Penn-Trafford schools reject air monitoring offer from anti-fracking group |

Penn-Trafford schools reject air monitoring offer from anti-fracking group

Patrick Varine

The Penn-Trafford School District does not plan to accept an offer from a citizen’s group of free air monitoring at its schools.

Protect PT, which opposes fracking, offered free monitoring for particulate matter and chemical pollution via the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project and the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council.

At the board’s meeting Monday night, solicitor Michael Brungo read a statement saying the district will not take part in the monitoring.

Brungo’s statement referenced the terms of a December settlement between Penn Township officials and Apex Energy, the drilling company that has proposed the majority of fracking wells in the township. Those terms include Apex paying for a third party, mutually agreed upon by Apex and the township, to perform air- and sound-quality monitoring during the construction, drilling and completion of pad operations.

Protect PT President Gillian Graber said she did her best to convince district officials that independent monitoring would be a benefit.

“I did about an hourlong presentation to a school district subcommittee,” Graber said. “Most of our members are also parents, so it was kind of a natural thing for us to want to speak with the school board about this.”

Protect PT member Danielle LeJeune of Penn Township, the parent of an elementary school student, said she didn’t understand why the district doesn’t appear to want a free program aimed at protecting the health and safety of children, educators and staff.

“I am disappointed to hear that the P-T school board has chosen not to put forth every protection available for our children,” LeJeune said. “A free monitoring program offered to the school was turned down, and they plan to rely on the gas companies to self-monitor and self-report on a continuous basis?

“As heavy industry is moving into our township, close to homes and schools, I think being proactive is the smartest approach,” she said.

Graber said Protect PT is looking out for some of the township’s most vulnerable residents.

“We just thought that, as parents, we’d like some extra protection for our kids,” she said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.