On Monday, November 1, 2010 Bill and I traveled to Lansing, NY (just north of Ithaca) to give a presentation on "Lessons from Pennsylvania: Impact of Marcellus Shale Gas Development on Rivers, Streams and Forests" (see video of ADP Presentation). The event was sponsored by Social Ventures, ROUSE, Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition (DRAC), Cornell Outdoor Education, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Finger Lakes Sierra Club, Coalition to Protect New York, Tompkins County League of Women Voters, Ithaca Health Alliance, Sustainable Tompkins, Community Foundation, and others.
The presenters were Bill Belitskus, Board President of the Allegheny Defense Project, Katy Dunlap, Esq. of Trout Unlimited, Eastern Water Project Director (see image on left); and Shellie Northrop, member and volunteer of several PA and NY hiking clubs and trail associations (see image below). A large crowd heard each presenter tell about the impacts / critical issues of Marcellus shale drilling and the effects it has had on Pennsylvania's environment and its citizens (see entire event video)
Special thanks to Sara Hess, Laurie Roe, Joe Wilson, and Hilary Lambert for all their efforts in making this event possible.
Description of event:
Lessons From Pennsylvania
High volume, slick water, hydraulic fracturing (hydro-fracking) to take natural gas from the Marcellus Shale has been going on in Pennsylvania for the past three years. Hydro-fracking includes withdrawing millions of gallons of water from nearby rivers, lakes, and streams, mixing it with chemicals, and injecting the solution under high pressure into the shale to release the gas.
What has been the effect of Marcellus gas development on the people who use the outdoors for recreation? What has been the effect on their hiking, fishing, biking, birding, hunting, camping, boating, family outings, sightseeing?
Pennsylvanians and those who have studied the effects will share what they have learned, and they will take questions from the audience at this free, educational forum.
Katy Dunlap, Trout Unlimited, Eastern Water Project Director. Ms. Dunlap will talk about impacts on coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, ranging from small mountain streams to larger river systems like the Susquehanna. She will describe the current state of water resource protection in NY and what new regulations and protections are needed. Katy will also explain what Trout Unlimited and its members are doing to protect streams and rivers in the Marcellus Shale region.
Shellie Northrop, member and volunteer of several PA and NY hiking clubs and trail associations. Through Ms. Northrop’s years of hiking and contact with other hikers, she is able to describe the impact of drilling activities for hikers in the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. She will also use examples in PA to offer suggestions of how those of us in NY can take action now that will help protect our wilderness areas.
Bill Belitskus, Allegheny Defense Project, Board President. Mr. Belitskus lives adjacent to and has been hiking, camping and recreating in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest for over 35 years. He has been monitoring forest fragmentation, water degradation, air pollution, species decline and loss of recreation opportunities associated with oil and gas development from land clearing, well site and road construction, pipelines, tank batteries, generators, compressors, gas processing plants, truck traffic and construction equipment for the past 15 years. He will discuss one of the critical issues of unconventional hydrocarbon, deep shale extraction: withdrawal of water from streams and rivers, and riparian rights of landowners to protect waterways.
Dale Baker, Lansing resident will moderate the program.
Sponsors: Social Ventures, ROUSE, Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition (DRAC), Cornell Outdoor Education, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Finger Lakes Sierra Club, Coalition to Protect New York, Tompkins County League of Women Voters, Ithaca Health Alliance, Sustainable Tompkins, Community Foundation, and others.