FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP – Activists from New York showed up in Susquehanna County today to protest the removal of a water buffalo from a home. A natural gas company had been providing water to a family who claimed fracking contaminated their water, but many people living in the Montrose area say they want no part of these protests.
The group protesting just north of Montrose is called Citizen Action of New York from Binghamton. Many long time Franklin Township residents say they want no part of the out-of-state activists and the noise they’re creating in their community.
This was the scene gas company representatives were met with in Franklin Forks – anti-fracking activitst all from out of state – stopping them from removing a water buffalo they voluntarily put on this property in the spring of 2012.
"Our goal today was to remove our equipment, have them install their equipment and then we would fill their tank up with fresh portable water so they would start out with a fresh tank," said WPX Energy Community Relations Manager Susan Oliver.
These tanks were put on Tammy Hadlick’s property and two others while the Department of Environmental Protection investigated claims that methane gas caused by fracking contaminated the water.
WPX Energy says the removal was agreed upon by lawyers, but these activists and the Hadlicks say that’s not the case.
"They didn`t have any documents to back that up that`s the issue, they have no documents saying that they own this buffalo," said Citizen Action of New York Environmental Organizer Issac SIlberman-Gorn.
"They don`t care if we have water, I need my water, they don`t need to remove it. In the beginning they wanted to be nice neighbors, I guess they don`t want to be nice no more,” said homeowner Tammy Hadlick.
Folks who live near the Hadlick`s home here in Franklin Forks say they`re more frustrated with activists showing up from out of town than they are with this water buffalo situation itself.
"We are really fed up with that,” said Kelly Harding of Franklin Township.
Harding grew up in this area and stood with other neighbors who say these protests are a nuisance.
"They`re too aggressive, it`s been a very disturbing thing to our community,” said Harding.
Now these residents say they’re working to fight back, and take back their home town.
"Show a voice to the township residents, the people that actually live here. Not people that come in from far away states to stir up things and make problems for the gas company,” said Dale Webster of Franklin Township.
WPX Energy says they will be in contact with the Hadlick’s attorney within the next week since they were unable to take the water buffalo as planned today.
As for Citizen Action of New York, the group says they’ll be back again if they think it’s necessary.