Thursday, October 13, 2011

Philadelphia City Council unanimously passes resolution to sue DRBC, demand impact studies, forbid fracking for now

October 13, 2011
by Iris Marie Bloom
(215) 840-6489

Philadelphia: At noon today, all seventeen members of Philadelphia’s City Council voted in favor of a resolution which joins the City of Philadelphia as a Friend of the Court, together with lawsuits already filed by the Attorney General of the State of New York, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and other parties, in suing the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). Philadelphia is joining these lawsuits to require, according to the resolution passed today, “that no drilling of Marcellus Shale take place until a full environmental analysis is completed.”

“Today was a great day for democracy, science and human health in Philadelphia,” said abe [Mr. Alex Allen], Associate Director of Protecting Our Waters, after the vote. ”Our representatives in City Council chose to unanimously look out for the interests of the people while resisting the persistent lobbying of the industry.”

The resolution was sponsored by Councilman Curtis Jones and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez. Physician Walter Tsou, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Denise Dennis, whose historic land is impacted by shale gas drilling; and two activists testified in favor. About 30 supporters inside City Hall held up signs affirming, “Protect Our Water,” and “Don’t Drill the Delaware.” Councilman O’Neill, the only councilperson not present for the vote, had cast his “aye” vote before leaving the chambers. Councilman Jones’ office is now exploring next steps with regard to the suit, which must be filed by the Law Office of the City of Philadelphia.

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, who testified at Council today, was delighted with the vote.

”Shale gas drilling is a public health disaster in the making,” he warned.

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