Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Relevance of Theatre

Central to the heart of our current show, Cat's-Paw, is the argument that water is the heart of all life on earth, that it's a closed system, and that the EPA and corporations are being incredibly lax on the standards of acceptable contamination. William Mastrosimone wrote the show in the mid-1980's but the issue of clean water is still relevant today.

In my news feed just this morning was a story from Dimock, Pennsylvania. The headline? "Dimock, PA Fracking: EPA Water Samples Contained 'Dangerous' Levels of Methane."

When the Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that tests showed the water is safe to drink in Dimock, Penn., a national hot spot for concerns about fracking, it seemed to vindicate the energy industry's insistence that drilling had not caused pollution in the area.

But what the agency didn't say -- at least, not publicly -- is that the water samples contained dangerous quantities of methane gas, a finding that confirmed some of the agency's initial concerns and the complaints raised by Dimock residents since 2009.

The test results also showed the group of wells contained dozens of other contaminants, including low levels of chemicals known to cause cancer and heavy metals that exceed the agency's "trigger level" and could lead to illness if consumed over an extended period of time. The EPA's assurances suggest that the substances detected do not violate specific drinking water standards, but no such standards exist for some of the contaminants and some experts said the agency should have acknowledged that they were detected at all.

Sounds like something straight out of Cat's-Paw, doesn't it?

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