Topic

civil rights

263 petitions

Started 3 days ago

Petition to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Governor

Request for Public Hearing on Frack Waste Facility at the Allegheny River Headwaters

Frack Waste Processing and Discharge Planned for the Headwaters of the Allegheny River In April of 2016 a representative of JKLM Energy approached Coudersport Borough manager with a proposal for a “water remediation strategy” involving the Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) sewage treatment plant. JKLM’s idea was to situate a frack waste processing facility near CAMA's sewage plant so the facility can pre-treat the waste from JKLM's unconventional wells and then discharge it to CAMA's sewage plant for further treatment and discharge into the Allegheny River under CAMA’s existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. A month later, on May 23, 2016, CAMA & Thomas Joseph, the owner of Epiphany Water Solutions, a company contacted by JKLM, annealed the arrangement by signing a Letter of Intent (LOI), which outlines their responsibilities. CAMA agreed to provide land/building for Epiphany’s equipment, natural gas, electrical and plumbing (per Epiphany specs) etc. Epiphany agreed to pump the pre-treated frack waste to CAMA’s sewage plant for further treatment & disposal for a per barrel (.50- $1.00) fee. Since then CAMA & Epiphany have collaborated, while only a handful of area residents were aware of the plans to transport frack waste to the sewage plant for storage, processing and discharge into the headwaters of the Allegheny River were ongoing. (Approximately 6 months earlier JKLM injected products used in the drilling process into an uncased wellbore. You can read Public Herald’s in-depth reporting on the contamination of the Coudersport area water supplies here.) The Beans Were Spilled In June of 2017, Coudersport Borough councilman Bryan Welsh learned of the plans and then passed what he learned onto his acquaintances, explaining CAMA may be planning to vote on whether or not to lease property to Epiphany; during their June 28, 2017 meeting. Meeting minutes, link here. About a dozen obviously displeased residents attended the June meeting, asked questions and expressed their concerns. Residents were blindsided when they learned the plans for the regional frack waste facility were in the works since the spring of 2016. They asked the board to slow things down. They requested CAMA notify the public of their intentions, share the lease agreement publicly and allow a reasonable amount of time for public review and comments before voting. And more importantly they asked the board to uphold Article 1 Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the environmental rights amendment which provides: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. A week earlier the PA Supreme Court affirmed Article 1 Section 27 in a landmark ruling. State Impact covered it here. Financial Risk Concerns In addition to concerns over regional air and downstream water quality, residents also raised concerns over the identifiable financial risks that engaging in a scheme with Thomas Joseph, Epiphany’s owner may present. Google searches revealed several hundred complaints related to another one of Thomas Joseph’s business ventures. They recommended due diligence. The board postponed the vote. They agreed to hold a special meeting on July 12, 2017 to discuss “real estate negotiations.” All is fair in love and CAMA business During the July 12, 2017 meeting the board did not accept questions and limited public comments to two minutes. “Safety of the community, environmental issues, economic issues and what is best for the community have been taken into account.”  The CAMA board voted unanimously, agreeing to lease to Epiphany. The board successfully kept the details of their secret plan from being sabotaged by the underlings. This was ethical barbarism. The public has fundamental rights; to have their interests considered and more importantly protected. CAMA’s refusal to address the concerns members of the community raised, before strengthening their unusual commitment to JKLM by signing the lease with Epiphany; calls into question the board’s ability to ethically handle the  public’s affairs. According to CAMA's meeting minutes, they invested significantly to cover engineering costs associated with the project. And the lease agreement requires the authority to purchase the gravel and pay to have it spread and compacted and fund "all required engineering and permitting for the successful completion of the project." According to the Department of Environmental Protection, north central regional office, the fledgling company’s central waste facility calls for technology that is “unproven” to treat frack waste, if authorized it would be “the first of its kind.” Investing in something with no guarantees for re-payment is called a game of chance, a lottery, a sweepstakes, not a sewage authority. CAMA’s willingness to go out on a limb by investing heavily in Joseph’s project, in response to JKLM’s request seems extraordinary and it seems judicious to question this. Two days after the lease was signed, on July 14, 2017, Epiphany Allegheny LLC., applied for an Industrial Wastewater Facility permit and also an Air Quality permit “exemption.”  Raise Sewage Rates? On September 6, 2017 an “Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Plan" prepared by Uni-tec Consulting Engineers Inc. for  CAMA (cha-ching), was filed with the Potter County Conservation District. The filing fee was $320.00 and CAMA covered the filng fee (cha-ching) also. Days earlier during CAMA's August meeting, the solicitor explained to those who attended the authority was having financial difficulties and the board needs to find new ways to raise funds or raise user’s sewage bills. Air Quality Concerns Back in June, after learning Epiphany may evaporate frack waste near Coudersport’s western border; area residents began releasing helium balloon from the road near CAMA’s sewage plant. Balloons drifted from the site, downwind; over Katy’s restaurant, Fox’s Pizza, Empereon Marketing which is one of Potter County’s largest employers and Coudersport Elementary School.  Threat on the Allegheny Watershed Processing and discharging waste into the headwaters of the Allegheny River needlessly threatens the water source hundreds of thousands of citizens residing in downstream communities, including Pittsburgh, PA rely upon because currently frack waste from the area's unconventional wells is hauled to zero discharge facilities in McKean County, PA where it is recycled and sent to well pads for reuse. Citizens deserve to bring their comments and concerns surrounding this project to those who are willing and qualified to respond. We the undersigned request, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection hold a public hearing in Potter County, to explain the permitting process to the area residents and answer their questions surrounding air & water quality, health, safety, and environment followed by a formal (at least) 30 day publicized public comment period before permits associated with the project are authorized.  

Save the Allegheny
259 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Tony Martinez, Jessica Tetreau, Cesar de Leon, Joel Munguia, Ben Neece, Ricardo Longoria, Rose Gowen

MOVE Jefferson Davis Monument to Museum

Many cities cross the United States of America are removing statues/memorials from public spaces and are also renaming roads and buildings that honored Confederate leaders. Brownsville has had numerous racist incidents in the past. Our biggest one happened in 1906. Feel free to Google "Brownsville Black Raid". The newspaper was very biased in its reporting. The soldiers involved were later exonerated by President Nixon. We also had a bridge known as "N" bridge and it appeared in local maps with the racist slur. We can only imagine what took place on that bridge. Yes, we are a city full of history and we're proud of it. We can't deny that we were part of the Confederacy. But, what is the purpose of keeping the Jefferson Davis Memorial at Washington Park? It was originally on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Palm Blvd. It marked the Jeff Davis Memorial Highway which never really took off. It was then moved to Washington Park (not sure when). Hundreds of families enjoy this park, especially during big community events like Sombrero Festival and Cyclobia. What do you think the monument tells families when they are enjoying the park? We have a growing population of African-Americans in this community. This monument does not welcome the descendants of those who've been enslaved and oppressed in the past. Our nation fought to unify our country during the Civil War. Sadly, many people did not obtain full rights until the 1960s. We don't need reminders of a bygone era in a space that should be welcoming. We need to stop kissing up to the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy! They claim that it is heritage. Their heritage thought that it was a God-given right to own people. This is not right. Washington Park currently has three monuments dedicated to: Miguel Hidalgo, Jose Marti, and Jefferson Davis. The first two were liberators. Davis was the opposite. He fought to keep human beings enslaved. He was not a liberator! He also saw mestizos (mixed European and Native American) as inferiors. The majority of Brownsville is mestizo. We don't want it destroyed. We are asking the City of Brownsville and the Brownsville Historical Association to place it in a museum. For many people, this monument represents HATE and feel that it doesn't belong in a public park. Washington Park should be welcoming to ALL people! Please VOTE on relocating it to the Historic Brownsville Museum.

Antonio Castillo
5,238 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Kim Foxx, Bruce Rauner

New trial for an innocent man

Detective Richard Zuley may be most famous for his notorious interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, but he first learned his torture techniques in the interrogation rooms of Chicago. Now, this 30-year veteran of the Chicago PD is under investigation for using illegal methods to coerce confessions that have put several possibly innocent people behind bars. One of his cases has already been overturned, and a man who spent 23 years in prison is now finally free. But while officials slowly make their way through the pages of evidence against this corrupt cop, my friend Lee Harris -- another of Zuley’s many victims -- still wastes away in prison.   My name is Robert. From 2000-2001, I shared a cell with Lee. We became good friends. Like a lot of people in prison, he would go on about how he was innocent and how he had been wrongly accused, but I never knew what to believe. However, when I received letters from the “witness” who put him away, apologizing for lying on the stand, I started digging: Lee’s conviction doesn’t add up. And now that I am on the outside, I am doing everything I can to get him a new trial so he can prove his innocence. I am asking Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial, so he can prove his innocence. He shouldn’t spend one more day behind bars while the true criminal is allowed to walk free. At first, Lee collaborated with Detective Zuley to help him find the real killer in the crime he is doing time for. Facing public pressure to find the killer, they pressed Lee for information using both threats and rewards. In one instance, Zuley offered him a $20,000 reward, and in another, he threatened to stop providing protection for his family, exposing them to retaliation. When they couldn’t find the real killer, they turned on their informant and charged him with the crime. They had no murder weapon or evidence connecting Lee to the crime. Yet, even with all these legal missteps and the lack of evidence, they still threw Lee behind bars for 90 years. He remains in jail to this day for a crime I am sure he didn’t commit. And I am not the only one: Chicago attorney Kathleen Zellner, who has won more exonerations than any other lawyer in the US, is now taking a closer look at Harris’ conviction. It’s time to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial and let true justice be served. We cannot continue to keep this man behind bars while the real killer could be walking the streets. Please sign my petition and help me fight for justice for Lee Harris.

Robert Chattler
63,944 supporters
Decision maker responded 2 weeks ago

Petition to Maria Cantwell, Jeff Merkley, Roni Norton, Washington State Attorney General, Washington State Department, Oregon State Department

ADRIANA UCAN IS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES WITH HER GRANDPARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Adriana UcanEverett, WA APR 29, 2017 — So my Sister and and I went to Yukatan and managed our way through this foreign country and we brought Adriana home!!!!!Yukatan Authorities had no idea Oregon State took Adriana from her family here in the United States....Between the Consulate and DIF we were successful in proving Oregon State's Negligence in sending Adriana there. They had no idea Adriana had never been there before and never met her family there.They had NO idea of her families desperate search for her in the United States.Now that Adriana is home and safe it is now time to move forward with demanding rights for Grandparents so no other family has to endure what Adriana and our family endured. I fully intend to continue this fight for justice for Grandparents and thousands of children who have no voice in their fate...Please continue to pass this VERY IMPORTANT PETITION to stop the Abuse of Power forced upon families from State agencies that do not have children's best interests at heart and give Grandparents the rights to protect their families.Ken and I want to thank each and everyone who supported our efforts to bring Adriana home safe and sound to be reunited with her family. We are not done yet. There are thousands of children across this great nation who still need to be saved. Adriana's story is now being discussed at the Senate in Washington D.C. With Senator Jeff Merkley.This is our platform......Lets change these agencies from abusing the power given to them by the government and put these children first!!!!! Please join us in changing things for all these families and children. Adriana and our suffering has not been in Vain.... Thank You!!!!Ken and Roni Norton                                           

Adriana Ucan
576 supporters