Dimock Celebrity Anti-Fracking Tour
1/17/2013 (Updated 11:10:06 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and Susan Sarandon travelled from New York City to fracking country in Pennsylvania today for an anti-fracking tour. They met with residents of two homes who say the drilling process is poisoning water and turning neighbor against neighbor.
"The rhetoric I hear coming out of ANGA, the American Natural Gas Association, is that families like that don't exist, like the Mannings. We just went to their house and (ANGA) says that their well water doesn't get contaminated, the dirty water doesn't get contaminated but there's a family who can not drink their own water," said Sean Lennon.
"Fracking is such a major, major decision because it's forever. You do not undo the damage of a well," said Susan Sarandon.
Those views were reinforced by the homeowners they met with. Tammy Manning says fracking has left her water - twice tested by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection - undrinkable.
"We have higher than normal levels of barium, aluminum. Our methane levels doubled from the first set of tests to the second set of tests," said Manning.
Craig Stevens says since the Laser pipeline was installed through his backyard in 2011, the iron levels in his water have increased fivefold, and that none of the officials who say his water is safe will prove it to him.
"I don't know about you but I was raised, 'put up or shut up.' That means if I put a glass of my water that you say is safe in front of you, down it to prove it," said Stevens.
And Stevens hasn't seen anyone do that yet?
"They will not," said Stevens.
But across the street from the Mannings is the Heavenly Angles
store. Owner Lisa Payne says she has high levels of arsenic in her water, but it has nothing to do with fracking and is easily mitigated.
"We had a specialist come in who was a geologist. He ran tests and said it's actually been in the ground for years and years and if anybody actually tested their water around here they have the same thing," said Payne.
Payne has a positive view of the industry.
"I think it's a boost to the economy. Most of our clientele in here are the gas guys and they've been very good. Any time we've needed help with floods or anything like that they call on the phone, see if we need help to get cleaned up, to get the store back open," said Payne.
With New York possibly weeks away from a decision on fracking, celebrity activists and those joining them are hoping to sway the outcome.
****In northeast Pennsylvania, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****
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