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Triple Divide [REDACTED]

2017
Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Public Herald Studios
Directed by Joshua B. Pribanic and Melissa Troutman
DVD , color, 53 min.
High School - General Adult
Activism, Earth Sciences, Fracking, Water Pollution, Water-supply


Reviewed by Angela R Davis, Engineering Liaison Librarian, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 2/8/2018

A triple divide is a point on the Earth's surface where three drainage basins meet. One such divide exists in north central Pennsylvania giving rise to the headwaters for three major rivers: Allegheny, Genesee, and Susquehanna. These rivers provide drinking water for millions of Americans. Public Herald, is a non-profit investigative news group that studied the impact of fracking over five years (2011-2016) in this unspoiled watershed.

Public Herald investigated claims of environmental contamination, specifically of drinking water, caused by shale gas extraction (fracking). The inaction of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to respond to these reports is a recurring theme. There seems to be a systemic problem with 72 complaints related to the 71 shale gas extraction wells dug in 2015 and 9,224 complaints were filed between 2005 and 2017.

The documentary provides an easy to understand overview of the fracking process by using graphics and clearly defined terms to make the concepts accessible to viewers unfamiliar with the topic. The use of well-conducted interviews with industry leaders, DEP officials, and Pennsylvania residents provide personalized stories of how fracking has affected the lives of those living near extraction wells. Additionally, several case studies are presented that demonstrate the negative impact fracking can have on the environment.

The filmmakers seem to be painting a picture of collusion between state regulators and the oil industry. The actual complaint documents and responses by DEP and industry are available on the film’s website, substantiating these claims. The DVD also provides bonus features of five separate interviews. These supplemental materials dig deeper into the topic.

Triple Divide [REDACTED] is recommended. It will be best used in a classroom setting to discuss fracking, environmentalism, and future energy usage.

Awards

  • People's Choice Award, Real to Reel Film Festival
  • Award of Merit, Accolade Global Film Competition
  • Runner Up, Audience Award, ReadingFilmFest