DEP Accountability…Too Late?

This video with Jude Stiles giving testimony of what her family has dealt with since 2010 at a hearing for the Pennsylvania DEP accountability standards. Her husband is now deceased and she and her children are very sick due to the contamination of there well water from gas drilling. At one point in the video she lists the chemicals and heavy metals that were found in her well…you don’t need to be a scientists to know they are not the sort of things you’d want to have anywhere near your body, let alone be drinking or bathing in.

At this point the courts will decide how this ends but I don’t see how any amount of money can fix this. I remember watching Gas Land for the first time and being sick to my stomach with the stories of the people in CO who’s health had been so severely compromised….and now it’s happening in Pennsylvania.

 

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Worried about Water in Blossburg, PA

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.

Community Workshop in Tioga County on Environmental and Health Impacts of Natural Gas Operations

The Clean Air Council and Penn Environment, state-wide environmental groups, will give an educational workshop in Tioga County for residents of north-central Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 24, 1-4 PM. The training will be held at the W.M. Tokishi Training Center, NYPUM Drive, Wellsboro, PA 16901.The workshop will focus on information and skills that residents can use to be aware of and participate in decisions about natural gas development. The presenters will provide an overview of how natural gas operations can potentially impact public health and the environment. They will train people on how to track and report disturbances, write comments that generate public hearings, and achieve media coverage with letters to the editor. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Matt Walker at Clean Air Council, 215-567-4004 (ext 121) or mwalker@cleanair.org

The Passage of House Bill 1950…

I thought I’d highlight a few of the items that I find horrifying that passed with house bill 1950 during yesterdays vote. Municipalities will no longer be safe from drilling and the acceptable distances of drilling pads and compressor stations from homes or public spaces, such as schools, have been set or reduced. For example, a well pad can be placed as close as 300 feet away from your home.

Thanks to everyone who made an effort to halt this sort of legislative coddling of the natural gas industry.

If you want more info on this bill use this link.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2011&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1950

 

 

Marcellus Shale on This American Life

If you missed this program, it is well worth listening to.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/440/game-changer

Gas industry no longer must comply with stricter air quality guidelines!

Deadline for policy reversal looms
TAKE ACTION TODAY

The facts: In December, 2010, a policy document was put in place by DEP, advising air quality professionals responsible for permitting of gas industry compressors and other sites to consider the aggregation (total toxic accumulation) of air emission sources, as opposed to just permitting each site based on the emissions of that single-point source of pollutants.

On February 26, 2011 – this policy was rescinded by the Corbett administration. The new policy advises air quality permitting staff to look ONLY at individual pollution-emitting sites rather than the cumulative impacts the gas industry will have on PA’s air quality.

The problem: Due to the topography of our region, we already have poor air quality. With the increasing presence of the gas industry, a change for the worse is certainly headed our way. A variety of emissions are emitted at compressor sites: NOx, CO2, VOC, Formaldehyde, PM10, Ethane, Methane, Propane, I-butane, n-butane, Non Methane Hydrocarbons, Heavy Non Methane and Non Ethane Hydrocarbons, etc.

Compressors will grow in number and size as the gas fields grow. They will emit a mix that can create ground level ozone that will regularly be held in place by the air inversion factor we see in our valleys and hollows, including the Susquehanna River Valley, where many of you live.

What might this mean to your family, especially children, the elderly and those with respiratory challenges?

The solution: DEP must be made to rescind the recent order and reinstate tighter controls. Your participation in this public comment process is critical. Please take action today. Below is a template with the address and necessary subject line information. Please write to the Environmental Engineer Manager, Mr. Trivedi at: vtrivedi@state.pa.us 

The final deadline day is May 26, 2011. He prefers emails but you can send real mail to him at:

Virendra Trivedi, Environmental Engineer Manager
New Source Review Section
Division of Permits
Bureau of Air Quality
12th Floor
Rachel Carson State Office Building
PO Box 8468
Harrisburg PA 17105-8468

Video: Natural gas blow back in Bradford county

Frac fluid spills from well for 20 hours at Chesapeake site near Canton. Fluid flowed into a creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna. For more details, see

http://www.wnep.com/wnep-brad-leroy-gas-drillingemergency20110420,0,1884646.story