Seneca Nation Rallies To Defend River From Fracking Wastewater

Public Herald, March 3, 2018, By Joshua B. Pribanic and Melissa A. Troutman

"In Coudersport Pennsylvania, over 100 members of the Seneca Nation of Indians appeared at a public meeting to oppose a fracking wastewater treatment facility planned for development on the Allegheny River, known by the Seneca as the Ohi:yo’, which means “beautiful waters.”

'We’re the protestors of tomorrow,' Seneca Treasurer Maurice John stated during public comment to the Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) board on the evening of February, 26. 'The next generation is going to remember us. And they’re going to remember us telling your astute group here that we oppose the contamination of the Ohi:yo’ — or the Allegheny River.'

The fledgeling company Epiphany, LLC and the Coudersport Municipal Sewage Authority have been meeting since June 2017 to plan a build out of the fracking waste treatment facility at the river’s edge. The Allegheny or Ohi:yo’ is one of three rivers that begin at the Triple Divide in Potter County, Pennsylvania, where headwaters travel thousands of miles across the eastern United States serving drinking water to millions of people downstream.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) is currently reviewing Epiphany, LLC’s permit application and is expected to approve the facility in the coming months. Epiphany’s application to DEP does not include monitoring for radioactive material or chemicals used for fracking before treated waste is discharged into the river.

Wastewater produced by fracking is known to be radioactive. A new study by Dr. Avner Vengosh of Duke University revealed dangerous amounts of radioactive material in rivers downstream from facilities that attempted to treat wastewater from oil and gas operations. ..."


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