How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking
Grant Township, Pennsylvania, population 741, has became the front line of a radical new environmental movement – and they're not backing down.

The local resident learned that a fracking company would be injecting fracking wastewater into the ground beneath their houses and farms. They thought the EPA would protect them. Instead, the EPA issued a permit to permit the injection.


Essentially, Wanchisn learned, the ground beneath her would be used as a vast toxic-waste storage locker. PGE planned to inject 42,000 gallons of fracking wastewater a day into a layer of rock 7,500 feet beneath the ground, where it was to remain for eternity. The pumping would continue 24 hours a day, every day, for half a generation or more – Wanchisn’s teenage grandchildren could be married with children, and PGE would still be injecting fracking waste.

But as construction on the injection well neared, Wanchisn and the other Grant Township residents began to wonder why they had to accept the EPA’s ruling at all. With the help of outside advocates, the small community landed upon a radical strategy: It adopted an ordinance that granted residents the right to local self-government, essentially seizing the power to bypass the EPA. According to the new laws of their renegade township, not only could humans defend themselves against PGE, but so too could the streams, the salamanders, the hemlock trees, the very soil underground. As outrageous as it might seem, the move thrust Grant Township onto the front line of a new environmental movement: It’s the battle to grant legal rights to nature. And amazingly, it appears to be working.

Fracking. The last hopeless effort at keeping a dying industry alive while helping to destroy the lives it employs. Fracking alone poisons the water table and breaks up the rock underground leading to sinkholes, and it seems, to more significant seismic activity, never mind the devastation to the surface environment. Like the meme says, “More Trees, fewer Assholes.”


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