Friday, June 14, 2013

Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group Updates       June 13, 2013

 To view photos, please sign up for newsletter: email jan at

*  For articles and updates or to just vent, visit us on facebook;
*  To view permanent documents, past updates, reports, general information and meeting information
*  To contact your state legislator:
               For email address, click on the envelope under the photo
*  For information on the state gas legislation and local control:      


June Attachment —Flyer for Fracktracker Training Session 

If you would like an event or news article posted in the Updates please put in your email subject title —post in Updates. Otherwise, I may read the email after the updates are already completed and miss your deadline. 

Calendar of Events- June is Busy

***Fracktracker Training-Free--Sign Up Now

               To follow what is going on with gas operations/violations near  you. We will learn how to track permits, wells, and violations using the Fracktracker computer program.

June 26- Two sessions 3-5pm or 6-8pm

ST Vincent College Dupre Science Pavilion, West Building, Room WG02

Presented by Mt Watershed Assoc and FracTracker Alliance

Also sponsored by Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group

To RSVP for one of the 2 hour sessions contact Kathryn Hilton at or 724-455-4200 ext. 4 

Please help us post flyers for this meeting.   Everyone please make a few copies of the attachment and post in your area library, grocery stores, churches, community bulletin boards, etc.

***Westmoreland County Commissioners Meeting--2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at the County Courthouse at 10:00 am


***WMCG Steering Committee Meetings--2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm


  ***Gasland Part II   Coming to Pittsburgh June 20, 7:00 pm- Join hundreds of your friends and neighbors to hear what fracking is doing to the health of individuals, communities, and the environment.  Learn what you can do to STOP THE FRACKING ASSAULT.


Bring your friends, spread the word!


               As part of a national ‘preview’ tour, Gasland Part II will be shown free to the public at the Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland. Doors open at 6 pm with live music and the screening begins at 7 pm. Director Josh Fox will be present.

Film followed by a Q and A session with  Josh Fox .

Parking is available in the garage beneath Soldiers and Sailors and on Pitt campus streets.  For bus routes and schedules see “Trip Finder” at 

The handicapped entrance is on University Place.


Organized primarily by Marcellus Protest with help from Clean Water Action, PennEnvironment, Mountain Watershed Assoc., Sierra Club and additional support from Beaver County Marcellus Awareness, Butler Marcellus Outreach, Center for Coalfield Justice, CURE, East End Food Coop, Frac Tracker, Green Energy Collaborative, Murrysville Marcellus Community Group, Pittsburgh National Lawyers Guild, SHADD, Southwest PA Environmental Health Project, Three Rivers Community Foundation, and Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens Group.

**Grassroots’ Summer Summit-Mountain Watershed

MWA is proud to announce the Grassroots Summer Summit - June 21st and 22nd 2013 – the first in a series of events MWA plans to hold twice per year for grassroots community and environmental advocates and citizens to come together for organizing and rejuvenation. We aim to nurture a network of support for those in the ‘Good Race’ to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Featured speakers include Lois Gibbs (of Love Canal), Simona Perry, and Elliot Adams (Veterans for Peace). A tentative schedule is available for download.

               Registration is only $10 and includes bunk accommodations (you may also bring a tent if you prefer) and meals. Participation is limited and is filling up quickly! To save your spot, contact Melissa at 724-455-4200 ext. 6# or


***Register for Pennsylvania's Lobby Day June 18 2013

“On Tuesday, June 18th, 2013, Clean Water Action will hold their annual Lobby Day at the state capitol in Harrisburg. The day will consist of the opportunity to meet with your state senator and representative as well as taking part in our rally for DEP accountability at noon in the capitol rotunda.

It takes strength in numbers to show our elected officials that the people of Pennsylvania want to be protected from the dangers of fracking and want the Department of Environmental Protection to do its job! Join us! 

                We will probably leave Pittsburgh around 8AM if not earlier. We should be able to make a stop to pick folks up in Westmoreland County off the Turnpike. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. My number is (412)765-3053 extension 240.”



***Call WESA about Range Resources’ Ads On Public Radio

 Public Radio is still running Range Resource ads and I am still hearing a lot of complaints. . We need to continue to call and tell WESA this is not the mission of public radio –to be a mouthpiece for the industry—to present industry propaganda as fact .

Call or email WESA and let them know if you will not donate because of this issue and that you disagree with this policy. I spent quite awhile on the phone with one of the program directors. We all need to do this.

WESA  Phone 412- 381 -9131

Director of Content & Programming: Tammy Terwelp:


***If Your Water Has Been Affected or DEP Tested Your Water---

               The Pennsylvania Campaign for Clean Water is seeking help from Pennsylvanians whose water supply has been affected by natural gas drilling (or other gas extraction activities). Also of interest is if any tests were done by the DEP. Please tell your story by filling out the form available HERE.

Your information will be kept confidential. If you would prefer tell us your story over the phone, please call Steve Hvozdovich at Clean Water Action, 412-765-3053, x210.



***US Subsidizing LNG Development Near Great Barrier Reef—from Amy

AXS TV...showing it all week I think. ( Dan Rather) U.S. is subsidizing enormous LNG development next to the Great Barrier reef.  Scientists studying effects, report published showing the usual effects on life ( bizarre sea life illness/death, fishing industry decline)....industry studies disagree and find nothing wrong.


***6 Minutes Over A Fracked Dimock -from Bob

Who Would Want to Live Here?

Notice how close together these sites are located:





***To sign up for notifications of activity and violations for your area:


***List of the Harmed--There are now over 1200 names of residents of Pennsylvania who became sick after fracking began in their area and have placed their name on the list of the harmed.


***Health Problems Forum-Video

Mac Sawyer, former gas field truck driver, Joe Giovannini mason and resident of Cannonsburg, Robert McCaslin who worked as master driller.  Larysa Dyrszka, MD, Board certified pediatrician, former director of pediatrics at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ, attendee at the first US Health Impact Assessment Conference in Washington DC., and affiliate member of Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy and Lauren Williams, Esq, PA attorney specializing in environmental and public law who focuses on land use issues including those that relate to gas drilling. Lauren William’s discussion of the gag order on doctors is a good explanation of the problems surrounding the Act 13 order.

You must click on each speaker in turn to hear all the presentations.


***Photos of  Pipeline Crossing-from John Trallo



From Skytruth

A Few of the Violations Listed in Skytruth Alerts (to sign up see link above)

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-06-20 to Xto Energy Inc in Fairfield Twp, Westmoreland county. 78.54 - Failure to properly control or dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-03-12 to Xto Energy Inc in Loyalhanna Twp, Westmoreland county. 102.4 - Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec 206(c)(d)

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-01-17 to Wpx Energy Appalachia Llc in Derry Twp, Westmoreland county. 401CLS - Discharge of pollultional material to waters of Commonwealth.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Administrative violation issued on 2013-04-15 to Wpx Energy Appalachia Llc in Donegal Twp, Westmoreland county. 212WELLRCD - Failure to submit well record within 30 days of completion of drilling

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Administrative violation issued on 2012-01-11 to Wpx Energy Appalachia Llc in Donegal Twp, Westmoreland county. 78.56(2) - Failure to maintain 2 ' of freeboard in an impoundment.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-09-06 to Penneco Oil Co Inc in Upper Burrell Twp, Westmoreland county. 78.54 - Failure to properly control or dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-08-21 to Penneco Oil Co Inc in Upper Burrell Twp, Westmoreland county. 78.54 - Failure to properly control or dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Administrative violation issued on 2012-02-06 to Mieka Llc in Hempfield Twp, Westmoreland county. 206C - Failure to restore well site within nine months after completion of drilling, failure to remove all pits, drilling supplies and equipment not needed for production.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Administrative violation issued on 2012-01-24 to Kriebel Minerals Inc in Unity Twp, Westmoreland county. 102.4HQBMP - Failure to implement Special Protection BMPs for HQ or EV stream.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-07-23 to Cnx Gas Co Llc in Bell Twp, Westmoreland county. 401CSL - Discharge of pollultional material to waters of Commonwealth.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-06-14 to Chevron Appalachia Llc in Sewickley Twp, Westmoreland county. SWMA301 - Failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of a residual waste.

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2012-03-12 to Xto Energy Inc in Loyalhanna Twp, Westmoreland county. 102.4 - Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec 206(c)(d)

Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling


Frack Facts

1.  Headley vs Chevron --Drillers Face Lawsuit

This Suit Based On Nuisance Laws

Chevron Corp. (CVX), Williams Cos. and WPX Energy Inc. (WPX) face a lawsuit by six Fayette County families who claim nearby gas wells are a nuisance that have diminished their ability to make use of their property. The suit breaks the defendants into three groups: well defendants, pipeline defendants and compressor station defendants. Each is being sued for alleged negligence and recklessness and for being private nuisances.

               The families say the companies’ activities have ruined the “quiet use and enjoyment” of their homes and caused emotional damages including anxiety and fear. The homeowners seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for the effects of toxic chemicals, noise and odor from nearby gas wells, according to a copy of a complaint provided by the families’ lawyers.

               Since 2009, more than 35 lawsuits that allege fracking contaminated water have been filed in eight states, according to a Jan. report from the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP.

               In those cases, homeowners must rely on scientific evidence that may not be conclusive, according to Charlie Speer, whose Kansas City, Missouri-based law firm is handling the complaint. In a nuisance case, a jury is asked to consider the intrusion into people’s lives as a result of drilling.

               Twelve wells near the residents’ properties have been leaking natural gas, methane and other toxic and radioactive substances into the air and ground, according to the complaint. Faulty design, construction and maintenance are allegedly to blame. They say the problems were brought to the defendant’s attention but never resolved.

               Also the brine tanks associated with the wells allegedly have been observed to have rust and holes which allow the contents to leak. The dikes built to contain spillage form the brine tanks are insufficient to hold the entire contents of the tanks. The suit alleges.

The plaintiffs claim they are able to observe gas bubbling near the well heads indicating possible methane migration.

               The suit contends that the pipeline defendant while contructing the pipeline created a nuisance by excessive noise, lighting equipment traffic and substantial amounts of litter.

Addition the employees repeatedly defecated and urinated on their properties and haven engaged in repeated harassment ,intimidation, disrespect,  and obnoxious behavior towards the property  owners.

Susan Oliver, a spokeswoman for WPX Energy, said the company has no operations in the county. The oil and natural gas producer was spun off from Williams Cos. on Title Chain

Speer said the company appears in the chain of title and will be removed from the suit if that’s an error.  Speer’s clients allege that some of the wells began leaking as early as the fall of 2011.

               Residents David and Linda Headley, who own 116 acres of farmland, repeatedly notified Atlas Resources LLC and other defendants about defects in the wells’ construction and design, according to the complaint.

New Tanks

               Efforts by the companies to fix the problems by installing new seals, tanks and bypass lines have failed, according to the complaint. The wells continue to leak dangerous substances, have killed trees and a hayfield used by the Headleys’ horses and routinely make noise, sometimes hourly, according to the filing.

Pipeline construction has brought with it heavy equipment and truck traffic that has damaged roads, according to the plaintiffs. Drilling causes nearby houses to vibrate and pipeline company employees repeatedly urinate and defecate on their properties, according to the homeowners.

               The  DEP has repeatedly cited defendant Laurel Mountain Midstream Operating LLC, a subsidiary of Williams Cos.’s Williams Partners LP (WPZ) unit, for discharging industrial waste into a creek near the Headley’s property, according to the complaint, which cites violations in June, July and August 2012.

     Bieri alleged the pipeline defendants were responsible for spilling 2300 gallons of bentonite into Georges Creek June 2012.  They noted that Laurel Mountain was found by the DEP to be in violation of various state codes for discharging industrial waste into the creek and for failing to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual drilling waste.

     In the course of their work, the pipeline defendants are alleged to have compromised the spring water supply to multiple plaintiffs’ houses. Those plaintiffs were force to run a domestic supply line from the city water line at their own expense and the defendants drove heavy equipment over those lines compromising those as well, Bieri wrote.

     Noise from a compressor station run by Laurel Mountain forced Benjamin Groover Sr. and his wife Lori to abandon their residence along with their two children in June 2009. The couple has since moved within the county but still own and use the property, according to the complaint. Robert Nicklow, who lives within 800 feet (244 meters) of the station, is subjected to a “high decibel screeching sound” that can sometimes last all day, as well as high pressure venting noises and a near constant low rumble. It also emits toxic substances including benzene, toluene, methane and ethane and radioactive substances. . The site was so noisy the Groovers were forced to move to a different home.

     “On many occasions, Nicklow is forced to stay indoors,” according to the complaint.

     The case is Headley v. Chevron Appalachia LLC, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).”

(To contact the reporters on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at; Jim Efstathiou Jr. in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Jon Morgan at

And from the Herald by Susy Kelly)


2.  Radium Off the Charts in PA Wastewater

          Wake Up Westmoreland!!  More frack pits are coming

               “The sampling results of brinewater trucks in Wheeling show that the frack wastewater coming from Westmoreland County measured extremely high in certain contaminants. These lab results were included in a report by Dr. Ben Stout , Professor of Biology at Wheeling Jesuit College, to Wheeling City Council members.


Some of the Measurements:

Barium measured  834  Dr. Stout notes that this sample from a frack pit in Westmoreland is 417 times the primary drinking standard.

Sulfate measured 565 (250 is the standard)

Tph-dro measured  6 (WVA DEP action level is 1),

Radium 226 was  ~1136  (the standard is 5pci/L),

 Gross alpha (an indicator of radioactivity) was ~4846  (primary standard is 15pCi ) Dr Stout noted that one sample from a frack pit at the Phillips 20 site in Westmoreland county yielded the 4846 reading though the drinking water standard is 15.  In fact the same sample had combined radium readings well over 1000pCi/L, in excess of 200 times the standards. It should be noted that none of the samples triggered a response from radiation meters.”

 (I will attach the pdf file . jan)


3.  Drillers Silence Families

Data Kept from Policymakers and Researchers

               “Chris and Stephanie Hallowich were sure gas drilling near their home was to blame for the headaches, burning eyes and sore throats they suffered after the work began.

               Companies insisted fracking wasn’t the cause. Nevertheless, in 2011, a year after the family sued, Range Resources, and two other companies agreed to a $750,000 settlement. In order to collect, the Hallowiches promised not to tell anyone, according to court filings.


                In cases from Wyoming to Arkansas, Pennsylvania to Texas, drillers have agreed to cash settlements or property buyouts with people who say fracking, ruined their water, according to a review by Bloomberg News of hundreds of regulatory and legal filings. In most cases homeowners must agree to keep quiet.

               The strategy keeps data from regulators, policymakers, the news media and health researchers, and makes it difficult to challenge the industry’s claim that fracking has never tainted anyone’s water.

               “At this point they feel they can get out of this litigation relatively cheaply,” Marc Bern, an attorney with Napoli Bern Ripka Sholnik LLP in New York who has negotiated about 30 settlements on behalf of homeowners. “Virtually on all of our settlements where they paid money, they have requested and demanded that there be confidentiality.”

               Because the agreements are almost always shrouded by non-disclosure pacts -- a judge ordered the Hallowich case unsealed after media requests -- no one can say for sure how many there are. Some stem from lawsuits, while others result from complaints against the drillers or with regulators that never end up in court.

               Laura Amos believed gas drilling near her home in Silt, Colorado, was to blame for a tumor she developed. Encana, which owns the well, disagreed that fracking made her sick. Yet the company bought her 30-acre property in 2006 for $310,000, according to public records.

               Amos’ complaint and the existence, though not details, of a settlement and non-disclosure pact were disclosed in filings with the oil and gas commission. In December, the agency subpoenaed Amos to testify about a rule it was considering to require water tests. Matt Sura, an environmental attorney in Boulder, Colorado, who represented conservation groups that were seeking Amos’ testimony, said an Encana attorney told him the company would sue Amos if she talked. She didn’t want to face a lawsuit from Encana and Sura said he asked the commission to withdraw the subpoena.

               “She had really relevant testimony,” Sura said in an interview. “Because they’ve bought everyone’s silence, they often state that they haven’t damaged anyone.”

               In filings with the commission, Amos said gas drilling on a neighbor’s property in 2001 caused her water well to blow out “like a geyser at Yellowstone.” Two years later she said she developed health problems that her doctors could not explain and she believes were related to the drilling.

               The commission had concluded that Encana was responsible for methane in Amos’s well, though it said it found no evidence of fracking fluids in her water. Encana disputed the finding yet agreed to a $99,400 fine and to monitor the well until methane levels dropped.

               “Encana settled the Amos case as it had been an issue a predecessor company had been working with since 2001 and rather than continue with a lengthy and costly process, Encana decided to settle,” said Jay Averill, a spokesman for Encana, in an e-mail. He didn’t respond to a question about why the company sought to keep Amos from testifying to the commission.

Amos declined to comment on any aspect of the case when contacted by telephone.”

From article by:

By Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Mark Drajem



4. What Do We Do With the Radioactive Frack Waste?

          How will we handle the massive amounts of toxic waste that each well produces when fracking is used? Will we dump the millions of gallons of wastewater produced from each well into rivers, pass it through sewage treatment plants, allow it to evaporate in open-faced pits, inject it into the ground at special disposal sites?


One of the reasons these questions are so urgent is that this wastewater is often radioactive. When it was revealed in February 2011 that Pennsylvania was not only sending millions of gallons of this waste, sometimes with radium levels 3,000 times the safe level—through sewage treatment plants incapable of correcting radioactivity—which then discharged into rivers, state officials panicked and denied there was cause for concern.

               This January, the DEP announced that it would undertake a “comprehensive” study of radiation from oil and gas development in the state. At the same time, the agency re-publicized results from tests downstream from wastewater treatment plants, which until 2011 had taken Marcellus wastewater carrying naturally occurring radioactive materials like radium and uranium.

               “Most results showed no detectable levels of radioactivity, and the levels that were detectable did not exceed safe drinking water standards,” the agency said in its January statement.

               But it turns out those results weren’t the whole story when it comes to the handling of radioactive materials from the state’s fracking boom.

               In May, the U.S. EPA announced it has reached a settlement with an industrial waste treatment plant which had been discharging gas wastewater into a PA creek without properly treating it. Environmental regulators discovered high levels of radium around the plant’s discharge pipe. The plant was fined over $80,000 and the operator agreed to make up to $30 million in upgrades before accepting any more Marcellus shale wastewater.

               The industrial wastewater plant, Pennsylvania Brine Treatment Josephine, was first studied by Conrad Volz and a team of students at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, who found high levels of contaminants associated with drilling wastewater in Blacklick Creek, part of the Allegheny River watershed, where the plant discharged. Professor Volz’s team did not test for radioactivity, however. In April 2011, the Pennsylvania DEP asked drillers to voluntarily stop trucking wastewater to plants that discharged into the state’s rivers and streams.

               But in June of that year, state officials tested sediments around Pennsylvania Brine Treatment’s Josephine plant. Those tests uncovered high levels of radium 226—44 times the drinking water standard—in the plant’s discharge pipe.

               There’s a saying among environmental regulators that “dilution is the solution to pollution” because when contaminants are watered down, levels of toxic materials can fall below safety thresholds. Wastewater from treatment plants is discharged into rivers and streams, so many shale gas boosters argued that even if treatment plants could not remove radioactive materials, the fast-moving water could dilute any resulting contamination. But the tests around the Josephine plant showed that dilution was not sufficient—levels of radium 226 over 65 feet downstream were 66 percent higher than the drinking water standard.

               The levels of radioactivity found at the Josephine plant were not high enough to cause any health threat to passersby or to workers, but those levels are high enough that if the radium entered a person’s body—whether through an open wound or through drinking contaminated water—there could be a health hazard. Radium also bioaccumulates in fish, meaning that fish in the creek who ingested the radioactive metal could carry higher levels than were in the water.

               In February of 2011, several months before those tests were taken, Pennsylvania had drawn national attention for allowing plants to discharge Marcellus wastewater into drinking water sources like rivers and streams, It carries higher levels of radioactive materials than waste from other oil and gas formations—without testing at any point to make sure that drinking water standards were not exceeded. Desmog has previously reported on the threat from radionuclides in shale gas waste.

               The DEP in PA is being run, part-time, by a person with no environmental background who is pulling double-duty as the governor’s deputy chief of staff.

Of course, this interim appointment was made because the former secretary, Michael Krancer, stepped down while under investigation by the state’s auditor general for how his office handled water contamination testing related to shale gas.

All of this calls into question the ability of states to regulate fracking booms effectively.

               The hazards from shale gas drilling are complex. Another concern related to the high levels of radium in shale wastewater is the radon produced alongside the natural gas. Radon, a highly carcinogenic gas, is produced when radium undergoes radioactive decay and does not burn so it could be released into houses and workplaces by gas-fired appliances.

               Earlier this month, kitchen workers in New York City organized a public forum on the gas and the possible risks for the health of New Yorkers if a new pipeline, designed to ship Marcellus gas to major metropolises in the region, is constructed.”



5. Beaver Run Reservoir Incident

From Sky Truth Alert

CNX @ Beaver Run78.54

  Type Incident- Response to Accident or Event


ID: 669515 Date: 2013-06-03 Type: Environmental Health & Safety

78.54 - Failure to properly control or dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth.

ID: 669516 Date: 2013-06-03 00:00:00 Type: Administrative

78.56(1) - Pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.

What Kathryn of Mt Watershed was able to find out:

          According to the DEP:  Incident involved 100 gallons of flowback water- not believed to have reached waters of the commonwealth.  Apparently the spill took place on the well pad, but precautionary measures were taken to ensure that there was no contamination off the pad.  The spill was stopped on the day it occurred.  All impacted areas have been “remediated” and contaminated materials are currently being stored on site in lined roll off boxes.  The DEP office of Waste Management will deal with where the material is disposed of, and the O&G staff will be notified of where it was sent after it is disposed of.


6. Town of State College Rejects Gas Pipeline

          Columbia Sues

               “Columbia Gas filed a civil lawsuit against State College and Borough Manager Tom Fountaine for refusing to issue a permit to begin construction on Penn State’s pipeline project.

Penn State needs to upgrade the West Campus Steam Plant to natural gas. In order to do so, the university needs to build a high-pressure pipeline from the East side of campus to the West side. Because the ground under campus is too elaborate with other pipes and tunnels, the plan was to build the pipeline through parts of downtown State College, including residential areas. Residents were understandably pissed off, motivated by safety issues and potential property value decline, and made sure Borough Council knew it during the public comment hour at recent meetings. Council decided to deny Columbia Gas a building permit, but because state law dictates energy issues, the Borough would likely lose a court battle on the issue and the prudence of denying a permit was questioned. Columbia Gas wasn’t happy, but Penn State asked the company to reevaluate the campus underground to see if the project might be feasible.

               That’s where we are now. No one is happy …..

Borough Council issued this statement after the initial media report from the CDT was posted.

               “Council and staff understand that the public is extremely concerned about the natural gas pipeline,” officials wrote in the statement. “Concerns about public safety and the need for transparency in decisions that affect the health, safety and welfare of the community have been heard by council, and the borough is fully committed to defending its position in not permitting this pipeline installation through residential neighborhoods.”


7. Sandra Steingraber Issues Manifesto

               “With New York readying to rescind or keep in place that state's temporary moratorium, and high stakes battles taking place across the nation about whether to regulate fracking or place moratoriums on it, Steingraber and a network of citizen groups have viewed Illinois as the staging ground for a fracking rush that will have an extraordinary ripple effect.

               Once hailed by the Sierra Club as the "new Rachel Carson," Steingraber denounced Illinois’ bill as "the result of closed-door negotiations between industry representatives and compromise-oriented environmental organizations." She testified in front of a last minute committee hearing of the Illinois House of Representatives, protested with sit-in activists, met with bill negotiators, and was even tossed out of the Illinois General Assembly for speaking out (see video at the bottom of this article).

               With Gov. Pat Quinn's signature imminent, Business Insider gushed that Illinois “could become the epicenter of America's next oil boom."


Not under their watch, says Steingraber and the Illinois anti-fracking shock troops.

               Issuing a "Fracking Manifesto," she has thrown down the gauntlet on Illinois' regulatory fallout as a cautionary tale for citizens groups, environmental organizations and frackers across the nation.


               "We call for a mobilization that brings fracking realities to the rest of the nation," the manifesto declares. "If our elected officials refuse to visit the fracking fields, then we will bring the fracking fields to them—in the form of science, stories, photographs, film, lectures, hearings, and journalism. If elected officials refuse to defend our land, water, air, and health against those who would despoil them for their own profit, then we will do it ourselves, using peaceful, non-violent methods."


A Fracking Manifesto

From Sandra Steingraber and the people of Illinois to the nation

               **We know that high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracking, or HVHF, is an accident-prone, inherently dangerous industrial process with risks that include catastrophic and irremediable damage to our health and environment.

               **We know that HVHF and its attendant technologies:

contribute to groundwater contamination, including 219 cases in Pennsylvania alone;

               turn massive amounts of fresh, drinkable water into massive amounts of briny, poisonous flowback fluid for which there is no failsafe disposal solution;

vent hazardous air pollutants that are associated with cancer, asthma, heart attack, stroke, and preterm birth;

               release radioactive substances—including radon, which is the number two cause of lung cancer—and benzene, which is a proven cause of leukemia—from deep geological strata;

               fragment forests in ways that decimate birds and wildlife, sabotage natural flood control systems, and pour sediment into rivers and streams;

industrialize communities in ways that vastly increase truck traffic, noise pollution, light pollution, stress, crime, and the need for emergency services;

               offer jobs that are dangerous, toxic, and temporary, with a fatality rate seven times that of other industries; and

leak prodigious amounts of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas.

               **We know these problems cannot be prevented by any set of rules or government office, let alone state agencies like those in Illinois, which have been cut to the bone by budget cuts and cannot be counted on for regulatory enforcement.


               **We have heard the warnings of our brothers and sisters living in the gas fields of Pennsylvania and Ohio, whose children, pets, and livestock are sick, whose property values are ruined, whose water is undrinkable.


               **We have heard the pleas of our neighbors in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, where strip-mining for “ frac sand” has devastated communities, destroyed landscapes, and filled the air with carcinogenic silica dust. We are aware that our own beloved Starved Rock State Park is already threatened by industrial mining of silica sand used for fracking operations and that the pressure to strip-mine Illinois for sand will only increase with every well that is drilled and fracked.


               **We assert that fracking is a moral crisis. In a time of climate emergency, it is wrong to further deepen our dependency on fossil fuels. In a state such as Illinois, where chronic drought and water shortages are already forecast for our children’s future, it is wrong to destroy fresh water resources in order to bring new sources of climate-killing gas and oil out of the ground.


               **We reject the legitimacy of Illinois’ fracking regulatory bill, which was the result of closed-door negotiations between industry representatives and compromise-oriented environmental organizations. Responsible only to their funders and their members, these environmental groups do not represent us nor are they empowered to negotiate on our behalf. We consider the fracking regulatory bill to be a subversion of both science and democracy. Throughout its creation, no comprehensive health study or environmental impact study was ever commissioned. No public hearings or public comment periods ever took place. And yet it is the public that is being compelled to live with the risks sanctioned by this bill. It is an unjust law.


               **Knowing that our own government has abdicated its responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of the citizenry, knowing that no one is coming to save us, we declare our intent to save ourselves from the ravages of shale gas and oil extraction via HVHF. We declare our intent to join together in a fracking abolitionist movement.


               **As such, no longer shall national environmental organizations based far from impacted realities make decisions that will have life-changing impacts on the people living in impacted zones. We will call out organizations that betray core values and integrity. We will openly inform their membership and their funders and reveal the truth of where they stand and at whose expense.


               **We call for a mobilization that brings fracking realities to the rest of the nation. If our elected officials refuse to visit the fracking fields, then we will bring the fracking fields to them—in the form of science, stories, photographs, film, lectures, hearings, and journalism. If elected officials refuse to defend our land, water, air, and health against those who would despoil them for their own profit, then we will do it ourselves, using peaceful, nonviolent methods.


               **We hereby commit ourselves to building a powerful movement that will protect Illinois’ children—and safeguard the living ecosystem on which their lives depend—for generations to come. In short, we declare our intent to take the future into our hands. And that future is unfractured.


Sign on and join our movement.

Dr. Sandra Steingraber

Springfield, Illinois




Photo:  Drilling mud draining into Muncy Creek Pa from Wendy Lee





Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ GroupMission Statement
      To raise the public’s general awareness and understanding of the impacts of Marcellus drilling on the natural environment, health, and long-term economies of local communities.
Officers: President-Jan Milburn
                 Treasurer-Wanda Guthrie
                 Secretary-Ron Nordstrom
                 Facebook Coordinator-Elizabeth Nordstrom
                 Blogsite –April Jackman
                 Science Subcommittee-Dr. Cynthia Walter
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