Chesapeake Bay Foundation Goes on Offense Against Drilling in the Marcellus Shale
The widely respected Chesapeake Bay Foundation is demanding that the heavily polluting impacts from fracking (horizontal hydrofracking for natural gas) must be assessed in order to protect the great Chesapeake Bay, a national treasure whose waters include tributaries from six states. The Susquehanna River, badly impacted already in Pennsylvania from Marcellus Shale drilling is the largest single tributary to the Chesapeake Bay and therefore of great concern. Protecting Our Waters is a signatory to the Chesapeake Bay Petition.
Selected excerpts from this article:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation “Attorney Amy McDonnell wants the federal government to make sure Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling will not pollute the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”
“The foundation filed a petition – signed by a number of environmental groups and more than 120 businesses, organizations and elected officials – under the National Environmental Policy Act calling for a review. Foundation leaders believe the federal government should conduct a comprehensive federal analysis of drilling in the six bay watershed states – West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
McDonnell, representing the foundation, said current efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the impact of shale drilling and fracking on drinking water do not go far enough.
The foundation would like one review that also takes into account the impact on groundwater, air pollution and other areas, she said.
‘Nothing less than human health is also at stake,’ McDonnell added.”
“This petition requests that CEQ [Council on Environmental Quality] and the federal agencies, referenced above, involved with the drilling, extraction, transportation and combustion of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale take the following actions:
1. Undertake a cumulative impacts analysis to determine the effects that drilling in the Marcellus Shale region has on human health and the environment throughout the Chesapeake Bay states including, but not limited to, impacts to the air, water quality, forest land, national park land, wildlife habitat and ecosystems;
2. Issue a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement addressing the cumulative impacts and suggesting reasonable alternatives to mitigate negative impacts throughout the Chesapeake Bay states; and
3. Promulgate any necessary guidance and regulations based upon the findings in the PEIS and to comply with the mandates of Executive Orders 13508, 11514, 11991,and 13352.
Given the substantial and ever growing expansion of natural gas drilling, extraction, processing, and transportation in the Marcellus Shale region, we urge CEQ and these federal agencies to immediately address their responsibility to protect human health and the environment within the Chesapeake Bay states and to comply with NEPA by preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and promulgating any necessary regulations.”