Consider Harveys Lake for “exceptional value” watershed designation

December 10, 2010

We must try every possible (and impossible) avenue, strategy, tactic, and maneuver we can think of to stop the ruination of Pennsylvania by the gas drilling industry. Whether it is a protected species or place. Whether it is super inflated performance bonding. Or, perhaps, the discovery of forgotten laws. Moratoriums, and rights ordinances. Political and populist activism. Consciousness raising, demonstrating, civil disobedience … There is no one way. When you are in a fight, you don’t use just one hand. You use your whole body and spirit to defeat the invader.

Here is a letter to a state representative, asking that Harveys Lake be considered “exceptional”. While it can be argued that all bodies of water are exceptional, the state does have that designation to consider as a solution for this particular body of water. Why not try it?

It has come to our attention that DEP issued a drilling permit on Dec. 3rd for a gas well on Sterling Farms in Wyoming County. This is about a mile from our lake. It is inconceivable that an agency charged with protecting our environment could issue a permit for drilling within such close proximity to the lake.

I see in today’s Citizens’ Voice that the state is nearing a decision on making Silver Lake (also a glacial lake) a designated “exceptional value” watershed, which will prohibit gas drilling activities in that area. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the citizens need to be pointing out to the DEP where these exceptional water sheds exist! Do they do any research before handing out these drilling permits?

A single accident like the one in Clearfiled County in June can potentially destroy Harveys Lake. This would be a crime of significant proportions.

Throughout the years, DEP has had a great deal of influence on protecting our lake. Our public sewer system was state mandated, as is the current moratorium on any new connections to this system. Residents are experiencing difficulty in obtaining permits from DEP to build docks on their shoreline property because of the potential to harm plankton. We have our own ordinance banning the use of port-a-potties/job johnnies because of the potential leakage into the lake. It is ludicrous to allow gas drilling so close to this lake!

I am asking for your immediate attention as I consider this a matter of urgency! Please do whatever you can to stop this madness. Harveys Lake is the state’s largest natural freshwater lake and is pristine. If that doesn’t qualify it for “:exceptional value” status, I don’t know what does! Michell’e Boice (letter to Representative Karen Boback)