Governor Perdue, Veto SB 820 fracking bill

Stop this toxic train before it jumps the track:

If Perdue vetoes the bill, fracking proponents would need 72 votes in the House for an override. If the governor does not veto it, next steps include naming the members of the Mining and Energy Commission and setting a schedule for the creation of regulations and other related work.

That first step being the stacking of the Commission with indiustry or industry-friendly individuals, guaranteeing that any regulations produced will barely give a nod to safety and conservation. And it will only be a matter of time before this starts happening in NC:

The grand jury recommended 98 criminal charges against Mr. Shipman, 49, of New Freeport and 77 counts against his company, Allan's Waste Water Service Inc. for their alleged actions -- sometimes under cover of darkness or during heavy rains -- in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Notable in the nine-page presentment from the grand jury is the mention of Dunkard Creek, site of a massive 2009 fish kill over a 30-mile stretch along the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border.

Drivers for Mr. Shipman's company testified that they and their boss emptied tanker trucks with drilling waste into a floor drain that led to Tom's Run which, according to the presentment, empties into to Dunkard Creek.

Drivers also testified they disposed of some waste by "cocktailing," or mixing a variety of wastes, in a variety of locations, including Morris Run air shaft in Consol Energy's abandoned Blacksville No. 2 mine.

The shaft leads to a mine pool, "which ultimately discharges into Dunkard Creek," the presentment said.

And here's one of the reasons these folks decided to dump their toxic wastes in such a fashion, courtesy of a not-so-clever attorney for the accused:

"Whether or not they did that, we don't know. Whether or not they did some of this on their own to avoid the long lines that are at some of those disposal facilities, we don't know."

Translated: We didn't do it, but if we did, it was because blah blah blah...

But that does bring up a damned good point. As far as I've been able to discern from hours of Googling and a few phone calls, North Carolina doesn't even have any water treatment facilities capable of handling produced water.

The next time you're out driving in some of our rural areas, take a gander at all the places (culverts, creeks, etc.) a driver couid dump this stuff if he didn't feel like driving hundreds of miles to dispose of these wastes properly.

Tell Governor Perdue to Veto this misguided piece of toxic legislation. NC Conservation Network provides a handy take action page that makes it simple and quick. Or you could e-mail governer Perdue (governor.office@nc.gov) like I did a few days ago:

Governor Perdue,

It is crucial that you Veto SB 820 (Clean Energy and Economic Security Act), otherwise known as the "Fracking" bill.

Despite evidence that we're finally coming out of a statewide drought problem, the supply of drinking water for millions of North Carolinians is already in peril. Even if fracking is done here with no methane seepage or other groundwater contamination, the process itself uses millions of gallons of fresh water for each well. And none of that water will be recycled back into the aquifers or municipal water systems. It will be lost forever, pumped into (hopefully) leak-proof containment wells.

If we do have contamination problems (like every other state has), DENR will feel the brunt of the public outrage and the cleanup/remediation issues. Your administration will get blamed for it, not the Republicans who are blindly rushing forward with this.

The House passed the bill with only 66 votes. That's a majority, but it's not a Veto-proof majority. As far as I'm concerned, it's also a message to you that the General Assembly still has some questions about this process.

Get out your Veto stamp, and use it. Make the Legislature take another look at how they're approaching this very serious issue.

Steve Harrison

BlueNC

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