DRBC Citizen Protest #1

From: Val Sigstedt <artlight@comcast.net>
Date: March 3, 2011 12:02:47 PM EST
To: "ccollier@drbc.state.nj.us" <ccollier@drbc.state.nj.us>
Subject: Comment: DRBC frack drilling hearings

Dear Carol,

Thank you for your concerns regarding the way natural gas is being retrieved in the Delaware Basin. Please consider these words to you as my comments to the hearings.

The New York Times front page article yesterday (March 2, 2011) "Gas Wells recycle water, but toxic risks Persist" tells the story of a runaway gas boom industry that coralled our once- dilligent
Guardian environmental regulators and convinced them to abandon their charges and allow ongoing and unspeakable damages to go unchallenged in the Delaware watershed, and on your watch. Please read the article and consider it a substantial part of this comment.

It is not your duty to rubber-stamp these miscarriages of vital regional protection laws. We do not live in a time when bravery speaks the truth to power often, but in humility I ask you to rise to the defense of our river and the basin where it gathers it's waters.

I need to quote from the final paragraphs of the NYT article:
"...federal regulators informed the industry that their exemption remained intact ...  "In short," Mr. Rhodes wrote his members, the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the exemption "remains in effect once the waste is generated, regardless of how the waste is treated or managed."

Carol, I don't need to tell you that that conflicts massively with your responsibilities as ED of the DRBC.
It is why the riparian residents of the
Neshaminy Creek and the City of Philadelphia whose water derives just downstream of the N.C. must have deep suspicion that nobody, and this includes the DRBC, nobody will raise a hand to defend them from these powerful men who are corrupting forever the waters they and we live with for our lives.

Please don't read this only as a director of an agency. Please understand it as a mother giving her child a drink from a Neshsminy- derived well, or a Philadelphia resterauntuer giving that water to his patrons.

I recently learned that nanotechnology
Is being employed in the fracking fluids, and that the inherant unstudied dangers these exotic powerful chemicals are known to display are neither acknowledged or considered in anything brought to the public hearings we as the basin's citizenry are asked to comment. May we have your own evaluation of the toxicity of nanotechnology as it may be introduced to the potable waters of the Delaware Basin? Boron chemistry will give a clue that nanotechnology (as nanolubricants) are being experimented with.

These hearings are to determine the science regarding negative impacts of frack drilling on our watershed. As is well- known by professionals, directly underneath the Marcellus Shales there is another layer of gas-bearing soils called Utica Shales which contains another vast deposit of natural gas.

Do the considerations and legal limits (if any) that apply to the Marcellus Shales also place limits on that second layer of gas soils? Or as we citizens  and the regulators like the DRBC and the EPA are evolving these present rules are we giving silent consent to the next generation of filth and horror to be perpetrated on the deep waters of the future?

Obviously it isn't possible for the DRBC to be entirely consistant with all decisions made by federal agencies, but there is what Quakers call "the sense of the Meeting" whereby they see that what they are conidering is their truth.

Are you convinced that what the DRBC is projecting across this region is the considered opinion of what the staff knows to be true, or as we have come to expect from most public agencies, does the DRBC say what it's ozone-dwelling politician governors have decided is true?

This time it matters. The water decisions you will make soon will decide if we citizens are actually in an advisory capacity as we speak to the DRBC, or if our remonstrances are even in the real world where we live with the real (Special Protected) waters of this basin.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak
from the centers of our beliefs. We need you to do the same, Carol, for the place where we live.  I keep hoping a voice will emerge from our political cities (politics means the life of cities, from the Greek word polis) that does not carve away the living parts of what they protect. We need someone who performs the duties of the mayor of the Delaware Basin; hopefully that will be youself.  Tell us what you need.


Val Sigstedt
7433 Ferry Road, PO Box 263
Point Pleasant, PA 18950
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