June 11, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Promoting Profitable Farms that Produce Healthy Food for All
People while Respecting the Natural Environment
Statement on Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction
Adopted: June 11, 2012
PASA asserts its position in favor of a moratorium on unconventional gas extraction, until it is determined that this practice will not impair the ability of farms to profitably produce healthy food while respecting Pennsylvania’s air quality, water resources and the natural environment.
- Assuring the highest quality of life for the farming community and the environment in all aspects of natural gas extraction through unbiased, third party studies of the long-term impacts. These studies must assess the impacts on the environment and public health, including an in-depth look at the integrity, health and long term sustainability of our food supply.
- Establishing baselines, parameters, and comprehensive third party testing of water resources, soil health, air quality and human and animal welfare prior to and after extraction procedures.
- Requiring drilling companies to post a bond which is held in escrow in their name, payable with interest in the event that there are no negative environmental consequences 5 years after capping the well, to be determined by a certified third party engineer.
- Developing and moving towards a comprehensive sustainable and renewable energy plan that encourages conservation of our natural resources.
- Enabling the farming community’s input in decision making regarding the location of natural gas facilities and related pipelines.
- Requiring fairness and transparency in all stages of exploration, leasing, drilling and production, and recognition and respect of landowners’ rights, including those who do not own subsurface rights. Full disclosure creates trust between landowners, energy companies and land aggregators, and needs to be addressed before additional wells are drilled.
- Full accountability and fairness in remediation for any negative environmental and/or economic loss to farmers.
PASA recognizes its mission extends far beyond the edge of field and pasture. This work encompasses the development of and education around healthy food systems for both urban and rural communities. Unconventional gas drilling affects local farmers and farms, the food they produce, and the consumers who eat it.
We therefore urge the Governor and Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to use this moratorium to ensure that the above issues have been addressed and resolved, and to re-evaluate the safety of methods used in natural gas extraction and its potential threat to our watersheds, food safety and the quality of life of farmers.
PASA continues to provide educational programming to support sustainable agriculture practices resulting in economically viable farms. We are committed to maintaining an organization that protects food systems by focusing on our mission of promoting profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.