Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training Nov. 5 at Penn State

From David Masur at PennEnvironment:

WHAT: State College Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training
WHERE: Penn State, Chambers Building, Room 112, Allen Rd, State College, PA
WHEN: Saturday, November 5, 1:30-5 p.m.

After a few years of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, we’ve seen accidents and blowouts poison local streams and drinking water supplies; our state forests leased out as a cash cow with no regard for their natural beauty we all enjoy; and air emissions from gas wells exacerbate the smog pollution problems we already face here in Pennsylvania. Every month it becomes clearer that Marcellus Shale gas drilling is potentially the largest environmental disaster to ever hit Pennsylvania. Throughout it all, gas-drilling companies and their allies in Harrisburg have fought efforts to put public health and the environment first.

The training is part of a statewide project we’ve launched to train 1,000 Pennsylvanians to help protect their communities from gas drilling. Whether you’re new to activism or been on the frontlines of the Marcellus Shale, this training will help you take the fight to the next level. You’ll learn from our staff and other organizers in the area how to effectively engage with decision makers on these issues, generate massive coverage in the media, and how to hold your elected officials accountable for their failure to tackle the Marcellus Shale gas drilling issue. Register here.

News from the Responsible Drilling Alliance in Williamsport:

NPR Reporter Follows Up on Quarantined Cows


Dear RDA Members,

Remember those Tioga County cows that drank drilling flowback water? The incident made the front page of the Williamsport Sun Gazette. The story began when a flowback pit (called a “pond” by drilling companies, but full of fracking chemicals, heavy metals and salt not usually found in ponds) had leaked through its plastic liner and flowed into the cows’ pasture.

The water the cows drank con­tained chlo­ride, iron, sul­fate, bar­ium, mag­ne­sium, man­ganese, potas­sium, sodium, stron­tium and cal­cium. The spill killed all veg­e­ta­tion in an area 30 feet by 40 feet. In early May, Pennsylvania’s Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture quar­an­tined the cows, wor­ried that the result­ing beef could be tainted and make peo­ple sick. East Resources, the drilling company responsible for the violation, objected to the quar­an­tine, say­ing it was “an unnec­es­sary step to take.”

Recently, NPR reporter Susan Phillips did a follow-up on the story, and spoke with Carol Johnson, the animals’ owner. Phillips learned that of the eleven calves born to the cows that drank contaminated water, eight were born dead or were so weak that they died shortly after birth.

“It’s abom­inable,” says John­son, who along with her hus­band Don, has been rais­ing cows on that land for 53 years, after tak­ing over the farm from Don Johnson’s grand­fa­ther. “It’s highly unusual,” she said. “I might lose one or two calves a year, but I don’t lose eight out of eleven…”

Philadelphia Suing Delaware River Basin Commission


Have you heard about the Delaware River Basin Commission being sued by the city of brotherly love? Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission, demanding a study on the cumulative impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Fundamentally, this lawsuit forbids drilling in the watershed. This most recent lawsuit is added to similar actions already filed by the Attorney General of the State of New York, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and other parties. According to the resolution, Philadelphia is joining these lawsuits to require, “that no drilling of Marcellus Shale take place until a full environmental analysis is completed.” Meanwhile, gas drilling activity remains at full speed here in the Susquehanna River watershed…

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