10,000 miles. 0 Gasoline. Cross-Country Tour Of Fracking Investigation Will Challenge Your Ideas About Energy

Public Herald founders Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman with a TESLA Model S. The two embark on a national tour of their documentary "Triple Divide" about  fracking on June 21st. With TESLA's Supercharger network they'll cross the country using zero gasoline.  photo: Tod J Xelowski © Public Herald

Investigative News Team Screening ‘Triple Divide’ Across U.S. What do fracking and the car of the future have in common? This summer, communities across the Unites States will have the opportunity to witness investigative documentary Triple Divide about […]

Photography: Fracking State Forests

Public Herald contributing artist John Nicholson captures audio of an active drill rig on state forest land. photo: Kyle Pattison

In late spring Public Herald contributing artists set out at dusk with cameras in hand to document fracking in Pennsylvania's Tiadaghton State Forest, where activity has recently increased after Governor Tom Corbett opened up new development on public lands.

Permit Allows Fracking Waste Storage in Backyards, Community Fights Back

Dick Stedge puts the East Township supervisors on the spot for not disclosing a certified letter from Chesapeake Energy regarding a waste permit application. photo: jbpribanic

Correction: DEP’s record office originally informed Public Herald and our sources that only 28 WMGR123 permits were issued for the entire state. But upon further questioning our #fileroom File Team confirmed that this permit file is handled differently […]

$35K Awarded To Public Herald To Tour Fracking Documentary Across U.S.

Journalists and Public Herald co-founders Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman high-five in celebration of their INNovation Fund award to tour their investigative documentary Triple Divide across the country.  photo: Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network

PENNSYLVANIA — Investigative news nonprofit Public Herald has won $35,000 to tour its investigative documentary Triple Divide about fracking in the Marcellus Shale across the United States. Public Herald is one of eight winners in the first round […]

DEP Manipulates Law On Complaint, Leaves Family Without Water

Christine Pepper's sons watch as dirty water drips from the faucet.  photo: jbpribanic

It’s day one and Christine Pepper’s family has no water. There’s no water for the family to drink, to shower, or wash their clothes so they’re making calls to inlaws and saving single gallon plastic jugs. It’s day one, and the Pepper family has 45 days until they know what’s happened. It started when Christine splashed water on her face from the kitchen faucet and a burning sensation shot through her skin. “It felt like my face was on fire for 20 minutes,” she said. Later red bumps developed. Not shortly after there was no water at all. The Pepper's spring-fed well, which had produced water for more than 50 years, went completely dry. “I’m not saying we’ve never had low water," explains Christine’s husband Corey, "but it always comes right back, but it’s stayed dry for two weeks. And... I’ve never seen it! I’m 42, I’ve lived here 42 years, and my Dad was 18 when he bought this house.”

Methane & Fracking’s Impact on Climate Change

The Headley family spring in Fayette County, Pa., became flammable after a Marcellus well was drilled on their property. The horses stopped drinking the spring when it began to bubble. © J.B.Pribanic

Gas Planet: The Impact of the Natural Gas Boom on Climate Change. by the series Gas Planet for The Allegheny Front Why Methane is a Potent Greenhouse Gas by Reid R. Frazier in the series Gas Planet for The Allegheny […]

EcoWatch Interviews Public Herald About Fracking & Triple Divide

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With high-profile activists like Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon taking a stand against fracking, the controversial drilling practice has been pulled from the periphery and placed in the public's main line-of-sight at a scale sparking movement from Hollywood. Promised Land, a film starring Matt Damon as a salesman for a natural gas company, hits theaters tonight, lending cinematic drama to the issue of fracking. While the large-scale exposure is valuable, Melissa Troutman, co-creator of another film on fracking, is careful to iterate an important fact, "Promised Land is a story, but this [Triple Divide] is a true story." Triple Divide, a documentary by Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman of Public Herald, carefully investigates the effects of fracking in the Marcellus Shale Region of Pennsylvania from the ground up, focusing its lens on the true accounts of neighbors who have lost their water well to contamination from drilling, and farmers, like the ones in Promised Land, who have lost their land to pollution from a nearby well pad. In their first live interview about the film, journalists Joshua and Melissa discussed Triple Divide and the impact of fracking with Stefanie Spear, Founder and Editor of EcoWatch, a news service designed to promote and build a community of grassroots environmental activism. You can watch the full interview above or at EcoWatch.

A Dairy Farmer Shares Her Story About Fracking: “What Have We Done?”

Carol French stands on her dairy farm in Bradford County, Pa., with heirloom tomatoes harvested from her garden. Once a supporter for fracking with a lease, she turned against it after her neighbors began to experience problems and her water became undrinkable.

In the early spring of 2006, a nice man was in the area, promoting a chance to dream of better times for Bradford County and its farmers. There was promise of jobs for everyone and the farmer would generate money from signing a lease, and if a gas well was drilled on the farmer’s property he would become rich. Two years passed with little activity. By now, the older leases were about to expire, gas companies were beginning to drill, and excitement was in the air. Here, the majority of farmers signed early, receiving $5- $85/per acre. There was this belief that the person with the gas well would become the next “shaleionaires.” We later found out small acre properties started signing leases at $2,500/ per acre. By the spring of 2009, there was uneasiness among some of the farmers who had a gas well drilled on their property. The local newspaper was reporting contamination found in water wells, death occurring on a gas pad and the farmer was facing the fact that he could lose his farm due to a lawsuit based on the gas companies operation. For myself, I was thinking that our lucky neighbor was going to become the next Millionaire, because they had the gas well drilled on them. Soon my mind changed. Those farmers were facing penalties lodged against them, due to their land becoming industrial use instead of agricultural use.

Triple Divide: Fracking Pennsylvania’s Exceptional Value Waters

The Cherry Springs vista [pictured here] forms headwaters for Pennsylvania's largest spread of Exceptional Value streams, the state's highest recognized classification by DEP for healthy ecosystems. These virgin hydrologic landscapes also hold exceptional resources for the Marcellus Shale Play. © J.B.Pribanic

The following is a Triple Divide chapter (w/ files) on natural gas drilling violations in Exceptional Value watersheds where fracking has occurred — fracking is a process of using water, sand, chemicals and pressure to opens cracks in deep shale layers […]

Locals Fight Against Act 13, Pennsylvania’s New Fracking Law

A natural gas well pad in Bradford County, Pa., employing the controversial method hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Local legislator's want to decide where these wells are located in their districts, but Act 13 would strip them of that authority and pass it on to the state. photo: J.B.Pribanic

Local leaders sue for right to control location of gas wells Natural gas contributions, lobbying dollars flow by Alice Su for iWatch News When Pennsylvania passed a state law that stripped local authority over where potentially hazardous natural […]