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Water Crisis in Pennsylvania
In Bradford County, PA, they say the water buffalo is the fastest-growing species. That's because, as drilling for natural gashas expanded rapidly across Bradford County in the last three years, so has contamination. Amid rolling hills of farmland, replacement water tanks—or "water buffaloes"—now dot the landscape, revealing that despite industry claims to the contrary, the problems with fracking have not been fixed. Hundreds of people across the state of Pennsylvania can now light their water on fire, and are dependent on replacement water deliveries from gas corporations that demand their silence in return.
Pennsylvania is ground zero for America's fracking water crisis. Fracking has long caused water contamination everywhere it has been used across the country, but never before have so many people been impacted by its devastating effects. And an industry that has long run roughshod over communities has reached new lows in its refusal to take accountability for the havoc it creates.
In Dimock, PA, the Environmental Protection Agency just released preliminary test results and confirmed what residents there have been saying for years: the water is contaminated—full of explosive methane and toxic chemicals. Pennsylvania state regulators found Cabot Oil and Gas to be at fault for the contamination in Dimock, but since last November Cabot has refused to provide water deliveries for the 11 affected families, and smeared the victims as greedy liars just for asking for help. In Butler, PA, Rex Energy poisoned at least a dozen families' water and then, in early 2012, cut off water deliveries to them. In Franklin Township, three families have just come forward saying that WPX Energy contaminated their wells. And there are hundreds of other families across the state who are not speaking out publicly for fear of retribution from a powerful industry, or because they have already signed binding gag orders in order to receive clean water shipments.
Worse, the State of Pennsylvania under Governor Tom Corbett has turned its back on these people, and refused to protect its own citizens from the mafia-like gas corporations. Governor Corbett took $1.6 million dollars from the gas industry during his election campaign and the PA Department of Environmental Protection is solidly on the side of the gas industry. The PA Department of Environmental Protection even went so far as to threaten to arrest Craig Sautner, one of the affected Dimock residents, when he called the DEP to ask for help.
It's outrageous that American families lack access to safe drinking water. It's even more outrageous that the Pennsylvania government continues to allow the gas industry to profit off the suffering of ordinary people.
This reckless disregard of the health of American families can only continue if no one is watching. Join Water Defense in sounding the alarm and demanding that Governor Tom Corbett provide immediate relief to all affected families in Pennsylvania.