Matzie pleased by DEP denial of PennEnergy request to withdraw water from Big Sewickley Creek

AMBRIDGE, Oct. 13 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding the state Department of Environmental Protection’s denial of PennEnergy’s request to withdraw 3 million gallons of water daily from Big Sewickley Creek:

“I am pleased by the denial. DEP noted no less than seven areas of concern and deficiencies in the application by PennEnergy Resources to withdraw water from the Big Sewickley Creek, which flows through a portion of my legislative district. 

“While the clock on the appeal process begins, I am hopeful that PennEnergy finds a different source of water rather than go against the wishes of the communities and many individuals who care deeply about any possible damage to this valuable water source. In most cases, I believe we can have energy extraction and maintain a clean, healthy environment. I do not believe this is one of those cases. 

“Regardless of any decision by a regulator or the courts, abandoning the plan to withdraw water from Big Sewickley Creek should be the decision by PennEnergy Resources -- not because it’s the most sound business decision, but because it’s the right thing to do.”    

In a July letter to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Matzie called on the department to deny PennEnergy’s request, citing concerns that withdrawing high volumes of water from the creek would escalate existing drought and cause devastating harm to the surrounding habitat.