In light of the increased environmental awareness due to the Marcellus Shale gas industry impacting local municipalities on various levels, the Elk County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday re-pledged their commitment to safety.
William Granche, a member of Elk County C.A.R.E.S. [Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Stewardship], shared his views on the subject with the commissioners.
"Even if we can't do something-- that's the concept I hear all the time-- the concept of responsibility back and forth like a ping pong ball-- 'I can't do anything' and 'My hands are tied'-- there are a lot of politicians who say that," Granche said. "The point is if you can't do anything, at least speak up and express your concerns, and this isn't something that I've been seeing."
According to research conducted by Granche, there are 12 wells drilled in Elk County and 10 of them have had violations.
"To what degree, I'm not really certain, but I know four of them were done by Seneca. That's a threat to the water," Granche said. "Butler County is losing people and they're leaving because the water is going bad. The last time I spoke [at an Elk County Board of Commissioners meeting], I mentioned the DuBois water [being contaminated], and I mentioned the letter. What I didn't mention in the letter is what [the consumer was informed to do] in response to this.
"They said pregnant women, the elderly, and children should not drink the water. Shortly after this letter was written, which was Dec. 30, 2011, on Jan. 5 and Jan. 9 articles were written in a newspaper saying it wasn't the drinking water, it was the sewage and the treatment plant found [the contamination]. That still circulates and goes back-- the treatment plant cleans the water and puts it back into the system and those chemicals can't be cleaned-- there are only a few treatment plants in our state at this time that can neutralize [those chemicals]."
Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, May 2, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.
Elk County Board of Commissioners
When: Tuesday, May 15
Where: Courthouse Annex, Conference Room No. 2
Time: 10 a.m.