Why I'm Committed
To 'Save The Allegheny'
by Georgeanna DeCarlo
I believed that moral and ethical duties of Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) would have necessitated public's inclusion and precluded any monumental undertaking that would so vastly transform our community. Specifically, consequences of implementation of a fracking wastewater treatment facility into the Headwaters of the Allegheny River, the only triple divide east of the Mississippi.
Placing a fracking wastewater treatment facility at the Allegheny Headwaters brings potential of enormous detrimental affect to not only the economic value of local homeowners' property, businesses, and general aesthetic worth of this region, but to all properties and businesses downstream. Dismissal of these economical factors alone show CAMA's irresponsibility toward and brazen disregard of seeing their duty as one of public service, rather acceptance of an invitation by a JKLM Energy representative, who proposed this idea. This is one of a multitude of factors that spurred formation of Save The Allegheny.
Additionally, environmental and governmental studies prove ill affects associated with fracking wastewater to people and the environment. CAMA refuted residents' concerns by merely pointing to the obvious DEP regulations that Epiphany Environmental fracking wastewater treatment plant would need to function within. Residents expected to see an independent research study by CAMA outlining benefits and detriments to people and the environment through implementation of a fracking wastewater treatment facility in Coudersport. CAMA did not produce any documentation to show that environmental, economical, cultural, and climate impact studies were conducted. I see this as another negligence of CAMA's due diligence.
Residents who recently attended CAMA meetings to express their concerns were made to feel that their opinion was in-valid by an Authority that was merely patronizing attendance of non-members. Issues raised by residents were well founded objections to putting a fracking wastewater treatment facility here; some questions and concerns based on prior EPA environmental impact studies that clearly point to dangers that eluded recognition due to indistinct DEP regulations as fracking is a relatively recent practice. New research and environmental impact studies continue to bring evidence to light and restructure dialog to protect people and the environment from factors that were not apparent until historical reports were able to be generated from research of fracking impact.
Authority members defended their stance and refuted public concerns of potential toxicity to air, soil and water by claiming that Thomas Joseph CEO of Epiphany Environmental told them that he was working with DEP. Authority members seemed satisfied by verbal assurance from Mr. Joseph but the public wants documentation. We want to see proof of Mr. Joseph's self-proclaimed novel technique.
The choice to be proactive in our community to not have a fracking wastewater treatment facility here is not done out of ignorance, rather preempted by education about the risks. CAMA has also not made public the background check and business performance report and portfolio that must have been generated before CAMA entered into a business contract with Mr. Joseph.
Public also has not had access to the methodology that Epiphany Environmental LLC plans to use and therefore is unable to respond to the particulars of this plan. However, there is a wealth of information to be found in similar facilities.
CAMA members feel that they've done their job of alleviating public concern by continually pointing to DEP regulations as facility safeguards. I disagree.
I believe that the vast detrimental and far reaching, long term affects of implementation of a fracking wastewater treatment plant into our community goes beyond its potential to emit hazardous toxins. As landholders at the headwaters of the Allegheny River we have the responsibility of maintaining a healthy environment for ourselves and our posterity. I choose to live in this region because of its pristine environment. I do not find consolation as CAMA does, that DEP regulations are enough to alleviate concerns and provide “insurance” of public and environmental safety.
For these reasons the Save The Allegheny group was formed.
Save The Allegany is not a divisive action, rather an op-positional response to CAMA's actions. Save The Allegheny members are working to assist the community to improve our understanding of DEP & EPA Regulations regarding Unconventional Well Wastewater, Public Sewage Treatment Facilities and Water Quality Management.