Food & Water Watch, Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County (UUCDC), Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) and Transition Town Media’s Water Group worked together to plan an awareness-raising event at the Plum Street Mall in Media, PA on October 19. This event was one of more than 200 that took place around the world as part of the second annual Global Frackdown, a worldwide day of action against fracking.
Approximately 30 people gathered at the Mall to hand out educational information and talk to passers-by about the harm gas fracking is causing to our air, water, land, environment, climate and health.
Pennsylvania has been at the epicenter of the nation’s fracking boom. Thirty-two of our 67 counties are currently being fracked. There are now over 6,391 fracking wells in operation. So far, violations total 3, 391. Fines paid: 4.9 million. There have been 696 violations in Bradford County alone. (Source: NPR. Data collected from PA Department of Environmental Protection, listed on State Impact PA web site.)
In addition to the environmental and health impacts, gas fracking has wreaked havoc in Pennsylvania communities. Fracking companies have brought heavy trucks that crowd rural roads and out-of-state workers that flood small towns, often overwhelming local housing, police and public health capacities.
Given the track record of leakage and explosions of gas pipelines, there is also grave concern about the Sunoco Logistics plan to construct the Mariner East pipeline to deliver fracked gas to Marcus Hook, Delaware County to be processed, stored and shipped to Europe. Sunoco has claimed eminent domain on the land it needs to run the pipeline.
Fracking not only uses vast amounts of our water for well drilling–it also contaminates that water with carcinogens. But carcinogens are not the only harmful item found in fracking wastewater. A recent scientific study by Duke University scientists found radioactive material in wastewater that was discharged into a stream that supplies drinking water to a community in Indiana County, PA.
A new poll by the University of Michigan showed nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvanians support a moratorium on fracking. A Pew Research Center poll released last month showed approximately one half of Americans oppose fracking.
Those who are for the pipeline say we need the jobs–but what are those jobs costing us? Should we focus only on jobs and ignore the enormous downside of gas fracking? Are we willing to sacrifice our state and citizens for a few years of fracked gas? (gas well production has an 80-95% depletion rate within three years). In the words of Rick Joers, MLUC member and Local Coordinator for Food & Water Watch, “We have a moral responsibility to keep our drinking water safe, to preserve our pristine woods, and maintain the integrity of our food system.”
If people understood the harm that fracking is causing in our state, opposition would be much higher. Spread the word!