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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Eastern 'Burbs Sustainability Huddle!

Join us this coming Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library in conjunction with the Eastern Burbs Huddle and Monica Joyner to learn about easy ways we can all move into our beyond Sustainable Future. YES.WE. ARE!

No worries, No R.S.V.P. necessary. Come on over with some family and friends, or by yourself!

Facebook Link to the event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1752078305122487/

May is exploding with Sustainability events at the Monroeville Public Library!
Please note, Sustainable Monroeville will NOT meet on Monday evening, May 8, 2017 as we will be collaborating with the Eastern Suburbs "Huddle". 

MPL sponsored programs in May, 2017 are listed below. I hope to see you in May:) Elisa Beck :)

Backyard Composting
7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Cosponsored by the Garden Club of Monroeville
Join us for a presentation about turning your kitchen scraps and pesticide/herbicide-free lawn clippings into treasure! Since 1998 Ellen C. Keefe has been passionate about teaching others how to recycle and reduce waste by making healthy compost. She also discusses the microscopic structures of compost and recent research regarding the benefits of it.
Ellen Keefe is Executive Director of the nonprofit Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling in Latrobe, PA. Ellen is also a Derry Township Municipal Authority Board Member and was Board Chair for the Latrobe Municipal Authority. She attended Robert Morris University’s School of General Business Administration and Management and is a Certified Recycling Professional. Last year Ellen spoke at Monroeville Library regarding the work of Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling.
Gallery Space

Climate Change: Challenges and Responses
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The scientific community is essentially unanimous in its conclusion that human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels and release of other greenhouse gases, is responsible for a rapid and significant increase in the average global temperature. This warming is leading to retreating glaciers and melting polar ice sheets, phenomena that will threaten water supplies and put coastal regions at risk from rising sea levels. Other environmental changes will disrupt ecological systems and agriculture. We are already seeing more extreme storms, droughts, floods, and outbreaks of disease that only will become worse without a change in our collective behavior.
For the past six years, Dr. Bob Mitchell has been informally researching the science and politics of climate change. He has taught several short courses on the subject, including in the Pitt and CMU Osher programs, and is an active member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. In this talk, Bob will review Earth’s remarkable climate history and provide insights into its likely future. He will then examine the human consequences of a changing climate. Finally, he will discuss technological and policy approaches that offer hope for the future, including meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accords.
Dr. Mitchell has an MS in physics and a PhD in electrical engineering from CMU. His early career work on gas lasers and circuit breakers used much of the same fundamental physics that applies to climate modeling. Later he managed engineering research on automated image analysis with applications in radar, sonar, medicine, and robotics. He retired in 2014 as the industry director of the Army’s collaborative research program in robotics.
Gallery Space

Meet the Beekeeper!
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Come spend some time with Monroeville beekeeper John Yakim. John will show everyone inside a real beehive and answer questions about honeybees, including how they make honey and how the honeybee helps improve our community. We’ll also learn what we can all do to help the bees survive and thrive!
Gallery Space

Elisa Beck:) 

LIKE Living Building Challenge Collaborative-Pittsburgh, Sustainable Monroeville, and Transition Pittsburgh on Facebook!


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Solarize Allegheny and Conservation Consultants, Inc. on Solar Installation for your home!

Join us for our May gathering in conjunction with the Monroeville Public Library!

WHAT: Shining Light on Solar Energy in Monroeville
WHEN: Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Solar energy is the fastest growing energy source in the world. While the Pittsburgh region has a reputation as a cloudy place, we receive much more sun than Germany – a leading solar nation. There are already more than 12,000 solar installations in Pennsylvania. Solar electricity is now as affordable as your electric bill and can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the system, creating a sound investment for your home. Join Solarize Allegheny for a presentation on solar energy, meet pre-qualified solar installers and solar owners, and get information you need to consider going solar. Pittsburgh non-profit Conservations Consultants, Inc. will also be on hand to provide information about the Sound Home Plan, a one-stop-shop to help Pittsburgh-area homeowners identify and help make their homes more healthy, safe, and energy efficient (www.getenergysmarter.org). Solarize Allegheny is a project funded by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny County Health Department to inspire the use of solar energy in Allegheny County. More information about Solarize Allegheny can be found at www.SolarizeAllegheny.org. Light refreshments provided. RSVPs appreciated, but not required at: www.monroevillesolar.eventbrite.com.
-- 
Mark Hudson, MA, MLIS, Head of Adult Services
WHERE: Monroeville Public Library, 4000 Gateway Campus Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146
412-372-0500x113

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Keeping Sunoco Logistics Accountable

There's lots to keep up with as we transition from fossil fuels to our Regenerative Fossil-Free Future! If you have questions about the information below, contact Deirdre Lally, Pipeline Organizer, Clean Air Council
570-854-2288

KEEP SUNOCO LOGISTICS ACCOUNTABLE

  • Do you live on or near the Mariner East 2 Right of Way (ROW)?
  • Is Sunoco staking the ROW or have they started construction of ME 2/2x?
  • Do you wonder if Sunoco Logistics may be working outside of the limits of your  easement agreement?
  • Regardless of whether or not you signed a new easement agreement YOU HAVE RIGHTS!  
  • Make sure Sunoco is not using more land than you agreed to or that the court imposed on you.
LANDOWNER CHECKLIST

  1. Have your house, all structures, well, sewer or septic  inspections done immediately; before Sunoco begins construction.  Document their integrity.   Ask a local realtor  for recommendations for home inspectors.  Sunoco has publically stated they will pay for your independent studies.
  2. If you can afford a survey ($800-$1300), get an independent survey of:
    1. The existing ROW
    2. The proposed ROW
3. If you can’t afford a survey :
    1. Ask surveyors for a group rate (with your neighbors) or:
    2. Take careful measurements of your property yourself: see below for guidelines*
    3. Mark your easement boundaries with yellow caution tape to clearly document work outside the limits.  Marking properties along the project with yellow caution tape sends a message to Sunoco that landowners are watch-dogging Sunoco Logistics’ construction on their property.  If you need help buying the tape, call (215) 567-4004 x121.
    4. Make a copy of your most current easement agreement - it may supersede or add on to older agreements.  Sit down and read it thoroughly to understand what the easement agreement allows Sunoco to do and what Sunoco is NOT allowed to do on your land.  Need help on that? Call 484.340.0648 or email a copy to PSC @ lynda@pscoalition.org. It will remain confidential.
  1. You have the right to post no trespassing signs outside the permanent & temporary ROW.
  2. You have the right to press trespassing charges if the contractor is unwilling or unable to confirm that they are not trespassing.
  3. Introduce yourself to the construction crews.  Surveyors, construction crews, welders, are going to be working on your land.  They are not responsible for decisions made by regulators nor for this project being initiated by Sunoco.  They are responsible for the safe and accurate installation of the pipes and for respecting your property.  Introducing yourself and others in your home puts a face to the project.  Personalizing who this work is impacting will help you get best results.

PERMANENT ROW EASEMENTS  
  1. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to ensure that Sunoco is staying within the boundaries of the existing or new signed easement agreement.  Sunoco may not construct a pipeline nor use temporary workspace outside the bounds of your signed ROW agreement without your written permission and compensation.  They may not extend the limits of the easement, temporarily use more land than you agreed to, or add any component to the project that is not specific to your easement (such as temporary bridges or entrance roads).  Remember this project has gone through route changes.  Make sure your agreement matches where they are constructing.  
  2. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to ask for a copy of the map the contractor is using and compare it your easement agreement.  The contractor may only have one copy - take a cell photo - ask that they bring a copy for you when they come back - or ask for their copy before they leave as they have more.
  3. If the contractor claims it’s the same map that is on your agreement, tell them there have been so many changes in permitting that you want to make sure.  Surveying is OK at this point - it will help you determine if the work will be compliant to your agreement.

TEMPORARY WORKSPACE EASEMENTS  
  1. If you have not signed a new easement or have not had one imposed on you and your circa 1930’s or circa 1960’s does not provide a temporary easement (work space) Sunoco does not have a right to use your land outside their existing ROW without negotiating an agreement with you.  That agreement must be in writing  to protect your rights.
  2. Temporary work space may apply to both open-cut trenching and HDD (underground drilling) properties.
  3. Most temporary easements are effective for the limited time stipulated in your easement.  For example, if you have a 40’ wide permanent easement and a 20’ wide temporary easement on each side of the permanent ROW, the 20’ temporary work space typically has a use limit of 36 months - check your easement agreement.    
  4. If Sunoco tells you their circa 1930 or 1962 easement allows them to use land beyond your ROW, they are likely wrong.  Some older easements state that the operator “release(s) from the terms of the aforesaid rights of way and easements all of the lands lying outside the said forty feet wide strips of ground, reserving unto itself all rights and privileges…in said right-of-way which are not specifically released by this agreement.”  If this language in your easement, make a copy and show it to Sunoco.

If you believe work is being done outside of allowed boundaries - or environmental conditions are not being adhered to, you should take these steps:
  1. Call the PA Department of Environmental Protection Statewide complaint hotline @ 1-888-723-3372
  2. Call regional offices at the following numbers:
    • Southeast: (484) 250-5991
    • Southcentral: (717) 705-4709
    • Southwest: (412) 442-44184
    • Ask them to come out immediately if you suspect and environmental issue  - wait for them if you can.
  3. Call your police department and your township officials
NEIGHBORING PROPERTIES NOT DIRECTLY ON THE PIPELINE EASEMENT
  1. Adjacent or adjoining properties may suffer property damages.  Depending on how close a property is to construction, structural damage can occur beyond the construction site.
  2. Neighboring properties should have their house, all structures, well and sewer inspections done immediately; before Sunoco begins construction.  Document the integrity of each.   Ask a local realtor for recommendations for home inspectors.  Sunoco has publically stated they will pay for independent studies. They may pay for studies on neighboring properties depending on proximity.
  3. Don’t try to be a good guy by allowing use of your land without a written agreement for compensation and specific details about use and remediation.

Need help knowing what to do?  Let us know:  
Pipeline Safety Coalition: (484) 340-0648
Clean Air Council Staff Attorney: (215) 567-4004 x118

*Measuring your ROW:
  1. Sunoco will mark their ROW, usually marking the centerline of the existing pipeline or pipe to be placed. The below Uniform Color Code Chart will help you determine what has been marked on your land.  Surveyors are required to mark the pipeline and other pipes such as water, propane, sewer.  If you think they’ve missed something, tell them!  This is also a good opportunity to take photos for your records.
  2. Measure from the pipeline marker out 50 feet on each side to determine your total Permanent ROW / Permanent and Temporary ROW / Existing ROW.  Install tape along the entire length of your property.  Engage your neighbor in doing the same.

--
Deirdre Lally
Pipeline Organizer
Clean Air Council
570-854-2288