"Grant Township, Pennsylvania, population 741, has became the front line of a radical new environmental movement -- and they're not backing down".
"On October 24th, 2012, several agents from Pennsylvania General Energy, an oil-and-gas exploration company, met privately with local officials from the rural western Pennsylvania community of Grant Township. Fracking was booming in Pennsylvania, and PGE had been trucking tens of thousands of gallons of fracking wastewater to faraway injection wells in Ohio. Developing an injection well somewhere in Pennsylvania could save the company around $2 million a year, and Grant Township, a swath of woods and hayfields slightly larger than Manhattan and populated by a mere 741 people, seemed like an especially good spot.
Most of the meeting's attendees -- which included the three Grant Township supervisors, a rep from the local state senator's office and an official from the county's office of planning and development -- will not speak about the event. But about 10 months later, one of the supervisors passed along a notice to a retired elementary-school teacher named Judy Wanchisn. In lettering so small 'you need a magnifying glass to read,' says Wanchisn, the notice declared that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 'plans to issue an Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit to PGE ... to construct and operate one class II-D brine disposal injection well.' Wanchisn had no idea what that meant, but she could tell it was bad.
Wanchisn, now 74, lives about a mile from the proposed injection-well site, in a modest white ranch house overlooking East Run, a creek that's popular with anglers and home to an ancient salamander species called the hellbender. She was born and raised in Grant Township and taught elementary school for 20 years in the neighboring community of Purchase Line. When she received the EPA announcement, she was enjoying her retirement, spending days with grandkids and girlfriends, gardening and taking care of her husband, who has a heart condition. But she soon found herself spending more time in front of the computer, researching injection wells."