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Public Comment Philadelphia City Council Jan 27, 2011 from Ann Dixon

January 28, 2011

Resolution # 100864

1/27/11 City Council Meeting
IMPACTS OF FRACKING ON PHILADELPHIA

The world, including the US, is running out of drinkable and potentially drinkable water. There are a number of reasons for this. Over 60% of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed in the last 100 years. Wetlands clean and filter water. According to hydrologist Dr. Michael Kravelk, about half of the earth’s surface is paved. Pavement keeps water from becoming groundwater. Instead, it goes to the storm drains and eventually to the salty ocean. 30 billion gallons of groundwater is pumped per day for manufacturing purposes. Much of that is permanently removed from our supply because it is too polluted to be cleaned properly.

These facts are taken from the 2008 movie Blue Gold. (Find out more at www.bluegold- worldwaterwars.com). Since the movie was made, thousands of wells have been fracked. I’m really glad that the list of recomendations, on which Councilman Jones’s resolution is based, acknowledges that environmental impact studies should address the question of de-watering. Gas drilling uses millions of gallons of water per frack. According to the Department of Environmental Protection’s own website, 87% of the water used to frack remains underground. This water is permanently lost to us since it contains a host of toxins. In 2009, Pittsburgh city residents were told not drink their tap water for a period of time because the Monongahela River, their drinking water source, was polluted from fracking.

The Delaware River Basin Commission has proposed new rules for fracking even though environmental impact studies have not been completed. The public needs time to digest these rules and weigh in on them. Philadelphia needs a city councilperson to write to the DRBC. Ask them to extend their public comment period to September 16th and ask for a hearing in Philadelphia. Immediately after passing this resolution, it is critically important that Council forward the resolution to the DRBC and emphasize the recommendations that call for an extension to their public comment period and for a hearing in Philadelphia.

If the new rules are released and drilling starts, we could have 10,000 new wells in our watershed in a few short years. Where we will we get our water if one of the accidents, that is bound to happen, pollutes the Delaware beyond the capacity of our Water Department to remediate it? The world water crisis will have come to Philadelphia.

Ann Dixon

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