Fracking 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 Fracking

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.


Fracking Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

New report: For frackers it pays to pollute

[Harrisburg]—A new analysis by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center finds that while fracking companies continue to violate cornerstone environmental laws and public health protections, they rarely pay significant penalties for their violations.The new study showed that a median fine for fracking violations in Pennsylvania of just $5,263 with only 17% of violations receiving a fine.  

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Fracking Failures

In Pennsylvania, fracking companies violate rules and regulations meant to protect the environment and human health on virtually a daily basis. Between January 1, 2008, and September 30, 2016, fracking companies together committed a combined total of 4,351 violations, or an average of 1.4 violations per day.  Between 2008 and 2016, just 17 percent of violations of rules meant to protect the environment and public health at unconventional wells were accompanied with a fine. When they were, the median fine was only $5,263.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

On National Doctor’s Day, 1000+ PA Health Professionals Call for Increased Protections from Fracking

Health experts from across the Commonwealth came together to issue a “Call to Action” to the Wolf administration from the largest group of PA health professionals to voice concern about the health risks posed by fracking.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Ten Priorities for a Green National Budget

Tomorrow (Tuesday, February 9), the Obama administration will present its last budget to Congress. The first iteration of the must-pass federal budget will be one of the final opportunities the president has to shape his legacy for our air, water, our lands, and our climate.  Together with our national federation at Environment America, we’re calling on the president to include the following ten priorities his budget to help ensure a greener, cleaner, healthier future for Pennsylvania, the country, and the planet.

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