In 2010, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted to ban drilling in the city of Pittsburgh. Hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. fracking, is thought by many to carry with it a multitude of negative effects on the environment as well as the health and well being of those living near drilling sites.
If allowed within Pittsburgh city limits, these concerns could include, but are not limited to air pollution, damage to our city’s infrastructure, the possibility of toxic chemical spills, fires/explosions at drilling sites, noise pollution, and, last but not least, the aesthetic degradation of our beautiful city and its neighborhoods. A chemical spill in certain locations could also mean further pollution of our rivers and your drinking water.
Now Pittsburgh’s drilling ban is being threatened. Gas companies like Chevron have voiced interest in renting downtown office space, but will only do so if the ban is repealed. This has thrust the ban into the spotlight once again and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is actively working to have the ban overturned.
There are over a hundred gas leases already signed within Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. One of the most concerning is located at 4503 Penn Avenue. This is the address of St. Mary’s Cemetery. It is NEXT DOOR to Children’s Hospital. Under current state law, drilling can occur a mere 500 feet from a standing structure.
And, in an ironic twist, PA law also contains a provision that requires doctors to sign a confidentially agreement in order to access information on the toxic chemicals used in the fracking process. In other words, if hospital patients or members of the surrounding community become sick as a result of drilling activity, doctors would be prohibited from disclosing a connection between these chemicals and a specific illness.
This is the time to be proactive and make sure the ban is not overturned.
Let’s keep fracking out of our city.
Let’s keep it out of our neighborhoods.
Let’s keep it away from our hospitals, schools, churches, cemeteries, parks, and homes.
Tell Mayor Ravenstahl and city council to keep Pittsburgh livable!