DRBC Open Letter 4/11/11

This open letter was submitted to the DRBC on April 11, 2011

Commission Secretary, DRBC

PO Box 7360
25 State Police Drive,
West Trenton, NJ 08628

I am most concerned about the Water Resources of Pennsylvania being contaminated by Reckless Behavior and Avoidable Negligence.

The message of this Public letter to the DRBC is:
There should be a total Ban on drilling in the Delaware River Watershed.

The Water Supply for 15+ Million people and the Ecosystem that supports it cannot be put at risk.    Period.

There is no overwhelming need for this drilling to occur in the Delaware Watershed at this time.
The gas should stay where it is and the DRBC should do its intended job and protect the Delaware Watershed from this proposed (but Legally Regulated) Industrial Assault…

There is clearly a lot of debate about this topic.  What is not being debated are these basic facts.

Fact #1:
Extraction of this gas requires the intentional creation of hundreds of millions gallons of toxic wastewater.
That toxic water is injected into the ground and is either left in the ground or it becomes a huge and complicated toxic waste problem when (about 25% of it) it returns to the surface.
None of this toxic water exists before it is intentionally created (in fact, every 4 Million of gallons of clean water is mixed with about 70,000 lbs of chemicals to create this fluid).

This single indisputable fact is enough "just cause" for the DRBC to ban all Hydraulic Fracturing (H.F) Natural Gas drilling in the Delaware Watershed.
It is clear that the rest of the State of Pennsylvania will subjected to this massive Industrial Assault.

The Delaware River Watershed is just a very small portion of the Eastern side of the state and it should be set aside until the long term effects of this drilling are known.
I cannot see ANY legitimate reason why the Delaware Watershed should not be declared permanently "off Limits" to all H.F. Natural Gas Drilling.

There are many other places to drill.

The DRBC is only responsible for the Delaware River Watershed.

It is logical and safer to wait and see what happens to the rest of the State (and the rest of the country.)
There is a lot of evidence that shows that all drilling degrades the local Ecosystem and the Water Quality.
This portion of the State (More than any other portion of the State) is built upon its clean water supply.

The protection of the Integrity of this Water supply should be the Paramount concern of the DRBC.

I have heard the representatives for the DRBC say that "X" amount of additional contamination is acceptable…
The new regulations legally allow what was reasonably clean water to be contaminated  by "X" amount simply because this new industrial waste needs to be disposed of somewhere…..

I disagree…. and I know for a fact, that a lot of other people also disagree.
The Water in the Delaware Watershed should not be intentionally contaminated at all.

This is our Water Supply.
This Water and the Ecosystem that creates it, is infinitely more valuable than you seem to think.
Do not allow it to legally become a sewer system for Industrial Waste.

People are allowed to disagree, that is fine.
It is not fine when people disagree about whether they should be intentionally poisoned or not.

A lot of people do not want their water supply intentionally poisoned so that Natural Gas can be extracted from the shale within the Delaware Watershed.
The members of the DRBC may feel that it is ok for those same people to be a little poisoned….

That is not the point. We can chose to disagree about a lot of other issues.
The Truth is that the DRBC should respect the wishes of the people that do not want to be poisoned and the DRBC should Ban this proposed drilling.
There really is no arguing about that.  The DRBC will either respect our wishes and keep our water as pure as it is, or it will unilaterally impose chemical waste onto us without our consent.

Additional Facts that should matter:
Even when the Gas wells and the Pipeline system that supports them are functioning as they are designed, they create a sizable amount of Air Pollution that is not being created at this time.
The people of the Delaware Watershed have not given their consent to this additional air pollution and in fact, many residents are not even aware that Air Pollution will be generated by these proposed wells (and pipelines).

The Gas wells and the creation of the pipelines that are needed to support them, will permanently change the existing culture that currently exists in the towns in the targeted areas.
The Roads, the Bridges, the Emergency Services, the Natural Woodlands will all be negatively effected.
There will be additional Noise generated at the Drill sites and the Pipelines and NO ONE benefits from this noise in what is now a quiet rural setting.
There will be increased truck traffic, traffic accidents and the associated accidental contamination.
There will be criminal disposal of toxic waste that could not occur if the waste is never generated.
The Wildlife and the Fish will suffer and tourism will be negatively effected.
The State Forests have already targeted for exploitation.

There are MANY other areas that are areas of concern:
Pipeline and Well site industrial accidents.
Natural disasters that are compounded by the existence of a Natural Gas pipeline grid.
Lawsuits and Expensive litigation.
Absolute decrease in Property values.

If, in 25 years, the gas can be extracted safely and burned cleanly, then the children of Pennsylvania will have something valuable and our generation can have something to be proud of.  If the Water is clean and available, and the animals and the fish still exist, and if there are still places for people to Walk and Feel Clean and Peaceful, that will be Truly Valuable.
Paper money profits, Windfall State taxes and short term job creation are not the long term answer or even the short term answer.
There are a lot of major problems that will need to be dealt with in the next 25 years.  We do not need to intentionally add other items to that list.

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