PA Marcellus News Digest February 27, 2012
Farmers turn up heat on drillers, public health reserach $ cut from impact fee, direct action (Occupy Well Street) planned to shut down drillers, lot's of leaks, more on Butler County contamination, DRN hits Sen. McIllhiney, leaseholders lobby to lift moratorium
Bill sacrifices our future
Centre Daily Times
Sierra Club's Gary Thornbloom
Letter to the Editor
By voting for House Bill 1950, state Sen. Jake Corman and state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff have put industrial development ahead of protecting our communities.
Pa. Farmer Ratchets Up Battle Against Shale Gas Industry
Stephen Cleghorn, a Pennsylvania farmer, knows the ins and outs of the natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing. He’s studied the risks and dangers. He’s witnessed the damage it’s wreaked on the environment.
Industries, drillers aid police in Ohio River shore security
Riverfront industries and gas drillers are helping police in Beaver County establish response plans for emergencies along the Ohio River shore and raise money to operate a patrol boat.
Fed Up Farmer Uses Pickup to Block Frack Trucks
NPR State Impact
For the last several weeks Jefferson County farmer Mike Bennett grew increasingly frustrated watching gas drilling related rigs drive past his farm on a road forbidden to heavy truck traffic.
Public Health Research Funds Cut From Impact Fee
NPR State Impact
Public health advocates say they’re disappointed by the lack of funding for Marcellus Shale-related health research in the recently signed Pennsylvania impact fee law.
Penn State report more bad news for pro-drillers
Says ‘dry' gas not worth effort
The news this week was bad enough for the Sullivan County landowners who've been waiting years to cash in on the natural gas beneath their land. Two State Supreme Court judges ruled in two separate cases that towns have the right to ban drilling through zoning.
Natural Gas Compressor Station in My Backyard? You Bet!
Northcentral PA (Driller Mouthpiece)
Central New York Oil and Gas (CNYOG) is planning to construct a Marc-1 Pipeline compressor station in my backyard. I’m all for it, not only because I work with the industry, but also because I know what it means to the economic livelihood of the area where I live.
Gas line replacement set to begin in July
Natural gas issues were at the forefront of the board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday, as officials discussed the replacement of the Transco pipeline and revising its zoning ordinance.
Lawrenceville, Pa. facility to recycle drilling wastewater
The Corning Leader
Lawrenceville, Pa. — A company is planning to build a treatment plant on the Tioga River in Lawrenceville to recycle wastewater from shale gas drilling.
A public hearing on the project, held by the Lawrenceville Borough Council, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Lawrenceville Fire Department, located at 7 Mechanic St.
'Occupy Well Street': Activist encourages peaceful Marcellus shale drilling protests
SCRANTON -- In the Pennsylvania hills where derrick lights cast an eerie glow into overcast skies, a frustration has begun to gnaw.
Some believe heavy industry is actively destroying all that’s pure and good around them. They can sense, like a toothache, the threat of fresh water fouled by chemicals.
Marcellus shale boom means more than drilling jobs
The gas rush is pointing Rusty Margaria toward what he hopes will be a career.
Margaria, 27, of West Middletown started working with Western Land Services Inc. in Cecil in October 2010 as an entry-level title searcher and earned a promotion to team leader less than a year later. He has seen that kind of life-changing opportunity happen for others in Washington County, where he has lived most of his life, he said.
Impact of drilling fee unknown
HARRISBURG - As counties with active Marcellus Shale wells decide whether to levy a drilling impact fee or not, the full implications of this newest twist in the use of local options in Pennsylvania are just starting to become apparent.
Drilling-related leaks becoming 'more and more of an issue'
A drilling-related leak into a stream last week prompted the state Fish and Boat Commission's eighth investigation since last fall into leaks from Butler County-area pipeline projects, according to spokesman Rick Levis.
Special Report: The truth about fracking
CBS 21 News
If you live in Pennsylvania you have heard of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, but how much do you know about it?
There have been claims that a series of earthquakes to hit Northeastern Ohio, including one that had a magnitude of 4, that may have been caused by wells related to fracking.
Washington County gas well leak likely bigger than thought
A gas well leak in Washington County likely involved 80 barrels of condensate, or wet natural gas, in the soil instead of two barrels, the state Department of Environmental Protection said on Friday.
Property Owners Lobby to Lift Drilling Ban Along the Delaware River
NPR State Impact
There’s still no word from the Delaware River Basin Commission on establishing new natural gas drilling regulations. The DRBC sent out its agenda for the regularly scheduled March 7 meeting, but drilling will not be discussed.
Pa. woman: Chemicals in my water in drilling area
EVANS CITY, Pa. — A woman says state environmental officials refused to do follow-up tests after their lab reported her drinking water contained chemicals, but it's unclear where the pollutants came from.
At least 10 households in the rural Woodlands community, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, in western Pennsylvania, have complained that recent gas drilling impacted their water in different ways.
Rex Energy to stop supplying water to Butler County homes
Janet and Fred McIntyre stopped showering in their Butler County home last summer when they broke out in severe rashes.
Eminent domain? It's an imminent problem for Pennsylvania
Amanda M. Olejarski
“Eminent domain” is probably the most- feared phrase that a property owner can hear — besides, of course, foreclosure. But what is eminent domain? It’s also known as a “taking” because eminent domain is the governmental power to take private property.
The Fracking Landscape: A Tale of Two Pennsylvanias
Pennsylvania's fracking frontlines have just been redrawn.
At first glance, the sweeping new law signed this month may seem a good deal for local communities. Over the next 15 years, the state is projected to rake in between $190,000 to $355,000 per gas well; 60 percent of that will go back to counties and municipalities, with the rest going to a state-managed fund for infrastructure projects. Proponents in the Republican-controlled legislature insist that the law levels the playing field for industry, while rewarding counties.
A Closer Look At PSU’s New Drilling Study
NPR State Impact
Yesterday, we told you about a preliminary Penn State University study showing no correlation between Pennsylvania’s natural gas drilling boom and crime rates. The study found calls to the State Police and arrests have stayed relatively level in Pennsylvania’s top drilling counties.
Some states unprepared for shale energy boom
CANONSBURG, Pa. – Aaron Dinnin's last job was as a prison guard. Before that, he was a roofer. Today, the 33-year-old West Virginian works in a shale gas field near his home and earns more money than ever before. "This is the best job I've ever had," he says.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network Calls on Sen. McIlhinney to Retract Misinformation
Delaware Riverkeeper Network sent a letter on Feb. 24 to State Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-10) calling for him to retract his recent public statements misinterpreting Act 13, the law enacted with the passage of HB1950, the Marcellus Shale law that adopts sweeping changes to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act and preempts municipalities’ control of gas drilling, exposing local residents to greater risk of pollution and community degradation from natural gas operations throughout the Commonwealth.
EPA, industry reach settlement on diesel in frack fluid
(full text below)
U.S. EPA and petroleum industry groups revealed the terms yesterday of a proposed settlement over the regulation of diesel use in an oil and gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing.
At issue is a relatively narrow issue of whether an announcement on EPA's website on the planned regulation of diesel in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could be subject to a legal challenge.
In papers filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last night, the parties said EPA is willing to reword parts of the page in order "to avoid protracted and costly litigation."
The agency now intends to issue guidance for public comment that will address how the Safe Drinking Water Act applies to the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing, the proposed settlement said. That could then be subject to a separate legal challenge.
Fracking involves the blasting a mixture of water, chemicals and sand or plastic beads into compressed rock to open cracks and release oil or gas.
Diesel is not regularly used in hydraulic fracturing, the drilling industry maintains, although environmentalists disagree (Greenwire, Jan. 19, 2011).
When the industry groups -- the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the U.S. Oil & Gas Association -- first filed their challenge over the website posting, they alleged the June 2010 announcement constituted a "final agency action" that is reviewable by a court.
Statements on the website "have created considerable confusion about the scope and impact of these requirements," the groups argued.
EPA responded in its court filings that the information posted on the website merely stated existing law -- namely, that the injection of diesel during hydraulic fracturing is covered by regulations implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Those regulations were in place before Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted hydraulic fracturing from the earlier act with the exception of the injection of diesel.
Click here to read the proposed settlement: http://www.eenews.net/assets/2012/02/24/document_gw_01.pdf