By Kim Glovas
NORRISTOWN, Pa., (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was the target of protest this Earth Day by more than 62 organizations fighting Marcellus Shale drilling or fracking. Six DEP regional offices were protested, including the one in Norristown. KYW’s Kim Glovas has more.
A small but determined group of people gathered outside the DEP office, to call for a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction, a new secretary committed to the environment and an end to secrecy surrounding fracking operations in Pennsylvania. Walter Tsou with Physicians for Social Responsibility talked about the harm shale drilling is doing to people.
“I talked with many people who have had their water contaminated, who have their hands with dermatitis, skin rashes, people with GI symptoms, all due to the fact that they live in proximity to gas wells where they have been effected by the water and the air pollution that has occurred directly from fracking,” said Tsou.
Tsou says shale industry claims no one has been harmed, however, there are over 900 people nationwide that have been injured from the industry and the water contamination which follows.
Sandy Folzer of Protecting Our Waters says she was circulating a petition over the weekend in Center City, and spoke to one couple about the issue.
“I asked them if they knew what fracking was, and they said ‘Oh we know what fracking is. We’re from Oklahoma, and we have no clean water. We cannot drink our water and all the dogs in our area are dying because they drink the tap water’,” said Folzer.
The groups also want the DEP to re-open the Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, which develops solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. It was closed when Governor Corbett took office.