Thank you to the CDT for its excellent ecological coverage, especially the August op-eds “Is a healthy environment a human right?” (8/7) and “A disaster in the making” (8/12).
Both themes are intertwined in a current struggle between our state government and two communities pursuing the first op-ed’s concerns, and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, whose evisceration is explored in the second piece.
DEP recently filed lawsuits against Highland Township in Elk County and Grant Township in Indiana County, the same day the agency approved Underground Injection Control permits for fracking wastewater disposal wells by Seneca Resources in James City near the former’s drinking water wells and PGE near Grant Township’s wells. Like State College borough and Ferguson Township here, both of those townships have passed community bill of rights ordinances to protect their air, water and soil.
The Sierra Club is so concerned about the DEP litigation defending the wealthy fossil fuel industry with taxpayer dollars against these small rural communities that the Pennsylvania Chapter granted thousands to the East Run Hellbenders Society to fight PGE and the local Moshannon Group gave $2,000 to Citizens Advocating A Clean and Healthy Environment to counter Seneca’s advances on the eastern end of the Allegheny National Forest.
DEP’s lawsuits are an egregious outrage, especially since the agency is tasked with environmental protection but is legalizing harmful activities by issuing deep well injection permits to two corporations with histories of violations.
Douglas M. Mason, Port Matilda
Douglas M. Mason sits on the Executive Committee of the Moshannon Group of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club.