American Rivers has released its 25th annual call to action: America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2010. The Monongahela, source of drinking water for 350,000 people, is listed number 9 of 10 because of the hydraulic fracking process used to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
American Rivers sees two big environmental problems with hydraulic fracking as practiced now: Water put back into waterways has a high salt content, which is unhealthy--even lethal--to freshwater marine life. Secondly, according to coordinator Jessie Thomas-Blate, drilling companies are allowed to keep secret the chemicals they inject into the ground. Thomas-Blate says this is because of an exemption in the Safe Drinking Water Act known as the "Halliburton Loophole". American Rivers is calling on Congress to close the loophole and for West Virginia and Pennsylvania to regulate the fluids put into the ground and waterways.
The Gauley River is number 3 on the list because of mountaintop removal coal mining.