Tuesday, January 29, 2013

PA Marcellus News Digest 1/29/13

PA Marcellus News Digest
January 29, 2013

Special: VIDEO: Unsafe conditions at fracking site
Times Online
Randy Moyer, who trucked brine from wells to treatment plants and back to wells, now suffers from dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, difficulty breathing, swollen lips and appendages, and a fiery red rash that covered about 50 percent of his body.


Fracking taps a mile-deep danger
Times Online
Rachel Morgan
Jan 28
Judy Armstrong Stiles had no idea what she was signing away when she and her husband Carl agreed to let Chesapeake Energy operate natural gas wells on their Bradford County land.

The public’s right to know about pipeline projects
Daily Local
Sen. Andy Dinniman
Guest Columnist
Jan 29
Protecting your rights, your home, neighborhood and local environment against harm from a gas pipeline project is never easy.

DEP pulls permit, to allow comment
Firm seeks to use fracking material on roads, sidewalks
Don Hopey
Jan 29
The state Department of Environmental Protection has rescinded a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment permit that would have allowed a New Jersey company to spread chemically contaminated salts on roadways, sidewalks and fields statewide.

Former President George W. Bush to appear at Pittsburgh gas conference
Pitt Trib
Timothy Puko
Jan 28
Former President George W. Bush will visit Pittsburgh this fall to speak at a gas industry conference, organizers said.

UGI pushes ahead with pipeline plans
Citizens Voice
Elizabeth Skrapits
Jan 25
Although plans for a natural gas compressor station in West Wyoming are temporarily on hold, UGI Energy Services still plans to construct a pipeline that will provide UGI Penn Natural Gas customers with gas from Northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.

Fracking wastewater can be highly radioactive
Times Online
Rachel Morgan
Jan 24
Its contents remain mostly a mystery. But fracking wastewater has revealed one of its secrets: It can be highly radioactive. And yet no agency really regulates its handling, transport or disposal. First of a four-part series on radiation in fracking wastewater.

DEP backtracks on radiation issue
Times Online
Rachel Morgan
January 25
HARRISBURG -- For months, the state Department of Environmental Protection denied that radiation in wastewater from natural gas drilling was an issue. On Thursday night, the state announced plans to study the effects of radiation in natural gas drilling wastewater.

Statewide Organizations Present   2013 Environmental Guidelines for Pennsylvania Legislators
Jan 29
(full text below)
Contact: Josh McNeil, 215.564.3350,

Harrisburg - Five of Pennsylvania’s largest statewide environmental organizations today presented the 2013 Environmental Guidelines for Pennsylvania Legislators. Developed by Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of PA, PennEnvironment, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), and the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, the brief document outlines the environmental issues likely to be discussed in Harrisburg in 2013 and offers legislators recommendations for pro-environment action.

A PDF of the guidelines is available at www.conservationpa.org/2013-guidelines

“Our legislators will make important choices about the future of Pennsylvania’s environment this year,” said Josh McNeil of Conservation Voters of PA. “Bills and amendments change, but there are simple, steady, pro-environment principles that should guide legislators as they make their decisions.”

The organizations addressed five issues likely to come to before the legislature in 2013: Vital Environmental Agencies, Public Transportation and Maintaining Roads, Renewable Energy, Marcellus Shale Drilling, and Green Building.

On Environmental Agencies:

“At a time of unprecedented threats to our environment, the legislature has slashed funding for the vital agencies that protect our air, land and water,” said Myron Arnowitt of Clean Water Action. “The legislature should prioritize and restore funding for the DEP, DCNR, and DRBC, and should not divert resources for these agencies from already-dedicated special accounts such as the Oil and Gas Lease Fund.”

On Public Transportation and Maintaining Roads:

"Pennsylvania desperately needs funding for increased public transportation that will reduce our carbon footprint and our reliance on oil," said David Masur of PennEnvironment. "Legislators should vote to increase funding for the Commonwealth's 67 public transportation systems and focus on fixing and maintaining existing infrastructure rather than spending taxpayer money building the proverbial road or 'bridge to nowhere'."

On Renewable Energy:

“Solar and wind energy provide thousands of jobs in the Commonwealth, but the law in place to support these clean energy sources is under attack by the dirty natural gas and garbage incineration energy industries," said Jeff Schmidt of the Sierra Club. "Our legislature should be working to protect public health by increasing clean wind and solar energy, and avoid weakening our Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards law.”

On Marcellus Shale Drilling:

“Pennsylvanians have both the right to know all of the facts about gas drilling in their communities and the right to make zoning decisions about drilling at the local level,” McNeil said. “State politicians should resist new efforts to preempt local zoning decisions and support greater transparency from the gas industry and the state government.”

On Green Buildings:

“Building smart, energy-efficient public buildings will reduce energy use and pollution, create jobs, and reduce costs for Pennsylvania’s taxpayers,” said Steve Stroman of PennFuture. “The legislature should pass legislation requiring construction projects for state-owned buildings to meet high-performance green building standards.”

The guidelines presented at the press conference will be made available to each legislator in both print and digital formats.  Legislators are encouraged to contact the organizations involved with comments and questions.

"Our members and tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians will be paying close attention to see if our legislators live up to these environmental principles," said Masur. "Our elected officials will have to make a choice: stand up for Pennsylvania's health and environment, or let powerful interests define the environmental agenda for the Commonwealth."

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