'Right to Farm' ruining farming resources

I absolutely agree with everything Paul Solomon wrote in "PA towns prevented from protecting farms from sludge" (January 2009). This is not only destroying the health of neighboring residents, it is running right back into our waters. The soils are also being destroyed. If Pennsylvania intends to keep farming viable, we have got to protect these resources.

In the name of the Right to Farm Act (Act 38), every resource we need to farm is being degraded. We have the guaranteed rights to clean air and pure water under Pennsylvania's constitution, yet these very rights are being stripped by our own state government.

I suggest that our politicians start listening to the people. The Act was piggy-backed on a child protection act at midnight because there were not enough votes to pass it.

Anyone else who is outraged is invited to join the Second Annual Rally Against ACT 38 on March 9 at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg. For details, visit www.PBCCG.com.

Maria Payan
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Balance the needs of environmental, energy

Your article on the impact of drilling wells in the Marcellus shale, "Marcellus Shale: Pipe dreams in Pennsylvania?" (December 2009) is informative and balanced. It highlights the dilemma of reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil by providing local cleaner burning natural gas and at the same time mitigating the environmental problems and concerns caused by drilling horizontal wells.

I don't think that energy company executives are in the business of causing environmental harm and degrading the lives of those people on whose land they are drilling. The history of the industry would indicate otherwise.

It appears that local, county, regional and state officials in Pennsylvania need to marshal their efforts, as is happening, and create sustainable drilling regulations while increasing the dialogue with energy company officials.

I don't think fostering an adversarial relationship will provide the best solution possible.

One might look to other parts of the country where this type of drilling is taking place and see what is occurring to address similar issues and concerns.

I would like to think there will be a reasonable balance to providing domestic natural gas to meet the country's energy's needs while at the same time significantly reducing both the harm to people's lives and the specter of irreversible environmental damage.

Richard Simonetti
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