Blockaders Stop EQT Fracking Operation, Protect Moshannon State Forest
Blockaders in Moshannon State Forest in western Pennsylvania have shut down a fracking well pad run by EQT Corporation, as of today, Sunday July 8th. At 12:45 pm Marcellus Earth First reported, “SITE COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN! All six workers on site have been escorted off site by police. The workers were very friendly and people talked with them extensively.”
Farmer and researcher Jenny Lisak, who grew up adjacent to Moshannon State Forest in Jefferson County, commented,
“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. Jobs? Those can be found just as readily in the green energy sector. To relentlessly ignore the science is a crime. This extreme extraction method is contributing to the climate crisis and that alone is reason to stop. Having suffered an impacted spring on our own property from a Marcellus well that had violations for the improper use and storage of fracking waste and knowing how the larger community is being harmed though, I know that this activity has too many known and unknown risks to be allowed to continue.”
A new Marcellus Earth First website posted the photo above, more photos, the comment from Jenny Lisak, a log chronicling today’s action, and a compilation of the growing resistance movement against unconventional energy extraction, including and particularly high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling — fracking for short — in the Marcellus, Utica, and other gas-bearing tight formations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and neighboring states. Today’s posts began:
UPDATE 7/8/2012, 10:10 am: Tree Sitters
Two tree sitters blocking the well pad access road–their anchor lines are crossing the road and each other, and if an anchor line is cutter a sitter will fall. There’s also a slash pile in the road. No police on seen and apparently no security either.
Original post: Blocked a Halliburton Truck
Marcellus Earth First! and supporters have set up a blockade at an EQT well pad in the Moshannon Pennsylvania State Forest. An additional group of 40 supporters are holding a rally down the road, and have blocked a Halliburton truck. The activists plan to stay as long as they can. Stay tuned for more updates as information becomes available.
This is at least the fourth known blockade in the state of Pennsylvania, as the nightmares unleashed by fracking intensify. The full life-cycle impacts in PA so far have ranged from dead animals and sickened people to unbearable noise, contaminated water, polluted air, exploding and burning compressor stations, homes exploding from methane migration, to truck accidents, destroyed roads, massive sedimentation and erosion problems, illegal dumping of fracking waste, and legal dumping of toxic radioactive brine on roads for “dust suppression.” As impacted communities and their allies organize, as people recognize that we are running out of time to stop runaway climate change, and as the scientific research showing that fracking is worse for climate than coal becomes more widely understood, a broader, deeper and better organized movement is developing.
Two dates to watch: July 28th, Stop the Frack Attack in Washington, D.C. — Philadelphia area bus shared by Protecting Our Waters, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Food and Water Watch.
And on Thursday, September 20th, when the Marcellus Shale fracking industry returns to Philadelphia for their big convention. “Shale Gas Outrage 2012” will welcome them not, with a major midday protest, march, health conference, truth-telling by impacted people, and more.
Background: EQT Trashing PA; Moshannon State Forest Already Poisoned
EQT is the same corporation which has been leaking toxic flowback waste from their EQT Phoenix fracking operation in Tioga County, possibly for many weeks. PA DEP cited EQT for violations in May; then had to compel them to completely drain the fracking waste from the leaking impoundment. The plastic pit liner had 75-100 holes; several “seeps” were found near the pit, and a nearby stream in the Susquehanna River Basin was and still is impacted.
Moshannon State Forest was the site of the first major Marcellus blowout in Pennsylvania. In June 2010 the EOG Resources blowout spewed toxic flowback and methane 65 feet into the air for 17 hours. Campers were evacuated from their tents, flights were cancelled for a nautical mile around the incident — which John Hanger said would have been “catastrophic” had there been a single spark — and at least 35,000 gallons of fracking waste poured onto the ground, affecting the forest and a nearby stream. FrackTracker recently published “A Look Back at the Clearfield Blowout — Public Health Preparedness Considerations.” Below is a photo of that blowout, with credit to PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).