Your front-page article "Sudden Death of Ecosystem Ravages Long Creek" (Sept. 20) is a most disturbing story. I plead with your editors not to let this story die until there has been an independent, scientific investigation as to how an ecologically healthy 38-mile creek in our area could be so utterly decimated in the span of three weeks.
Total dissolved solids (TDS), a byproduct of natural gas drilling in this region, have been demonstrated time and again in other parts of the country to be toxic to humans and wildlife. We all, including our children, swim, drink and bathe in this same water that appears to be significantly toxic. We all, either directly from fishing that creek or indirectly in other points of the food chain, consume this toxin in our food and water.
If a 38-mile creek can be laid to waste in 20 days, imagine what health consequences could be in store for humans who drink, eat and breathe in this region. The PG story points to TDS as the probable culprit in the sudden death of this waterway. I would suggest that an immediate suspension of natural gas drilling in Western Pennsylvania until an appropriate investigation is complete is called for.
EDWARD C. KETYER, M.D.