Nature Scores a Big Win Against Fracking in a Small Pennsylvania Town

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Mike Belleme for Rolling Stone Grant Township, Pennsylvania An unlikely crew of environmentalists who took on the powerful Pennsylvania fracking industry in a David vs. Goliath battle to keep an injection well out of their community have notched an important victory in their fight. Using a novel strategy — seeking legal rights for nature itself — the rural western Pennsylvania community of Grant Township has been battling for seven years to stop the permit for the injection well, which would have brought a 24/7 parade of trucks carrying brine, a toxic byproduct of oil-and-gas drilling that would be shot down the well and into a rock layer deep beneath the farms and woods in the area. Earlier this month, in a stunning reversal, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which in 2017 sued Grant Township for interfering with the agency’s authority to administer state oil-and-gas policy, revoked the permit for the injection well. “This decision is soooooo delicious,” says Stacy Long, a graphic designer and township supervisor who together with her mother, Judy Wanchisn, a retired elementary-school teacher, helped lead the charge to stop the well. “I am hopeful that the haters and naysayers will take note, and […]

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