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Make your voice heard: Visit Philadelphia City Councilmembers before late September hearing on impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling

September 3, 2010

Dear Protectors of communities, water, and the environment,

Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and Councilman James Kenney co-sponsored a successful resolution in June calling for a hearing about the environmental and economic impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling in Philadelphia’s watershed.

Unofficially the hearing is now set for September 28th at 10 AM!  Formal confirmation expected next week.  This is great news!

This is because of YOUR letters and calls!  Excellent work everyone!!  Please hold the date and plan to be there, with 5 friends.

However, we have work to do: the Marcellus Shale Coalition (gas industry lobbyists) has already paid personal visits to Philadelphia City Council members.  So now, we need to visit each of them, too.  Fortunately, there are more people in the Philadelphia area than there are gas lobbyists.

WHO CAN LOBBY: This hearing will address regional impacts, so folks from the five-county area (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties) should all put Sept. 28th on your calendar and participate!

WHO TO VISIT: Please visit your own Councilmember (if you live in Philadelphia city limits) and/or any one or more of the at- large members.  Please share your concerns and deliver the central message: put a hold on new water withdrawals for fracking; test wells; rulemaking; and all fracking permits until cumulative impacts are studied!

HOW TO LOBBY CITY COUNCIL

STEP 1)  If you don’t already know who represents you in  city council , find out by visiting the Committee of Seventy website.< www.seventy.org> Click on “find your elected officials” and type in your street address.

STEP 2)  Find a friend or two who is also in your district to go with you.  If you don’t know anyone else interested who lives in your district, plan to visit an at large member (or several).

STEP 4)  Call and make an appointment for a 10 minute visit. You might be told to e-mail an assistant.

STEP 6)  Your Visit:  Thank them for holding a hearing. Present your key concerns regarding water contamination, air pollution, and public health. Ask for a hold on DRBC rulemaking, and fracking permits, until the promised cumulative impacts study for our watershed is complete.

Congressmen Sestak (PA), Holt (NJ), and Hinchey (NY) have gotten $1 million in federal funding for this Delaware River watershed study out of subcommittee and into the Congressional pipeline.  This study, and the EPA study on hydrofracking’s risks, should guide policy.  Rushing to drill will only ensure that contamination, once it has occurred, cannot be undone.

Share any personal stories, facts, photos you may have about unconventional gas drilling.  Tell them about websites where they can get information.  Share our “Myths and Facts” sheet (to follow).

STEP 7)  Bragging rights!  Write us a few sentences about your experience and we will post quotes to inspire others: protectingourwaters@gmail.com.  If you wish to remain anonymous, that will be honored.

Please call or email us with any questions!  Be confident, and make democracy work!

Thank you,
City Council Campaign coordinators for Protecting Our Waters,

Ann Dixon and Iris Marie Bloom

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