The Alliance for Sustainable Communities-Lehigh Valley has called upon the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its Environmental Quality Board to issue cease and desist orders immediately for all Marcellus Shale gas drilling or, if, because of regulatory law, they find themselves unable to refuse to issue drilling permits, members of the DEP should vote to terminate the Department and resign rather than approve damage to the environment or violate the rights of people, communities and ecosystems.
Since the hydrofracturing or “fracking” used in the Marcellus Shale drilling is of considerable harm to the environment and to people, states the Alliance, “It is unconscionable for the DEP to take the position that the economic benefits of drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale are worth the inevitable environmental damage and the public health threats that will result, even though such damage includes the poisoning of water sources.”
The Alliance statement “reminds and calls upon the Department of Environmental Protection to carry out the purpose for which it was formed, namely that of protecting and preserving the land, air, water, and energy resources of the Commonwealth. And in carrying out that purpose, we argue that the Pennsylvania Constitution should take precedence over regulations or any law that fails to meet the requirements of Article I, §27: ‘The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.’”
The Alliance statement to the DEP’s Environmental Quality Board was submitted during the public comment period re: the EQB’s proposed Wastewater Treatment Requirements regulations (25 PA Code Ch. 95 Wastewater Treatment Requirements). The public comment period ended February 12, 2010.
The Alliance’s Marcellus Statement is attached.