Sunday, January 14, 2018

IMPORTANT FRACKING in MONROEVILLE, PA Public Meeting Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Dear residents of Western Pennsylvania,

SHARE WIDELY AND Please attend the Monroeville Planning Commission meeting at the Monroeville Municipal building on Wednesday evening, January 17, 2018, at 7:30 PM. It is so important to voice your opinion about fracking in Monroeville if you are a Monroeville resident. Sit in solidarity if you are a resident of Western PA. 
Today, January 14, 2018, the front page of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has an article by Anya Litvak titled, Gas drillers supersizing well pads. She states "...from a 10-acre spot, a company can theoretically slurp natural gas from underneath an area nearly the size of the City of Pittsburgh." It seems Monroeville is preparing 150 acres of property adjacent to Pitcairn where Monroeville's landfill is located, for this purpose... Elisa Beck

From Lois Drumheller:

Thank you for giving me a platform to communicate recent local governmental actions to control the one industry NO municipality in PA by law can impede - gas and oil, drilling into the Marcellus Shale.

Most people reading this are interested in how Monroeville's members of Council, Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board will carry out by law as their responsibility for: the health, safety and welfare of the public

Because the Oil Industry’s Monroeville based Huntley and Huntley has an interest in fracking Allegheny and therefore, Monroeville, Monroeville's reactions to “cooperate” abruptly changed some allowances of seismic testing. It took little time after GeoKinentics, the seismic testing contractor working with Huntley & Huntley to challenge restrictions to seismic testing all over Monroeville (seismic testing is the first step in fracking). This left many Monroeville households confused when approached by those conducting the sell on seismic testing. 

Many who have attended Council meetings were introduced to our group, Sustainable Monroeville. Waking up can be hard. However, we have been instrumental to hold Monroeville Council's promise to re-evaluate zoning regulations over oil and gas. We have accomplished much since last October, when the issue was raised on testing and drilling. From our actions, the zoning ordinance that showed an allowable, but conditional use of oil and gas exploration in every zoning district was quickly changed to that allowing this only in the M-2 (Industrial district). Since then, in December of 2017, we encouraged and Solicitor Wratcher responded by giving Council a proposed ordinance that the public had not seen. Thanks to meeting attendees like Dave Mintz, the public was able to see the proposed ordinance the day after that meeting. Why shouldn’t we have? 

Now, in January, we learned Monroeville's Zoning Ordinance (which had a long overdue update) would now have this proposed ordinance as an amendment to regulate the gas and oil industry for fracking (horizontal drilling). This ordinance (introduced January 4, 2018) and a new zoning map is linked to here:


Council will ultimately act to pass the proposed ordinance, or revise the draft into final recommendations, per the body of governments who should do that sort of thing. Meanwhile, the next step in that discussion will be this Wednesday when the proposed ordinance will go in front of the Planning Commission for review/recommendations. This is where I am asking everyone who can to attend this Wednesday night meeting (Jan 17, 7:30 PM, Monroeville Municipal Council Chambers) so that the public is able to be heard! We need to question after examining it. I’m sure many will have questions and more advice for clarification. Start writing your questions down, as I am also doing. The ordinance is on the Wednesday agenda as the last item. 

See where S-1 is located. How much of S-1 is owned by the municipality? Are there concerns with surrounding infrastructure? Will air quality be measured? Who will the municipality recommend as hydrologist in the assessment of the infrastructure? Where would the water come from? 

Planning Commission 1/17/2018 Agenda linked here:  http://www.monroeville.pa.us/docs/agendas/planning/pc2018/Jan2018Agenda.pdf

Please contact me if you have further questions or need clarifications. I’ll do what I can to answer. The people who are in the vicinity of the S-1 district will no doubt have questions because the land fill is nearby, coal seams are running down the middle of the airport, and our neighbors in Pitcairn aren’t even aware of this, as far as I can tell. This is why I asked the Times Express to attend.

Hoping to see them and you Wednesday evening.

Great Thanks,
Lois Drumheller

l_drumheller@me.com
412.736.1765 (m)

Hope has two daughters, anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.    St. Augustine

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

All We Need is Love & Ray Kemble in Dimock, PA

What are we doing here on Planet Earth anyway? Are we here to fight with one another, or are we here to love one another? We know for sure both ends of the spectrum are happening on Planet Earth at this moment in time. Where do you fall on the spectrum? HATE........LOVE.......HATE.......LOVE......
What are we here for? Could we be here to love ourselves? Consider that. Breathe Deeply. Perhaps once we begin to love and take care of ourselves, to nurture ourselves, we will all love Planet Earth, take care of her, ourselves and one another...
The information below came to me today from local groups in Western PA who follow the shale fracking situation very closely. Read it. Digest it. Educate your neighbors and friends about what we have to look forward to in our future if we continue along the extractive path...
"There is a new push to end all fracking-related gag orders and expose the truth about the amount of contamination suffered by Americans so far. 
There is an enormous portion of the population who still have no idea about the harmful effects of fracking - in large part due to gag orders and insufficient media coverage.  Ray should be thanked for his courage in continuing to speak out, despite the gag order.

Youtube of Ray Kemble speaking to the EPA about his water being contaminated.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Water Pollution Victim Sued by Polluter
Dimock, Pennsylvania - November 30, 2017 - Cabot Oil & Gas has filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit against a water pollution victim and his lawyers. The first hearing in the case is set for December 11 in Montrose Pa.
Ray Kemble’s water well was contaminated in 2008, along with the water wells of eighteen of his neighbors. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) determined Cabot’s poor well construction led to the contamination of the aquifer.
Cabot was banned from drilling and fracking in the area. That ban remains in effect today.
PADEP settled an enforcement action against Cabot in 2010. Cabot also settled a lawsuit brought by 19 victims in 2012.
Despite the state’s ban on Cabot’s gas extraction activities in and around Dimock, late in 2012 Cabot was allowed to frack multiple gas wells they had drilled years earlier. Soon after, Mr. Kemble’s water well was re-contaminated. At least three other water wells nearby were also contaminated after that fracking occurred.
Victims of water pollution are often required to sign non-disclosure agreements which bar them from speaking about their pollution cases. Mr. Kemble’s lawyers re-wrote his agreement to give Mr. Kemble more latitude to continue to speak publicly about the harm he suffered.
Cabot is suing Mr. Kemble for business disparagement, believing he did not have had the right to continue to speak publicly about his case."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

You Are Invited! Celebrating Moving Into Our Regenerative Future Now!

Hello, and Happy warm sunny days! *** 

Sustainable Monroeville has been collaborating with Food and Water Watch, and we are deeply grateful for their insights regarding our move into our beyond sustainable, regenerative future. What does a regenerative future, now, look like? Hey, scroll back and read and study the blogs from the inception of Sustainable Monroeville in 2009-2010 to learn about morphing culture... How do we create a healthier economy in Monroeville, PA and beyond? We can support many more small businesses, social and environmental justice, more community interaction and integrating solar, wind, and growing our own food... Imagine what it will look like in our town with all of the front, back and side yards in Monroeville of both private residences, municipal property, and commercial spaces, including the lawn of Forbes Regional Hospital as Food Forests with solar panels and small cylindrical Wind Stax, wind turbines .. Plant that seed today! Blessings for a wonderful end of 2017, Elisa Beck:)

What's Next?
Let's celebrate our accomplishments! 
December 4, 2017 from 6:00 to 10:00 PM: Please join Food & Water Watch and Sustainable Monroeville as we host a potluck celebrating a year of Allegheny County communities standing up to fight the fracking industry.

***Help us keep track of how many people we should be prepared for by RSVPing here: fwwat.ch/mopfundraiser. Once you RSVP, we'll send you an email with the event location ***

We’ve seen amazing victories over the past year. In Monroeville and Oakmont, we passed ordinances to protect communities from seismic testing, and are moving forward with oil and gas zoning ordinances to protect families from fracking. The Plum Borough community is fighting newly proposed fracking wells and underground injection wells for the disposal of fracking wastewater.

These victories show what is possible when we get organized to fight for our health and safety. Food & Water Watch wants to replicate our fight in many of the surrounding communities, such as North Huntington, Upper and Lower Burrell, Pitcairn, and Penn Hills. That means building the resources we’ll need to scale up this important work.

Please consider signing up as a monthly contributor to Food & Water Watch at this event! If you can't make the event, or want to sign up as a member before you come, you can do so here:

http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Donation2?6194.donation=form1&df_id=6194&mfc_pref=T

We’ll have de-toxifying green drinks, made with organic veggies and roots, as well as delicious salad and soup. There will be a potluck starting at 6 PM so please feel free to bring vegan, preferably organic, dishes.

Starting at 7 PM we'll have a short program with speakers including former Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields, who has led the Food & Water Watch’s Municipal Outreach Project.

RSVP at this link and we'll send you an email with the event location:
fwwat.ch/mopfundraiser

To read more about our campaign, check out this Post-Gazette article: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2017/05/30/Marcellus-Shale-drilling-Allegheny-County-zoning-ordinance-pa/stories/201705240023

Friday, October 20, 2017

Super We, the Earth, and Me Essay, and SAVE the DATES!

Hello Sustainable Monroeville and way beyond,
Please, let's continue to be supportive of one another as we move into our Regenerative Future NOW without the extractive culture of Western, Pennsylvania's past. First, we must be sure to protect our health, wellness and property values through the enforcement of Protective Seismic Testing and Oil and Gas Ordinances, and next we must start to grow our own food, support the solar and wind revolution in our suburban community and well, come to our meetings to learn more, and get involved in our Transition Town Community!
SAVE the DATES:
Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM  Budget meeting at the Monroeville Municipal building. 
Monday, November 6, 2017, at 7:00 PM, for the next Sustainable Monroeville meeting with Heather Harr of the League of Women Voters, Debbie Larson of the Environmental Health Project & Doug Shields of Food and Water Watch followed by open discussion at the Monroeville Public Library.
Thursday, November 9, 2017, at 6:30 PM for the Budget Meeting and 7:00 PM (ish) for Monroeville Citizen's Night at the Municipal Building
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at 7:00 PM for Council Meeting at the Municipal Building
Monday, November 13, 2017, for the FREE Shale and Public Health Education Day in Pittsburgh, PA, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Registration is open! https://shalepalwv.org/2017-shale-public-health-conference/
Pediatrician Ned Ketyer, http://www.thepediablog.com/.../pittsburghs-climate.../ will be one of the speakers at the Shale and Public Health Conference!

This incredible essay was posted by Sybil Azur, a new graduate of The Climate Reality Project that just trained 1400 people, including me, at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA, from October 17-October 19, 2017. My estimate is that about 400 to 500 people in the training were from the Western, PA, region. Halleluyah! Enjoy this essay, so appropriate for the Halloween season, and let us know how you love the essay, and how it resonated with you. Send responses, questions, inquiries and to learn about volunteer opportunities to us at sustainablemonroeville@gmail.com Have a blessed day! Elisa Beck, Sustainable Monroeville :)😍
Super We, the Earth, and Me, by Sybil Azur
When my son was two-years-old, he entered a typical toddler phase- the superhero obsession. He had never seen Batman on TV or in the movies, nor had my husband or I spoken to him about Superman’s super-human skill set. Yet somehow, the moment he laid eyes on the big black bat emblazoned on the eight dollar cape and shirt set at Target, he knew that there was something inherently magical on that hanger that he needed to be a part of. More than three years and three shirt sizes later, he has matured from zealot to enthusiast, but his dedication to these icons still burns strong. Scared of getting a flu shot? Fearful of the the whir of the dentist’s tools? He tucked a twelve-inch plastic Falcon action figure under his arm to give him courage. His Batman costume (which he wore two years in a row and many days in between) made him feel invincible, and he, along with his partners in trick-or-treating, Batgirl and Supergirl, ran down the dark streets of our California suburb, unafraid of the ghouls and goblins, committed to their search for candy. These characters make him and every kid like him feel brave, capable, and poised to come to the rescue. So now, it’s my turn.
It’s been eleven years since I first saw An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore’s harrowingly brilliant documentary about climate change. I was petrified, heart broken, and horrified about the dismal fate that was barreling our way. At the same time, I was energized and inspired to step in the ring and join the fight. I was ready to go beyond energy-efficient lightbulbs, recycling, and a plant-based diet, so I went back to school in my thirties and earned my degree in International Development and Environmental Studies. After giving up weekends, summers, and sunlight for years in exchange for empowerment, I graduated with honors, and was ready to activate my newfound powers. I was confident that with commitment, a well-crafted plan, and grit, we could nudge the world in the right direction.
But then life happened. I went through an amicable turned spiteful divorce, changed careers, and got a job that had me working fifteen-hour days, six days a week for close to minimum wage. The following year, the tides turned, and I moved in with my boyfriend and started planning for a family. Nearly six years and two kids later, I’ve done virtually nothing for our planet. I have chronic mommy brain (yes, it is a real thing); it has emptied the contents of my cerebral matter, sapped my energy, and made it impossible to focus on anything when the children are around (which up to late has been ALWAYS). But finally, yes finally, my babies are getting older (they’re five and three now), and they spend most of their days learning, playing, and snacking at their respective elementary and preschools. It’s time for me to get back to another noble mission, defeating the most insidious and fast-moving nemesis of our time.
On August 19th of this year, my now husband and I dedicated our date night to seeing An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Just when I thought that by not looking, the problem may have disappeared, retreated back into the genie’s bottle, leaving little more than a trace of smog as a memento, I discovered that I was wrong. Ignorance is not bliss, it merely compounds the problem, eventually rendering it impossible to ignore. In this jarring follow up to Mr. Gore’s first film, the audience is given an insider’s view into the Paris Climate Accord negotiations. In addition, it showcases various training sessions (the first one took place in a barn on his property in 2006, and was attended by a handful of ardent and resolute participants), in which Mr. Gore and his team educate everyday people to sound the alarm about climate change and work as a collective to advocate for the planet. I saw these trainings and a light went on. I searched online and discovered that the next coaching session was around the corner. It was time to step up to the plate, so with the support of my husband, I applied for the training. Exactly two months later, to the day, I sit here typing, flying home with a certificate of completion tucked in my folder, and a green circle pinned to my sweater, signaling that I’ve been inducted into the ranks of Climate Reality Leaders. Today, I, along with 1,400 other new trainees from thirty countries (the largest graduating class to date), join forces with a league of courageous warriors fighting for truth, environmental justice, and a sustainable prosperity. What an honor.
We are armed with ingenuity and technology, empirical evidence and tenacity, fellowship and heart, and most importantly, hope. These are the supernatural tools we will employ to win the war against climate change. Our mission is clear: build consensus among our peers and work fervently yet thoughtfully to reverse course on a path that will otherwise undoubtedly lead to our destruction. Denial is not an option, just as ignoring a cancer will not make it go away. Our enemy is cunning. This villain is sinister and has weapons in its arsenal that kill at will, without discrimination (although it often targets the most vulnerable first), and without regard to whether or not you believe in its existence. With each passing year, we are experiencing weather events that are more extreme, more frequent, and more relentless in their punishment. Hurricanes yield more destruction, rising waters drown out cries for help, fires burn brighter, droughts last longer, and temperatures continue to hit new highs.
If your child was suffering from a chronic disease, wouldn’t you comfort them, seek a diagnosis, and do everything in your power to find a cure? Shouldn’t we do the very same when our home, the only home of our children and every life force that sustains us, is pleading, warning us that catastrophe is near? The command is irrefutable. It can be overwhelming, complex, and depressing. But like any other sleep-deprived, shell-shocked new parent, I know that WE can dedicate ourselves to this most worthy and necessary duty with focus, straightforwardness, optimism, and above all, teamwork. Because we are the creators of this ailment, we must also be the ones to save the Earth from its tragic fate. It is time to put on our capes and be brave, capable, and poised to come to the rescue. Our little superheroes are depending on us. ~ Sybil Azur

Thanks Sybil, for sharing your amazing and inspiring essay with us. As we move into this amazing new world, we need everyone to be a participant in the shift that we see happening before our very eyes! Life is so much fun! Blessings and thanks to all of you for all you are and all you do...
Elisa Beck :)
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Friday, September 29, 2017

Call for Volunteers and Save the Dates!!

Hello, and Happy Beautiful Fall!

We need YOU whether or not you live in Monroeville, PA! We will reciprocate with other communities as it's time to come together and work together for Clean Air and Fresh Water for all of us. We share the same Airsheds and Watersheds, all of US!

We need callers to remind folks about the Sustainable Monroeville meeting this coming Monday, October 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library; the Citizen's Night meeting this coming Thursday, October 5, 2017, at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Municipal building, and for the Council meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at 7:00 PM where Monroeville council will be voting on amending the existing Oil and Gas Zoning Code to limit FRACKING to industrial zones in Monroeville, PA.
If you are available to make calls for one hour, or many hours, please contact Doug Shields of Food and Water Watch at dshields@fwwatch.org 

See the incredible exhibit called Petrochemical America at the SPACE Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. It's there at SPACE through October 7, 2017. We do NOT want Monroeville, or the whole state of PA for that matter, allowing gas flares spewing pollution into our lungs anymore...

SAVE the DATES:

Monday, November 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM for the next Sustainable Monroeville meeting with Heather Harr of the League of Women Voters and also a speaker from the Environmental Health Project with open discussion.

Thursday, November 8, 2017 at 7;00 PM for Citizen's Night
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM for Council Meeting

Monday, November 13, 2017 for the FREE Shale & Public Health Education Day in Pittsburgh, PA, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Registration is open!

Blessings for our Regenerative Future NOW! Elisa Beck:)

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This is NOT normal Western Pennsylvanians!

September 29, 2017
Erev Yom Kippur

Profound statement #1:

Let’s honor all who have served and are serving in the League of Women Voters. I was exposed to the League as a little girl when I went with my Mom to stuff envelopes…. Those were the good old days!
As the person coordinating Sustainable Monroeville events, I was invited to be part of a conference call today, Friday, September 29, 2017, for plans and updates leading up to the upcoming League of Women Voters Shale and Public Health Conference scheduled for Monday, November 13, 2017. SAVE THE DATE for this Day Long FREE conference that is NOT to be missed. Registration is OPEN. Under the leadership of Heather Harr, the work of the League of Women Voters in Western, PA, is fantastic! I honor all of the women and the one man, Don, on the call, for their amazing work as we move into our Regenerative Economy NOW!
Profound Statement # 2:
Visit the important Petrochemical America exhibit at SPACE Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA, running through October 7, 2017. Send your friends and family there too! If you think you really understand what is going on with the Shale Play in Western, PA, think again…
Profound Statements #3:
Using the Transition Town model of Rob Hopkins, based in the concepts of Permaculture (There’s many Transition Town books by Rob Hopkins, of Totnes, England), we are moving into this new way of being in abundance, with the knowingness that the Earth is abundant, and she will provide for us.  Google Transition US and See the Transition Town Pgh Facebook page. There are LOTS of Transition Town projects going on all over Western PA. Sustainable Monroeville is a Transition Town process!
Profound Statement #4:
All we need to do is change our minds.  What do I mean by this? Well, I have been working in the area of our Regenerative economy for over a decade, and perhaps from the day I was born, or even before that, who knows?  I am not originally from Western, PA.  I was born in Washington D.C., and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. I’ve lived in Western, PA, for my whole married life, twenty-seven years next month. I realized about a month ago something about the impact the extractive industries have had on hearts and souls of those who have lived, raised their families, worked, and played in Western, PA, for generations.  The social, emotional, physical and spiritual effects of being in an area for 150 years that has been, and continues to be, LOADED with both Air and Water pollution has been profound.
Profound Statements #5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and more!
Smelly air, and water we cannot drink from any of the rivers, is NOT normal.  Childhood Asthma rates, Cancer rates, Congestive Heart Failure Rates and Neurological defects and Dis-ease rates through the ROOF are NOT normal. The rates of Attention Deficit Disorder to Autism around all of the uncapped Coal fired Power Plants spewing lead, mercury and who knows what else on our heads and for use to breathe in and drink in our water is NOT normal.
This is NOT normal Western Pennsylvanians!
I realized about a month ago that for people who have grown up around here, in Western, PA, smelly air seems normal to them, because it’s always been, in their memories that way.  Connecting to municipal water systems with the mythology thinking this water will be safe since their water wells have been contaminated, is NOT o.k. As the City of Pittsburgh is grappling with the lead issue in their municipal water system, what about the levels of Cadmium in the water? Has anyone looked at Cadmium levels? Well that Zinc Smelter plant that sat on the property where the still proposed Shell Oil Petrochemical Plant is planned for in Potter Township in Beaver, PA, that Zinc Smelter plant produced Cadmium too, to coat the water pipes that were installed all around Pittsburgh, and all around the U.S.A. perhaps a century ago….Somehow, those lead pipes must be putting Cadmium into the water supply of Pittsburgh…or perhaps the whole country? Is anybody looking at that, Yet?
I smelled exhaust growing up in a suburb of Washington D.C. in the 1960’s until emission control laws were put into place.  I did not smell stinky air at any other time, other than when I was in a car with the windows open. I smelled fresh air. The flowers blooming in the spring and summer. The smell of falling leaves in the fall. O.k., the smell of burning wood in fireplaces, on occasion, too. I now know that’s not such a great thing either… When I went camping in the Great Smoky Mountains in the early 1980’s, we drank water from the streams. We bent down, cupped our hands, and drank, and I’m here to write about it!
Here in Western, PA, the native immigrants have become acculturated to smelly air and polluted water. It is not alarming to some that Acid Mine drainage rust colored water flows through our streams to this day. What? Please know it is time NOW to continue to correct this situation. From abundance thinking. From the knowingness that The More Beautiful World We ALL know in our Hearts is Possible, (Charles Eisenstein) is here NOW! We must simply change our minds. It’s a simple thing to do, though it does take courage. Let go of fear, and let’s get busy, together, in community, implementing our new Permaculture edible perennial landscapes on our front yards, back yards, side yards, our vacant lots, apartment house roofs, the roofs of our malls, and all of our buildings, in our highway median strips too! We will see the beauty manifesting in front of our very eyes in a very short time frame. In two to three years, a beautiful Permaculture landscape can come to fruition. Using perennials, plants that come up from the ground year after year, without needing to replant, is a blessing. There is some work involved in the first year or two, but then the work- load goes way down and the landscape becomes self- sustaining, just as nature herself. The idea of working along with nature and giving back more than we take, is what life has always been about, until this Western culture became carried away with the extractive culture of violence and rape. The deep Marcellus Shale play is the Pinnacle of the vile and violent culture of Rape. We cannot continue raping the earth, injecting deeply back into her with our even more toxic extraction products including the radiation we violently removed, and expect anything long term in return. Mother Earth will have nothing left to give to us. Once we are gone, she, Mother Nature, will survive and thrive without us.
This is where we are in our Western Extractive Culture at this moment in time. It is time for us to turn the tides. It is time for us to go back to Mother Earth. Forgive ourselves. Forgive each other. And get busy learning from the Indigenous wisdom of the great Native American teachers who surround us, and from our very own indigenous cultures. It is time to come Home to ourselves.
There is deep history in coal, steel, oil and gas here in Western, PA. The first oil well in the country was commercialized here in Oil City, PA. The first Nuclear Power Plant in the country was built in Shippingport, PA, in Beaver County, one half hour north of Pittsburgh. There is continued Nuclear Power Plant presence on that site, just miles from the proposed Petrochemical site.  The South Side of Pittsburgh continues its gritty, bar laden Thursday through Saturday evening reputation as an after effect of when the men left the steel mills in the afternoon and headed to the South Side bars for a few drinks on their way home. We are a deeply committed sports town too. A family town. An ethnic town rooted in the steel belt, rust belt, coal belt of an industry that was booming and busting for about 150 years…
Until just about 30 years ago, when Pittsburghers decided it was time to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and create a New Economy. And that is just what we are seeing now; under the leadership of Mayor Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh has been re-inventing herself. Now, since 2016, as a designated Biophilic City, with several Living Building Challenge projects under our belts, we, including Monroeville, PA and the collaborative of communities who choose to join, are well on our way to be the first area in the country who rose up so far above the polluted Rust Belt legacy of its past, we are becoming a destination for the world to see!
Come to Pittsburgh, have a conference in the Greenest Convention Center in the World just as the Climate Reality Project is doing in mid-October, 2017 attracting people from all over the world! Visit the Frick Environmental Center, a certified Living Building Challenge Building! Check out the business Amazing Books and Records on the South Side housed in a Living Building Challenge of an Existing Historic Structure Project at 1317 East Carson Street.
Come to Monroeville where the bike paths will soon extend to Washington, D.C., where the farmer’s market happens on Saturdays sponsored by the Lion’s Club and the Monroeville Parks, where this compact suburb is a great place to be with many Municipal Parks, and Boyce Park, a County Park.
I shared my experience with the League of Women voters Group today on the phone. I thank them for letting me speak. One of them asked if there was a place they could go to read about this idea that this pollution to this day is NOT normal. It is NOT normal for a person to have to report every day or two on the SMELL PGH APP that they have symptoms from smelly air, like a headache, or filled sinuses, or fuzzy thinking and that the air smells like industrial pollution like sulfer, or putrid like a skunk. It is NOT normal to have to do so much treatment to water before being able to drink from the river…  It is NOT normal to allow injection wells that have water that is so toxic it must be put somewhere other than into conventional water treatment. It is NOT normal to attempt to put toxic FRACK water into injection wells in abandoned, undermined coal country with our exquisite geological formations when we do NOT know where that toxic water will ultimately end up. Or do we? That water will ultimately end up IN our drinking water.
No, Western PA, none of this is normal.
What’s the good news? What is the new normal we are moving towards? Come to our next Sustainable Monroeville meeting this coming Monday evening, October 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library to speak freely about your ideas and hear updates about our new Seismic Testing Ordinance, our soon to be updated Oil and Gas Zoning and how we here in Monroeville, PA, are protecting ourselves and working towards our Regenerative Future. Hear Jim Lomeo, former Mayor of Monroeville, Elisa Beck of Sustainable Monroeville, and Doug Shields of Food and Water Watch, a national non- profit.

Join in public discussion at Citizen's Night at the Monroeville Municipal building on Thursday evening, October 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM and come to the October 10, 2017 at 7:00 PM Council Meeting where the amendment to limit Fracking to Industrial Zones in Monroeville, PA will be voted in, we hope!

See you around town! 
Elisa Beck:)

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Monday evening, September 11, 2017 at the Monroeville Public Library for INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective at 7:00 PM, Organic Whole Food Plant Based Pot Luck at 6:00 PM; Tuesday evening, September 12, 2017 at 7:00 PM for the Monroeville Council Meeting

Hello and Happy September to all those who have been part of Sustainable Monroeville since its inception in 2009~2010, to all who have participated in our meetings and events over these past many years, and to those who have recently discovered our blog and events in the past few eventful months! 
We welcome all people of all ages and all political persuasions to join us in our now broadened Mission as Regenerative Monroeville leading to Regenerative Western PA: To gently and with lots of inspiration, joy, and fun move Western PA forward in the Regenerative Green Economy!
We certainly are blessed here in Western PA to be far inland as hurricane Harvey has passed through Houston and hurricane Irma is poised to pass through Florida and possible other southern states as I type this blog entry.... We are not displaced here in Western PA. Rather, we are hosts for lots of displaced people and animals. We are working with the shift into our Regenerative Economy, one step at a time. There are so many brilliant examples of our Regenerative Economy NOW in Pittsburgh, PA. Last night I was blessed to spend time with my family at the newest in Pittsburgh Living Building Challenge Zero Net Energy and Zero Net Water Building, the Frick Environmental Center. We viewed filmmaker Kirsi Jansa's tenth and final film short in her Sustainability series. Here's the link to the first nine episodes: http://sustainabilitypioneers.com The tenth and final episode will be available on-line soon!
Join Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, September 11, 2017 for an organic whole food, plant-based pot luck dinner at 6:00 PM, and a viewing of the documentary INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective, at 7:00 PM.

INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective : A new documentary introducing permaculture: designing a world where and planet can thrive. INHABITFILM.COM
Monroeville Council will be voting on the proposed Seismic Testing ordinance at the September Council meeting Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 7:00 PM, at the Monroeville Municipal Building. We are so excited that the Monroeville Council in collaboration with the Municipal Mayor, Lawyer, and Manager, drafted a protective ordinance based on both the South Fayette and Oakmont Seismic Testing Ordinances. 
We, the citizens of Monroeville and beyond are working along with Doug Shields, Western PA Liaison for the national non profit, Food and Water Watch and with the Municipality of Monroeville to forge an updated Protective Oil and Gas ordinance. We intend to protect ourselves, our communities, our property values, and of course, most important of all, the health and wellness of ourselves and all of the animals, plants, and the entire ecosystem here in Western PA, beginning now in Monroeville!
Have a blessed weekend and see you in Monroeville, PA early this week!
Elisa Beck :)
Founder, Sustainable Monroeville
LIKE Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Let's put a Seismic Survey Ordinance in place in Monroeville, PA right away!

Share widely with all of your friends and neighbors!

In case you did not hear the front page Times Express News a few weeks ago, Seismic Testing is planned for Monroeville Pennsylvania. Tim Little, Municipal Manager, met with the gas company Huntley and Huntley to approve this Seismic Testing. Mr. Little was able to approve the Seismic Testing in our Municipality without putting the information in front of the citizens of this municipality because the Municipality of Monroeville does not yet have a law, in our case called an ordinance, on the books yet, to limit these activities.
Individual citizens are being, and have been approached in Monroeville, PA, since April, 2017 by Huntley and Huntley to ask if it is fine to map through seismic testing, for both Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale under their private properties. Please know that you, as a private land owner in Monroeville, or anywhere, can deny the testing.

Grandmother Earth is calling us!
Some breaking fabulous news!
1) On June 20, 2017, the Supreme Court affirmed by majority, the Environmental Rights Amendment, Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution to assure Clean Water and Clean Air for all Pennsylvania citizens.
2) On Monday, July 3, 2017, the borough of Oakmont, PA, held a special meeting and enacted by unanimous vote, a very limiting Seismic Testing ordinance.
3) On July 14, 2017, the Huntley and Huntley and Oil and Gas company with offices in Monroeville, PA "dropped plans to conduct a Seismic survey in Oakmont, PA. Huntley and Huntley had planned to include the borough of Oakmont in the geological seismic testing survey meant to identify potential drilling sites in parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties. Huntley and Huntley has made the decision to forgo any seismic survey work altogether, company spokesman Benjamin Komlos said in an email this week." from article in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, July 14, 2017. by Jake Flannick titled: Gas drilling company plans for seismic testing in borough

Please join us at 7:00 PM for the Thursday, August 3, 2017 Citizen's Night and the Tuesday, August 8, 2017 Council Meeting, to hear about the proposal for a seismic testing ordinance similar to Oakmont's ordinance to limit seismic testing in Monroeville, PA.
If you'd like to see a similar ordinance, google South Fayette Seismic ordinance to read the ordinance that Oakmont based its seismic testing ordinance on.

If you care about limiting or eliminating chemicals in our water causing hormone disruption, limiting, or eliminating both air and water pollution from the Marcellus Shale industry, please join either or both of these meetings as a supportive observer, or to share your opinion.

Monroeville in its ordinances regulates circuses & peddlers and almost all activities that occur in our municipality. For example, yard sales must be 10 feet from the road. Grass cannot be more than a certain height before our yards are cited.....We must put a seismic ordinance in place, as our municipality does not yet have one!

The following essay was written by an intentionally unnamed individual about the Fracking process:
"This is what has happening in Pennsylvania and all over the world.
The Fracking process:
1. A gas company identifies an area with underground gas.
2. The company leases the right to extract gas from many sites in the area without revealing the risks.
3. The company uses seismic tests to map the locations of underground shale and natural fractures.
4. The company applies for permits to drill and extract gas. Companies will subvert any local zoning laws made by communities to keep fracking out, appeal straight to the federal government and bankrupt municipalities in court. See Grant Twp, PA.
5. The gas company removes all the trees from a 5-10 acre swath to build the "well pad".
6. Initially one or two wells are drilled for every square mile. Eventually there can be 10-12 wells per square mile.
7. First, a vertical well is drilled in the bare ground, cutting through different rock layers and pushing toxic drilling muds into aquifers.
8. A cement casing is poured to protect the groundwater, but casings are fragile and can crack under the extreme pressure of hydraulic fracturing or earthquakes. Eventually the casing will fail, allowing chemicals and gas to leak through the cracks. 6% fail the day they are put in.
9. The horizontal well is then drilled, cutting across natural faults and fractures in the rock. These wells can be up to two miles long.
10. Each Frack= 5 million gallons of water, 1,000 truck trips, 100 tons of toxic chemicals X up to 10 fracks for each well X 4 to 12 wells per pad. This mixture of water, chemicals, and sand are forced into the well under extreme pressure to shatter the shale rock and release the gas.
11. 60-80% of this fluid remains underground contaminating groundwater. The radioactive wastewater and drill cuttings that return to surface are stored in tanks or open pits. Later it will be buried on site, dumped in landfills, injected back underground or into aquifers and they have even illegally dumped at sewage treatment plants.
12. Processing facilities, compressors, and pipelines are built to separate and transport the gas. Pipelines fail, explode, and leak methane into the atmosphere which is 80 times more potent than Co2 as a greenhouse gas.
13. A chemical dryer removes moisture and light oils from the extracted gas using the hazardous chemical 2-butoxyethanol.
14. The gas is compressed before being put into pipelines.
15. Gas is vented out along the pipeline to relieve pressure in the system.
16. Gas is then liquified for export overseas or odorized and delivered to your home.
Some of the most important laws that protect the public don't apply to oil & gas companies due to loopholes put into the Safe Drinking Water Act including community right-to-know laws. We must end this invasive, destructive, and devastating process now! Ban fracking worldwide!!"

Please join us at Citizen's Night at 7:00 PM on Thursday, August 3, 2017 and also at the Monroeville Council meeting at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 to show your support for this ordinance on Seismic Testing.

Also, if you live in Monroeville, PA, please call and e-mail your councilperson to ask them if they've read the South Fayette and Oakmont ordinances and ask them what their opinion is on adopting this ordinance in Monroeville, PA for the health and wellness of our citizens.

Ward 1: Councilwoman Linda Gaydos, 412-973-1194, gaydos@monroeville.pa.us
Ward 2: Councilman Nick Gresock, 412-215-0524, greson@monroeville.pa.us
Ward 3: Councilman Ron Harvey, 412-856-7978, harver@monroeville.pa.us
Ward 4: Councilman Jim Johns, 412-856-0556, johnsj@monroeville.pa.us
Ward 5: Councilman Paul Caliari, 412-657-9476, caliap@monroeville.pa.us
Ward 6: Councilman Steve Duncan, 412-823-1314, duncas@monroeville.pa.us
Ward 7: Councilman Tom Wilson, 412-491-0455, wilsot@monroeville.pa.us

Below is the information posted on the Municipality of Monroeville's web site regarding Seismic testing: 

"Seismic Survey in Monroeville...Residents may experience a Monroeville company, Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration, LLC, conducting what is called a Seismic Survey in their area. A Seismic Survey is not a drilling operation, but it is a process of exploring for natural gas using sound waves to “map” the geological structure of Monroeville at different depths. 

This does not necessarily mean there will be drilling, or the process known as “fracking,” in Monroeville. There are many steps that have to be strongly considered before that is to occur in Monroeville, if indeed it does happen. Please read the linked brochure from Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration, LLC which concisely explains the Seismic Survey process.

**Please note the brochure states that the Seismic Survey will begin in June 2017. That period has been delayed to the latter part of 2017.
Additional info:
*Note - This does not necessarily mean that every street on the map and the list will have seismic testing. The areas of Monroeville that may have seismic testing are primarily the south and north areas of Monroeville. "


Thanks,
Elisa Beck:)
Ward 2 Resident, Monroeville, PA
Sustainable Monroeville, Founder
sustainablemonroeville@gmail.com
Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Clearing the Air in Monroeville with the Clean Air Council, ProtecT, and Protect Our Children

On July 18, 2017 we'll meet with the Clean Air Council at the Good Shepard Lutheran Church to learn about clean air in Monroeville!

Please note, the meeting will be at the Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Monroeville, PA.

Happy July everyone! :)

Here's the link with details: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByMeKDxLK264SEdpWTVCZ3ZIV2Nhem90TmtRNkF2MnlkQUFv/view

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tonight, Tuesday, July 11, 2017 in Monroeville, PA. Share Widely!

Please join us tonight, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in the Monroeville Council Chamber at 6:00 PM. Let's talk  about preserving the value of our homes and properties! 

Share widely with all of your friends and neighbors!

Grandmother Earth is calling us!
Some breaking fabulous news!
1) On June 20, 2017, the Supreme Court affirmed by majority, the Environmental Rights Amendment, Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution to assure Clean Water and Clean Air for all Pennsylvania citizens.
2) On Monday, July 3, 2017, the borough of Oakmont, PA, held a special meeting and enacted by unanimous vote, a very limiting Marcellus ordinance.
3) Please join us tonight, that's Tuesday, July 11, at 6:00 and 7:00 PM for the July 2017 Citizen's Night and Council Meeting, to hear the proposal for a similar very limited Marcellus ordinance for Monroeville, PA.
If you care about limiting or eliminating chemicals in our water causing hormone disruption, limiting, or eliminating both air and water pollution from the Marcellus Shale industry, please join either or both of these meetings as a supportive observer, or to share your opinion.

In case you did not hear the front page Times Express News a few weeks ago, Seismic Testing is being conducted in Monroeville. Tim Little, Municipal Manager met with the gas company Huntley and Huntley to approve this Seismic Testing. Mr. Little was able to approve the Seismic Testing in our Municipality without putting the information in front of the citizens of this municipality because the Municipality of Monroeville does not have a law on the books yet, to limit these activities.
Individual citizens are being, and have been approached since April, 2017 by Huntley and Huntley to ask if it is fine to test for both Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale under their private properties. Please know that you, as a private land owner in Monroeville, or anywhere, can deny the testing.

The following essay was written by an intentionally unnamed individual about the Fracking process:
"This is what has happening in Pennsylvania and all over the world.
The Fracking process:
1. A gas company identifies an area with underground gas.
2. The company leases the right to extract gas from many sites in the area without revealing the risks.
3. The company uses seismic tests to map the locations of underground shale and natural fractures.
4. The company applies for permits to drill and extract gas. Companies will subvert any local zoning laws made by communities to keep fracking out, appeal straight to the federal government and bankrupt municipalities in court. See Grant Twp, PA.
5. The gas company removes all the trees from a 5-10 acre swath to build the "well pad".
6. Initially one or two wells are drilled for every square mile. Eventually there can be 10-12 wells per square mile.
7. First, a vertical well is drilled in the bare ground, cutting through different rock layers and pushing toxic drilling muds into aquifers.
8. A cement casing is poured to protect the groundwater, but casings are fragile and can crack under the extreme pressure of hydraulic fracturing or earthquakes. Eventually the casing will fail, allowing chemicals and gas to leak through the cracks. 6% fail the day they are put in.
9. The horizontal well is then drilled, cutting across natural faults and fractures in the rock. These wells can be up to two miles long.
10. Each Frack= 5 million gallons of water, 1,000 truck trips, 100 tons of toxic chemicals X up to 10 fracks for each well X 4 to 12 wells per pad. This mixture of water, chemicals, and sand are forced into the well under extreme pressure to shatter the shale rock and release the gas.
11. 60-80% of this fluid remains underground contaminating groundwater. The radioactive wastewater and drill cuttings that return to surface are stored in tanks or open pits. Later it will be buried on site, dumped in landfills, injected back underground or into aquifers and they have even illegally dumped at sewage treatment plants.
12. Processing facilities, compressors, and pipelines are built to separate and transport the gas. Pipelines fail, explode, and leak methane into the atmosphere which is 80 times more potent than Co2 as a greenhouse gas.
13. A chemical dryer removes moisture and light oils from the extracted gas using the hazardous chemical 2-butoxyethanol.
14. The gas is compressed before being put into pipelines.
15. Gas is vented out along the pipeline to relieve pressure in the system.
16. Gas is then liquified for export overseas or odorized and delivered to your home.
Some of the most important laws that protect the public don't apply to oil & gas companies due to loopholes put into the Safe Drinking Water Act including community right-to-know laws. We must end this invasive, destructive, and devastating process now! Ban fracking worldwide!!"

Tonight, we plan to propose an extremely conservative fracking, and fracking related activities ordinance for Monroeville, PA.  
Please join us at Citizen's Night at 6:00 PM and also at the Monroeville council meeting following at 7:00 PM to show your support for this ordinance.
Thanks,
Elisa Beck:)
Ward 2 Resident, Monroeville, PA
Sustainable Monroeville, Founder