Just received an email from Trout Unlimited mentioning a group I was not familiar with, the Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation. They have a video about the concerns associated with gas drilling in Pennsylvania and you can also listen to a recent podcast about the Sportsmen Alliance with Chris Wood, TU’s CEO, and Katy Dunlap, Director of the TU’s Eastern Water Project.
I think their focus is well-stated:
“The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation (Sportsmen Alliance) is a coalition of sportsmen and women working together to identify and propose solutions to mitigate the impacts caused by gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale on hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor sporting activities. The coalition is not opposed to gas drilling and recognizes the potential economic and social benefits. Rather, the Sportsmen Alliance is concerned that the current state and local policies governing gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale do not adequately protect valuable and irreplaceable natural resources, including clean water and critical habitat for fish and wildlife.”
You can also read more about the Sportsmen Alliance in an article from the Wall Street Journal. Some troubling things the group has found include the following:
“Already, preliminary water testing by sportsmen is showing consistently high levels of bromides and total dissolved solids in some streams near fracking operations, Dufalla said. Bromide is a salt that reacts with the chlorine disinfectants used by drinking water systems and creates trihalomethanes.”
Keeping on top of how energy companies extract natural gas is critical. There is no good way to clean up contaminated ground water and we certainly want to avoid contaminating streams and drinking water supplies near these drilling operations. I’ve written about the dangers of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region quite a bit previously. The threat to brook trout streams is real.