Triple Divide History Lesson While driving through eastern Ohio yesterday, I stopped for a stroll along the Cayuhoga. In the language of the First Americans, the name meant “crooked river.” For other Americans born centuries later, the name would come to mean “the river that caught on fire from pollution.” The famous Cayuhoga fire of 1969 was blamed on heavy oil slicks, and was one of several that afflicted the river during more than a century of unregulated industrial waste dumping. The image of the river burning has been credited with a surge in the environmental movement and the political support needed to pass the Clean Water Act. Fast-forward to September 2013, as Ohioans turn out in the hundreds to watch different images of rivers threatened and rivers defended—this time in the form of Triple Divide, a documentary about the damage caused by shale gas development.
"Flaring" is a term used to describe the burning of natural gas from a well that has not yet been linked to a pipeline. When a well is "flared,"a huge flame lights up the sky, reaching higher than tree tops, accompanied by a noise similar to a 757 jet engine. The sight and sound of a flaring well are quite intimidating, but the practice is not a risk to public health according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, or DEP.