Thursday, February 13, 2014
Communities Protected from Exploding Gas Well Because of Good Fortune? What About Good Sense?
At 6:45 am on Tuesday, February 11, the town of Dunkard, Pennsylvania was rocked by the explosion at a Chevron Appalachia natural gas drilling site. On Wednesday the fire was still burning. One worker was reported injured and another as missing.
According to press reports, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) Secretary Chris Abruzzo said it was “fortunate” that the nearest house was about a half mile away from the exploding drilling site.
While Abruzzo is busy thanking fortune for protecting families and the community from the devastating explosion, it is his agency that continues to fight to reinstate Governor Corbett’s pro-drilling Act 13 – the law that would allow gas well pads and their attendant infrastructure and harms, to be built just 300 feet from homes, schools, day care centers, hospitals or any other structure in Pennsylvania.
It is time for good judgment, not just good fortune. The half mile buffer good “fortune” gave to the residents of Dunkard far surpasses what the DEP or the Governor would see them have (see picture that shows the comparison of what good fortune gave Dunkard versus what Abruzzo and Corbett continue to argue for). Secretary Abruzzo and Governor Corbett continue their efforts to reduce the buffer of protection between between drilling sites and houses, between the poisonous hazards on these site and the streams that provide us our drinking water, between dangerous drilling infrastructure and every aspect of our communities.
As the Dunkard explosion reminds us, simple good commonsense commands that we protect our families and our drinking water from this dangerous industrial activity.