Fracking is leaving a trail of pollution across Pennsylvania

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

Already, fracking has contaminated drinking water supplies with benzene, toluene, formaldehyde and other dangerous contaminants; dumped under-treated wastewater in rivers and streams from the Monongahela to Neshaminy Creek; clear-cut our state forestland to make way for gas wells; and are crisscrossing the state with dangerous gas pipelines.

 At risk: The health of our environment and communities

Countless Pennsylvanians living close to fracking wells have seen their lives turn upside down. Families living in the shadow of fracking 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. 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 frack drilling fluid.
  • Watch our Marcellus Shale Stories video series to learn more about how fracking impacts the lives of Pennsylvanians.

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

Gas companies have friends in high places

What are our leaders in Harrisburg and Washington DC doing while the frackers  run amok? At best, they’re turning a blind eye. At worst, they’re working with lobbyists for the fracking industry to loosen up the rules even more.

The fracking industry and their lobbyists have spent $59 million lobbying Pennsylvania officials and are pushing to undo policies meant to protect public health and our environment.  We need your help to stop this from happening.

With our activism and advocacy, we must stop the dangers of fracking

With your help, we’re working to make Pennsylvania frack-free and ban dangerous fracking.

And we’re in this fight for the long haul. With your help, we’re building the vocal public outcry that’s needed to stop fracking — 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 educating hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians each year about the threats of fracking .
  • We hold citizen trainings across Pennsylvania to teach concerned residents the skills they need to get in the fight to stop fracking.
  • Our staff release research exposing the damage the fracking industry has already caused.
  • We’re engaging tens of thousands of concerned Pennsylvanians to hold our elected officials’ feet to the fire so they know that the public won’t rest until Pennsylvania is frack-free.


 


Fracking Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment

Enviro groups ask court to find U.S. Steel liable for more than 12,000 Clean Air Act violations

PITTSBURGH – U.S. Steel violated the Clean Air Act more than 12,000 times at its three Pittsburgh-area plants, including Clairton Coke Works, the largest coke oven facility in North America, according to a motion filed in federal court Thursday by PennEnvironment and Clean Air Council. The violations, which the groups say are proven by U.S. Steel’s own statements and compliance reports, occurred when the company operated Mon Valley Works for more than three months in 2018 and 2019 while required pollution control equipment was out of commission.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment Statement: State Senators introduce legislative package to limit harms from fracking

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania lawmakers today unveiled a package of legislation to address the most egregious problems with fracking by implementing the recommendations from last year’s grand jury report. The investigation found that Pennsylvania’s leaders had “failed” to protect the public from fracking and allowed the industry to damage public health.

The specific legislation announced and highlighted at the Zoom news conference include legislation introduced by state Senator Katie Muth to require disclosure of chemicals used in fracking (SB651), air and water monitoring (SB 652), and public health response legislation (SB654); Senator Maria Collett to give jurisdiction to the Office of the Attorney General to address fracking violations (SB 655, SB 656, and SB 657); Senator John Sabatina to address the transportation of fracking waste (SB 653); and Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Carolyn Comitta to increase setbacks from fracking well pads for schools and other vulnerable populations (SB650). 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Pittsburgh City Council takes crucial first step to eliminate plastic bag pollution

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania’s two largest cities could soon join forces to protect the Commonwealth from plastic pollution and the health and environmental degradation it causes. Councilmember Erika Strassburger introduced a resolution Tuesday announcing the Pittsburgh City Council’s intent to pass a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags, were it not for a state law preempting local governments from doing so. In March, Philadelphia, along with the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the General Assembly’s preemption law. The passage of Councilmember Strassburger’s resolution would open the door for the City of Pittsburgh to file a legal motion in support of that suit. 

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Blog Post

Progress Report: President Biden’s First 100 Days | Lisa Frank

Our new progress report finds that despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Statement: Allegheny County receives another failing grade for air pollution

PITTSBURGH -- Allegheny County again received straight “F” grades in the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report, making it one of only 13 counties nationwide to do so. The Pittsburgh Metro ranked ninth- worst for soot pollution in the study, which was released Wednesday. This type of pollution is linked to health problems such as asthma, heart disease, stroke and premature death.

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