CHC Update – Two tracks (again!)

Greetings friends.
The Coalition for a Healthy County is again engaging on two avenues:
  1. Helping the Planning Commission re-write the ordinance for the CZs.
  2. tracking the current applications to drill inside the CZ from MDS and EQT.
We’ll specifically discuss our strategy at our next steering committee scheduled for
Wednesday, 7/20 @7pm
please RSVP to g.e.smith@gmail.com
All are welcome to the steering committee meetings
CHC Delivers Ordinance to County
Yesterday CHC delivered our amended ordinance to the county yesterday, both to the County Commissioners themselves in the morning, and to the County Planning commission in the evening.  The full ordinance is attached.  Thanks to the 20 folks that came to the planning commission meeting in support of the ordinance, with particular thanks to Tiffany Hickman and Erika Staaf who came up from Pittsburgh to attend and speak on behalf of PennFuture and PennEnvironment.
The Planning Commission set out a meeting schedule between now and October to consider our ordinance, and to make their decision. We should continue to press the points:
  • that further oil and gas drilling, strip mining and light industrial projects conflict with the intent of the conservation zones,
  • that our ordinance IS the compromise position,
MDS public hearing (take two) scheduled for July 26
As reported in the Gazette, MDS has refiled their application to drill at Yellow Creek, with the Zoning Board Hearing scheduled for July 26. We’re again putting together a study guide for the board to consider when reviewing their application – so like we did before, send me any and all recent research you come across which documents the potential threats. Also, it won’t hurt to have a lot of people at this hearing.
EQT Productions update
EQT’s 60 acre horizontal rig planned for the conservation zone will more than double the amount of area drilled nearby Yellow Creek State Park.  This massive industrial project is a clear violation of the intent of the conservation zone.  Read about EQT’s past violations here.  
CHC submitted the attached letter to the county commissioners, asking them to send comments to DEP letting them know that it is unlikely that the county will approve their special exemption permit.
We need Letters to the Editor:
Been sitting on an idea for a while? Now is the time to submit letters to the editor! Remember, it’s more important that your letter is submitted than it is you have a “perfect” letter.  Write it, edit it, ask someone to read it (I’d be happy to), and press SEND!

CHC needs a logo!
There are several designs that graphic designer friends have offered – take a look, let me know which one you like best. Can you do better? Bring it!!
The Fracking News
MDS reapplies for well-drilling permit near Yellow Creek.  Can anyone put their hands on that application?
Panel reviews law governing drilling. Thanks to everyone who came to support CHC, most everyone spoke in favour of our ordinance.
Well contamination due to pollution is getting closer to home, as this Ebansburg couple is suing an Alleghaney county MS driller for contaminating their well. But as the industry likes to point out, it’s not the fracking, it’s the drilling that causes methane migration. I don’t think these people care what it is, they’re tired of hauling water.
Research on air quality has been somewhat scarce, however, this new study in Colorado finds 22 dangerous chemicals in the air, like benzine, near gas drilling communities. Other places,like Pinedale, WY have lived with unexplained air pollution ever since fracking came to town.
And lastly, in case you missed it, Stephen Colbert’s piece on the colouring book put out by an MS driller is spot on! Fracking is “like giving the earth an alka-seltzer, if the alka-seltzer shattered your internal organs so that gas and oil companies could harvest your juices.”
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