As one of only four triple continental divides on the North American continent, everything is downstream for Triple Divide. From this peak, rain from a single storm can end up on three separate sides of the continent: the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Triple Divide headwaters feeds the largest area of Exceptional Value (EV), specially regulated water bodies in Pennsylvania - it also drains part of the state’s largest stand of publicly-owned forest - the last great wilderness.
Today, these Wilds of Pennsylvania are being divided in many ways by shale gas industrialization.
This film is the story of Public Herald’s first investigations into the inevitable, negative impacts from shale gas industrial development and how they are handled by the state, specifically the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
PH's 18 month investigation discovered recurring impacts: contaminated water, air, and land; intimidation and harassment; loss of property, investments, and standard of living; weak and under enforced state regulations; community disruption; destruction of the public trust; illness; fragmentation of Pennsylvania's last stands of core forest; and lack of protection over basic human rights.
Triple Divide tells a cautionary tale about the consequences of shale gas industrial development alongside a deficit of accountability. Though the stages of development for shale gas will one day end, taking many boom and bust jobs with it, contaminated groundwater aquifers, environmental damage, and injured stories will remain in the absence of strictly enforced state regulations.