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Engaged Citizens

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

Most citizens don't become active in gas drilling issues until they are personally affected. Maybe it's a busy schedule on their part, or just apathy. Maybe they haven't seen enough drilling activity firsthand to know they should be concerned, and that their voices will make a difference.

Some citizens become active because their tapwater from rivers was adversely affected. Others signed gas leases and came away feeling deceived. Some have had their water wells polluted by gas drilling activities on or near their property. Sportsmen get involved when there is a fish kill from hydraulic fracturing spills. Farmers who suddenly lose cattle take notice quickly. And of course everyone has health and safety concerns for their family, whether it's their children and grandchildren, or someone else's kids.

People often ask what they can do to protect their rights and their environment. It comes down to the basic answer of good citizenship.

  • Work within the legal and political system to seek change.
  • Attend township, county and key state level meetings to stay engaged.
  • Make your voice heard by talking with friends, neighbors and legislators.
  • Email your legislators with your important views on key issues.
  • Send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper.
  • Vote for the politicians who most closely reflect your views.
  • Vote-out politicians who don't support your views.
  • Monitor local drilling activities to ensure responsibility; report all violations.


Most of those who become engaged citizens have nothing to gain from their activism other than the personal satisfaction of being involved. It requires large chunks of time, energy and resources to stay engaged on an issue as huge as hydraulic fracturing on Marcellus Shale.

Working within the system, these individuals hope to pass responsible frac fluid legislation, as well as other laws that promote responsibility and accountability by the Marcellus industry. And by being engaged citizens, help promote local ordinances and laws that will protect theirs and other citizen's rights to things like clean air and clean water. The Oil & Gas industry is quick to let you know about their rights, just remember that your family's rights are equally, if not more important.

Citizens can request records from
the Pennsylvania DEP

Below is information from the DEP website:

Form to request a file review (PDF document)


File Record Review Procedure
DEP Southwest Regional Office Records Available for Public Review Include:
  • Inspections of Air Quality, Waste Management, Water Management, Underground Storage Tanks, Environmental Cleanup, and Oil and Gas, Radiation Protection, Water Supply and Soils and Waterways;
  • Permits and permit applications for the programs listed above;
  • Correspondence and reports between a facility/applicant and/for the programs listed above;
  • Compliance documents;
  • Reports of monitored data;
  • Other related documents associated with the programs above. 



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