This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I was diagnosed with cancer at age 11.

...the federal agency in charge of safeguarding human health and the environment panders to polluters and lacks the political wherewithal to make them rectify their injustices. The Superfund tax once held polluters liable for their refuse, but since it expired in 1996 Congress has failed to renew it. 

"As the surgeons put me under for an operation that would remove my thyroid, I hoped I would still be able to run around outside with my brother, to clamber through the groves and streams that surrounded my home in the mountains of North Carolina. While I lay on the operating table, an abandoned factory a mile from my house silently seeped toxic chemicals into the creeks and valleys. Yet no warnings were posted outside the gates. The polluted streams were not fenced off. Like the other neighborhood kids, I had no idea of the toxins lurking in our midst. [...]

The shuttering of the factory did not spell the end of the pollution, however, as chemicals continued to migrate from the dumping-ground into the local environment. In 1999, the carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE), CTS’s primary solvent, tested in one woman’s well at far past the legal limit of five parts per billion: she was drinking 21,000. Thyroid cancer had struck her several years before. The assault on human health did not end there: non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, birth defects, and liver and kidney disease showed up in droves. By the time of my diagnosis in 2005, such ailments had already taken a toll on my community. Over a single decade, one man lost ten family members to cancer."

If fracking is allowed to get a foothold in our hills and streams, scenarios like this are the potential near-future of the Ligonier Valley. Given the overwhelming evidence of toxins discharged in fracking (often dumped or leaked where ever it's convenient for the frackers to do so), denying the danger of fracking to Ligonier is self-destructive, in addition to being immoral. 

The EPA will not protect us. They are bought and sold. 

Push back, people...the gas industry is quietly holding its breath, hoping Joe Public will stay asleep, hoping you'll stay passive/distracted, hoping you'll stay trusting of their deceitful ads and the useless EPA.

Stand up, roll up your sleeves and join those fighting this destructive-to-everything industry. It is your backyard now, and unlike ISIS (or any other fill-in-the-blank danger that the mainstream media is distracting you with), this will hurt us all in many, many ways over time.