and trout among the most well loved. Personally, I’m intrigued by the diverse populations of mollusks filtering the fresh water we drink, swim in, and use to grow or food. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to eight of the 297 recognized fresh water mussels species found in North America. (more…)

Legality of Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing Challenged

December 22, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Thursday, December 21, 2011):

“CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS CALL INTO QUESTION THE LEGALITY OF ACTIONS TAKE DURING SRBC MEETING”
Today, a consortium of seven conservation and environmental groups have sent a letter to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, asking the Commissioners to reconvene to complete its meeting held on December 15.  Last week, the Commission hastily adjourned its meeting in Wilkes-Barre, after a group of citizens challenged its authority, shouted at the Commissioners and disrupted the meeting. (more…)

A Tale of Two Watersheds

November 22, 2011

One would think, for all the recent public outcry, that the Delaware is the only river in Pennsylvania. So what if it’s the longest, free-flowing, un-dammed course of fresh water in North America? Who cares that a University of Delaware report concludes that the 330-mile long waterway generates $22 billion for the regional economy? There happens to be another, rather large, really important river in Pennsylvania – The Susquehanna. (more…)

Toxic Floodwaters In Pennsylvania Raise New Questions About Fracking – Updated

September 10, 2011

UPDATE, September 23, 2011:

Since posting below, PA DEP officials have gone on record insisting that “no chemicals” used in hydraulic fracturing or toxic wastewater produced were spilled during the recent catastrophic flooding in Pennsylvania, which occurred as a result of back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Lee. State officials have also suggested that the photo linked in the initial post (below) is inauthentic. Okay. But the fact is, we have only their word for it. Scott Detrow reports in StateImpact that gas drillers weren’t required to report any incidents due to a “loophole” in state regulatory policy. I know, right? How dumb is that? And these are the guys who are going to protect The Delaware River Watershed, drinking water source for 15.6 million people. (more…)