Monday, November 29, 2010

BASELINE Drinking Water Well testing for Mora County Las Vegas Basin

Drilling Mora County will begin the process for the baseline water sampling for surface springs, and private and community wells across the Las Vegas Basin in Mora County this December 2010.

A list of chemicals known to be pervasive in hydraulic fracturing fluids will be tested for in a number of wells throughout the mineral-leased land in Mora County.

The Las Vegas Basin lies north of Las Vegas and runs north to Ocate, east to Wagon Mound. Communities in this area in Mora County are Watrous, Buena Vista, Ojo Feliz, Rainsville, Ocate, Wagon Mound. Anyone interested in having your water samples collected and tested, contact Drilling Mora County for details. There will be a limited number of wells paid for in this project, but anyone interested in having their wells tested as well is encouraged to contact DMC to be included in this process.

According to retired EPA environmental engineer, Weston Wilson, Mora County will be the first county to establish a baseline for their water wells where industry is perched, but not yet begun drilling. The protocol is based upon work done by the Roaring Forks Coalition, Dr. Theo Colborn and direction from Weston Wilson.


"We strongly recommend that the Commission [DRBC] conduct a study of the potential cumulative impacts of gas drilling on water quantity and quality in the Delaware Basin [watershed] before proceeding any further with the Draft Gas Extraction Regulations."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg

On November 17, New York City Mayor Bloomberg sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission's Executive Director, Carol Collier (see website for letter--

Department of Environmental Protection Calls for Prohibition on Drilling in the New York City Watershed

December 23 2010

Report finds gas drilling poses unacceptable risks to the unfiltered drinking water supply for nine million New Yorkers

Natural gas drilling and exploration are incompatible with the operation of New York City’s unfiltered water supply system and pose unacceptable risks for more than nine million New Yorkers in the City and State. Drilling in the watershed requires invasive industrialization and creates a substantial risk of chemical contamination, and infrastructure damage, according to the Final Impact Assessment Report prepared for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). After reviewing the report, DEP has called for a prohibition on any drilling in the New York City watershed, located upstate.

“Based on the latest science and available technology, as well as the data and limited analysis presented by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), high-volume hydrofracking and horizontal drilling pose unacceptable threats to the unfiltered fresh water supply of nine million New Yorkers,” said Acting DEP Commissioner Steven W. Lawitts. “New York City has invested $1.5 billion to protect the watershed and prevent degradation of the water supply, and to maintain its Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD). The known and unknown impacts associated with drilling simply cannot be justified.”....continued.......

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling-Adopts first-in-the-nation ordinance –

16 November 2010
PITTSBURGH: Today, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city.

The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) at the invitation of Councilman Bill Peduto, and was introduced by Councilman Doug Shields.

Pittsburgh’s first-in-the-nation ordinance confronts the threat of Marcellus Shale drilling – an activity permitted by the state which allows corporations to site drilling activities over the wishes of a community.

Energy corporations are setting up shop in communities across Pennsylvania, to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. The gas extraction technique known as “fracking” has been cited as a threat to surface and groundwater, and has been blamed for fatal explosions, the contamination of drinking water, local rivers, and streams. Collateral damage includes lost property value, ingestion of toxins by livestock, drying up of mortgage loans for prospective home buyers, and threatened loss of organic certification for farmers in affected communities.

Councilman Shields stated, “This ordinance recognizes and secures expanded civil rights for the people of Pittsburgh, and it prohibits activities which would violate those rights. It protects the authority of the people of Pittsburgh to pass this ordinance by undoing corporate privileges that place the rights of the people of Pittsburgh at the mercy of gas corporations.”

Shields added, “With this vote we are asserting the right of the city to make critical decisions to protect our health, safety, and welfare. We are not a colony of the state and will not sit quietly by as our city gets drilled. We encourage communities across the region to take this step and join with us to elevate the rights of communities and people over corporations.”

CELDF’s Ben Price, who is engaging with communities across the state seeking to protect themselves from drilling, said, “Communities are coming to recognize that our state laws and government are not in place to protect their interests, but rather the interests of private corporations.”

Price applauded the city for taking a stand on behalf of community rights. “Some will say that the municipality doesn’t have the authority to ban this noxious practice associated with gas drilling. The only way that’s true is if the state has the authority to strip the residents of their rights, and it doesn’t.”

Under the ordinance, corporations that violate the ordinance or that seek to drill in the city will not be afforded “personhood” rights under the U.S. or Pennsylvania Constitution, nor will they be afforded protections under the Commerce Clause or Contracts Clause under the federal or state constitution.

In addition, the ordinance recognizes the legally enforceable Rights of Nature to exist and flourish. Residents of the city shall possess legal standing to enforce those rights on behalf of natural communities and ecosystems.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, has been working with people in Pennsylvania since 1995 to assert their fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, and to enact laws which end destructive and rights-denying corporate action aided and abetted by state and federal governments.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

HUMAN RIGHTS! Josh Fox Diretor of "GasLand" calls for Civil Disobendience

November 10 2010

Josh Fox called for civil disobedience and then called the governor elect (by cell phone) to announce the crowd's intentions of banning natural gas drilling in Pittsburgh and then Pennsylvania as a whole.

For more on human rights and how to protect your rights, contact Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (

Pittsburgh City Council Unanimously Calls for Drilling Ban

By Bill Vidonic
November 10, 2010

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday to legislation that would ban Marcellus shale drilling in the city.

Council voted 8-0 on the measure that Councilman Doug Shields introduced to stop natural -as companies from drilling into the gas-rich shale. Critics say the process used to extract gas from the shale could contaminate water supplies.

Attorneys representing gas companies have said they likely will challenge the ban in court. Shields acknowledged that legal challenges are expected.

The state Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency regulate drilling.