Gas drilling is leaving a trail of pollution across Pennsylvania

The faster the gas industry grows, the bigger the swath of destruction it leaves across Pennsylvania.

Already, gas companies employing a dangerous form of drilling known as “hydrofracking” have contaminated our drinking water with benzene, toluene, formaldehyde and other dangerous contaminants; dumped under-treated wastewater in rivers and streams from the Monongahela to Neshaminy Creek; and clearcut our state forestland to make way for gas wells.

At risk: The health of our environment and communities

Countless Pennsylvanians living close to gas wells have seen their lives turn upside down. Families living in the shadow of gas drilling face explosions mere feet from their doorsteps, polluted tap water that is unsafe to drink, toxic fumes in the air they breathe, and more:

  • Pat Farnelli and her kids suffered excruciating stomach pain whenever they drank tap water. Despite industry denials, the DEP concluded that nearby drilling had contaminated 19 water wells in Pat’s town.
  • Health experts are finding increased air pollution near drilling sites, and residents living near gas operations have consistently experienced dizziness and nosebleeds.
  • Dimock resident Norma Fiorentino’s personal water well exploded in her front yard on New Year’s Day in 2009. State investigators found that Cabot’s nearby drilling had caused the well to fill up with combustible methane gas.
  • June Chapel feared for her safety and was forced to stay indoors when the toxic wastewater pit in her backyard caught on fire.
  • The Johnson family was forced to quarantine 28 head of cattle on their farm after they came in contact with toxic gas drilling fluid.
  • Watch our Marcellus Shale Stories video series to learn more about how drilling impacts the lives of Pennsylvanians.

These stories only scratch the surface. It all adds up to one simple, powerful message: The drilling happening across Pennsylvania is dangerous to our environment, and to Pennsylvanians like you and me. And gas companies are either unwilling or unable to drill safely.

Gas companies have friends in high places

What are our leaders in Harrisburg doing while the gas industry runs amok? At best, they’re turning a blind eye. At worst, they’re working with industry lobbyists to loosen up the rules even more.

With the backing of Gov. Corbett and his friends in the Legislature, the gas industry is pushing a set of policies that will make it even easier for them to run roughshod over our environment. We need your help to stop this from happening.

With our activism and advocacy, we can stop the dangers of gas drilling

With your help, we’re working to stop this runaway train from rolling right through our communities, spoiling our water, forests and air in its wake.

It won’t be easy, especially with a governor who’s pocketed huge sums from drilling companies and a Legislature that refuses to stand up to him.

But we’re in this fight for the long haul. With your help, we’re building the vocal public outcry that’s needed against drilling — a voice that will be too loud for the lobbyists to drown out, and too loud for our legislators to ignore. And our strategy starts at the grassroots:

  • We’re going to inform and educate 100,000 people about the threats of gas drilling.
  • PennEnvironment Field Director Adam Garber is holding Citizen Organizer trainings across the state to teach 1,000 Pennsylvanians the skills they need defend their communities from gas drilling.
  • Clean Water Advocate Erika Staaf is releasing hard-hitting reports exposing the damage the gas industry has already caused.
  • We’re collecting petitions to hold our legislators’ feet to the fire, and turning up the heat on Gov. Corbett as the next election approaches, so that he knows the public is not happy with his gas-industry-fueled policies.

Thousands of you have already joined the fight. Across the Commonwealth, you’re calling or emailing your legislators, signing petitions, spreading the word to your friends and family, and attending hearings. We need many more people like you to join with us, and send a strong message that the health of Pennsylvania’s environment and communities is more important than short-term political gain.


Drilling Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement Regarding Nomination of DEP and DCNR Secretaries by PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur

On the heels of Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s announcement to nominate Cindy Dunn and John Quigley to his cabinet as Secretary for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), respectively PennEnvironment’s Executive Director David Masur issues the following statement:

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New Study Shows Threat Posed to Parks and Forests by Fracking

Today the citizen-based environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment released its newest study, “Frack Attack” which showed the far-reaching threat that gas drilling poses to parks, forests and public lands across Pennsylvania.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Frack Attack: Pennsylvania's parks and forests threatened by drilling

Pennsylvania is blessed with incredible public lands, from the famed hiking paths and scenic vistas of Loyalsock and Cook State Forests, to the pristine woods and walking trails of the Delaware Water Gap. Unfortunately, many of these places are under threat from fracking.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Budget Passage Puts Pennsylvania at Risk

 The fiscal code bill that passed both chambers included a one-time influx of $95 million in revenue from reopening state forests and, for the first time ever, opening up state parks for new unconventional natural gas leasing.

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