PA Environmental Defense Fund (PEDF) Sues Governor Corbett in Commonwealth Court of PA
by Randy Shannon
The PEDF has sued the Governor to reverse numerous acts that have gutted the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. These acts have turned the DCNR into an agency that sells our natural resources to fund other government programs and has practically eliminated the DCNR’s role to protect our natural resources. These acts of the Governor violate the Pennsylvania Constitution. The lawsuit contains eight counts of violation of the constitution and other laws designed to protect the state’s natural resources and seeks relief through a declaratory judgement of the court.
The Commonwealth Court has accepted the suit. On August 20, 2013 the Court denied a request from the Republican Caucuses to intervene in the suit. The Republican Caucuses contended that when gas resources are present all the laws protecting the Commonwealth’s air, water, and land are inoperable. The lawsuit is now in the discovery process.
The gas industry projects that by 2030 there will be 60,000 wells in PA. Presently there are around 3,000 permits. If these projections are accurate, 200,000 acres of land will be cleared for well pads. More land will be cleared for roads, pipelines, and communication systems.
Pennsylvania water resources will lose 240 billion gallons of fresh water forever, as this water will be chemically poisoned and injected over one mile into the Marcellus shale stratum. Approximately 10 billion gallons of radioactive water will be produced at the surface for disposal.
The PEDF is asking for donations from the public to help fund the lawsuit. Go here to make a tax deductible contribution.
In July three newspapers in eastern PA carried news items discussing the case. Below is the item from the Philadelphia Inquirer. No news organization in western PA has covered this story.