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Time for our county government to start working for us

timeRecently a local waste hauler, United Sanitation Network, inc. along with other partners including Waveco Energy Services, delivered plans for a DEP permit and made requests for a Luzerne County variance to build a industrial waste (frack) fluid disposal and recycling site in Lake Township. Never mind that the application was deficient and misleading in so many ways. Discrepancies from starting up with 30, 20,000 gallon tanks on site to 60 tanks, hours of operation going from 13 hours per day to round the clock 24/7 operations and amateurish methods of collecting toxic spills with buckets, left a lot to be desired.

Kudos to our Luzerne county council for pointing out and expressing strong opposition to the county zoning board, their concerns about the local environment, traffic safety, potential for serious accidents, and how this would negatively affect the quality-of-life for Luzerne county residents.

We elected a county council to make it harder to continue past corrupt county decision-making practices, and they took an oath to protect our health, safety and welfare. Councilman Bobeck was in disagreement with expressing the council reservations to the zoning board, and although he gave his reasons( with which I disagree), he at least presented his rationale for his decision. Mr. Brominski on the other hand, would not agree with counsel to send the letter voicing opposition to the hazardous waste site and gave no valid reason for his stance against this resolution that would help improve the quality of life for Luzerne County residents.

Let’s be honest, drilling, fracking, extraction, transportation and processing of the Marcellus Shale gas with its ancillary industrial facilities such as compressor and dehydration stations, pipelines and toxic waste discharge problems, is a dirty practice with negative environmental and health consequences.  Just ask the people living near the Chapin dehydration station, what negative effects they have experienced both in quality-of-life issues and property value decreases. The chemicals involved in fracking and the waste disposal products are known human carcinogens and have the potential for serious negative health consequences. These industrial facilities should not be allowed near any residential homes, near streams, rivers or wetlands feeding our water supplies nor should they be allowed to spout fumes that degrade our air-quality over the Wyoming Valley. The huge toxic water trucks hauling radioactive, hazardous waste should not be traveling our quaint narrow rural roads alongside our school buses and degrading our roads and bridges. We all pay the price for increased incidence of leukemias and other cancers, neurological problems, and increased asthma and breathing issues with a poorer quality-of-life and higher health costs.

Let’s give thanks to the overwhelming majority of county council members who spoke up to keep these industrial facilities out of Luzerne county and agreed to help safeguard our health and properties. The people of Luzerne county came out to speak at these meetings and the council listened. Let’s put the DEP and the county zoning board on notice that we live in a democracy and the people will decide what we want for our county.

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FRACK WATER PLANT-Luzerne County Council Meeting

frack recycleFor those unable to attend the Luzerne County Council meeting on Tuesday February 18, 2014.  About  15 people submitted public comment about the Frack Water treatment plant.

CLICK HERE to watch a video recording of the meeting 
Public Comments start at the 1:27:00 mark

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frack recycle

We all need to take a moment and decide what is really important in our lives. Are we going to allow our children’s and grandchildren’s water supplies and environment to be damaged?

Are we going to let others control their futures?

Is it time we took on this task ourselves?

Yes, it is time to take action!

Luzerne County is about to be hit AGAIN by the negative effects of the natural gas industry.

An application for a permit for a Frack Water Treatment Plant has been submitted to the County for Meeker Outlet Road (the old Harveys Lake Gun Club property), in Lake Township. As a result, three or important and irreplaceable water sources will be at risk.

Frack water is known to contain toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, and the application specifies that there will be 30 or more 20,000 gallon storage tanks installed at the site, as well as radioactive contaminant testing areas. In addition, anticipate a future with non-stop frack water trucks traveling 24/7, back and forth over our back roads.

Harveys Lake, Harveys Creek and other important tributaries run near this location. Recent news headlines reflect recent explosions and toxic spills that render affected areas uninhabitable and the water unusable. (West Virginia is still reeling from a recent spill that rendered their water useless!)

Is this what we want for Pennsylvania?

Is this what we want for our homes and the future homes of our children and grandchildren?

If you object to this facility being built in Lake Township, and/or you want to learn more, plan to join members of the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (GDAC) at the following events:

  • Luzerne County Council Session, in Council Meeting Room ,Luzerne County Courthouse, on Tuesday, February 18th at 6:30 p.m.

  • GDAC Public Meeting, Dallas American Legion, on Wednesday, February 19th,  at 6:30 p.m.

  • Luzerne County Zoning Hearing, Tuesday, March 4th, Luzerne County Courthouse, 2nd floor, at 7:00 p.m.


BOOKMARK for more information and updates:




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“…a rush to action without being clear of the consequences….”

ETHICS OF FRACKING explores the issue of fossil fuel drilling though different professional and religious backgrounds. It also takes a look at the deceiving advertising the gas industry heavily relies on.  In addition to the environmental damages, there is the social impact which is changing communities in drastic ways.

Ethics of Fracking questions the “cost benefit”.  It asks who is benefiting and at what price.  These are questions which haven’t been asked of our local, state and federal legislators.    These are questions which must be asked and answered.

ethics of fracking

Scott Cannon produced this film, and has been well known for his Marcellus Shale Reality Tour series.  Cannon is a member of the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition of Luzerne County, PA.

It is for educational purposes only.  If any groups would like a DVD or to host a screening of the film, they can request one by email at videoinnovation@epix.net

©2014 by Dory Hippauf

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WATER FROM AIRHow many people living in the gaslands have no clean water?  We really don’t know.   We don’t know how many people have been and are currently being supplied with water by the gas corporations.   DEP doesn’t track it.

Between gag orders, non-disclosure clauses imposed by the gas corporations, and reluctance of state and federal environmental to do their job, we don’t have these figures.  We can guess based on groundwater contamination complaints filed with federal and state agencies.   However, an exact or even a close number is nearly impossible to determine.

What we do know is there are perhaps thousands of people who do not have clean water, and thousands more to come.   This is something we see on advertisements, organizations asking for donations to give people in 3rd world countries access to clean water.    With the rapid industrialization of our communities via gas/oil activities, more and more people – here in our own back yard – no longer have clean water.

There are grassroots efforts going on to raise money for water deliveries.   This will meet immediate and short term needs.  What about the long term needs as the number without clean water increases?

As we saw back in 2010, when a waterline was proposed for the people of Dimock, the gas corporations, and their supporters managed to prevent construction of the waterline.

An average household of 4 may use up to 300 gallons of water a day for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes, and housecleaning.  A water buffalo holds approximately 500 gallons, so in an average week, this means a fill-up every 2-3 days.

There has to be a better way.

There’s an old saying –  “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, teach him  to fish and he’ll eat for life.”  Let’s apply that to water and take a look at Atmospheric Water Generators (AWG).

What’s an AWG?  An AWG is a device that extracts water from humid ambient air. Water vapor in the air is condensed by cooling the air below its dew point, exposing the air to desiccants, or pressurizing the air. Unlike a dehumidifier, an AWG is designed to render the water potable. AWGs are useful where pure drinking water is difficult or impossible to obtain, because there is almost always a small amount of water in the air.


Depending on the size of the AWG and humidity in the air, a unit can produce anywhere from 3 to 500 gallons of clean potable water per day at a fraction of the cost compared to purchasing water.   Features of AWG vary, but many include filters to remove air pollutants, built-in water filters, large storage capacity and run on solar energy.

Watch this short video: EcoloBlue 28 Atmospheric Water Generator – Interview – NBC6.

If a few large environmental organizations banded together and pooled their resources – AWGs may be the way to go instead of endless water deliveries.

Think about it, Is it doable to meet the water needs of people in the gaslands?


© 2013 by Dory Hippauf

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Do you look at a friend’s garden and wish you could have one too?   Do you look at your tiny backyard and wonder where to put a garden?   Or perhaps you live in an apartment and a garden is just not possible.

You don’t need large expanses of land, or even a small plot to grow your own food – all you need is a bit of imagination and ingenuity.

It’s still not too late in the season to try it!


Container or planter gardens are perhaps the most common type for small space gardens.   Any container, large or small, from window boxes to clay pots can be used.   Instead of planting petunias in a window box, try growing fresh lettuce or herbs.


carrotsLarger pots are a great place for carrots, other root vegetables.

peasAdd a trellis type structure to your planter or pot and grow peas!

One advantage of container gardens is they are easily moved to follow the sun, or moved to protective places during storms which would otherwise damage a traditional garden.

tomatoesDon’t forget the tomatoes!


Put your imagination in high gear.   Did you clean out a basement or attic or closet, or perhaps you plan on doing that?  Don’t toss everything into the dump – look at what you have and think about how it can be reused to grow a garden!

If you can’t go horizontal – go VERTICAL!

Maybe you have an old over the door shoe pocket hanger?

shoe bag doorshoe bag Grow leafy vegetables instead of loafers!

spice rack

ladderOld shelving units and ladders let you go HIGHER.

fenceREUSE old plastic bottles as containers, and spruce up a fence!

rain gutterHow about a rain gutter garden along a fence or the side of your garage?

Put your imagination and green thumb to work!





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Censored Billboards

Censored Fractavist Billboards | Chip Northurp | No Fracking Way

Outdoor advertising companies – aka billboards – are rejecting fracking cautionary ads as “too controversial.” Meaning the frackers call the company and tell them they don’t like the ad. So the billboard company doesn’t take it.

Banned ads included an image of a gas well flare – which of course sounds like a jet engine and is one of the many joys of living in a shale gas field. Which is maybe why the frackers prevailed on the billboard company to not take Rebecca Roter’s ad.


And as recently as last month, Park Outdoor refused to take Gas Free Seneca’s ad that featured an apparently “controversial” picture of . . . . Seneca Lake:

    From: yvonne taylor <speechatgjr@yahoo.com>

Subject: Billboard Advertising in Watkins Glen

To: kerry.leipold@parkoutdoor.com

Cc: “jeff dembowski” <jcdembowski@gmail.com>, “Joseph Michael Patrick Campbell” <muchado2@gmail.com>

Date: Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:49 PM

Dear Mr. Leipold,

We inquired about advertising on several billboards in the Watkins Glen area.  Everything seemed to be going along fine in acquiring ad space, until it was learned that we are a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve and protect the region.  Then we were told that we were not permitted to do business with you.

We represent 155 area businesses, and are incredulous that we would not be permitted to place the image attached in a few locations this summer.  Click on the link to see the list of businesses who are part of our organization. http://gasfreeseneca.com/?page_id=98

We respectfully request that you reconsider your decision to prohibit us from placing ads with you.  Please contact me at your earliest convenience.


Yvonne Taylor


Jeff Dembowski

Dr. Joseph Campbell

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MUST READS for July 1, 2013

must readsRedesigning The Electricity Market For Wind And Solar

June 26, 2013 | Giles Parkinson | CleanTechnia

Late last year, RenewEconomy wrote an analysis entitled the energy markets are broken. We were pilloried by some for exaggeration and being overly dramatic. But we simply drew on insight from the experts, and now they are quite open about the problem: the world’s energy markets do need to be redesigned, otherwise they cannot cope with the impact of wind and solar.

The International Energy Agency, in its recent special update of progress on climate policies, noted that liberalised energy markets (such as Australia’s) should be able to encourage a “significant decarbonisation” of the energy mix. The problem was that these markets – created to support incumbent, centralised fossil fuel generators, were not suited to deliver the sort of energy transformation that was needed to meet climate change targets.

Part of the problem is that the current “energy” markets are designed to allow baseload fossil fuel generation to trundle through at relatively low cost – but no environmental accounting. When demand rises, more expensive peaking plant generation is brought in, with prices rising for all generators. This has underpinned much of the revenues and profits for the incumbents.


Why Is China Investing So Much in U.S. Solar and Wind?

June 20, 2013 | Yingzhen Zhao | insights

The world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters—the United States and China—have been forging a growing bond in combating climate change. Just last week, President Obama and President Xi made a landmark agreement to work towards reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas. And both the United States and China are leading global investment and development of clean energy. The United States invested $30.4 billion and added 16.9 GW of wind and solar capacity in 2012. China invested $58.4 billion and added 19.2 GW in capacity.

U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy was the topic of discussion at an event last week at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s China Environment Forum. Experts from the World Resources Institute and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) looked at this cooperation from a seldom-discussed viewpoint – China’s renewable energy investments in the United States.

New Spin On Wind Turbine Adds Solar Element

June 7, 2013 | Pete Danko | earthtechling

Go big or go home, right? That seems to be the thinking at the University of Bath, which has headlined a report on a new renewable energy device design with the not-so-timid claim: “New hybrid technology set to change the future of renewables.”

The university is touting a design that combines wind and solar in a vertical-axis turbine configuration. It was developed by a company called McCamley Middle East, with input from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Bath, we’re told.

Bath and McCamley make assertions of superiority over horizontal-axis turbines: the turbine, they say, starts up in lighter winds, handles variations in wind direction better and can continue operating at very high wind speeds. These are familiar claims for vertical-axis turbines – as Michael Barnard points out in his excellent overview of VAWTs – and theoretically defensible to some degree. But why this design would be superior to other VAWTs, none of which have yet passed muster with the Small Wind Certification Council, BTW, isn’t clear.