Visit to PA shows TRUTH about fracking

Our member Carol Egan has written another to-the-point opinion piece for our local paper. She has graciously allowed us to reprint it here.

As the hydrofracking debate rages on in New York, a group of Town of Maine citizens spent the day in Pennsylvania to experience firsthand what it looks like and to discuss its ramifications with residents.

I witnessed drill pads with up to six wells on each site. Some sites had a runoff pond. Residents stated that several local creeks had turned brown. One homeowner showed us a bowl of “frack sand” that had settled in her pond. Collected and left to sit, it had turned into foul-smelling goop that we could see and feel.

Large berms were set around the sites, along the roadways and across homeowners’ front lawns to minimize erosion. It was incredible to me that gas companies could put pipes carrying gas from the sites virtually anywhere. Erosion seemed imminent as grass now replaced trees, and the piped gas is under such tremendous pressure that residents fear a catastrophe if it bursts.

Drill sites can be built as close as 500 feet to any property line. Many of these drill pads butt up against a non-leaser’s land — so the very landowners against gas drilling now have the drill pad within 500 feet of their property lines. The result is “civil war” between neighbors.

Every 2 to 4 miles from the drill sites, compressor stations must be built. These stations can be the size of football fields, hissing emissions 24 hours a day. Roads that have a 10-ton limit have little enforcement. Road closures are common as big equipment is moved to drill pads. Water trucks pound the roads. Each well can take one to two years to construct, and fracking takes 4 million gallons of water a day per well.

In one village, located in a valley below drill sites, homes now have tainted water. Litigation over tainted water can take more than three years. During the litigation process, homeowners receive hauled-in water pumped into “water buffaloes” located beside houses. Since the water is heavily chlorinated, filters and plastic vent pipes must be installed next to storage tanks, and they must be heated by electric throughout the winter so they won’t freeze. This added electricity is at the homeowners’ expense. Bottled water also may be at the homeowners’ expense.

I have heard the argument that “hydrofracking will help the poor residents.” What I observed is that the poor citizens were the ones most greatly affected, as they have little financial ability to litigate, sell their home or move.

Montrose does not bear witness to a financial boom, nor do its statistics. Pre-drilling unemployment was 4.3 percent; in 2012, it increased to 7.9 percent. Local citizenry make up only about 10 percent of the gas company crews. Also, there are no fewer citizens on welfare and no fewer children receiving subsidized school lunches.

New York citizens should explore the real story. Hydrofracking is not an answer to our state budget; instead, it creates dismal choices, ravaged land and a lower quality of living for all of us.

Carol is a Town of Maine of resident.

Find the piece here:


And for further confirmation of the poisonous effects of the fracking process here are links to letters FOILed by Vera Scroggins of Citizens for Clean Water affirming water well contamination in PA.

The letters posted so far were obtained by Right to Know requests to the PA DEP filed by Vera Scroggins of “Citizens for Clean Water” located in Susquehanna County. Read them and weep AND then call Governor Cuomo and say Not One Well in NY. Use this number, wait for the message to end, and you will be connected. We are doing this so we have count of calls to wave at Cuomo. Call everyday. PLEASE!  866-584-6799

A fracking water buffalo. Coming soon to NY?

A fracking water buffalo. Coming soon to NY?

And check out this leaking well in Owego –


About joan koster

Joan Koster writes historical fiction about forgotten women. She is currently working on a novel about abolition and woman's rights during the Civil War.
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