Monday, February 14, 2011

My letter to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

ATTENTION: Rob. F. Kennedy, Jr.

Dear Mr. Kennedy,

Thank you for your efforts to protect our environment, and your activism.

I just watched your interview with Josh Fox, and although I believe you were sincere in your concern for New York State, I whole heartedly disagree with your assessment of our situation in Pennsylvania.

It is true, that Pennsylvania is now three years into this massive and destructive industrialization, but it is not too late to stop it from continuing to ruin this beautiful, and still largely pristine state.

I too, have been to Dimock. I personally know the Sautner's, the Carter's, and the Switzer's. I was there when our former DEP director, John Hanger announced DEP's finding's that Cabot was at fault for the damage done in Dimock, and that the people of Dimock would be vindicated, compensated, and the situation 'made right' at Cabot's expense. Sadly, none of this has happened. The people of Dimock are still fighting for the justice they deserve, and people like myself thoughout Pennsylvania, and beyond, will continue to stand with them.

Me and my family live in Sullivan County, PA in the small town of Sonestown. We are now the new 'ground zero' for gas drilling. There has only been one gas well drilled in Sonestown so far, and it has now been leaking 'un-natural fluids' since December 13, 2010. Some people's dogs are refusing to drink the water drawn from our wells, people are getting nauseous, and the PA/DEP has done nothing more than issue an order for Chief Oil & Gas to repair the leak. In the meantime, Chief sold their interests to another company EXCO, who has also been instructed to make the repair. It is now, February 13, 2011 and still nothing has been done. Neither the DEP, the EPA, Chief, or EXCO so much as issued a warning, or cautionary statement to the communities that are being affected.

To be fair, without further water tests, I can't be sure just how dangerous a situation this poses for us at this writing. I have to think, if this 'leak' was benign in nature and posed no health or environmental threat, no repair would be necessary or required. What concerns me as well, is the lack of transparency on the part of the PA/DEP, Chief, EXCO, and the Marcellus Coalition regarding such instances. We are left to our own devices, and must be our own 'environmental police' in order to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, any information we gather is always after the fact, and that's too late!

In my email exchanges, and phone conversations with Dan Spadoni, Community Relations director for the DEP, I have been told that 'IF' anyone was experiencing health problems, or had issues with their water, then they would have addressed the problem.

I have the emails, and the lab reports that the DEP has had in their possession since Dec. 28th, and can substantiate everything that I'm telling you. (*I obtained these confidential lab results through a 'reliable source' with a contact inside the DEP. They were not published on their web site, or intended for public release.)

I would also like to remind you that Dimock was/is not an isolated incident. There have been similar contamination's in Clearfield, Hickory, Towanda, Canton, Alba, Hughesville, Tivoli, Lycoming Twp., and perhaps now, Sonestown, PA.

Mr. Kennedy, a few months ago, I received a hand written letter from you (which I still have) stating that you would continue to support our efforts to protect our environment, as well as our health and safety, and stand with us against this industry, and if there is anything you could do to help to please let you know.

Well, I'm now, 'letting you know'. What we need to stop this destruction is media coverage... and a bit of 'star power' to attract that media coverage so we can expose this industry for what it really is. We need you to come back to PA and take another tour of the affected areas like Bradford, Sullivan, Lycoming, and Tioga Counties, as well as Susquehanna County.

We now have Philadelphia & Pittsburgh taking a stand against fracking. The people in the PA rurals are getting on board more everyday. It is my belief that we're finally, after three years, starting to get somewhere. But with the industry PR machine operating at full throttle, we can't effectively fight back in the media unless we can get someone of your stature and reputation to stand with us.

I am personally willing to offer you lodging and whatever accommodations you would need, and arrange a 'town hall' public meeting with the necessary press coverage, if you would be willing to publicly 'stand with us' and help us defend what can never be replaced unless we stop this now.

Remember, New York City gets 100% of it's clean, fresh, unfiltered drinking water supply from Pennsylvania's water sheds, just as we do in Pennsylvania. Although New York State has temporarily stopped the drilling in that state, it's drinking water can not, and will not, be protected unless we can stop the drilling and fracking in Pennsylvania, too.

Mr. Kennedy, please think about it. Our environment, our water supply, and ultimately our health, safety, and people's lives are lying in the balance.

Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

John Trallo

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