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Environmental Group Claims Marcellus Shale Drilling Illegally Uses Water in PA

The Allegheny Defense Project claims that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is illegally permitting natural gas companies to withdraw water from rivers and streams for use in the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, reports Reuters.

The environmental group says the state’s DEP does not have a legal right to permit drillers to take millions of gallons of water from rivers in the western part of the state as the right belongs to owners of riparian land that borders the waterway, according to the article.

Supporting the group’s argument, Joseph Dellapenna, a Villanova University law professor who specializes in water rights, said in an email to Reuters that the DEP’s authority to “regulate water withdrawals for public water supply facilities and power under the Clean Streams Act to regulate activities that impair water quality” don’t authorize DEP to give permission to withdraw water for Marcellus Shale use.

According to the DEP, industry drilled 822 Marcellus wells in Pennsylvania in the first seven months of 2010, with about 40 percent of those wells in the western part of the state, reports Reuters. About three million gallons of water are typically required for each well that is hydraulically fractured, or “fracked.”

In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a $1.9-million research study into the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing used in the extraction of natural gas on water quality and public health.

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One thought on “Environmental Group Claims Marcellus Shale Drilling Illegally Uses Water in PA

  1. The gas/oil industry in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale drilled 822 wells in the first seven months of 2010 alone, according to the DEP. At 3 million gallons of water per well, this represents 2 Billion 466 Million gallons of fresh water – for which this extremely profitable industry paid NOTHING! This represents yet another theft of public resources of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (in addition to the theft of the extremely valuable gas resources themselves which are TAX-FREE) by this rappacious industry. Once used for drilling, this water is terribly polluted, even radioactive in many cases. In addition, 80% of the water is lost, remaining underground, free to pollute our vital aquifers. No studies have been done to determine the migration of this polluted water. If our elected “leaders”, Governor Corbett and his majority Republican Legislature were not firmly in the pocket of the Gas industry, which spent record campaign funds to to get them elected and massive lobbying in Harrisberg to defeat a severance tax and prudent regulations, this would never be permitted! It is wrong, unconsciounable, highly unethical. In a truly democratic society would be against the law, as it is contrary to and harmful of the public interest. It is impoverishing the citizens of our state, where these same Republicans are trying to ram through grotesque austerity measures – cuts of up to 50% in education funding, and massive cuts in nearly all other essential public services, including hospitals; while lavish corporate welfare (tax cuts, tax brakes and ludicrous subsidies) are showered on a large variety of corporations, creating engineered “deficits” for which these c oorporate Republicans usher in more outrageous austerity measures on the tax-paying public. If this is not corporate fascism, or “corpporatism” as Mussolini perferred to call it, I don’t know what is! The “Shock Doctrine” in action, once again. they seem to be perfecting it almost into a science. And now they are stealing and polluting our fresh water to-boot, not only for current PA citizens, but for generations to come. Unless this insanity is stopped, we, the citizens of PA, will be doomed to third world status before we know what hit us and all the environmental and economic horrors that entails. The only solution to this nighmare is to debunk and permanently revoke the bogus claim of corporate “personhood”, beyond anything more than the legal fiction that it is. Corporations are NOT people, they are NOT natural persons and are not entitled to any of the right of citizens – flesh and blood natural persons, who live and die and are endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. Americans as well as the Supreme Court need to re-read the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and get a grip on reality, and return our government to one ‘of, by and for the PEOPLE’, not the corporations!

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