October 19, 2010
Tom Jiunta at Lehman Meeting (Times Leader)
Tom Jiunta and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition have been working tirelessly to advance a petition in support of an ordinance which would protect the water supply of Lehman Township. Tonight they presented the ordinance which is similar to one recently passed by the the Licking Township (Pennsylvania) Board of Supervisors. The Lehman ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Defense Fund.
The proposal presented to the Lehman Township Board of Supervisors, would make it unlawful:
“for any corporation to import water into Lehman for use in the extraction of subsurface natural gas or to deposit waste water, “produced” water, “frack” water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products of natural gas extraction into the land, air or waters within Lehman Township.”
per the CELDF website.
Here is the early online edition from the Times Leader: Lehman supers hold off vote on anti-drill law
This initiative is about citizen’s rights and the heart of a democratic society. We share the air and the water. Collectively, we have a constitutional right to clean air and water. Any sane society would insure that. No individual, or corporation has the authority to usurp these basic human rights.
Although advised otherwise, the Supervisors insisted on keeping the venue at the Lehman Township Building instead of larger venues in the immediate area. Consequently some citizens left because they could hear nothing from the entrance hall. That is, they were not allowed to participate in the process due to venue constriction. It is an age old strategy of those who want to impede the democratic process rather than support it. The Supervisors’ obstructionist behavior is not a surprise given the reality that two of them were found to be ethically compromised by the state ethics commission.
(And thank you to the Community Environmental Legal Defense Defense Fund for your statewide efforts to bring power back to the people.)
The supervisors refused to take action on the proposal, citing a fear of law suits and a lack of authority,the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition and the CELDF will continue to put this issue forward. See the Citizen’s Voice coverage here: Lehman Twp. supervisors take no action on drilling ordinance
May 28, 2010
If this evil and blatant usury of our land is not stopped by our elected and sworn representatives by listening to reason, constituents, and the constitution – if they wimp out on their duty to make sure anything done to this state is done right or not at all; if this illegal attack supplants democracy – then democracy will be wrestled back, one way or another.
May 24, 2010
Gas Drilling Will Bring You:
Lower Property Values
Polluted and Unusable Water Sources
Toxic Waste (heavy metals, carcinogens, brine and radioactive materials)
Open Waste Pits
Carcinogens Left Underground
Depleted Water Habitat
Loss of Farmland
Loss of Tourism
Disrupted Wildlife Habitat
Higher Crime Rate
Increased Drug Use
Choking Truck Traffic
Lower Quality of Life (why do you love this place?)
Fractured Bedrock Below (where 10 to 30 tons of chemicals per well, liberated radioactivity, brine, and heavy metals are left underground to slowly migrate toward your family’s water supply)
Educate yourself and take action to stop this now! The first well is drilling this August. Don’t be fooled by the propaganda you see on television and billboards. 1.5% percent of the county households will benefit, 98.5% will suffer.
NOTE – Add on top of this: mismanagement, acts of nature, maximization of profit, and out of state corporations. Then mix in weakened laws and a depleted DEP. And put it all in the context of rapid expansion. Isn’t this a case for MORATORIUM!?
May 7, 2010
EnCana “leased” your community –
This map published in the Times Leader on Thursday, May 6, demonstrates how ubiquitous and widespread EnCana’s fracturing plans are. At the County Zoning Board hearing on Tuesday night, I asked the EnCana representatives how many wells are planned if the exploratory ones are productive. Wendy Wiedenbeck of EnCana said they have no idea because all this activity is strictly “exploratory” and that is their sole plan at this point. She would not discuss any possible numbers.
So, let me get this straight, they commit to leasing over 25,000 acres without a vague notion of possible scenarios? They commit at least $25 million without any production projections? I don’t believe it. Looks to me like hundreds of wells. Looks to me like a major industrial footprint. Looks to me like a at least a billion gallons of toxic water left underground to slowly traverse the fractured shale, seeking a point of inexorable egress.
The Back Mountain feeds the valley its water –
The Citizen’s Voice reports:
the Huntsville reservoir is the source of water for approximately 30,000 people in Dallas, Kingston Township, Swoyersville, West Wyoming and Wyoming. The Ceasetown reservoir is the source for approximately 70,000 people in the areas of Ashley, Courtdale, Conyngham Township, Edwardsville, Hanover Township, Hunlock Township, Larksville, Nanticoke, Newport Township, Plymouth Borough, Plymouth Township, Pringle, Salem Township, Shickshinny and portions of Wilkes-Barre City.
May 6, 2010
My thoughts and my sentiments are that the citizens are in a war here, a war to protect our water supply and the very air that we breathe, but are so out-powered and out-numbered by the huge money of the gas industry, who can buy our politicians and spread their propaganda faster than a wildfire. Incidentally, if and when one of these gas wells blows up, their is potential for a wildfire, not to mention the toxic chemicals it will spew into the air for a hundred miles or so.
The Zoning Hearing for the approval to give the go-ahead to EnCana to drill their well in Lake Township was a slam dunk before the hearing even began. The citizens had no chance at all, and I was convinced of this when I saw the extremely affectionate exchanges between the members of our Zoning Board and the representatives of EnCana at the table before the hearing began. EnCana sends in what appear to be ordinary citizens just like you and I. It would be far easier to enter into strong debate with the big shots in their fancy suits. These people all live in either Wyoming or Colorado so why would they care about our water & air quality. They are highly paid employees of the gas industry. While the citizens were strongly warned not to discuss water issues, EnCana proceeded to show their propaganda power point presentation and talk a whole lot about water! After all, isn’t water one of the most important issues in gas drilling operations? Millions of gallons of water are required for the fracking process of each individual well. Toxic chemicals are added to it before it gets put into the ground, and toxic chemicals remain in the portion of it that comes back up. The gas industry will put huge demands on our water supply and they have the potential to contaminate what water remains. Our small, rural communities are not ready for the gas industry. We are not trained or prepared to handle a gas well fire! In fact, we simply are not trained for any of this, and neither is DEP! Should we have the heavy rains we experienced in June of 2006 which destroyed roads and bridges, not to mention the near collapse of the Huntsville Dam, the plastic liner in the gas company “pit” will not keep it from over-flowing or the sides blowing out, and the toxic ingredients of the pits contaminating nearby creeks, streams, lakes, and yes, our aquifers!
As I take a look out over Harveys Lake and watch the trees slowly move to the breeze, and smell the clean air that is coming through my windows, I wonder what this scene will be in a few years, after the gas industry has bought out everyone, taken the gas and their money, and gone back to Colorado?
God help us all.
Michell’e T. Boice
May 5, 2010
It is late and it has been a long greasy night. We took a gut blow at a packed County Zoning Board hearing.
It was to be expected. The Oil and Gas Act limited zoning board power to allow “optimal development of the oil and gas resources” of Penn’s Woods. The state took control of our communities.
The overall system is complex and segmented, it favors the ones who can afford to lawyer up. If the Zoning Board did anything outside of their tight little paradigm, EnCana could shoot a barrage of suits from the mother ship at a county already near financial ruin. Or, at least, that is how many think it would play out.
I feel so bad for those who live closest to the drilling site. I am told, there are 300 families living contiguous to the property. I want them to know, we will continue to fight for their rights. But also, they must join in.
May 2, 2010
William H. Conyngham – 100 acres Lehman 9/09
Conyngham and Company – 253 acres Lehman 9/09
Hayfield Associates – 45 acres Lehman 9/09
George G. Conyngham Jr. – 8 acres Jackson 9/09
Frank E. P. Conyngham – 29 acres Jackson 9/09
John N. Conyngham III – 59 acres Fairmount 9/09
John N. Conyngham III – 49 acres Fairmount 9/09
April 9, 2010
Why are the Lehman Township supervisors rushing to grant drilling permits BEFORE the monthly meeting of the Back Mountain Community Partnership? The supervisors changed the date of their meeting to Tuesday, April 13th, with gas permits being the agenda of the meeting.
The Back Mountain Community Partnership, a coming together of the local supervisors and elected officials, has scheduled a meeting at Misericordia University on Thursday, April 15th, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. This group has been listening to the pros and cons of the drilling and is attempting to formulate a plan to deal with it. Hopefully, as a group, members could recommend that NO permits be issued by local governments until state and federal regulations are in place. So, Lehman supervisors, WHY THE RUSH?
Submitted by Molly M