Protecting Our Waters Press Conference re: Riverdale residents

April 18, 2012 - 12:00pm
Protecting Our Waters, Delaware Riverkeeper Network & more
Aqua HQ
726 W Lancaster Avenue
Byrn Mawr, PA 19010
United States
Phone: (215) 690-1278


Press Conference - PA Residents Face Eviction by Aqua America Subsidiary Aqua America PVR

32 Low-income families face eviction after Aqua received permit to build water withdrawal facility, to sell water to fracking corporations, where families now live

Protecting Our Waters, Riverdale residents, and allies will hold a press conference at Aqua America’s Byrn Mawr headquarters on Wednesday, April 18th, 12 noon.

We’re standing up; our voices will be heard,” said Kevin June, Riverdale resident and organizer. “You can’t just destroy people’s lives like this.”

The proposed facility would withdraw over 4 billion gallons of water from the Susquehanna River over the next four years to be sold for profit for horizontal hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The residents, many of them elderly, disabled, and living on fixed and severely limited incomes, are distressed at the company’s imposed deadline of June 1 and the offer of only $2500 to relocate. Estimates to move mobile homes range from $6000 – $10,000. The cost of rent in Lycoming County has skyrocketed due to the influx of workers for the gas industry. Most of the residents have no place to go and no money to afford to live elsewhere. They have expressed great distress at losing their close-knit community which has lived in this location for over 30 years.

Kevin June, Riverdale resident and organizer for the neighborhood, has asked for people of faith to help him in the spiritual care of the community. “When a person is trying to absorb all the pain of everyone, it’s very hard,” he said. “It’s been very traumatic for us. We would really welcome people of any religion to just be with us, hear about our situation, pray with us, and give us support.”

Protecting Our Waters and allies will hold a press conference calling for justice for the impacted families, no evictions for fracking, and an end to SRBC permits for water withdrawals for fracking in the Susquehanna River Basin.

Kevin June will speak for Riverdale residents at the press conference, followed by a 6 pm vigil also at Aqua headquarters. The press conference and vigil is initiated by Protecting Our Waters and co-sponsored by Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Clean Water Action, Interfaith Sacred Earth Coalition, Food and Water Watch, Gas Truth of Central PA, Lehigh Valley Gas Truth, New York Residents Against Drilling, and other groups. Participants will also ask Aqua America how they can guarantee that not a drop of the water they sell to frackers will ever harm surface water, groundwater and drinking water downstream. “Susquehanna River Basin fracking corporations are allowed to store toxic waste in open, plastic-lined impoundments, among other dangerous, blatantly unsafe practices which guarantee the poisoning of surface water and groundwater, air and soil, with acute impacts and long-term, cumulative impacts threatening future generations,” commented Iris Marie Bloom, executive director of Protecting Our Waters. “We stand for a statewide moratorium on fracking and oppose these inhumane evictions for fracking profits.”

“Fracking” used in this sense refers to impacts from all phases of high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling on multi-well pads, a controversial technology new to Pennsylvania, from well pad construction to vertical drilling, fracking, waste handling, chemical handling, road and pipeline construction, gas processing, storage, and distribution. Shale gas well failures are currently confirmed at 6.2% per year for 2010 and 2011 in PA; fluid escapes into groundwater and soil with each failure. In addition, there are 12 environmental violations each day currently at Marcellus gas drilling sites which PA DEP catches, and that’s a small proportion of the violations occurring.