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Help Butler County Families Hurt by Gas Drilling Now!

February 24, 2012

Please help the families of Connequenessing Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania get the clean safe water they deserve. Over the past two weeks we’ve published two heartbreaking stories coming out of Butler County, “Black Water + Purple Water = A Fracking Nightmare” and “Drilling Spills in Over a Dozen Creeks.”  In fact, we first reported about Kim McEvoy’s black water and Janet McIntyre’s foaming water, her family’s vomiting, and her dog dying back in September.

Now, AP, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune, and other traditional news media are finally starting to cover this story. Hundreds of people have written to the EPA to urge these families be given clean safe water. Even Congress is paying attention.

But the situation, nonetheless, has gotten even worse. Six more families, including three families whose well water was bright orange last time they looked, are being cut off by REX Energy from their clean replacement water buffaloes next week.

Kim McEvoy’s daughter Skylar in the McEvoys’ kitchen: Connoquenessing Township, Butler County PA February 4th 2012. Photo: Iris Marie Bloom

Twelve families in Butler County will be without clean drinking water starting Wednesday, February 29th. That’s the day that gas-drilling company REX Energy will stop delivering clean water to the Butler families.

We call on you to stand up for these innocent families by taking a few minutes to:

  1. Sign the letter to the EPA urging clean water be provided, along with  extensive testing so that water, air and health are protected.
  2. Make a donation that will directly fund clean water deliveries to the Butler County families. By donating to “Water LOVE,” the Emergency Water Fund established by Protecting Our Waters, you’ll be giving a lifeline to some of the hardest-hit families in Pennsylvania’s shale gas disaster. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, EVOLVE Foundation.

Protecting Our Waters is working directly with the impacted families, local organizers with Marcellus Outreach Butler, and good-hearted souls such as farmer Stephen Cleghorn who already donated his own water buffalo to the McIntyre family. If EPA, the Department of Health, or any other entity intervenes to make sure emergency water deliveries to these 12 families continue, we will use any funds raised to provide water for the next fracking emergency. No families in Pennsylvania should ever have to suffer like this.

Janet McIntyre reported yesterday that she hadn’t slept for two days, since her neighbors got their letters from Rex Energy saying their water deliveries will be cut off starting next week. One man has already died, and the rest of the neighborhood is living in a state of emergency. Janet suggested we call the fund “Water LOVE” — Life’s Outpouring in a Vital Emergency. Water is life and there’s no doubt these families need love as well as water. Thanks everybody!

  1. Eric permalink
    February 24, 2012 2:59 pm

    Is there no PADEP certified bulk water haulers in the area that can deliver water to the people that need it?

  2. KRISTIN LAUERSEN permalink
    February 24, 2012 3:08 pm

    Ms. Laurersen:

    I have been asked to respond to your inquiry regarding the use of hay bales to contain hazardous waste spills. Hay bales are not the proper containment method. However, in the case you cite, in Butler County, hazardous waste was not involved. This was a spill of bentonite which is clay. Bentonite is not a hazardous material.

    As part of our inspections of spill sites we check for approved containment methods.

    Thank you for your interest.

    John Poister

    Community Relations Coordinator

    Department of Environmental Protection

    Southwestern Office

    400 Waterfront Drive

    Pittsburgh, Pa 15222-4745

    Direct Line: 412-442-4203

  3. February 24, 2012 4:09 pm

    good to hear people are organizing to help these families endangered by an Industry allowed to run rampant in our State and still not stopped despite all the cases of water pollution.

  4. February 24, 2012 4:12 pm

    Thank you, Iris, for bringing this family’s struggle to light.

  5. February 24, 2012 6:49 pm

    That’s a great picture of Skyler. Here’s a video

  6. February 24, 2012 11:42 pm

    Thank you “Protecting our Waters” and you Iris for taking the time to get this story out there and to do something about it.

  7. February 27, 2012 7:42 pm

    Great news, fingers crossed, ABC Nightline is going to try to come to the Butler protest on Thursday.

    Please think good thoughts, send good energy, we need this story to go national.

    And thank YOU Iris, you are tremendous!

    • March 1, 2012 5:24 pm

      I pray that ABC Nightline made it to the protest today. Yes we need this story to go national.
      I am so close to the area that this is happening in, however I don’t drive and could not physically be there, however this has been top priority in my prayers. I’m a songwriter so I put a little video together hoping to bring awareness to the problem and reached out to everyone that I can via email, youtube and facebook.

      Please view “Sweet Water by ViCindy” original song that we hope will help create awareness to what is really going on in rural Pennsylvania and how it effects everyone.  

  8. February 28, 2012 10:08 am

    The splash heard `round the world… The report of the water problems in Butler Co. was picked up by The Kuwait Times.

  9. steve izzo permalink
    September 5, 2012 1:22 pm

    Thanks Iris, get these people clean water to drink. it is apalling that our own govt’s allow industry to profit while abandoning the needs and rights of its citizens. America has truly been sold out if this is our only recourse.. to beg for basic rights.

  10. Dorothy Reichardt permalink
    November 20, 2012 8:16 pm

    How could you enact a law which gives your constituents no protection for their health or the health of their families??? I, too, live in Pennsyvania and am very disturbed at what the government of my state is doing and allowing!

  11. Karen Pletsch permalink
    March 10, 2013 5:25 pm

    Can someone please point me in the right direction. My grand daughter is so sick has been vomiting for over 2 months now. The doctors are of no help. My grandson has constant upper respiratory infections they both are under 3 yrs old. My daughter’s water smells like rotten eggs and stains the bath tub. They drink bottled water but brush teeth and bath in the water.Can this be making them sick. They just put a big gas processing plant or are fracking 1/4 mile from her house.

  12. Bob Schmetzer permalink
    July 6, 2013 11:24 am

    Butler County elected officials have a lot to answer for. To destroy a water system and have families live out of bottled water for years while running a clean water line to the drillers shows the character of these ignorant elected representatives. To take the act 13 money and gold leaf the courthouse while children are covered with scabs and thirsty , can’t flush the commode, take a shower, get violently sick from drinking the water from the well, kill their pets, and protect a driller who is registered with PaDEP with having a well failure is CRIMINAL.


  2. Rex Energy Removes Families’ Clean Water; Group Confronts Rex Energy Today « Protecting Our Waters
  3. “I Just Want Water”: Demonstrators Confront Rex Energy in Butler County « Protecting Our Waters
  4. Shale Country Kindness « Protecting Our Waters
  5. “UnEarthed: The Fracking Facade”: Brilliant Short Video « Protecting Our Waters
  6. Silence broken: “Fouled Waters: Woodlands Residents Search for Ways to Survive Without Clean Water” « Protecting Our Waters

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