The Coalition for a Healthy County (CHC)is a coalition of concerned citizens and local and state organizations actively engaging in a campaign to maintain the integrity of conservation zones surrounding several natural areas in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Our coalition is asking the Indiana County Commissioners to protect these areas from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing of the Marcellus Shale.


In February 2011 a local company starting illegally drilling a vertical hydraulic fracturing Marcellus shale gas well inside of a Conservation Zone that surrounds Yellow Creek State Park. Despite being denied once, MDS Energy has reapplied a second time with an updated application. EQT Productions is the second company so far interested in drilling in other places within the Conservation Zones.

These Conservation Zones are intended “to provide protection against the development of detrimental land usages within close proximity of the parks, particularly within and immediately beyond the identified drainage basins serving the parks.” The use of hydraulic fracturing to extract Marcellus shale gas is detrimental to the aesthetic, environmental and recreational aspects of the parks. In addition, a catastrophic incident at Yellow Creek would jeopardize local water supplies. However, written in 1973, the ordinance does not offer adequate protection to address the relatively new procedure of hydraulic fracturing of the Marcellus Shale.

The Coalition for a Healthy County

The Coalition for a Healthy County (CHC) formed to bring this issue to the public, to  educate our community on issues related to deep shale fracking, and to directly engage our elected officials to take action to protect our county.

CHC is advocating for Indiana County to adopt a comprehensive plan for ensuring the county maximizesx exonomic benifit, and reduces industry risk from Marcellus shale drilling.  This comprehensive plan includes best practices for natural gas extraction for ALL drilling in the county, and a prohibition on drilling in sensitive areas, such as the Conservation Zone surrounding Yellow Creek State Park.

UPDATE: Click here to read the amended ordinance prepared by CHC and PennEnvironment.

The Coalition for a Healthy County includes: Friends of Yellow Creek, the Sierra Club, the Yellow Creek Conservation Association, the Central Indiana Water Council, the Friends of Whites Woods, the IUP ECO Club, Penn Environment, and involves PennFuture, the Evergreen Conservation, and the League of Women Voters. We are always reaching out to new members!

If you are interested in becoming involved with the CHC please subscribe to this blog, or send an email to coalitionforahealthycounty@gmail.com

6 Responses to “About”
  1. I am an Independent candidate in PA’s 9th district running against Bill Shuster (R). I need help gathering signatures to get on the Nov. ballot. If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it! Karen Ramsburg For Congress is on facebook.

  2. terica says:

    Hello I am from Sanford North Carolina , on March 29th Some of your county reps came to visit my little town Government and won them over ,sold them into fracking as if they where selling them salvation . Not me , I had only known of fracking for about a week then.I have not stopped fighting it from that day to this . I opened a page on facebook called Lee Co NC say No to fracking
    I decided it was time to find out what is truly happening in your county. Those reps names were “Byron G.Stauffer,Jr Executive Dir office of planning& development ” “Rodney D.Ruddock ,Chairman ,Indiana CO. board of commissioners ” “James Hassinger ,ExDir for Southern Penn Commission”
    the topic that day “Hydraulic Fracturing:Practical Considerations and First-Hand Experience”
    Please come by my page and look at the notes I have a link to the whole video of this meeting.
    Feel free to share with us we need all the TRUTH we can get. Thanks another true Fractivist .

    • Thanks for the link. I watched the sections of the video that featured Ruddock and Stauffer. They’ve both been directly involved in our fight to protect 4 natural areas in our county from fracking. To me, County Commission Ruddock’s comments were consistent with what he’s always maintained. That there are jobs to be had, and there are environmental concerns, and we can’t sacrifice either. Fortunately for him, he won’t likely need to make much of a decision because our state legislature has just passed a new law that removes most authority from counties, and gives it solely to the state. Ruddock is far more reasonable than many of our elected officials, but he’s not willing to stick his neck out on much.

      Mr. Stauffer’s description of task force recommendations seemed to be right also. If you’re interested, I’d recommend being on it, and inviting as many possible allies to also be on it. We invited a number of academics from the local university, as well as most environmental groups in the area. We were able to bring in environmentally minded speakers, as well as public health officials. Ultimately, the task force has languished, mostly because it didn’t really have much of a task in the first place, nor any decision making power. I also don’t think the leadership of the task force was committed to doing much more than paying lip service to those calling for it to be set up. If we weren’t suggesting speakers and setting the agenda, then nothing happened.

      Good luck in trying to wade through the industry deception, it’s miles thick, but there is an underlying truth. The fact is, it’s dangerous, and companies are experimenting with our land, water and air as they go along. If you can’t stop drilling from happening, our experience is that you have to be vigilant, and make sure companies know they are under scrutiny – either from the task force, or individual citizens.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] “The Fracking News” comes to Raging Chicken Press by way of our new friends from Coalition for a Healthy County. The Coalition for a Healthy County (CHC) is a coalition of concerned citizens and local and […]

  2. […] “The Fracking News” comes to us by way of our new friends out in Western PA, Coalition for a Healthy County. Not only will “The Fracking News” be a regular feature of Raging Chicken Press, it […]

  3. […] The Fracking News comes to Raging Chicken Press by way of our new friends from Coalition for a Healthy County. The Coalition for a Healthy County (CHC) is a coalition of concerned citizens and local and […]

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