Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields to introduce "Toxic Trespass" legislation
November 13, 2011
Contact: Councilman Doug Shields, 412.255.8965
Councilman Doug Shields to introduce "Toxic Trespass" legislation
Pittsburgh: On Monday, November 14, Councilman Doug Shields will introduce "Toxic Trespass" legislation. This legislation is designed to protect the health, welfare and safety of the people of Pittsburgh.
Recent reports presented to the PWSA cause concern for Pittsburgh’s drinking water quality. "Our biggest concerns are about bromide, which has become a problem over the last six months or so," said Stanley States, water quality manager with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, which draws water from the Allegheny River for its 400,000 customers. "Trihalomethanes are strictly regulated because of the health risks. We've seen levels that are threatening the standards."
While Pittsburgh has a drilling ban in place, its water sources are not protected from activity occurring upstream.
“Although the media constantly reports on issues caused by shale gas extraction”, our State Assembly’s lack of interest and action on the matter is most disconcerting and dismissive. Because of the State Assembly's head long efforts to enable the gas extraction industry to the detriment of the Comonwealth's people and natural environment, I find it appropriate to introduce some level of protection for our citizens,” said Councilman Shields.
Issues directly associated with natural gas extraction include:
• Harrisburg’s attempts at eliminating local governments’ fundamental role: its ability to implement zoning codes;
• No statewide public hearings on significant pending state legislation (SB 1100 and HB 1950);
• Lack of concern related to the millions of shale gas corporate dollars funneled into political campaigns.
• Local officials’ unresolved conflicts of interest and unwillingness to recuse themselves from drilling related votes;
• Environmental degradation and the lack of any cogent regulatory climate to address legitimate concerns;
• Public safety challenges/costs with emergency preparedness & drilling related incidents;
• Gas drilling industry’s behavior which is designed to purchase political support and institute campaigns of disinformation;
• Newly emerging problems between the insurance and mortgage industries and owners of land leased for gas drilling;
• Lack of consumer protection and informational programs from the AG's office related to leasing;
• No formal health risk assessments or environmental (as built and natural) impact studies
• Leasing of the Commonwealth’s (parks, forests and game lands, which are held in common by the people, without the peoples’ input, comment or consent;