Too Shallow for Diving: the 21st Century is Treading Water
Clean Water Action
Groups Announce Legal Action to Stop Sewage Plants from Dumping Gas Drilling Wastewater in Pennsylvania Rivers (Pittsburgh) – Clean Water Action and Three Rivers Waterkeeper served legal notices today on two sewer authorities that have been discharging Marcellus Shale gas drilling wastewater into the Monongahela River watershed south of Pittsburgh. The notices detail violations of the federal Clean Water Act by the facilities, primarily for discharging wastewater without a permit. Both EPA and the Pennsylvania DEP were notified as well of the legal action. This is the first time a legal action has been filed to stop the current discharge of Marcellus drilling wastewater.
Clean water is an essential element for all life. Yet Pennsylvania's waterways are under heavy assault — from sources like longwall mining, acid mine pollution, abandoned mines, municipal and industrial wastewater discharges, development pressures and stormwater runoff, chemical waste dumps, inadequate storm sewer systems and factory farms. About 14 percent of Pennsylvania's rivers and streams and nearly half of our lakes still do not meet Clean Water Act standards.
A dangerous new form of gas extraction continues to rapidly expand throughout Pennsylvania, and our communities are suffering the consequences. This form of drilling, called deep-well horizontal hydraulic fracturing but often referred to as "hydrofracking," has been shown to pose significant risks to public health and the environment at every stage of the process, from the risk of blowouts to air pollution and surface and groundwater contamination.
Since 2004, companies have drilled more than 4,300 hydraulic fracturing wells in Pennsylvania and the state has issued permits for thousands more. Incidents and accidents that damage the environment and put public health at risk have already occurred.
Green Drinks Pittsburgh
We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say, "are you green?" and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.
Dr. Patty DeMarco, Director of the Rachel Carson Institute, Chatham University and Dr. Charles Christen, Director of Operations for the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities at University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.
Rachel Carson Institute
The Rachel Carson Institute (RCI) was established at Chatham College in 1989. Today, as Chatham University, the RCI continues the legacy of Chatham's most famous alumna, Rachel Carson, Class of '29, author, scientist and credited with helping form the modern environmental movement.
The RCI will focus on understanding and explaining the consequences of human actions on the global web of life. We will bring together leaders, scientists and scholars in Rachel Carson's name to address the critical issues of our time and offer creative directions and solutions. We offer empowerment and leadership for women in the synthesis of science and writing as career opportunities following in Rachel Carson's footsteps. We will sustain Rachel Carson's legacy through our actions illustrating her principles as an institution and as individuals.
Center for Healthy Environments and Communities
Our mission is to improve environmental health in Western Pennsylvania through community-based research. We take a community-based approach to analyze the social, economic, political, policy, behavioral and geographical variables associated with environmental health issues, as well as the traditional physical-chemical aspects of local environmental health problems.
Our Activities Include:
- Collaborate & partner with local organizations to uncover & solve environmental & ecological health problems
- Develop a central resource for issue specific environmental health information & data for academic & partnering organizations' researchers
- Campaign to increase public awareness of environmental health issues & exposure prevention/ avoidance techniques.
- Dialogue with community members to understand the environmental issues most important to both communities of geography within Southwestern Pennsylvania & communities of interest
- Conduct public presentations on various environmental health issues