New York Next On National Tour Of New Fracking Documentary

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Triple Divide, a fracking documentary the Scranton Times Leader called “a bombshell that could reverberate across the state,” is headed to New York for a month of screenings and discussion with the journalists who created it, Melissa Troutman and Joshua Pribanic, visiting towns from western New York to the Big Apple.

New York is the third leg of the documentary’s national tour across shale regions of the United States starting at the Wellsville Creative Arts Center on January 24th at 7:00 p.m. Wellsville is directly downstream from the documentary’s namesake, the triple continental divide in Potter County, Pa. where the Genesee River is born. It’s also where the Allegheny River enters New York.

Reviews of Triple Divide call it the only documentary on the controversial subject of fracking capable of speaking to all sides. “Even if you have differences, you have to find common ground to speak about this,” says a Pennsylvania organic dairy farmer in the film.

Judy Eckert holds a bottle of her contaminated drinking water for the film, Triple Divide.. © jbpribanic

Judy Eckert holds a bottle of her contaminated drinking water for the film, Triple Divide. Judy’s water became undrinkable after fracking got underway on her neighbor’s property. © jbpribanic

Triple Divide investigations did find water contamination, “but that’s only the tip of the iceberg,” says Pribanic. “Our cradle-to-grave investigations broke the story on illegal waste pit burials, the ‘pre-drill test scandal,’ along with reports on injection wells, split-estates, the ‘pressure bulb,’ and more.”

Academy Award nominated actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates the documentary, adding his voice to the project after being shown an online screener just a few weeks before the final release. Ruffalo’s nonprofit Water Defense also investigates water testing and protection measures.

Though hard-hitting, Triple Divide is also seen as fair. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is highlighted in the film for weakly enforced regulations, but “Scott Perry, head of oil and gas at DEP,” says Troutman, “told me he’s seen the film and it’s very well done. This attests to its journalistic integrity and ability to bring concrete evidence from PA to everyone willing to sit at the table.”

Radioactive waste sits in containers on David Headley's property. These pits are sometimes buried, as Triple Divide uncovers in chapter 3 titled "Exceptional Value." photo: jbpribanic

Radioactive waste sits in containers on David Headley’s property. These pits are sometimes buried, as Triple Divide uncovers in chapter 3 titled “Exceptional Value.” photo: jbpribanic

The investigations also cover impacts to the most highly classified “Exceptional Value” streams in Pennsylvania, most of which emanate from the triple continental divide in Potter County, where Troutman grew up on an adjacent hill. Pribanic is an Ohio native, who says the film is an educational opportunity for all communities. “Even the most seasoned fracking vet will witness new concepts.”

The film is scheduled to screen in 12 locations across New York: Wellsville, Albany, Alfred, Elmira, Woodstock, Binghamton, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse with three shows in New York City. New York shares all of triple divide’s watersheds with Pennsylvania. “The ecosystem is the real border, not the stateline.” Troutman says, “I’m really excited about February 27th in Ithaca with FracTracker’s Karen Edelstein,who’s mapped the triple divide watersheds. Come find out which side of the divide you’re on!”

For a detailed list of Triple Divide screening times and locations visit or email To interview the filmmakers, call Joshua Pribanic at (419) 202-8503.


*The term ‘Fracking’ is used by the Union of Concerned Scientists to mean the complete picture of shale gas extraction. See Public Herald’s “What is Fracking?” video for a simple explanation of the practice.

Photos & Captions for Triple Divide:

caption: A farmer shares his story with Triple Divide about problems he encountered with damaged his crops from drilling and pipeline companies. © jbpribanic

caption: Triple Divide co-director Joshua B. Pribanic. © Melissa Troutman

caption: Triple Divide co-director Melissa A. Troutman. © jbpribanic

caption: Co-director Melissa Troutman walks toward a guard shack and well pad in Tioga State Forest during a shoot for Triple Divide. © jbpribanic

caption: Water contamination cases in DEP complaint files used in the production of Triple Divide. © jbpribanic

caption: David Headley’s flammable spring water is showcased in Triple Divide. It began to bubble and turned flammable shortly after a well pad was constructed on his property. © jbpribanic

caption: The view off of Jim Harkins back porch in Triple Divide’s chapter “Good Neighbor.” © jbpribanic

caption: Judy Eckert holds a gallon of her contaminated water in Triple Divide showing that not all water has to be discolored to have problems. © jbpribanic

caption: A torn American flag swings alongside a Triana energy flag in the “Split-Estate” chapter of Triple Divide. © Melissa Troutman

caption: The Triple Divide watershed starts in Potter County Pennsylvania and reaches across New York State.