- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
As PA-DEP cuts proceed, a disaster on a natural gas drilling site.
On Wednesday, a Halliburton subcontractor hired by Cabot Oil & Gas spilled over 8000 gallons of an as yet undisclosed substance (known only as a "drilling gel") into a wetland and a creek in Dimock, Pennsylvania. Efforts by environmentalists to figure out just what's been dropped in the backyards of Pennsylvanians have turned out no real answers.
You can see why that's a problem, right? Meanwhile, the state is reportedly dramatically cutting staff and Pennsylvania DEP. We already don't have nearly enough people trying to watch these drilling operations and soon we'll have fewer. Meanwhile, PennFuture reported this afternoon, in their SessionDaze email, a deal forcing DCNR to lease 150,000 acres of pristine Pennsylvania forests to drillers for the short term reason of patching budget holes. They have an action alert on it up here.
Keep in mind that wetlands can feed right into groundwater, and that everyone around these drill sites gets water out of their own personal wells. There's no public water supply there.
We put out this release today:
Check wells in Dimock
Environmentalists call for PA-DEP to hold Marcellus Gas Drillers accountable after recent spills of unknown chemicals
[Harrisburg, PA] – In response to Wednesday’s reported spill in Dimock, Pennsylvania of over 8000 gallons of chemicals used in the mining of natural gas, Clean Water Action has called on Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to levy fines against Cabot Oil & Gas and immediately test the wells used for drinking water. Clean Water Action, a statewide environmental group, has been making calls to local residents of Dimock and representatives of DEP to learn more about the unknown substance released into the area this week. Reportedly, Halliburton, working on behalf of the drilling leaseholder, failed to properly control a “drilling gel” used to aid in exploration.
"We've been living around these well-sites and worrying about the safety of our drinking water and Burdick Creek for a long time. The fact that this spill happened two days ago and no one can seem to tell the people in Dimock what they spilled just shows that there aren't enough rules about what these drilling companies have to tell the public about the chemicals they are using in our backyards,” said Richard Seymour, a resident of Dimock who lives near the spill site.
“DEP needs to take strong enforcement actions with heavy fines for Cabot Oil & Gas. It’s time to create a financial incentive for these companies to behave in a safe manner. DEP must show the people of Pennsylvania that they come first – not the profits of the oil and gas companies,” said Brady Russell, Eastern Pennsylvania Director of Clean Water Action. “DEP should also move swiftly to test individual water wells nearby the spills. The very fact that Halliburton is reluctant to release the chemicals in the gel is reason enough to begin testing.”
Residents and other Pennsylvanians interested in getting more involved in protecting our drinking water and working for safe drilling should call Nathan Sooy in Clean Water Action’s Harrisburg Office: 717-233-1801.