EPA, Send Clean Water to Families Impacted by Fracking in Butler County, PA!

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From: Your Name <you@example.com>
To: R3_RA@epa.gov, garvin.shawn@epa.gov, scipione.tony@epa.gov, ozone.3@epa.gov, harris.reggie@epa.gov, protectingourwaters@gmail.com
Subject: EPA, Send Clean Water to Families Impacted by Fracking in Butler County, PA!

Your Personal Statement

Dear Shawn Garvin, EPA Region 3 Administrator:

I am very concerned about the families in Connoquenessing Township, Butler County, who are surrounded by heavy gas drilling and fracking. I would like to urge the EPA to step in to help them, since the PA Department of Environmental Protection has failed to protect these families' water, air, and health; and has even failed to ensure them clean replacement water for their water which has been contaminated by gas drilling.

What we know: at least ten families have been impacted, but closer to fifty families have reported changes in their water quality, color, smell, and quantity since Rex Energy has overwhelmed this small rural community with intensive drilling and fracking. On March 1, 2012, despite public protest, Rex ended all water deliveries for ten affected families for whom they had previously provided water buffaloes and bottled drinking water. Three of the families are paying out of pocket, which they cannot afford, to keep the water buffaloes, in an attempt to live a normal life with clean safe water. All the other families are completely dependent on donated drinking water, which is now being delivered by neighbors, churches and a Butler County group of concerned citizens. Rex Energy has been let completely off the hook, despite tests showing spikes in lead, manganese, chloromethane, toluene and other contaminants.

What we want: 1. Please supply these families with clean, safe replacement water so that they may safely drink water at home, cook, and shower safely at home. Please use your authority under CERCLA to provide the emergency replacement water, just as you did for the Dimock families. 2. Please conduct testing of the drinking water and air in Butler County, in and around Connoquenessing Township, where people are reporting gray to black, brown, orange to red, and in one case purple foaming water coming out of their taps. Water is also diminishing, even disappearing; and foul, nauseating chemical smells are endangering public health through air pollution.

What's in the water: Ammonia, arsenic, chloromethane, iron, manganese, t-butyl alcohol, and toluene are among the contaminants reported so far. One resident set a bucket-full of his well water on fire.

Janet McIntyre was told by PA DEP on April 4th, 2011 that her manganese level was 194,000 micrograms/liter. But the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) established for manganese is 50 micrograms/liter. Why was there such a huge spike?

Why did her water come foaming out of her tap?

Has her water ever been tested for 2-butoxyethanol?

Why isn't EPA helping these families?

Health impacts: Vomiting, a severe nosebleed, rashes, and other symptoms have been reported by Connoquenessing residents who believe their illness has been caused by exposure to gas drilling contaminants in water and air. One man who never received replacement water died in early February 2012, at the age of 49. He first reported rashes "all over his body" last September, was diagnosed with leukemia by December and died just weeks ago.

Janet McIntyre reported that in January 2011, many members of her family experienced severe vomiting and diarrhea after coming into contact with her tap water. The report below includes details from interviews conducted with Janet McIntyre in August 2011 by Protecting Our Waters, a nonprofit group:

"On the evening of January 23, 2011, Janet and her family (including her two grown children and grandchildren) had dinner together, the meal having been prepared using tap water pumped from her well. In the middle of the night, Janet received a frantic call from her daughter whose nine-month old baby was projectile vomiting and had diarrhea running out of her diaper and down her legs. By the next day, Janet and her husband woke up feeling ill and started projectile vomiting as well.

"Janetâs and her husbandâs achiness, nausea and bouts of vomiting persisted for a week. During this time, she also received a call from her son who was experiencing the same symptoms. On the night of January 29 into the early hours of January 30, Fred went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, and turned on the faucet to discover the water was foaming. He tested the bathroom sink, the tub and the toilet and all three also produced foamy, soapy-feeling water.

"The next day, a friend brought Janet and Fred several gallons of bottled water. Their health only started to improve after about a day of drinking the bottled water....

"Janet also had three dogs at this time. Two of them refused to drink the tap water, but one continued to drink it. In late January, when Janet and her husband fell ill, so did her third dog.

â 'Fred and I would have to lay him on a sheet and carry him outside because he was too weak to stand up on his own. . . I came home on February 14th to find him lying on the floor, unable to move. He started gagging and throwing up blood â he [even had] diarrhea with blood in it. By the end of the night, he was gone.' â

EPA, please don't leave these families without safe water to drink! Use your authority to provide them with emergency replacement water by February 29th, when the last of the bottled water now being delivered by Rex Energy will be cut off. Please follow that action with extensive, meticulous testing of the water and air near all the affected families, and please find out what has been causing the intermittent nauseating stench emanating from the Grosick well.

EPA, we're counting on you to protect this community's health and well-being. Please don't let us down!

Your Name
Your Organization
123 Your St.
Yousville, YO 12345
Phone: (123)456-7890
Fax: (123)456-7890x123
Campaign (<em>2712</em>): <em>EPA, Send Clean Water to Families Impacted by Fracking in Butler County, PA!</em>
Learn more about this campaign here: <em>http://citizenspeak.org/campaign/saynotofracking/epa-send-clean-water-families-impacted-fracking-butler-county-pa</em>
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