Local Groups Will Host Film and Q&A About at Glen Theater on Tuesday, August 7th at 7PM
Community leaders and residents are invited to a special event screening in Watkins Glen of the independently produced documentary “My Name Is Allegany County.” Spike Jones of Allegany County will be available for a discussion to follow.
With Schuyler County and surrounding towns reviewing their comprehensive plans, many local citizen groups are asking community decision-makers and citizens to be mindful of the impact heavy industry will have on the Finger Lakes region. Gas Free Seneca, The Finger Lakes Sierra Club Group, and Finger Lakes Bioneers are co-sponsoring a second event to foster learning and communication within the region regarding the challenges of development that has an industrial focus. Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards will also be offering complimentary wine tasting.
The film is being shown as part of a regional film series organized by Finger Lakes Bioneers, a program of Sustainable Tompkins. “We’ve been partnering with local groups since last fall,” said Nick Vaczek, the series coordinator, “and we’ve found that people really enjoy watching films on challenging issues and innovative solutions, especially when that’s followed by a chance to discuss how that connects to hometown endeavors.” More details about the film series are at www.wemakeourfuture.org.
“Our region faces economic and environmental challenges. The area is being considered for hydrofracking, gas storage and transport, and frack-related industry. We need to be informed, to learn together, and to work together to formulate a vision for the future of the region,” said Yvonne Taylor, co-founder of Gas Free Seneca. “Our goal is to provide an opportunity for the community to engage in a respectful, open dialogue about the various ways in which citizens can work together to protect their community, their health, and their future.”
For more information contact Nick@SustainableTompkins.org or visit www.wemakeourfuture.org.
Nearly 100 Earth First! activists, friends and allies forced a 70-foot-tall EQT hydrofracking drill rig to suspend operations for 12 hours yesterday in Pennsylvania’s Moshannon State Forest. This is the first time that protesters have shut down a hydrofrack drilling operation in the US. A tree sitter hung above the access road, with their anchor ropes blocking it. A second person was also in a tree to support the sitter while dozens of supporters guarded ten large debris piles that were across the road. Another group of 50 activists blockaded the entrance to the access road. The State Police, with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, dispersed the blockade around nine p.m. And removed the tree sitters with a ladder truck. Three arrests were made for disorderly conduct, but protesters were cited and released on-site.
There are a limited number of actual drill rigs in operation in the state which are ferried around from site to site on a tight schedule. By halting operations for a day on this site, the blockade has likely created a costly disruption for a handful of wells in the area which EQT apparently planned to drill in succession.
The activists reported that the police were at times reckless with the sitters’ safety, such as being quick to cut their anchor ropes. The supporting sitter’s safety and descent ropes were cut by the police as he climbed higher in the tree. The police in the ladder truck had no radios and communication to the ground was difficult over the noise of the diesel engine; at one point the ladder hit one of the sitter’s support lines. Police were seen taunting the sitter by waving around one of their anchor lines and making jokes at them while shaking the hammock.
The site is part of a high concentration of wells in Moshannon State Forest, one of the most heavily drilled state forests in Pennsylvania. Over half of the forest’s 190,000 acres have been leased for Marcellus drilling using hydraulic fracturing. Despite widespread public opposition, the former PA secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources predicts 12,000 Marcellus wells will be drilled in state forests in the coming decade. A recent poll showed that the majority of Pennsylvanians are opposed to fracking on public lands.
Local farmer Jenny Lisak, whose own property has been impacted by fracking, describes the devastation she has seen in the Moshannon, “Having grown up enjoying Moshannon State Forest in so many ways, I am absolutely appalled at the ongoing destruction. The once narrow and inviting oak-shaded lanes are now being replaced by dust and traffic choked roads for chemical laden trucks – there are no words to describe the injustice of taking public land, meant to provide a source of beauty and wilderness for all and turning it into an industrial zone.”
Drilling in the area has a troubled history. In June 2010, a major blowout at another well in Clearfield County spewed 35,000 gallons of toxic drilling waste into the Little Laurel Run watershed and caused the evacuation of Moshannon State Forest. Since 2008, only 24 of EQT’s 198 Marcellus wells in the state have been inspected and violations were found at every single inspection. When they have been cited, they’ve refused to change their practices. On May 9, 2012, in Duncan Township, Tioga County, EQT was cited for faulty construction on a flowback water impoundment; three weeks later the pit failed, contaminating a nearby spring.
“This is part of an escalating direct action campaign against fracking in the Marcellus Shale region,” said Danielle Dietterick, an activist affiliated with Marcellus Earth First! from Benton, Pa. “People from all around the country have joined with Pennsylvania residents to put their bodies on the line to stop fracking.”
The action comes on the heels of a 12-day blockade to stop the displacement of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park, in Lycoming County, and the shutdown of a fracking wastewater injection well near Athens, Ohio. Groups across the country are planning more anti-extraction interventions like RAMPS in West Virginia and the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas, later this month. All these independent, grassroots-led actions show perhaps a coalescing national uprising against exploitative extraction.
Susan Riley, another supporter, cheered on the bold action, “The state government has sold off our public lands and, with Act 13, stripped us of our rights to local self-governance. The fracking industry has free reign in this state and no one’s gonna stop them unless we do.”
More Pictures at www.marcellusearthfirst.org
Another Article: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/07/fracking-site-bows-to-earth-first-convergence/
A Newfield Community Conversation with Craig Stevens and Don Barber
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Newfield Fire Hall
77 Main St, Newfield, NY
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Shale Gas Industry Claims Are Focus of Upcoming Newfield Community Conversation
The gas industry promotes shale gas as an abundant, cheap, clean and safe domestic energy source whose extraction will create local jobs, make landowners rich, pump dollars into local economies and bring energy independence to the U.S. How realistic are these claims? Craig Stevens and Deborah Rogers, two people whose direct experience with shale gas drilling lead them to undertake their own investigations, will share what they have learned about some of these claims at the Newfield Community Conversation “Shale Gas Promises, Shale Gas Realities”. This event will take place Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at the Newfield Fire Hall, 77 Main St. and is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Newfield group PAUSE -People Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy
Don Barber has been Caroline Town Supervisor since 1997 and co-chairs the Tompkins County Council of Governments. Together with County Legislator Carol Chock, he co-authored the TCCOG White Paper on Taxation Issues Related to Gas Drilling. Don grew up on a family-owned-and-operated dairy farm in Danby, NY and owns a 75-acre farm in Caroline which he and his wife operate with four draft horses. Don will be speaking on “Revenues and Costs for Local Governments if Gas Drilling Occurs”
Craig Stevens is a 6th generation landowner in Susquehanna County, PA and a self-described Constitutional Conservative. His view of shale gas drilling has evolved as a result of direct experience. He says he “was excited about the prospect of becoming a Shaleionaire from his 115 acre property until his investigation into the ‘Problems’ caused him to shift to a more ‘Protective’ position”. He has shared his findings and experience at many events in both Pennsylvania and New York.
PAUSE – People Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy
www.newfield-pause.org | email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Becky Bowen, Outreach Coordinator
Community Science Institute
No one can say with certainty how or if hydrofracking will impact our streams, lakes and rivers. The Community Science Institute (CSI), based in Ithaca NY, will be recruiting and training several groups of volunteers in the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed to find out.
The Community Science Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower citizens to monitor and protect their community’s natural resources, especially water. In addition to partnering with volunteer groups, CSI also operates a state certified water quality testing lab (NYSDOH-ELAP #11790). CSI’s currently partners with eight volunteer groups in the Cayuga Lake watershed and Upper Susquehanna River Basin, covering over 800 square miles of drainage area.
Water monitoring by volunteer groups in partnership with the certified laboratory is a low-cost and effective strategy for tracking water quality. With support from the CSI lab, volunteers will perform regular “red flag” field tests on stream samples to assess whether or not contamination occurs from shale gas operations. If a “red flag” is found, the CSI lab will perform further testing. CSI will be holding the following Information Sessions about “Red Flag” Monitoring:
CSI will be holding the following Information Sessions for interested volunteers in Chemung and Steuben Counties:
- Tuesday, June 19th, 6:15 PM at the Southeast Steuben County Public Library Auditorium, located at 300 Nasser Civic Center Plaza, Suite 101 in Corning.
- Wednesday, July 11th, 6:15 PM at the Dormann Public Library Empire Room, located at 101 West Morris Street in Bath.
Come and find out how CSI’s stream monitoring program works and how to get involved!
If you would like to get involved but cannot come to the Info Session, please email Becky Bowen, CSI’s Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-257-6606.
Community Science Institute
Water Quality Testing Lab
Location: in Ithaca, RSVP for details and directions.
Dates and Time: Tuesdays, June 12, July 10, August 14. 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Grassroots Ecological Consulting
, an Ithaca-based organization that advocates for resilient communities (natural and human), is offering a series of three workshops on bioregional mapping this summer. In collaboration with Ithaca Freeskool
, these hands-on workshops are free—but space is limited, so register now.
What do we call home, and why? The bioregion has long been a useful concept to understand what Doug Aberley calls “the boundaries of home.” With the burgeoning locavore movement and the coming changes promised by Peak Oil, the idea of bioregionalism has never been more relevant.
In these three workshops we will explore bioregionalism as a concept and tool, consider the boundaries of our bioregion, and put pencil to paper to craft maps of our home.
No cartographic or artistic skills required! Come learn just how simple and powerful map-making can be.