By Alan Septoff
May 6, 2011
In a nutshell, it shows Pennsylvania has permitted well sites within two miles of more than 320 day care facilities, 67 schools and nine hospitals.
This is cause for concern because the state has a very recent history of well blowouts and water contamination that suggests proximity to drilling is a community health risk.
From PennEnvironment's press release:
Pennsylvania s vulnerable populations are often situated near Marcellus Shale gas extraction, which has had a track record of pollution, accidents and violations, according to a new PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center report, In the Shadow of the Marcellus Boom: How Shale Gas Extraction Puts Vulnerable Pennsylvanians at Risk.
By Lauren Pagel
April 27, 2011
Yesterday, the EPA announced that it will put in place guidance to regulate the use of diesel fuel when used in hydraulic fracturing. EPA has already stated that oil and gas companies must get a Safe Drinking Water Act permit if they wish to use diesel fuel when fracking, though the industry has filed a lawsuit around this issue.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made this announcement at the 2011 U.S. Energy Information Administration conference. Hopefully, this move will clarify the legal issues surrounding the injection of diesel fuel, and will help protect water resources in the 34 states where oil and gas is produced.
Because of a Congressional investigation into the use of diesel fuel used during fracking, we know that companies injected 32 million gallons of diesel fuel between 2005 and 2009 without securing Safe Drinking Water Act permits from the EPA.
I hope that this will be the first of many steps that the EPA will take to regulate oil and gas production.
April 26, 2011
In March, Governor Corbett established the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission to study the economic, social, and environmental issues related to natural gas development in the state.
Given what s at stake, this is a great idea. But there s a big hitch. Actually, two:
- The Commission is stacked with drilling companies and Corbett s campaign contributors; and
- Corbett has repeatedly stated that jobs are his top priority when it comes to drilling, over all other considerations.
As a Pennsylvania resident, you know that many communities are already feeling the impacts of under-regulated industrial drilling on their water, health, and quality of life. Yet the Governor s commission doesn t include public health experts, impacted residents, or citizen-based environmental organizations.
What to do?
April 22, 2011
Lashonda at GreenDC Day sporting a No Dirty Gold t-shirt.
Despite a looming threat of thunderstorms, GreenDC Day took place on Freedom Plaza beneath a nearly cloudless sky and abundant sunshine.
Held on April 20, 2011, GreenDC Day was an Earth Day celebration sponsored by the District Department of Environment. EARTHWORKS attended this event, accompanied by many other green vendors, to educate the public about green living and of course to collect old cell phones to recycle!
I was approached by a myriad of folks, many of whom were clad in the ubiquitous Earth Day shade of green and all of whom were not only interested in our mission but also shared passion about EARTHWORKS campaigns.
More often than not, when I asked people if they had old cell phones they would like to recycle, they responded emphatically.
"Why yes! And I just don t know what to do with them!"
By Payal Sampat
April 20, 2011
Yesterday was Newmont Mining Corporation s annual general meeting, held in Delaware.
Mass protest in 2004, the last time Newmont proposed expanding its Yanacocha mine into Cerro Quilish. Credit: GRUFIDES
In the weeks leading up to the AGM, reports started to trickle in about the world s second largest gold mining company s activities around Cerro Quilish, a mountain in northern Peru that is of spiritual significance and a water source for thousands of residents in and around Cajamarca.
This news was a turnaround from Newmont s decision to back off from its proposal to mine Cerro Quilish, following weeks of protest by the region s residents in Fall 2004, which temporarily shut down Newmont s operations at the Yanacocha mine near Cajamarca.
In the years since then, Newmont has taken steps that suggest it is trying to improve on this checkered track record with communities: