Mission: The organization is a collaborative endeavor to preserve and protect clean air, land and water as a civil and basic human right in the face of the threat posed by the shale gas extraction industry. The organization focuses its advocacy and legal efforts to protect the delaware river watershed, across new york, pennsylvania, the marcellus region and beyond.
Programs: The organization continued its public awareness campaign to educate people about the hydraulic fracturing process and related activities. Damascus citizens for sustainability engaged in programs directed toward protecting the delaware river watershed, and other watersheds, from contamination related to natural gas and oil production, including extraction, chemicals, waste handling and associated processes. Damascus citizens for sustainability focused on especially high pressure horizontal hydrofracturing (fracking), and establishing the greenhouse gas and hence climate change impacts of those activities. Specifically, damascus citizens for sustainability: is implementing a health and community impacts survey whose goal is to record the health and environmental effects of gas exploration and development activities, and create a national registry for the information with atsdr (agency for toxic substances and disease registry) that is mandated to record the information, to spur health assessments for the communities, and to hopefully get people some help; engaged in baseline ambient methane testing in marcellus shale areas that are a target for eventual fracking, but have not yet been fracked; tested for methane emissions in some fracked areas; and tested for fugitive emissions at the delivery level by testing end user distribution systems; provided detailed technical comments on key regulations controlling drilling and other activities in pa, ny and other states, and funded other legal actions related to keeping fracking out of the delaware river basin; provided expert testimony to advise officials, regulators and policymakers about the risks entailed in fracking for gas and oil, impacts of infrastructure, and other activities involved in this mining; provided information to the public regarding the risks of fracking via our website, mailing list, press releases and media coverage, public meetings, testimony at open hearings, and further distribution of thousands of copies of an educational "what's in the water? " poster completed at the end of 2012.