Join the Earth Day coalition of more than 40 environmental organizations and individuals rallying at your regional DEP office.
On Monday, April 22, we will make 5 fair and reasonable demands of our public officials, to ensure our environmental protection:
1) Appoint an environmental expert without industry ties as DEP Secretary to ensure DEP’s mission is fulfilled;
2) Place a moratorium on permits for gas wells, compressor stations, pipelines, water withdrawals, coal mines, and other infrastructure related to fossil fuel extraction;
3) Allow no more toxic secrets and full disclosure of water tests and other studies by DEP;
4) Provide justice for those harmed by the oil and gas industry; and
5) Reopen the DEP Office of Energy and Technology Deployment to develop solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies.
I will be speaking at Southcentral Regional office in Harrisburg. For information, please contact Maria Payan, 717-456-5800, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 24, 2013 UPDATE:
Harrisburg (South Central Region) had a small group, of about 20, which left lots of time for many speakers. This is in part because we just had a much larger rally at DEP Headquarters a couple weeks ago. HQ is only a few miles away from South Central office.
We picketed for about a half hour in front of the office, then commenced speaking for two hours afterward.
Following is my speech to that demonstration. You can watch and hear it here:
My presentation runs from minute 33:30 until the end of this video file. The wind cuts in and out of the audio, but attached is the text of my notes for that presentation.
My presentation runs from the beginning until minute 6 of this video file. The wind cuts in and out of the audio, but attached is the text of my notes for that presentation.
Happy Earth Day! My name is Steve Todd. I am a licensed PA civil/environmental engineer, a former DEP engineer, a former DEP-Certified wastewater operator, and currently running for Derry Twp Supervisor, right here in Dauphin County. I am also the Board Secretary of Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, which advises and oversees the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, although my remarks today are not on behalf of SOLS and/or LSR.
• Our broad coalition asks that Gov Corbett appoint an environmental expert without industry ties as DEP Secretary to ensure DEP’s mission is fulfilled.
Prior to this, acting DEP Secretary Abruzzo’s website bio, Chris was Chief Deputy Attorney General and supervisor of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force. He has law degrees, but no mention of environmental protection experience.
Perhaps this total absence of environmental background led former DEP Sec John Hanger to announce, after Abruzzo’s appointment:
“The resignation of DEP’s Secretary Krancer reveals a crucial state agency in crisis. His interim replacement, Chris Abruzzo, has absolutely no environmental background and is completely unqualified for the position.”
My family’s environment is too important to leave in such hands.
• Our broad coalition asks that PA Place a moratorium on permits for gas wells, compressor stations, pipelines, water withdrawals, coal mines, and other infrastructure related to fossil fuel extraction. Why? Because We The People who live, eat and drink water here are not sure of its safety:
April 19 MCall/Muhlenberg College poll commissioned by the Allentown Morning Call:
42% said hydraulic fracturing poses major or moderate environmental risks; 9% said it posed no risk at all.
52% said fracking is harmful to the water supply; 20% said it is not and 28% are not sure.
71% said the state should enact stronger regulations on fracking; 13% said it should not, and 16% were not sure.
Too many of us have legitimate concerns, which are not being addressed. According to MarcellusGas.Org Permit Information Updated April 13th, 2013, 12,082 Unconventional wells are permitted in PA. Given those fact, the currently permitted capacity is more than a fair and reasonable enough exposure to ask us to risk.
• Our broad coalition asks that PA allow no more toxic secrets and full disclosure of water tests and other studies by DEP;
DEP reports only certain parameters from test results of our citizen’s well water.
Perhaps that is part of what made State Rep Jess White tell his 966 personal FaceBook followers and the 4,387 who Like his official FB site, just today: “PA deserves much better than the short-sighted and arrogant approach of the Corbett Administration’s DEP.”
I’m inclined to agree with the honorable Representative White. Tell your employers, we citizens of this Commonwealth, what might pose a threat to us.
• Our broad coalition asks that PA provide justice for those harmed by the oil and gas industry;
Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air lists over 1,200 folks in the US. These folks are self-reported “individuals and families that have been harmed by fracking (or fracked gas and oil production) in the US.” Many are in PA, some of those have simply abandoned their homes. PaDEP must verify that every possible avenue of relief and to put any wrongs right have been exhausted or are being vigorously pursued on their behalf.
• Our broad coalition asks that PA reopen the DEP Office of Energy and Technology Deployment to develop solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies.
Either kill assistance to petrochemical industry, or give clean sources equal footing. Here in PA we pick favorites among the fossil fuels and petrochem interests, when we give Royal Dutch Shell $1.65 billion in tax breaks to locate an ethane cracker plant here. But this policy is to our detriment:
On April 18, PennFuture reported that “the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate of 8.1% continues to exceed the national average of 7.7% percent, and has increased from over a year ago when it was 7.6 percent. Over that same period, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment in 37 other states and Puerto Rico has decreased – but not in Pennsylvania.”