“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”
Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution
We are residents of the Pennsylvania Wilds region who would like to see the unspoiled rural nature of the region preserved and protected for future generations to enjoy. For years we’ve been told that we can’t do anything to stop or even control fracking. When Act 13 was passed in 2012 it looked like our fate was sealed. The Act allowed drilling, fracking, and associated industrial development such as compressor stations and open waste pits anywhere in the State, regardless of local Zoning Ordinances and gave the industry other protections. BUT on December 19, 2013 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that many parts of Act 13 were unconstitutional and reaffirmed the right of local governments to control development through their Zoning Ordinances. So if nothing else we can change the Zoning Ordinances where we live to control where fracking will take place.
But, is that enough?? Fracking brings the risks of severe environmental contamination which will affect large areas (not just those near the well), health issues, and a wealth of other problems. Is it acceptable to just move it to another part of your community and stick the people in one area with the drill pads when the environmental contamination will affect us all? In it’s decision the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated:
“By any responsible account, the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale formation will produce a detrimental effect on the environment, on the people, their children, and future generations, and potentially on the public purse, perhaps rivaling the environmental effects of coal extraction.”
We need to ban fracking in our communities and this too can be done on a local level. It’s not as easy as changing Zoning Ordinances and there are risks of legal challenges from the oil and gas industry, but at the same time the Courts have ruled that municipalities have an obligation to protect their citizens from harm and citizens are now suing their local governments for not taking action to halt fracking.
This website is the place for information on our movement, ideas on how to fight fracking, our forum for discussion of issues affecting the Pennsylvania Wilds region and a repository of information. Please explore it and feel free to contact us
Residents ask Elk County Commissioners to oppose fracking by Katie Weidenboerner, Courier Express, April 6, 2016 RIDGWAY – Half a dozen concerned citizens asked the Elk County Commissioners Tuesday morning to sign a... READ MORE
The last icicles are dropping from the north facing rocks in the forest and the maple sap has been collected and boiled to sweet syrup! Let’s get together for a lively and informative event... READ MORE