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Martin's Creek in Hop Bottom, PA, flows through the Dennis Farm. Denise Dennis and her brother Darryl Gore visited their 153-acre family homestead which has been in the family for seven generations, since their ancestor Prince Perkins became one of the first free blacks to settle in Susquehanna County in 1793. <br />
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Dennis hopes to restore the farm, which includes a family graveyard, original foundations and spring, and an 1859 farmhouse above Martin's Creek. However, uncertainty about natural gas drilling on adjacent properties has made finding funding impossible. Dennis herself sometimes swears she will not lease her land for drilling, but at other times wonders if revenue from gas wells could fund restoration of the property. <br />
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Hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is new method of drilling for natural gas: millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are pumped down a well under high pressure. The pressure fractures the shale, opening fissures so that natural gas can flow more freely. In August 2010, fracking is being widely used in the Marcellus Shale formation under Pennsylvania while New York considers a moratorium until the environmental effects can be reviewed. <br />
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The 2005 Energy Policy Act exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, methane and xylene that have been found in contaminated drinking water near drilling sites. On the other hand, gas companies and property owners stand to earn up to one trillion dollars in profits from drilling in the Marcellus Shale.<br />
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© Michael Forster Rothbart<br />
www.mfrphoto.com <br />
607-267-4893 o 607-432-5984<br />
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Photo by: Michael Forster Rothbart<br />
Date: 8/2010    File#:  Canon 5D digital camera frame 75245
Martin's Creek in Hop Bottom, PA, flows through the Dennis Farm. Denise Dennis and her brother Darryl Gore visited their 153-acre family homestead which has been in the family for seven generations, since their ancestor Prince Perkins became one of the first free blacks to settle in Susquehanna County in 1793.

Dennis hopes to restore the farm, which includes a family graveyard, original foundations and spring, and an 1859 farmhouse above Martin's Creek. However, uncertainty...
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