Because Trout Can't Fight For Themselves
Extreme Danger to Pa Streams in the future.
In Pa we’ve worked very hard to clean up the mess our waterways were. It was a common sight to see soap suds floating down the Susquehanna River on a daily basis
in the Danville of my youth. Many of the streams where we fish for trout held no fish 50 years ago.
Two very dangerous bills SB 545 (Yaw) and HB 1842 (Zimmerman), were passed out of the State House and now are under consideration by the State Senate.
These bills are giving legislators a chance to change the definition of pollution as it NOW reads in the PA Clean Streams Law that gives DEP & PFBC
the authority to regulate and protect water quality in the Commonwealth. INSTEAD these bills give Polluters the right to decide and not DEP or the PaFBC,
whether we even have a right to know whether pollution of a piece of water has occurred or is harmful or dangerous; THEN it gives the polluter the right to determine
what if any efforts should be made to clean the pollution.We’ve heard the saying “One step forward, two steps back?” This is “3” steps back.
We don’t have to go far to see the effects of when we let coal companies determine what needed to be done to protect PENNSYLVANIA.
Below is a script that you can use to call your local Senator's office and House Rep ASAP.
SB 545 and HB 1842 are dangerous bills that seek to circumvent Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law. These bills would:
- redefine what is currently regulated as “reportable quantities or other readily ascertainable standards” and
- take away regulating authority from PA-DEP and PA Fish and Boat Commission
- hand over authority to polluters to decide if they need to report spills, and discharges or releases of substances into our state’s waterways.
If these bills are passed into law, the polluter would be given the authority to
- determine if the spill meets the still to be developed standards of rendering the waters “harmful” to health or the environment and
- determine if it can put in place control or remedial efforts to address the spill. If the polluter decides for itself that the spill doesn’t meet the standard or that its after-the-fact control measures are sufficient, then it simply doesn’t have to report the spill to downstream entities, therefore DEP and PFBC will never know about the pollution event and not be able to take action to protect our waters that we use for fishing, irrigation, recreation, and drinking water.
The passing of these bills will be ultimately detrimental to the public health of humans, wildlife, fish, and insects that utilize these waters as a vital lifeline, not to mention the possibility of economic effects if there are untreated and reported pollution events to waters that are used for recreation and tourism.
If you don’t want PENNSYLVANIA to look like the APOCALYPSE has already come home to us, call your Senator
UPDATE ON THE PENN EAST PIPELINE
The New Jersey Supreme Court on June 29, 2021, ruled in favor of the pipeline in its
dispute with the state of NJ.
NJ had attempted to block the pipeline saying it owned some of the
land and/or agriculture conservation easements on properties and they
couldn't be condemned to build the pipeline.
That argument makes sense in that the ability to condemn is one of doing what is
right for the common good, which is what the state does. The ability to condemn is a state authorized function.
NJ would effectively be condemning It’s own land, which it didn’t want to sell. They could have chosen to sell the land.
In PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey, the Supreme Court Justices
held 5-4 that a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued
by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to Section
717f(h) of the Natural Gas Act authorizes a private company to condemn
all necessary rights-of-way, whether owned by private parties or states.
Here what the Supreme Court of NJ said was that since the Federal Government can overrule any state action,
That a finding of a Federal Commission can outweigh the findings and desires of a state. Notice that this was a 5-4 decision and it
should/could end up at the US Supreme Court. With State’s rights considered sacrosanct by Republicans, when it reaches the
US Supreme Court, I would expect a close decision but wouldn’t be surprised if there is a reversal.
Opinion is at:
Law Offices of J. Scott Brady
61 North Washington Street
Wilkes Barre, PA 18701
June 16, 2020
The following is a report from PA TU received by our chapter president Scott Brady
FYI on suit filed by PA AG against Cabot Oil and Gas. Press release from AG
AG Shapiro and 43rd Statewide Grand Jury File Criminal Charges Against NEPA
June 15, 2020 | Topic: Criminal
VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT: https://youtu.be/8BBaqSLTLIg
SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY-Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is formally charging Cabot Oil and
Gas, an unconventional gas, or "fracking," company, for environmental crimes
that occurred in northeastern Pennsylvania. The charges come as part of a
two-year Grand Jury investigation into environmental crimes committed by
unconventional oil and gas companies across the Commonwealth.
"Pennsylvanians understand the careful balance that a strong natural
resource economy requires - and companies who put their own profit above our
laws, our health, and our constitutional right to clean and pure water will
be held accountable," said Attorney General Shapiro in a video released
today. "Fracking companies come from all over the nation, backed by big
investors and big influence, and too often act like they're above the law
with no care for the worker on the job site, the farmer next door, or the
child impacted by their drilling. We're here to hold these companies
accountable, and make sure no matter how powerful or well-connected, the law
applies equally in our Commonwealth."
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, in conjunction with the 43rd
Statewide Grand Jury, is charging Cabot with 7 counts of Prohibition Against
Discharge of Industrial Wastes, 7 counts of Prohibition Against Other
Pollutions and one count of Unlawful Conduct under the Clean Streams Law.
The Grand Jury's investigation into the contamination of well water in
Dimock, Susquehanna County, revealed that Cabot's fracking activities were
responsible for methane pollution in the local water supply. This
contamination led to several Dimock residents suffering from the
environmental hazards associated with repeated methane exposure, including
Norma Fiorentino's drinking water well exploding in January 2009.
The Grand Jury heard testimony from several residents, one of whom was a
former Cabot employee. This individual had several Cabot gas wells on their
property. The former employee trusted that their former employer had told
them the truth about the possibility of water contamination. However, after
several neighbors noticed that their water was cloudy and full of black
specks, the former employee tested their own water supply: when they held up
a match to a jug of the water that they used to bathe and drink, it caught
Another resident whose testimony was heard by the Grand Jury said that when
Cabot came to town, employees had told them that Cabot could drill wells on
their property without the resident's agreement. The resident recounted
that after agreeing to have gas wells installed on their property, they
began experiencing similar issues with their water. The resident testified
that the family had to stop drinking their methane-contaminated water. In
order to supply the home with this necessity, the resident began making a
regular 14-mile round trip to pick up drinking water.
When the resident contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protections to ask when their water would be clean again, they were told
that the water would be clean again in several years. A decade later, at the
time of their appearance before the grand jury, the issue had remained
"The Grand Jury presentments prove that Cabot took shortcuts that broke the
law, and damaged our environment - harming our water supply and public
health," concluded Attorney General Shapiro. "They put their bottom line
ahead of the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. The Grand Jury repeatedly
found evidence of a company that placed profit over our laws. If it's
against the law, and it hurts Pennsylvanians, we're here to stop it - no
matter how powerful or well-connected you are," said AG Shapiro.
"We are in the first stages of a long process to hold the well-connected
accountable and meet the promise of our constitution to protect our
environment for generations to come.
We must protect Pennsylvanians, it is what we are dedicated to every day.
This work will not stop. Our waters, air, and resources will be protected
for this generation and the next to come."