Grassroots ‘Triple Divide Watershed Coalition’ Formed

From Potter County Today

stephens2Representatives from public water suppliers across the county gathered on Wednesday at the F. W. Gunzburger County Office Building to form a new organization, the “Triple Divide Watershed Coalition.” Its goal is to protect water sources across Potter County from potential degradation from natural gas well drilling or other disturbances. Mark Stephens (shown), a geologist from the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), shared information on partnerships local public water authorities can form with DEP for source water protection programs. Before the coalition takes any further action, representatives attending Wednesday’s meeting will confer with their respective organizations to seek support of the countywide coalition.

Stephens complimented the Potter County Planning Commission for already developing a Sourcewater Protection Plan, through funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “You folks in Potter County caught on before the others, so you are the leaders,” he said. “We all understand that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we don’t want to trade one resource — water — for another.”

The next logical step for the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition is a “risk reduction strategy,” Stephens explained, which could include elements of public education, close liaisons with industry and/or land use planning regulations such as zoning.

Next meeting of the coalition is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 18.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.


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