Tag Archives: fracking

Landowners near Scranton & activists set to face off against Pipeline builders who will clear cut their trees

protecting the land
Source: The Times-Tribune
Ted Glick reports on the environmental horror that’s about to begin in Northeast Pennsylvania:

Very possibly as early as tomorrow, chain-saw-armed tree cutters hired by Williams Partners, a powerful pipeline-building corporation for the gas and oil industry, will try to cut down sugar maple trees on the property of Maryann Zeffer, Cathy and Megan Holleran and their family. For 65 years they have lived on this land, and for the last ten or so they have been producing delicious, pure, Pennsylvania maple syrup from those trees.

This destruction won’t happen without a big fight. Nine days ago as I write, after FERC gave approval to Williams’ request to start tree cutting in Pa. even though Williams does not have all of the necessary approvals to build their Pa. to NY Constitution pipeline, an encampment was set up on the Zeffer/Holleran land. Every day since people have been there.

The implacable Williams Partners pipeline builders aka land destroyers and water polluters, has obtained the go-ahead from FERC to begin clear-cutting more private land on 160 Pennsylvania properties than they need to lay a pipeline for transporting fracked fuel through Pennsylvania to New York. Williams got the red light to proceed even though they lack all the necessary permits and have not paid for some of the land they plan to access. They acquired some of the land through eminent domain seizure and will cut down more trees than the pipeline requires to give themselves “working space”.

The families of Cathy and Megan Holleran and Maryann Zeffer fought the pipeline builders in court for well over a year. With tree felling now about to begin, they’ve taking their battle to the public. Anti-fracking/anti-pipeline and clean water activists, environmentalists and the press have been summoned to witness the Holleran/Zeffers take a stand against the usurpation of their land rights and the destruction of their beautiful maple syrup kingdom and stand with them, if they’re willing to risk being arrested. These people’s little slice of Paradise is a 1/2 hour drive north of Scranton, PA.

The family loves these 22 acres that Catherine Holleran’s parents bought in the late 1950s, when they escaped to the Endless Mountains from Long Island.

Sturdy maples, cherries and other hardwoods rise from their property’s steep eastern hillside. A small creek-fed lake lies at the bottom of the gentle valley. Across a strip of trees, a grassy field rises to the north. It’s a place for syrup making and snowmobiling in the winter, lake parties and off-roading in the summer.

Constitution’s designs call for a 30-inch pipe laid in an S-shaped strip across 1,670 linear feet of their land. The permanent easement would be 50 feet wide, but the company would fell timber in a wider area to create work space. The family doesn’t want to lose the trees or the quality of their lake, which they fear could fill with sediment despite the company’s stated policies of controlling erosion.

The five Zeffer siblings — Ms. Holleran’s maiden name — want to pass the land on to their children the way it is, “without a big stupid pipeline,” Ms. Holleran said.

If you wish to join or support the resistance, here’s the information you need:
Holleran property is at 2131 Three Lakes Road, New Milford, PA. But use these coordinates to find the location where people have gathered to stop the tree cutting: 41.8272387, -75.7585062

Contacts: Megan Holleran 570-709-3268 and Alex Lotorto (after 5PM) 570-269-9589

Visit Stop the Constitution Pipeline Facebook group

Hat tip to Theresa Lam for the share

Farmers are watering the crops we eat with fracking waste

California farmers are buying fracking waste liquid from the natural gas extraction companies that use high-pressure liquid cocktails – mixed with massive amounts of potable water – to get natural gas out of shale deposits and sell the gas overseas. What are they doing with that radioactive waste? The LA Times reports: watering their crops with it, that’s what.

Oh yeah, the crops we eat. Some farmers are using fracking waste for as much as half of their ‘water’ supply. But this picture of fracking waste looks nothing like water, does it?

Fracking pit

A scientist who sometimes consults for the EPA took fracking liquid samples at 10 sites over an 8 mile canal where it’s channelled to farmers and found,

The samples (Scott) Smith collected contained acetone and methylene chloride, solvents used to degrease equipment or soften thick crude oil, at concentrations higher than he said he had seen at oil spill disaster sites. The water also contained C20 and C34, hydrocarbons found in oil, according to ALS Environmental, the lab that analyzed Smith’s samples.

Methylene chloride and acetone are used as solvents in many industrial settings. Methylene chloride is classified as a potential carcinogen.

The farmers seem to think none of this is a problem, but then again, these are the same people that for years have taking 80% of drought-ridden California’s potable water supply to grow commercial crops. How much can their judgement be trusted?

“But on the plus side,” as Facebooker Ben Ogden points out, “all the veggies will be easier to find in the dark…”

I like one Grist reporter’s comment on the story. Now, I can’t wait until June 15 rolls around and the American public gets to learn exactly what nefarious chemicals are in fracking liquid.

There’s a certain amount of WTF to all this — because we don’t even know what’s in this fracking waste, at least not until June 15. That’s when California’s fracking regulations kick in and force oil companies to disclose the chemicals they are using. I mean, maybe just wait to find that out before using it to water our cherries?

Thanks William Rivers Pitt for making me aware of this disturbing, but important, news.

Obama’s serious about Climate Change

President Obama’s new initiatives around Climate Change protections are soon to be unveiled, and they’re not going to make traditional energy company executives happy. This time, the President is serious about climate change.

obama wipes face at speech
The Washington Post reports:

After years of putting other policy priorities first — and dismaying many liberal allies in the process — Obama is now getting into the weeds on climate change and considers it one of the key components of his legacy, according to aides and advisers.

He is regularly briefed on scientific reports on the issue, including a national climate assessment that he will help showcase Tuesday. He is using his executive authority to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources, and is moving ahead with stricter fuel-efficiency standardsfor the heaviest trucks.

And while he routinely brings up climate change in closed-door meetings with world leaders, according to his aides, he also discusses it in his private life, talking about global warming’s implications with his teenage daughters.

New York county legislators ban fracking waste

No Second Chance from Grassroots Environmental Ed on Vimeo.

In this video clip, several New York county legislators talk about why they believed it necessary to ban fracking waste from use, storage or transportation across their counties. Since states haven’t shown much willingness to limit fracking or reject its waste, it’s great to see municipalities and county legislators taking action. I have several questions after watching the clip, though:

  • Are the New York county legislators shown in this clip part of a unified coalition?
  • How many New York counties have banned fracking waste? Is there a list somewhere?
  • How do New York county legislators stand on the topic of fracking itself?
  • Is the position of legislator on the Board of Legislators equivalent to a NJ freeholder?
  • Has New York State itself taken a position against fracking waste?

Can anyone help me out?

fracking waste
A fracking (hydraulic fracturing) waste pit

Pinelands Commission rejects South Jersey Gas Pipeline to protect region

Pinelands in a boatOn Jan 10 2014, the members of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission stood up to project this important region for future generations. In a 7 to 7 vote the Commissioners rejected an Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that would have allowed a brand new South Jersey Gas Pipeline across a region that provides drinking water to millions of state residents. The pipeline would have brought more polluting fossil fuels into the Pinelands along with impacts to forests, wetlands, and waterways. The pipeline would have kept the antiquated BL England plant up and running and with this vote today the region will be able to breathe easier with reduced air pollution impacts.

“This is a great victory for the Pinelands and the environment of the region. This is a victory for democracy over bullying, a victory for the Pinelands and more important, for the people. This is the biggest environmental victory under the Christie administration. The Commissioners did not caving to polluters and special interests. Today the Commissioners said the Pinelands are not for sale,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We are proud the Commissioners did their job to protect the Pinelands region, its water supply, and its unique ecosystem from a polluting fossil fuel pipeline. Even with all the bullying and arm twisting, protection of the environment prevailed. With this vote today the Commissioners stood up to protect the Pinelands, ensured better air quality for the region, stopped dirty energy in the region, stopped the potential for LNG exports, and shut down the BL England plant.”

The Commissioners voted down the use of an MOA for the project. Under the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) the Commission can only enter into an MOA with government agencies for projects they are constructing. Opponents of the pipeline have long challenged the legality of entering an MOA with the BPU for the project since the project is being built by a private company, South Jersey Gas, and the BPU is the regulator, not the entity responsible for the project. In exchange for this special exception, SJG was offering the Commission $8 million for mitigation and education projects.

“This is David vs. Goliath, the people and the public good vs. special interests and political patrons. Today the people won and we need to celebrate these victories,” said Tittel.

The ill-conceived project is widely opposed. Four former New Jersey Governors and a number of state legislators had come out in opposition based on concerns with the legality of using an MOA for project approval, the lack of a proven compelling need for the project, the existence of alternatives that do not violate Pinelands regulations, and the lack of public process in the proceedings. Newspapers across the region have written editorials in opposition based on the significant negative impacts associated with the project. The Pinelands Commission received thousands of letters (over 1600 during the official comment period and many more beforehand) and petitions in opposition to the project and hundreds of people spoke out against the project at public hearings before the Commission.

Instead of refueling with fossil fuels, Sierra Club would like to see the site used for clean energy production. This would create jobs and clean energy, improving the environment and economy of the region. Given the location, this would be a great location for infrastructure related to offshore wind production.

“We are glad the Pinelands Commission did their job- protecting the Pinelands region for future generations and not allowing the region to be destroyed for private developments. The Commission upheld the protections that people have worked for so long and so hard to put in place. Despite efforts by Commission staff to ram this project through without full evaluation of the environmental impacts, the Commissioners demanded a higher standard for the Pinelands region,” said Jeff Tittel.

You can also like the Sierra Club on Facebook

At RCNJ on 12/11 Gas Infrastructure & Its Adverse Impacts: Implications for Communities across the Region

The Masters in Sustainability Studies and Environmental Studies Programs, Ramapo College of New Jersey in conjunction with the NJ Highlands Coalition, NJ Club, ClimateMama, and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Cordially Invite You to a Program on Gas Infrastructure and Its Adverse Impacts: Implications for Communities across the Region with Renowned Environmental Scientist and MacArthur Fellow

“>WILMA SUBRA on Gas Infrastructure
Wed 11 Dec 2013, 9:30-11:30am
RCNJ in Friends Hall

Rationale: The Ramapo Region now serves as a confluence for major gas infrastructure projects proliferating throughout the New York/New Jersey area. Beyond the other consequences of new gas pipelines, compressor stations, metering stations and gas- fired power plants, there is the question of whether natural gas is the clean source of energy it is billed as, particularly now that the gas traveling through our area is increasingly sourced from fracking of Marcellus Shale deposits.

Because of its position between the Shale fields of Pennsylvania and northeastern cities, the Ramapo region will likely remain at the crossroads of fracking infrastructure development. With these new drilling techniques and expanding infrastructure requirements we must ask, “How Hazardous is our reliance on Natural Gas?” This is a question of importance to community decision makers, parents, and other residents of the region seeking information upon which to base policy and personal decisions. Yet, there has been a paucity of information available.

Wilma Subra is a highly regarded environmental scientist and MacArthur Genius Award recipient who has devoted herself to approaching such challenging environmental health questions. Owner of a private environmental testing company in Louisiana, she has emerged as a strong voice for environmental justice and precautionary decisions regarding environmental hazards. She has served on numerous EPA commissions relating to environmental health and justice, played an important role in understanding the issues in post-Katrina Louisiana and has emerged as a key voice in cautioning about the proliferation of gas fracking and the resulting infrastructure projects because of potential adverse health effects and community impacts.

Please use this parking permit for the event.

November Green Drinks schedule & sustainable activities

Green Drinks Hackensack 1308

Green Drinks (Sustainability) chats monthly in 3 north Jersey cities

GreenDrink logo with wordsGreen Drinks are not a type of drink! They are informal gatherings that bring people together to chat over food and drinks about green and sustainable issues relevant to our lives and communities. Green Drinks meetings are open, everyone is welcome and there is no admission fee. Pay for the food and drinks you order at the restaurants where we meet – each location serves good food at moderate prices.
Green Drinks Newark 1st Mondays | 7-9pm
November: 04 Nov 2013
Rio Rodizio
1034 McCarter Highway, Newark, NJ
Green Drinks Hackensack 2nd Mondays | 7-9pm
November: 11 Nov 2013
Villa de Colombia
12 Mercer Street, Hackensack, NJ
If parking lot is full, park weekdays after 7 across the street in the jewelry business parking lot and on weekends park at the Salvation Army lot on the corner of Mercer and State Streets.
Green Drinks Clifton-Paterson (this location has no fixed monthly date for now)
November: Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 7-9pm

Sultan Restaurant
429 Crooks Avenue, Clifton NJ
Discussion themes this month: stormwater management, composting, climate change

Like us on Facebook!

Other green/sustainable activities & events

Stand Against Fracking at the Next DRBC Meeting
Tues 03 Dec | 12-1:30 pm
LOCATION TBD – Commissioners have not announced final meeting location
RSVP & look for carpool (as of 11/13, none from north Jersey yet, so feel free to add your own)
The Delaware River Basin Commission put plans on hold to allow drilling in this critical watershed two years ago. Now the executive director of the DRBC is talking about developing a strategy for drilling in the basin. Fracking will destroy this precious landscape and threaten the water that we all depend on. Their next meeting will be on December 3 — please join Food & Water Watch and our allies to celebrate two years of no drilling in the Delaware River Watershed and stand up for the only strategy we should be support: A Ban on Fracking!.

Fund Raising Campaign Kick Off Reception for the
MLK Jr. Bergen County Monument Committee

Tues 19 Nov 2013 | 6-9pm
Rothman Center at Fairleigh Dickinson University
140 University Avenue, Hackensack NJ
The public is welcome. Come out for the unveiling of the MLK Jr. monument, network, support the committee’s efforts.

Free Screening of A Place at the Table and Panel Discussion
Thu 21 Nov 2013 | 6:30pm
Bergen Community College
Technology Center Building Room TEC-128
400 Paramus Road, Paramus NJ
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Bergen Community College collaborate to screen this dramatic documentary about hunger and food insecurity in America. In Bergen County, 88,000 are hungry. There will be a panel discussion after the film and we invite you to come and take your place as part of the soluton. All are welcome, admission is free, and light refreshments will be served. For more info visit cfbnj.org/bcc or email driley@cfbnj.org.

Public Rally to shut down the compressor station
Sat 23 Nov 2013 | 12-1:30pm
621 Eagle Rock Avenue (Next to the Essex County Environmental Center), Roseland, NJ
There is widespread community concern in Roseland New Jersey that a new 30,000 horsepower gas compressor is being built right next to a major electric transmission terminal and both of these are within a major flood zone of the Passaic River. Star Ledger story about the Roseland Compressor station.

Sierra Club Trenton Environmental Lobby Day
Thu 19 Dec 2013 | Time TBA
This Lame Duck Session will have a huge impact on New Jersey’s environment and we need your help! Join us in Trenton for an Environmental Lobby Day focused on several important issues. The Lobby Day will include briefings on these important issues, meetings with our representatives, and a Rally in front of the Statehouse. Please Save the Date for now .. more details to come. Email Kate.Millsaps@sierraclub.org to RSVP

Sign to stop elephant slaughter
More than 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year for their tusks, which are used to make ivory trinkets and carvings. They are sold in black markets around the world, including in the United States. But we’re working to stop this illegal trade.

Nearly six tons of elephant ivory will be crushed into gravel by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the largest amount of seized ivory ever destroyed in the US. By destroying its store of seized ivory, the US government is sending a strong signal to the rest of the world that we need to end the demand that is fueling ivory trafficking and get serious now about saving elephants. Sign to show you care.

October 2013 green/sustainable activities & events

Check back for updates throughout the month.

Green Drinks 3 Sustainability Chats in Newark, Paterson-Clifton and Hackensack

Elly faceGreen Drinks are not a type of drink! They are informal gatherings that bring people together to chat over food and drinks about green and sustainable issues relevant to our lives and communities. Green Drinks meetings are open, everyone is welcome and there is no admission fee. Pay for the food and drinks you order at the restaurants where we meet – each one serves good food at moderate prices.

Green Drinks Newark 1st Mondays | 7-9pm
(07 Oct 2013)
Rio Rodizio
1034 McCarter Highway, Newark, NJ
Green Drinks Hackensack 2nd Mondays | 7-9pm
(14 Oct 2013)
Villa de Colombia
12 Mercer Street, Hackensack, NJ
If parking lot is full, park weekdays after 7 across the street in the jewelry business parking lot and on weekends park at the Salvation Army lot on the corner of Mercer and State Streets.
In October: Wed 23 Oct | 7-9pm
(Green Drinks Paterson-Clifton has no recurring monthly date for now)
Sultan Restaurant
429 Crooks Avenue, Clifton, NJ

Other green/sustainable activities & events

Public Notice: You can vote yourself a raise on Tues 05 Nov
The question of whether to raise the minimum wage in our state by $1 per hour gets decided by New Jersey voters in this year’s general election. Gov. Christie tried every tactic to block the wage hike but he lacks the power to remove a referendum from the election ballot. So, get to the polls on Tuesday, November 5 and vote your interest. Vote YES to raise NJ’s minimum wage to $8.25/hr!

“The Assault on Public Education and Public Services: A New Jersey Case Study.”
A talk presented by Walter C. Farrell, U of North Carolina professor.
Wed 30 Oct | 5-8 pm
Montclair Art Museum
3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ
Dr. Farrell is fabulous. Don’t miss him!
Sponsored by Montclair Education Association. RSVP by Monday, Oct. 21, to JHobbs@meanj.org

Stop Watching Us: Rally Against Mass Surveillance in DC
Sat 26 Oct | 12–3 pm
Buses from NYC to Washington, D.C. with tix starting at $10.
StopWatching.Us — a diverse coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and businesses is organizing the biggest protest of the NSA’s surveillance programs to date. And you can join them. What are you waiting for?

Farmageddon Screening at East Brunswick Public Library
Mon 14 Oct | 7pm

Save the Open Internet!
Preserving open internet access is one of the great freedom fights of our time. This is an ongoing topic of discussion at every Green Drinks 3 event. Learn more.

Facilities tour of Essex County Environmental Center (ECEC)
Followed by a discussion with College of Science & Mathematics (CSAM) faculty, ECEC Staff, Rutgers Extension agents on potential research, collaboration, education and outreach opportunities. ECEC is a new partner of CSAM’s PRI.
Fri 18 Oct | 10-1pm
621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ 07068 973-228-8776
(Parking right in front of the building)
Please RSVP by emailing Ms. Jasey Araque

Gasland II movie & discussion (free)
Sat 19 Oct | 7pm (doors open at 6:30)
First Presbyterian Church of Englewood
150 East Palisades Avenue, Englewood, NJ

The People’s Conference on the Fight for Jobs, Peace, Equality, and Justice
With The People’s Organization for Progress (POP) and friends
People's ConferenceSat 19 Oct | 8am-6pm
Rutgers University-Newark
Paul Robeson Campus Center
350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ
Cost: Free (but lunch not provided)
For information: 973-801-0001 or 973-951-3369
The goal of this conference is to unite our movement to determine demands, develop plans of action and commit to work for:
A national jobs program at a living wage, Healthcare for all, Education, Affordable housing, Justice, Peace

Sign up to speak in favor of reducing carbon pollution at an EPA public hearing being held near you
If you’d like to support strong carbon pollution standards for power plants, you can sign up to speak in favor of reducing carbon pollution at one of the EPA’s public hearings. The EPA is hosting these hearings to solicit ideas and input from stakeholders and the public about how to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. Attendance and comments are submitted on the record, and participating is a great way to show your support and voice your opinion.

Jersey Climate Action and Carbon Forum
Mon 28 Oct | 7pm
People Care Center
120 Finderne Avenue, Bridgewater, NJ
Cost: Free but registration requested
New Jersey Clean Energy Campaign and New Jersey Sierra Club kick off the Sandy Anniversary Week of Action with a community forum on how YOU can reduce carbon pollution. We’ll have experts to answer all your questions about climate change and the new EPA carbon standard. Thinking about solar, energy efficiency or purchasing clean power? There will also be clean energy vendors who can talk about what you can do at home to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Take the next step in climate activism and join us!

Hackensack Non-Violent Fugitive Safe Surrender Information Session
Thursday 17 Oct 2013 | 6:30-8:30pm
Ciarco Learning Center (of Bergen Community College)
355 Main Street – Room 134 – Hackensack, NJ
(Free Parking Behind Building)
Download flier

Paterson Non-Violent Fugitive Safe Surrender Information Session
Tuesday 22 Oct 2013 | 6:30-8:30pm
Rogers Conference Center
32 Spruce Street (rear) – 2nd Floor – Paterson, NJ
(Parking at 75 Spruce Street-enter on Grand Street side)
Download flier

New Jersey Attorney General Fugitive Safe Surrender Program
Wed 06 Nov thru Sat 09 Nov 2013 | 9am-4pm each day
Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church
661 Montgomery St, Jersey City, NJ

Información en Español

Global Frackdown event on Saturday Oct 19!
Find and join a Global Frackdown event near you! Actions are being planned in 25 countries and all across the United States. We all lose when our governments put oil and gas industry profits above our health and environment. This Saturday, the global anti-fracking movement will come together with one unified voice to call on our elected officials to protect our air, water and climate and not cater to corporate interests. Follow this link to plug in and find an event near you.

The Funeral to Bury Violence in Newark
Sun 27 Oct 2013 | Procession 11am. Service 1pm
Members of the coalition behind this action include 211 Community Impact, Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, FP YouthOutcry, 24 Hours of Peace, Anti-Industry Entertainment, Stop Shootin Music, and West Ward Economic Development Corporation. Participating funeral homes are Perry Funeral Home, Woody Home for Services, Chapels of Edan Funeral Home, J. E. Churman Funeral Home, Cotton Funeral Services, and Cushnie-Houston Funeral Home.
Organizations interested in participating please email to thefuneralnewark@gmail.com
For more info: Facebook Event Page Facebook.com/MorticiansThatCare or Morticians_thatcare@yahoo.com

Sat 01 Nov 2013
Keynote VAN JONES, CNN Crossfire Co-host
and co-Founder of Rebuild The Dream, Former Green Jobs Advisor To The Obama White House