DECEMBER 6TH, DAY OF ACTION IN DIMOCK, Come out and support Dimock!Please sign the petition here, and take a minute to call the Secretary of the Pennsylvania DEP, Michael Krancer, at 717-787-2814 and tell him to reverse the DEP decision and force Cabot to continue delivering water to the families in Dimock. You can also call Scott Perry of the DEP here: 717-576-7613 and call PA Governor Corbett here: 717-787-2500.
The state has found that Cabot's faulty Marcellus Shale gas wells caused methane to contaminate water supplies that feed 19 Dimock homes, a contention Cabot denies. State environmental regulators decided in October that the driller no longer needed to provide the families with replacement water after Wednesday because Cabot met the terms of a December 2010 settlement over the contamination.Eleven of the affected families appealed the Department of Environmental Protection's decision, arguing that the agency wrongfully ignored state law that requires drillers to permanently restore or replace water supplies they damage. The settlement required the company to offer to install methane-removal systems and fund escrow accounts with twice the tax-assessed value of each of the affected homes, but did not require the company to restore the water to its pre-drilling quality.Dimock resident Victoria Switzer was crestfallen Wednesday morning, saying she worried most for her young and elderly neighbors and those whose water supplies continue to measure high levels of dissolved methane."Cabot is successful in reducing us to desperation," she said. "There is no justice in this Marcellus madness. This is a deadly precedent."
Craig Stevens, who lives near Dimock and is an outspoken critic of the gas industry, put out a call for volunteers with tanker trucks to deliver bulk water to the residents. He said his goal is to get at least 20 volunteers to commit to one day a month each. Working with Stevens, Pennsylvania-American Water Co. said it will set up an access point at Lake Montrose, a municipal water supply several miles from Dimock.The state, Stevens said, has "turned its back on the people of Dimock."
President Obama came to Scranton on Wednesday and was met with an anti-drilling protest. Tom Frost, a farmer from Dimock, PA joined rural residents from all over Pennsylvania and New York and Occupy Scranton for the protest. Residents chanted "Ban Fracking Now" and held The Scranton Times-Tribune covered the story:
The anti-drilling protesters were the most numerous, as well as the most visible and the most vocal.Dingmans Ferry resident Alex Lotorto, an organizer with the Energy Justice Network, said he expects the president to protect rural Pennsylvanians from the harms caused by drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - a point that will be driven home at every campaign stop he makes in the state next year."He needs to keep his promises about clean air and clean water," Mr. Lotorto said.
While thousands learned about the Utica Shale industry inside the Covelli Centre, Youngstown police arrested seven environmental protesters on the city’s West Side.Shortly after noon Wednesday, protesters blocked trucks from entering or leaving the D&L Energy Inc. injection well on Ohio Works Drive. Seven of them stood in front of a tractor-trailer truck carrying brine water, a byproduct of fracking, that was trying to leave the site.Protesters held a banner reading “Stop Toxic Earthquakes.”When police arrived, Police Chief Rod Foley told the seven protesters to move to the grass or be arrested.Ben Shapiro, 26, of Cleveland, one of the seven arrested, told Foley they would not move, and that he planned to be arrested and would do so peacefully.Police officers moved in with handcuffs and zip ties, arrested the protesters without force and placed them in the back of a police truck.Foley said all seven were charged with disorderly conduct and would be arraigned Thursday. They are Anne Lukins, 21, of Washington state; Lindsey Schwartz, 20, of Allentown, Pa.; Benjamin Marks, 19, of California; Sean O’Toole, 61, of Warren; and Jackson Kusiak, 19, and Jeremy Bingham, 20, both of Massachusetts.Fracking is a process in which water, chemicals and sand are blasted into rocks thousands of feet below the ground to unlock oil and natural gas.That water is then injected deep below the ground.There have been seven earthquakes with epicenters near the D&L well this year — the first earthquakes recorded with epicenters in the Valley, prompting protesters to visit the site.
In New York City on Wednesday, the final New York Department of Environmental Conservation hearing on a proposed draft of the state wide environmental impact statement yielded a victory in extending the comment period, pushing fracking in New York State back for another month. Videos of testimony given in NYC can be found here:
In a victory for those against gas drilling, the state has just extended the comment period on the proposed regulations for the controversial natural-gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking.”The period will end Jan. 11 instead of Dec. 12.The reason for the extension was simply that “many individuals and organizations requested additional time to prepare comments,” said Emily DeSantis, assistant director of public information for the Department of Environmental Conservation. For information on submitting comments, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov.