Breaking: Residents of Mobile Home Park Evicted by Fracking Withdrawal Facility
Residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, PA may have lost the battle to secure their community today. Members of the park have been calling on Aqua America, one of the country’s largest private water corporations, to stop their plans for building a fracking withdrawal facility since late February, when the company bought the 37-unit mobile home park. The facility would withdraw 3 million gallons of water per day from the Susquehanna River and then transport the water via pipeline to fracking companies in the north.
The residents’ leases were terminated, and they were given until June 1 to vacate their homes. Aqua America offered the residents a $2,500 incentive to move out by that deadline. On May 31, the six families that remained in the park because they could not afford to move started building a barricade, which was draped with large banner that read: “We will fight for our homes.” Along with nearly 50 supporters from across the nation, including some Occupiers, Save the Riverdale Mobile Home Park members built a communal living space on their land and kept Aqua America at bay for eleven days.
Yesterday morning, however, they received notice from the company that excavation on their land would begin today. On their blog they pleaded for help stating, “The encampment is in urgent need of support at this time! Now is the time to show your conviction and solidarity with these brave residents and volunteers who have decided to stand their ground in the face of ruthless corporate giant — Aqua America.”
On their Twitter feed today, Save Riverdale reported that state troopers had arrived at their site, and they were given “one hour to vacate the premises or face arrest.” They then tweeted that equipment was being put up at the park. Their latest tweet, posted three hours ago, reads: “Once a community; now an active construction site.”
This eviction comes as communities in the Northeast continue to resist fracking in the Marcellus Shale region. Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is the process of using a high-pressure mixture of water and chemicals to break up shale rock to extract natural gas. The process has been linked to various environmental and health damages.