submitted by Joe Detelj
In the recent past, the good people of our Valley waged a gallant and successful protest and prevented the development of a hazardous waste incinerator from being built here. Our people ignored the pleas for short term economic gain and correctly saw their long term self interests were greatly jeopardized.
A similar but even more menacing threat exists today. Hydrofracking as a means of releasing natural gas in our deep rock formations produces millions of gallons of toxic waste water that contains approximately 100 chemicals that range in effect from unhealthy to deadly. The water is also very likely to be radioactive, contaminated by the radon that had been sequestered in the shale.
There are no regulations on the books that regulates or provides monitoring guidlines for this very recent technology. DEP staff has been cut to the bone in the last belated budget. Unfortunately, things have changed since the “burner battle”; times are leaner and meaner.
Will we swallow the poison pill for the promise of immediate relief to a depressed economy, or will we struggle again for a sustainable , longer term legacy? I believe the defining question of our time is whether we seriously pursue a green econmy or do we become a modern Centralia sacrificed for this economy in another place?