DATE: January 30, 2019

The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 and a business meeting the following month on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.  The official Notice for the public hearing and business meeting is available on the Commission’s website at

The public hearing will include 27 draft dockets for withdrawals, discharges, and other projects that could have a substantial effect on the basin’s water resources.  Full details, including location information, the draft dockets, and instructions on how to comment, are available at the above link.  Both the hearing and business meeting are open to the public.

If you represent a municipality or are a representative of a legislative district and are receiving this email, there is likely one or more projects that are associated with or affect your area.


Isn’t the weather we’ve been having rather…different? Thanks to a report forwarded by Mark Szybist, Senior Attorney & Advocate, Climate and Clean Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council to the USDA Climate Hub, we may learn about the many answers to that question. The report appeared as a blog by David E. Hess * about a program on WITF’s Smart Talk Program on Thursday, October 11, 2018.  You can listen to the program to find out how former Sen. Franklin Kury (the 27th serving from 1973 to 1980), and author of the Environmental Rights Amendment, answered the question in the title.

*David E. Hess served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from 2001 to 2003, Executive Deputy at DEP from 1995 to 2001, as staff to the PA Senate Environmental Committee and various positions in the former Department of Environmental Resources, working on environmental issues for over 40 years.


Fittingly for April and Earth Day, our hot Topics Luncheon on March 12th and April 9th was about climate change. However, awareness about the environment should be maintained year-round.  Through the LWVPA Citizen Education Fund, with support from a grant from the Colcom Foundation, funding is available to local leagues to increase the public’s awareness about the environment, particularly the link between plastics and the gas and oil industry.  We welcome the public to use this entire webpage as a resource.  Please contact our League at if you would like to partner with us to put on displays in public and private schools, public libraries, science fairs and other school projects and any idea you develop yourself.

You may start learning about plastics right now.  The Straight Scoop on Shale Drilling webpage has many resources including a powerpoint called “PLASTICS 101:  What You Should Know” given by Dr. Don Naragon, chemist emeritus, member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh and of the LWVPA Board.

Below are links to resources from conferences and websites dedicated to this issue.

2018 Shale & Public Health Conference

The sixth annual Shale & Public Health conference will be held
Wednesday November 14, 2018
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (registration/sign-in at 8:30)

2016 Shale & Public Health Conference

Thanks to this funding a presentation of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania took place on November 16, 2016 at the University Club  Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health: Fourth Annual Conference, SHALE AND PUBLIC HEALTH.

  • Click here for the twelve-page handout distributed at the presentation.

The specific topic of Straight Scoop on Shale is the link between fracking for natural gas and plastics.  Click Industry Structure a flow chart that illustrates this.

2017 Shale & Public Health Conference

The fifth annual Shale & Public Health Conference was held on November 13, 2017
It was hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

2018 Shale & Public Health Conference

The sixth annual Shale & Public Health conference will be held
Wednesday November 14, 2018
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (registration/sign-in at 8:30)
  • Click here for The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania SHALE GAS EXTRACTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH A Resource Guide Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction Study, 2017 Update to Addendum Shale and Public Health Committee, Lead Writer and Editor, Vera Bonnet (Indiana County League member)

Where this webpage fits in

As we receive them, informational resources on environmental and health impacts of plastics, waste disposal issues, strategies for addressing plastics issues, alternatives to plastics and other innovative approaches will be made available on this web page.

And, we welcome partners from across Lehigh County to join us in distributing this information.  Students of all ages attending schools of all types and active in clubs and initiatives, environmental groups and individual citizens who are concerned about plastics and the environment, please contact Jan Little at if you would like to join us.


“Economics of Petrochemicals Overview”

  • Click here for the link to a presentation that Chair Heather Harr saw at a conference in NYC recently.   It was compiled and delivered by Cathy Kunkel of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. It describes, from an economic perspective, the link between fracking and plastics.
  • Click on Industry Structure the subject of slide 12: a diagram of the flow from oil and gas to petrochemicals that can be turned into plastic products.

“Your bottled water may contain hundreds of little pieces of plastic”

  • Click here for a story about a new study of plastic in bottled water, “Your bottled water may contain hundreds of little pieces of plastic” updated on April 30, 2018.
  • Click here for a link to the actual study, thanks to WPXI, an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that included the link in its relatively in-depth report.

The Story of Stuff project

  • Click here, “Sit back and listen: it’s The Good Stuff.”

The Story of Stuff project: The Story of Microfibers

  • Click here for a short video about polyester.
The Story of Stuff project: Take That, Plastic Bags!
  • Click here for another podcast, about some actions/solutions to the plastic bag issue.
“Introduction to Plastics”

Dr. Don Naragon, chemist emeritus, is in the process of tweaking the PowerPoint overview about the biochemistry of plastics that he delivered in April 2018 in Pittsburgh.  Listed below are some of the topics covered in the presentation.

  • Click here for a definition of plastics.  Dr. Naragon discussed the biochemical composition of the major groups of plastics and what products are made from them.  But, we are concerned about their effect on the environment and what we can do to reduce their negative impact..
  • Click here for the seven standard classifications for plastics, and the recycling and reuse information for each type.

National Geographic magazine, June 2018, the Plastics issue

We Made Plastic. We Depend on It. Now We’re Drowning in It.

List of environmental dates

September 3-7, 2018
September 16-22, 2018
October 2018
November 12-18, 2018
November 15, 2018
February, 2019
March 2019
April 22, 2019

List of United Nation’s environmental decades