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. Sign up for our email alerts to learn about upcoming trainings near you.
  • 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.

Join our campaign by sending your legislators a message today.


Drilling Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

Secretary Krancer’s Response to Water Testing Questions Offers No Answers and is Politically Charged

Members of environmental and citizen groups sent several thousand emails to Governor Tom Corbett and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer seeking information regarding how the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigates cases of water contamination from fracking. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

PA DEP Abruptly Cancels Meeting on Water Testing Policy with Environmental Groups

PA DEP’s failed efforts to address their water testing policies and use of suite codes continues to leave concerned public yearning for answers. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment endorses 40 candidates for General Assembly

With the controversy over Marcellus Shale gas drilling driving up voter interest in environmental issues this election cycle, the statewide group PennEnvironment today announced its endorsements of 40 state House and Senate candidates.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

The Costs of Fracking: PennEnvironment Documents the Dollars Drained by Dirty Drilling

Firing a new salvo in the ongoing debate over the gas drilling practice known as fracking, PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center today released a report documenting a wide range of dollars and cents costs imposed by dirty drilling.   

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

The Costs of Fracking

Fracking’s negative impacts on our environment and health come with heavy “dollars and cents” costs as well. In this report, we document those costs – ranging from cleaning up contaminated water to repairing ruined roads and beyond. Many of these costs are likely to be borne by the public, rather than the oil and gas industry. And as with the damage done by previous extractive booms, the public may experience these costs for decades to come.

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