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April 18th Press Conference, Vigil Confronts Aqua America: “No Evictions for Fracking”

April 13, 2012

For Immediate Release
Contact:
 Iris Marie Bloom, Executive Director, Protecting Our Waters
215-840-6489  /  protectingourwaters@gmail.com
Kevin June, Riverdale Mobile Home Park Resident, Organizer
570-506-3675  /  kevman5360@aol.com

Press Conference & Vigil Wednesday, April 18th calls for Justice for Families Facing Eviction

Groups Condemn Bryn Mawr, PA-based Aqua America for Evicting Residents to Sell Water to Frackers

“You can’t just destroy people’s lives like this.” — Riverdale resident Kevin June

What: Press Conference at 12 noon; Vigil at 6 pm

When: Wednesday, April 18th

Where: Outside Aqua America headquarters: 762 W. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Demands: Justice for Families Facing Eviction; No Fracking Evictions! Moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

We Ask Arrogant Aqua: How does Aqua justify destroying these people’s homes and lives? How can Aqua guarantee that none of the water poisoned by fracking operations will harm aquatic life, animals, and human communities? Will Aqua promise NOT to sell Susquehanna water to fracking corporations which store toxic flowback waste in open, plastic-lined impoundments? Why is Aqua traumatizing 25 families? Will Aqua consider backing out altogether?

(Philadelphia, PA) On Wednesday, April 18th at 12 noon at Aqua America headquarters in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Protecting Our Waters, several Riverdale families facing eviction, and allies will hold a press conference calling for justice for the impacted families, no evictions for fracking, and an end to Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) permits for fracking water withdrawals.

Riverdale residents will speak at the noon press conference, followed by a 6 pm vigil also at Aqua headquarters. The events are co-sponsored by Berks Gas Truth, Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Elk CARES, Food & Water Watch, Fracking Truth Alliance of Lawrence and Mercer Counties, Gas Truth of Central PA, Groundswell PA, Interfaith Sacred Earth Coalition, Keep Tapwater Safe, Lehigh Valley Gas Truth, Marcellus Outreach Butler, Marcellus Protest, New York Residents Against Drilling, PA Alliance for Clean Water and Air (PACWA), and Stop Fracking PA.

Participants support the Riverdale families’ demand to stay right where they are, on the banks of the beautiful Susquehanna River, and will also ask Aqua America how they can guarantee that not a drop of the water they sell to frackers will ever harm surface water, groundwater or drinking water downstream. Organizers demand compensation for any families forced out.

Kevin June, a resident of the mobile home park, Riverdale, where the families facing eviction live, said, “There are a lot of tears; people are in some serious pain here.” But he declared, “We are not moving. We’re going to stay here. We’re going to fight it. We’re standing up; if they try to evict us… our voice will be heard. We have disabled people, elderly, young families with small children, and they have nowhere to go. You can’t just destroy people’s lives like this.”

“We oppose these inhumane evictions, and we also oppose the fracking operations in first place.” commented Iris Marie Bloom, executive director of Protecting Our Waters. “We stand for a statewide moratorium on fracking. The SRBC should never have permitted the Aqua water withdrawal. We have a moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. The families of the Susquehanna River Basin deserve the same level of protection!”

“We see this as a ‘green’ civil rights issue,” says Rev. Leah Schade, co-founder of the Interfaith Sacred Earth Coalition. “Not only are the human rights of these families being violated for the sake of corporate greed, the waters of God’s creation are being violated as well.”

“Fracking” refers to all phases of high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling on multi-well pads, a controversial technology new to Pennsylvania, from well pad construction to vertical drilling, fracking, chemical handling, waste handling, road and pipeline construction, gas processing, storage, and distribution. Shale gas well failures are currently confirmed at 6.2% per year for 2010 and 2011 in PA; that failure rate increases dramatically over time. In addition, an average of 12 environmental violations occur daily at Marcellus gas drilling sites in PA, and scores of PA families have lost access to clean water due to fracking.

Press Conference Saturday April 14th, 1:30 pm at Riverdale, with Faith Leaders and Residents: https://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/riverdale-press-conference-faith-leaders-support-families-facing-fracking-evictions-by-aqua-america/

Background:  https://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/32-families-evicted-from-homes-due-to-srbc-approval-of-water-use-for-drilling/

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4 Comments
  1. April 13, 2012 2:22 pm

    Outstanding! Wish I could be there with you for the vigil. So very proud of the families for standing up to Aqua and SRBC. Carrying the moratorium fight out here in western PA to Mt. Aloysius College on April 19 in a panel discussion with the pro-frackers (students will hear something very different from me), and then to my farm on May 10 when I will declare this farm forever inviolate of shale gas drilling. http://angerandcourage.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/a-farm-inviolate-of-gas-drilling-may-10-2012/

    • Mark Schmerling permalink
      April 13, 2012 7:53 pm

      Stephen,

      Way to go! I look forward to visiting you, with some other good folks, on May 10.

  2. April 17, 2012 12:00 am

    We stand in solidarity with you from here in Pittsburgh. We will continue to fight for justice for the tax paying citizens of this commonwealth who’s rights are being taken by the natural gas industry and the elected officials who refuse to protect us.. As many elected officials have been heard touting “this is good for PA, but it must be done right!” There are too many families suffering from, contaminated water, serious health issues, loss of property values, unsafe air quality, loss of pets and livestock, and fear for the future of our children. THIS IS NOT BEING DONE RIGHT.
    We stand in solidarity for a Moritorium on any further natural gas extraction until the health, safety and welfare of the citizens are guaranteed above monetary gain for few.

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