Asthma epidemic coming to PA?Two years ago, a cash-needy Texas school district leased land to a natural gas company for drilling exploratory wells around its schools.Â Today, the town’s children areÂ paying the price. Asthma attacks. Open sores. Dizzy spells. Nausea. These are just a few of the problems parents recently reported to the school board in Argyle, Texas, where the drilling has commenced. The Argyle community is certainly not alone in its grievances. The town is situated in the heart of North Texasâ€™s drilling boom country, a region where 25 percent of kids suffer from asthma, compared with 7 percent in the rest of the state. Neither is the Lone Star state alone in this plight. Around the country, the drilling industry is using hydrofracking technology to extract gas from mile-deep deposits. Companies offer easy cash to landowners who may not understand the serious pollution risks, which include leaks of carcinogenic air emissions, huge volumes of toxic wastewater, and the potential for serious aquifer contamination. In spite of industry claims that gas is the â€œcleanest burning fossil fuelâ€, the pollution created in the extraction process makes gasevery bit as dirty as other fossil fuels, and a potential health threat to those who live where gas drilling occurs.Â
Under the influence of fracking?In addition to the environmental and health threats posed by gas drilling, driving on PA roadways is also becoming more dangerous. The Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of Environmental Protection announced that during an October three-day joint safety enforcement operation, three out of every four drilling wastewater hauling trucks stopped were cited for safety violations. Out of 1,175 trucks inspected, 207 were so dangerous they were immediately placed out of service, and 52 drivers were driving illegally. Here in Lycoming County, the record was even worse than the state-wide figures. Of the 340 vehicles inspected, 85% (289) were issued citations and 55 (nearly 1 in 5) were immediately taken off the road. These are the trucks you see on the highway as you travel in the family car. These are the trucks that share PAâ€™s back roads with busloads of school children. This is an ongoing problem the drilling industry doesnâ€™t seem to want to fix. Each drilling site requires upwards of 2,000 trucks hauling gravel, water, and chemicals in and toxic wastewater out. As the industry pockets billions in profits, these vehicle fines are not much different from the DEP fines levied for illegal dumping and other environmental violations – just a part of the cost of business as usual.
PAâ€™s Department of Environmental Protection Releases Video of Gas Leaks
Woes in WatsontownThereâ€™s trouble brewing in Watsontown over a Texas firmâ€™s request to store Â½ million gallons of fracking mud in this small community. Insufficient information was available for this edition of the RDA newsletter. A special mid-week RDA newsletter requesting your action may be forthcoming.
Real News – Worth Watching
CSI: FrackedLast Thursday, the weekly CBS drama known as Crime Scene Investigation was entitled â€œFrackedâ€ and revealed a tangled web of lies and cover ups surrounding drinking water contaminated by hydrofracking.Â CSI is recognized as the most popular dramatic series internationally. If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it by clicking here.
Tell Everett what you thinkRepresentative Garth Everett has scheduled a series of public meetings specific to Marcellus Shale. You can trust that gas industry lobbyists are talking to Everett every day. Come balance the conversation at one or more of these town meetings, scheduled for 7 â€“ 9 PM on the following dates, at the following locations:
- Nov. 16 â€“ Waterville Volunteer Fire Company, Rt 44, Waterville
- Nov. 18 â€“ Trout Run Volunteer Fire Company,Â Rt 14, Trout Run
- Nov. 23 â€“ Plunketts Creek Volunteer Fire Company, Dunwoody Road, Barbours
- Dec. 7 â€“ Picture Rocks Volunteer Fire Company, 180 Main St, Picture Rocks