Comes from Washington County, Pa via my pal Bob Doonan, aka The Bob:
“I got a text Friday night from a friend extremely concerned about a major spill not very far from everyone’s favorite county park: MINGO.
The Ebenezer Covered Bridge in Mingo Creek County Park
Ironically perhaps, one of the spill sites was close to Mingo Creek Presbyterian Church, a famous hub for those who fought the federal government over taxes during the Whiskey Rebellion. A brief history lesson:
|The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington. The rebellion was provoked by the imposition of an excise tax on distilled spirits. Although the tax applied to all distilled spirits, whiskey was by far the most popular distilled beverage in 18th-century America so the excise became widely known as a “whiskey tax.” The new excise was a part of treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton’s program to fund war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War.
The tax was resisted by farmers in the western frontier regions who were long accustomed to distilling their surplus grain and corn into whiskey. In these regions, whiskey was sufficiently popular that it often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the Federal government maintained the taxes were the legal expression of the taxation powers of Congress.
Throughout counties in Western Pennsylvania, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. With 13,000 militia provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned.
The good news:
1) The two spill sites impacted a small creek (Little Mingo Creek) which does not flow into the scenic Mingo Creek passing through Mingo Park.
2) Bentonite clay (at least by itself) is basically considered ‘non-toxic.’
The bad news:
1) Bentonite is a very fine gray clay which has serious impacts on aquatic life. “When released in large amounts it can coat the bottom of a stream, smothering spawning gravels and killing the insects on which fish feed. Even diluted amounts of bentonite in a stream are a considerable risk to the function of an ecosystem. The ecological ramifications of a bentonite spill are NOT minor and may affect aquatic ecology far downstream from the spill site.”
2) Several miles of small streams and creeks were impacted, so Sunoco Logistics’ subcontractor Precision Pipeline was hosing out 2 miles of the most impacted creek beds.
3) This sort of spill has occurred multiple times in our county over the past few years, and with pipeline construction still ramping up, more impacts to creeks are a near certainty.
Video of Scene:
# # #
Mayor Calvin Tillman during a visit to our Washington County several years ago
As mayor of DISH Texas, Calvin spearheaded a nationwide awareness of the air pollution which accompanies the extraction, processing and pumping of all this ‘clean burning’ natural gas. He heads up a group called ShaleTest and many of you have seen the now famous FLIR videos produced by Frank Finan. They have used Frank’s $80,000 camera to show everyone air pollution from compressor stations and other gas sites which the naked eye cannot see.
During a recent informational tour to the California, Calvin got ‘jumped’ by that ‘nasty little Irish Elf’ Phelim McAleer (aka Phlegm McClear), producer of the fracking infomercial FRACK NATION. Calvin is a pretty soft-spoken sort of man, so when you read his strong words you will get a good sense of McAleer’s demeanor and devious methods:
# # #
# # #
SPILLING IS JUST THE BEGINNING . . .