Just Say ‘No’ — Locals Ban Frack Waste in Pa.

Correction: Originally stated the Triple Divide waste treatment facility is permitted for 700 trucks per day, as was indicated in a local paper in December of 2012. Another local paper has indicated 01/17/13 that the truck load is more like 70 per day, but it’s unclear how accurate this number is. An update will be posted soon.
Update: While the total number of trucks will likely vary, the facility is permitted for around 700.

Dr. Stephen Cleghorn of Paradise Gardens and Farm, who recently formed an easement on his property to ban the development of unconventional gas wells. © J.B.Pribanic

Dr. Stephen Cleghorn of Paradise Gardens and Farm, who recently formed an easement on his property to ban the development of unconventional gas wells. © J.B.Pribanic

On January 9, 2013, in otherwise quiet Highland Township in Elk County, Pennsylvania, officials signed a community rights bill into law stopping the deposit of fracking waste within the township.

Seneca Resources, the drilling and fracking arm of National Fuel Gas of Williamsville, N.Y., had planned to inject its “production fluids” (oil and gas drilling and fracking waste) into an injection well about 2,200 feet from Crystal Springs — a main source of water for James City — according to the Kane Republican.

Injection wells have a history, both long and recent, of failing to contain waste and increasing the risk of exposure to drinking water supplies. So, residents of Highland Township asked their municipal officials to say “No.”

A Community & Environmental Rights Movement

Highland Township is the latest on a list of over 140 other communities that have said ‘no’  to factory farms, waste incinerators, corporate water withdrawals, and now fracking by passing rights-based ordinances. Marsha Buhl, president of the Highland  Township Recreation Association, collected signatures from more than 230 township residents in order to ban the injection well.

The new ordinance “bans the depositing of waste from the extraction of shale gas within Highland Township” because it  “violates the civil rights of Highland residents, and because it threatens the health, safety, and welfare of residents and neighborhoods of Highland.” But the ordinance doesn’t just ban injection wells. It also removes all legal power and authority of corporations “involved in the disposal, storage, surface or subsurface injection or ‘treatment’ of waste products.”

About Melissa Troutman

  • http://www.nepagasaction.org Vera Scroggins

    good news; people power; encouraging; thanks, to all that made this possible.