Presented 8 November 2011 by Beth Higginson

Meeting with EPA and concerned citizens

Philadelphia, PA

Good afternoon and thank you for having us here. I am from Liberty Township, Tioga County. I have a minute, statement, from Wellsboro Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers.

Wellsboro Monthly Meeting is concerned about the drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Several meetings in our Quarter (Upper Susquehanna) are in the area where this gas drilling is either being done now or is expected to be underway in coming years.

Wellsboro Monthly Meeting is concerned about both the economic and environmental effects of the gas drilling. Many elected officials in the affected areas have expressed their beliefs that any activity that brings money into the area is good. Many of the areas affected have been economically challenged for many years - some since the timber and mining industries left, so the lure of big money is very enticing both to individual property owners and to businesses and local governments.

Potential negative environmental effects have already occurred, and the lag in robust oversight and regulation have allowed the industry to proceed at a faster rate with new drilling than is responsible. Air and water quality, as well as scenic and recreational land use, may be affected by the drilling. Poorly regulated discharging of chemically-infused water used in the fracking process threatens our rivers and bays here and downstream.

Wellsboro Monthly Meeting asks Upper Susquehanna Quarterly Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to do the following:

  1. Support a moratorium on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale until rigorous regulatory oversight ensures environmental safeguards (for example: consistent with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts) and making statements to this effect.

Approved May 2010

Wellsboro Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker)

Elizabeth Higginson – clerk

Endorsed June 2010

Upper Susquehanna Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

This covers an area from State College to Wilkes Barre, Towanda to Pennsdale.

Ed Solenberger – clerk

Endorsed September 2010

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends which meets annually here in Philadelphia and covers an area from Princeton to Harrisburg, Towanda into Delaware.

Thomas Swain – clerk

On behalf of myself, my family, my neighbors and my Quaker community I ask that the EPA host Susquehanna River Basin Forums, plural, for stakeholders to address threats to drinking water and clean air.