Allegheny County officials should consider a likely scenario if they choose to approve a gas lease to frack under Deer Lakes Park. Consider this headline from June 5, 2009: “Waste from Marcellus Shale Drilling in Cross Creek Park Kills Fish.” I fished there on May 30, 2009, and witnessed the fish floating on top of the water (the June 5 article reported the waste-water discharge was May 26). Needless to say, it wasn’t a good day for fishing.
Months later the state Department of Environmental Protection fined the driller $23,500, but it’s hard to track where that money ends up. I know it doesn’t end up paying for a new stocking of fish, or for the cost of my fishing license, or for my buddy’s boat launch permit. I haven’t been back to Cross Creek Lake to fish since the contamination. I doubt the habitat has improved considering the driller now has amassed three reported violations at the site.
How many more leaks and errors go unreported? Cross Creek Park is not an acceptable prototype for Allegheny County to follow in our parks.