Blossburg, PA had a scare the other day of high mercury levels in their water supply. Update info says new tests show the levels are now reading appropriately but folks living in the borough of Blossburg should avoid drinking the water or washing their dishes in it. You can read more details about this issue here. Just the title of that story doesn’t make me feel to reassured and if they don’t want you to drink it or eat from it then you probably shouldn’t be bathing in it either, even though they are not warning people to avoid that.
Check out this article by Cheryl Clarke of the Sun Gazette. The issues that arise out of this article in my mind are as follows. What will the gas companies do with the water after it has been sold back to them? The word “diluted” is used, which means that the toxins used from fracking wells will not be completely removed from the water, just mixed with enough clean water to dilute the mixture to what point? To the point that they deem it is okay to back into the ground? Can it be reused for fracking other wells? Even if the fracking mixture is a very low percentage of chemicals when used on millions of gallons of water that percentage adds up and could be quite astonishing. In short, these chemicals and toxins should not be in our drinking or bathing water at all. I am also concerned about the people who are supposed to make a decision about the permit for drawing water from the steams in the Blossburg area. At this point, the ability of the local conservation districts to review permits in full has been removed and it is very easy for the gas companies to get these permits. How can we be sure that the streams can handle this amount of water withdrawal?
If you live in Blossburg you really need to read this and be concerned. If you live nearby you should also be concerned.Personally, I think we should all be concerned about these events, even the ones happening on the other side of the country. I have heard one too many local people exclaim that they will “just move somewhere else” if their well gets contaminated. Well, at this point there are very places you can move to avoid this because almost all the rural areas of this country are being bombarded with oil and gas drilling or coal mining, and every single place is dealing with the same issues of water contamination and natural resource destruction as well as major health issues to the residents.
We cannot afford to sit idly by while these large companies come in and take the safety of our homes and drinking water away. These companies have money but we have voices and we need to use them. We also have the power of choice. We can choose to stop signing the lease agreements. Stop letting ourselves make decisions with only half the information, or accepting the information these companies want us to hear. Stop feeling like we are powerless to do anything and thus give up on our land and our homes as well as the beautiful natural resources that we have in north central PA! There are many paths we can choose to follow. This is not an inevitable road of destruction and greed with no other option and the more we can educate ourselves and others the less powerless we will feel.
There is much to do and not as much time to do it as we would like. Everyone is busy. Everyone finds it easier to shake their heads and say “what can I do?” or “They’ve already started drilling now and we can’t stop them”. If we follow that course of action then there will truly be nothing we can do.
We have the power of Voice!
Ready To Go!
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