By Wil Cacciatore
“Pennsylvania Calls for More Water Tests” explains how Pennsylvania wanted to run tests involving treatment plants and drinking water facilities to monitor for any radioactive pollutants that are ending up in the satellite rivers in that area. Since this article was written in 2011, Barack Obama had established a policy for stabilizing the environment regarding the water systems, air pollution from harmful fumes from factories, and also dumping grounds for sludges and other disastrous actions. Pennsylvania also made new guidelines for the factories for how to detect these harmful substances, so the E.P.A wouldn’t have to intervene with the regulators for the state. Although these policies and guidelines were set, E.P.A officials heard that a Johnstown plant was receiving biosolids sending them to fields for spreading them. During Barack’s terms, Pennsylvania and even the whole nation has seen an improvement in environmental regulation, but the overall contributing factor is not keeping up with regulations and not being aware of the surroundings. Regulators have to realize that long term effects can be prevented with one simple change. An example of this would be waste treatment plant operators didn’t define radium as a harmful containment for the production of fertilizer. This one arrangement could have conveyed a long period of change for the environment as a whole.
I think the article brings forward a real, credible issue of the problems associated with fracking. It seems that the companies using this process often lose sight of what natural gas drilling is doing to the environment and the people living in it. These companies often use fracking to find new sources of natural gas instead of relying on foreign resources. It has also created many jobs. According to an article written by The Washington Post, “The gas boom in Pennsylvania at the beginning of 2009 accounted for more than 23,000 new jobs and added $1.9 billion to the state economy” (Meko and Karklis, 2017). However, the issue of fracking becomes a collective action problem because there are some people that will argue that fracking benefits them because of the jobs that it creates. On the other hand, people that have been negatively affected by fracking will argue that it is hazardous to the environment and the people living within it. As a result, this issue will not reflect how fracking benefits certain people but how it has negatively affected the environment. I agree with Will in saying that regulators have to realize the long term effects that natural gas drilling can have on our environment because what is at stake is not only clean, sanitary water resources, but also the future of the environment as well.
I agree with the argument brought up by both students firstly due to the fact t hat this draws attention to the conflict in determining the “common good”. We see this debacle within many political discussions however particularly within environmental politics where companies still need to make their money and the nation wants to create jobs for its people but the end result on the environment affects all people. Will raised a great point when he said that the negative long term affects of natural gas drilling could be altered with one change, however, what will it take for that change to come? As we discussed in class, what incentives are present when looking at the reduction of natural gas drilling? At the same time, what is lost or risked?
I agree with the arguments made above and on the original post. Drinking water is such a luxury that we take for granted here in the United States. I think It is extremely critical that these tests are being run to make sure that our drinking water remains safe and pollutant free. I believe that it was a good idea for Pennsylvania to set up these guidelines so the EPA would not have to, however I think the EPA should be overlooking all these guidelines and new regulations to keep consistency throughout the county and make sure no political gain is involved. New technologies also raise the question, what are the disadvantages that come with them. With fracking we get natural gas but is natural gas worth the pollution of our water systems that come with it? Like with everything in politics there is always a give and take in the decisions we make.
I agree with the argument brought up by Will and the arguments that were brought up above me.
Clean & safe water is something that we take for granted here on an everyday basis. The issue of clean water needs to be more focused on by both the State of Pennsylvania and the EPA as well. Pennsylvania needs to have more strict guidelines and regulations for clean water. The EPA needs to become more aware of the surrounding issues because drinking water is something that should be constantly regulated due to it being such a highly valuable asset to everybody. If the EPA are to watch over Pennsylvania while they build these regulations, the process would go much smoother for PA. Technologies raise many questions including the pros and cons of the new technology. Technology including fracking which Will mentioned comes with multiple benefits including natural gas but with the rather large disadvantage of polluting our water systems. This sparks the debate just as any other political issue would. Are the risks worth taking to pollute our water system or do the benefits ultimately out weigh the risks?