STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) ― The state Agriculture Department has quarantined 28 head of cattle at a central Pennsylvania farm after officials said the animals came in contact with wastewater that leaked from a holding pond for a natural gas well on the property...more
By Jon Bogle (email@example.com) www.responsibledrillingalliance.org
In a response sent by Penn State Dean William Easterling to the Responsible Drilling Alliance (RDA), a non-profit organization based in Williamsport, PA, the University admits that the original version of a natural gas industry study was flawed. In the Penn State letter, Dean Easterling states that in that initial version, “we found flaws in the way the report was written and presented to the public.” Easterling replies that the first report did not identify the sponsor of the research and he suggests, “…the authors may well have crossed the line between policy analysis and policy advocacy.”...more
Penn State gas drilling study questioned over industry tie; school, researcher defend work
By GENARO C. ARMAS Associated Press Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. June 14, 2010 (AP)
A Penn State study that paints a rosy forecast on the economic potential of natural gas drilling has been greeted with skepticism from a citizens' group and a think tank that favors a severance tax largely because the research was funded by an industry group.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition will pay more than $50,000 for the study released last month co-authored in part by researchers at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the university said...more
DEP chief seeks tougher oversight of Marcellus Shale drilling
June 17, 2010
By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- The state's top environmental official wants the state Legislature to enact laws to reinforce his regulatory power to control safety at Marcellus Shale drilling sites.
John Hanger, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, told the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Wednesday that putting his powers into law would protect the state from potential lawsuits challenging his authority. That is particularly true as Marcellus Shale drilling expands throughout the state, he said...more
State Lawmakers Call For Drilling Moratorium In Pa.
June 13, 2010
HICKORY, Pa. -- Some state lawmakers including Senator Jim Ferlo and Congressman Joe Sestak are calling for a moratorium on drilling until environmental concerns can be addressed.Two recent accidents at Marcellus Shale drilling sites, in Clearfield County, Pa., and in Moundsville, WV., have officials concerned. In both cases no one was injured, but people living near the sites are worried about more accidents.About 40 people from Upper Burrell toured Marcellus Shale drilling sites in Hickory, Washington County on Sunday...more
Marcellus shale drilling yet to reach Erie and Crawford counties
June 4, 2010
By JIM MARTIN, Erie Times News
The money and the jobs could flow as quickly from the Marcellus shale as the natural gas itself.
The Marcellus, called one of the most significant natural-gas finds in history, is expected to create more than 200,000 jobs and produce the equivalent of 87 billion gallons of oil -- equal to 12 years' worth of U.S. energy consumption...more
I dismissed President Obama’s critics when they first started comparing his response to BP’s oil spill to President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. After all, Mr. Bush had several days to prepare for the hurricane, a fact that clearly distinguishes the current catastrophe unfolding before our eyes.
Since then, however, Mr. Obama has seemingly set out to prove his critics right. The president’s response lacks any sense of urgency.
After a month of BP’s underestimation of the scope of the spill (“The Measure of a Disaster,” by Ian R. MacDonald, John Amos, Timothy Crone and Steve Wereley, Op-Ed, May 22), Mr. Obama finally set up a commission to investigate what went wrong. A commission should have been set up weeks ago.
With each passing day, tens of thousands of barrels of oil continue to contaminate the Gulf of Mexico, and the president doesn’t seem to be taking seriously enough the long-term damage that is being unleashed on our environment, our economy and his presidency.
May 13, 2010. State Rep. David K. Levdansky, D-Forward Township, Wednesday brought to Williamsport his campaign to garner support for legislation imposing a severance tax on natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale.
Levdansky, who is chairman of the House Committee on Finance, hosted a committee hearing at Lycoming College where testimony was presented regarding his proposed legislation.
He is one of three state legislators - Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, and Rep. Camille "Bud" George, D-Houtzdale, are the others - proposing a tax on natural gas.
Levdansky, however, said his legislation is easier to calculate in that it sets a tax of 25 cents per million cubic feet - a rate that can be adjusted annually - compared to the other proposals, which sets the tax at 4.7 cents per million cubic feet and 5 percent of the gross value per million cubic feet.
The proposed legislation, House Bill 2443, exempts shallow well gas from being taxed. Levdansky said shallow well operations only are marginally profitable and could be put out of business by a severance tax.
Energy industry pumps legislators
Money flows to local campaigns in effort to avert tax on gas
By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
May 12, 2010. HARRISBURG -- For several years, energy companies that drill for natural gas in Pennsylvania have been speaking out against Gov. Ed Rendell's plan to slap an "extraction tax" on the gas they will pump from deep underground.
These major firms, which include Dominion, Consol, Chesapeake Energy, Range Resources and others, are also putting their money where their mouths are -- pumping sizeable contributions into the campaign coffers of state politicians in an effort to avert the new tax, citizen watchdog and environmental groups said Tuesday.
"The natural gas industry made $2.85 million in campaign contributions to Pennsylvania candidates (and) political action committees between Jan. 1, 2001, and March 29, 2010," said Common Cause/Pennsylvania Director Barry Kauffman, who was joined by officials from the League of Women Voters, Penn Future and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a liberal group.
Most of the big recipients of the gas industry largesse were politicians from Western Pennsylvania. Topping the list was Attorney General Tom Corbett of Shaler, the leading Republican candidate for governor in Tuesday's primary, at $361,000, with 93 percent of that money coming since January 2008.
Rendell announces drilling deal that protects land
By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
May 12, 2010. HARRISBURG - Gov. Rendell said Tuesday that a deal to lease 33,000 acres of state forest land for new natural-gas drilling will partially address the state's revenue needs and help protect pristine land that might have been threatened by additional drilling.
Rendell, at a news conference, said Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. would pay the state $120 million to drill on 11 tracts in north-central Pennsylvania, adjacent to the company's existing wells.
Most important, he said, the land has already been disturbed by earlier shallow-well gas drilling - so the new deep-well activity will not affect undisturbed forest.
"This is a responsible approach that meets our revenue targets and limits the impact of additional natural-gas exploration in our state forests," Rendell said.
Companies seek eminent domain status to lay gas pipelines
By David Falchek
May 8, 2010. When Laurie and Brian Kaszuba of Dickson City received a $16,000 offer from a pipeline company to run a natural gas pipeline through their Great Bend property, they didn't see it as a windfall.
Having a natural gas line three feet below the surface with a right-of-way on the surface, would have made it more difficult to build their retirement home or subdivide the land. So they turned it down.
If pipeline companies eyeing the Marcellus Shale region have their way, property owners won't likely have that option.
Laser Marcellus Gathering LLC, of Houston, has applied to the Public Utility Commission to be declared a utility in Pennsylvania, a designation that would give the company the power to condemn any property it needs and to use eminent domain to obtain easements for pipelines...more
Red flags raised over gas wells
DEP secretary issues warning at Marcellus shale conference at Duquesne University
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 4, 2010. Pennsylvania needs tougher regulations for Marcellus shale gas drilling, aggressive, independent enforcement, and a severance tax on the gas extracted, according to state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger.
And yesterday would not be soon enough to get all of that done and "done right" to protect the state's water resources, said Mr. Hanger in a forceful keynote speech opening the Marcellus Shale Policy Conference at Duquesne University on Monday.
"Let me be clear: Self-regulation doesn't work. That's not contestable," Mr. Hanger told the audience of about 250, including a significant number of gas industry representatives. "We've made mistakes before. We have to get this right or the costs will overwhelm the benefits."...more
Amendment Reduces Would-Be Moratorium Ban to 3 Years
By Alex Roarty
May 3rd, 2010. A proposed moratorium on leasing state forest land for natural gas drilling would now last only three years after House lawmakers adopted an amendment Monday reducing the ban from five years, setting the stage for the bill’s passage in the chamber this week. The amendment, written by state Rep. Dave Levdansky (D-Allegheny) and approved by an overwhelming majority of members, also calls on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to conduct a study on the environmental and socio-economic impact of the drilling. It was adopted as part of long-considered legislation, House Bill 2235, backed by Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), to temporarily halt further leasing of state land, a goal of many of the state’s environmental advocates who have raised concerns about the state losing its public forest land. It attracted greater support after it became clear the moratorium wouldn’t affect an upcoming round of state-forest leasing, set to raise $112 million for next fiscal-year’s budget...more
April 29, 2010. Complaints over odors associated with natural gas drilling have prompted the state Department of Environmental Protection to begin air sampling near those operations in Washington and Greene counties.
The DEP will begin analyzing air quality in four phases, including downwind from active drill sites, compressor stations, drip tanks, well heads, gas well flares and wastewater impoundments related to Marcellus Shale gas well drilling.
Although the sampling will be conducted in four-week phases, DEP spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said it will not necessarily be four consecutive weeks. The sampling will be completed by June.
"There's no question that people are complaining that there are odors related to gas well drilling," she said. The complaints include odor emanating from an impoundment or detected after drilling has begun in a certain area...more
ADP Comment: What in the world would the DEP be surveying possible air quality problems - odor - if you smell it you are already impacted by the air pollution - at drilling sites, tank farms, and compressor stations.
That's standard engineering information readily available - the DEP already knows what VOCs, HAPs. Nox, Sox, Co, particulate matter are coming off of tank farms, drilling sites, compressor stations based on size of facilities, number of compressors, etc.
Its the same old story - allow the compressor station to be constructed under a general permit - company puts little or no noise control on plant to save as much money as possible - air pollution testing to be done after plant is up and running - find out it exceeds air quality limits - grant it a revised permit - company waits awhile before revealing it wants to add additional compressors to facility and will need a new revised permit because it is now a major source of air pollution located next to communities and homes in addition to blasting property owners with low frequency noise in the range of fog horns that travel through physical objects.
Really, how many times does this same old story need to happen to our Pennsylvania citizens and communities before we wake up. Just visit the citizens on the ground that are living this nightmare.
Rendell signals flexibility on tax An abatement on natural gas like in Arkansas could be an option for Pa.
(ADP Comment Below)
By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
May 2, 2010. Facing stiff resistance from the natural gas industry, Gov. Rendell has expressed a willingness to make concessions on his proposal to tax the Marcellus Shale gas bonanza.
Rendell, in a recent talk in Texas, encouraged the industry to accept a "modest and reasonable severance tax" and singled out the 5 percent levy on gas production in Arkansas.
The governor's mention of Arkansas is significant because the Razorback State cuts the tax rate for shale-gas wells to 1.5 percent during the first three years of production. The tax relief allows operators to speed up recovery of their drilling costs, which typically amount to about $4 million a well. The tax break can be substantial because wells generate as much as half their production in the first three years of operation. (Though a well might produce gas for decades, production typically declines in a steady downward curve as well pressure is lost.)...more
ADP Comment: The below statement attributed to Rendell is absurd. The well would be most productive after being drilled with the greatest tax abatement for the severence tax. Furthermore, Pa citizens didn't tell the companies to come to PA and spend 4 million to drill a hole in the ground. This is really laughable. The oil and gas industry wants taxpayers to subsidize free enterprise - that's socialism. Remember socialism is bad except when corporations are hogging it at the public trough.
"The governor's mention of Arkansas is significant because the Razorback State cuts the tax rate for shale-gas wells to 1.5 percent during the first three years of production. The tax relief allows operators to speed up recovery of their drilling costs, which typically amount to about $4 million a well."
Pa. leases land under Susquehanna River to gas driller
By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
May 6, 2010. Pennsylvania has devised a new way to make money from the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom: leasing the mineral rights beneath the Susquehanna River.
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources signed a $6.15 million agreement Monday with Chesapeake Energy Corp., giving the company the right to drill the shale under a seven-mile stretch of the Susquehanna in Bradford County.
Under the lease, which applies to 1,500 acres of river between Towanda and the Wyoming County line, Chesapeake Energy is permitted to access the shale with wells drilled on either side of the river. No well bores will penetrate the river itself...More
Effects of fractured gas produces same emissions as coal
* Fractured gas produces 30 pct more emissions than oil
* Gas industry argues no hard data to support study
By Jon Hurdle
PHILADELPHIA, March 31 (Reuters) - Natural gas obtained by the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing may contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and so should not be considered as a cleaner alternative to coal or oil, according to a Cornell University researcher.
Although natural gas, when burned, produces only about half of the carbon dioxide emissions of coal, that calculation omits greenhouse gas emissions from the well-drilling, water-trucking, pipeline-laying, and forest-felling that are part of the production of hydraulically fractured natural gas, Ecology Professor Robert Howarth argues in a new paper.
Combining the effects of combustion, production, distribution, and leaked methane from hydraulically fractured natural gas gives the fuel about the same greenhouse gas emissions as coal and about 30 percent more than diesel or gasoline, Howarth says in the draft paper published in mid-March.
"A complete consideration of all emissions from using natural gas seems likely to make natural gas far less attractive than other fossil fuels in terms of the consequences for global warming," Howarth writes....More
The Marcellus Shale could be the biggest boom for Pennsylvania -- both economically and as an energy resource -- since Col. Drake struck oil.
But not everyone is sold on the idea that natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale can be done without a major impact on the environment.
The Marcellus Shale, also known as the Marcellus Formation, is a black, organically-rich shale that occurs in the subsurface beneath much of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York. Small areas of Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia also have deposits of this type of shale.
The Marcellus Shale measures more than 95,000 square miles and has become rapidly in demand by gas companies.
The presence of an enormous volume of potentially recoverable gas in this part of the United States could be of great economic significance. The Marcellus Shale will be some of the closest natural gas deposits to areas such as New Jersey, New York and New England that have high populations.
It has been estimated that the Marcellus Shale could contain more than 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Using proven horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing methods, as much as 10 percent of that gas might be recoverable. That would equal 50 trillion cubic feet. Geologists have estimated that volume of gas would be enough to supply the United States with enough natural gas for a period of two years.
And already, its potential importance to the economy of Pennsylvania is being felt.
“I actually think it's a tremendous blessing, given the financial situation the state has found itself in during the past 18 months to two years,” said Republican Congressman Glenn “G.T” Thompson, who represents the Fifth District, including Titusville. “The Marcellus Shale is a way for us to create prosperity right below our feet.”
Thompson noted that the Marcellus Shale was the third largest deposit of natural gas in the world.
“The economic activity seen in my district [because of the Marcellus Shale] started in Tioga County and is working its way west. It's amazing -- the number of jobs -- good jobs paying, $60,000 a year or better -- [that have been created because of the Marcellus Shale].
Thompson said that the amount of state tax revenue brought in by the Marcellus Shale in 2009 was between $600 and $650 million.
“This figure does not include hotel, restaurant and other [spin-off] jobs,” Thompson said. “In 2010, some estimates put the tax revenue [from the Marcellus Shale] from between a billion and two billion dollars.”
Thompson said he has looked closely at the environmental impact of drilling for gas there. “We should approach everything with balance,” Thompson said.
“We have the technology now that we didn't have 100 years ago,” he said. “The knowledge and science weren't as sophisticated back then. But I'm convinced we can do it now.”
Thompson said that the process of fracturing wells has been done successfully for 60 years and that a Penn State researcher with whom he had spoken said the drilling can be done without hurting the environment.
“I wanted to make sure we could do the drilling and still be good stewards of the Earth,” Thompson said.
Regulations are needed
But not all people are for drilling in the Marcellus Shale region.
“Oil and gas companies have a right to access their minerals,” said Cathy Pedler, Forest Watch coordinator for the Allegheny Defense Project. “However, there must be a statewide moratorium on issuing permits for Marcellus Shale and deep well gas drilling until there are comprehensive protective regulations in place, such as the process New York State has followed.
“Currently, there are no waste treatment facilities in Pennsylvania capable of treating the Marcellus hydraulic fracturing wastewater. There will not be a waste treatment facility capable of treating hydraulic fracturing wastewater for total dissolved solids and chlorides until 2013.
“There are no plans for treatment that would deal with many of the other contaminants in hydraulic fracturing fluid, including radioactive materials and carcinogenic industry chemical additives.
“Currently, there is no water quality protection for homeowners and no accountability for water withdrawal in western Pennsylvania,” Pedler said.
Pedler said that county and municipal governments must approve ordinances to protect the wells and springs of their citizens, their municipal drinking water sources, and the state's freshwater creeks and streams.
“Strict regulations must also be in place for 3-D seismic testing, which involves the use of explosives in a grid across the landscape,” said Pedler. “The use of explosives in this manner opens pathways for contamination into groundwater.”
VENICE, La. – An oil spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster spread out of control and drifted inexorably toward the Gulf Coast on Thursday as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.
The spill was both bigger and closer than imagined — five times larger than first estimated, with the leading edge just three miles from the Louisiana shore. Authorities said it could reach the Mississippi River delta by Thursday night.
Two local lawmakers confident oil and gas drilling on state forest lands right thing to do
Oil and gas drilling on state forest lands is a controversial topic in Pennsylvania, but the benefits to this region have two local lawmakers confident that it’s the right thing to do.
A bill has been introduced in the state House Majority Policy Committee in support of a five-year moratorium on additional leasing of state forest land for drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. The bill would require studies of the impact of drilling on public lands before the drilling could commence.
Hedgehog Lane oil spill clean-up reaching a conclusion
Clean-up efforts in the area of an oil spill that occurred near 172 Hedgehog Lane on March 11 are wrapping up, awaiting some precipitation to flush the remaining contaminant.
Approximately 1,800 gallons of crude oil has been recovered from the site so far by the contracted clean-up crew Environmental Coordination Services and Recycling Inc., according to state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Freda Tarbell.
Potter County roadways seeing effects of truck traffic as Marcellus Shale drilling heats up
Potter County roadways are seeing the effects of heavier truck traffic in some areas as the Marcellus Shale drilling projects pick up.
Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel explained that areas in West Branch Township south of Galeton have roads that show deterioration already.
When asked if the commissioners had concerns about this potential issue, Heimel said, “It’s already hitting and with all forecasts of increasing activity this year and in coming years, it is an issue that is going to worsen. It does demand some attention, and we are really thinking of funding.” MORE....
Fire under control
(AP)—A fire that erupted near a western Pennsylvania gas drilling site is now under control. The fire was reported Wednesday morning in an area of land used to collect wastewater from an Atlas Energy gas drilling project under way in Hopewell Township, Washington County. State officials say it appears gas on the surface of the wastewater caught fire. In January, the state Department of Environmental Protection fined Atlas Energy Inc. $85,000 for alleged violations at 13 well sites in southwestern Pennsylvania from late 2008 through July 2009. The department said at the time that Atlas did not take all precautions to prevent runoff, and it spilled diesel fuel and other industrial fluids onto the ground.
Source: Warren Times Observer, April 1
Pa. justices side with gas industry over landowner
By MARC LEVY (AP) – Mar 24, 2010
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania's high court sided Wednesday with the natural gas industry in a dispute with landowners who had sought to invalidate the leases they signed before the Marcellus Shale rush intensified and drove up land values.
In a 6-0 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a Susquehanna County judge's ruling that validated lease agreements that subtract drilling costs from the calculation of landowners' natural gas royalties.
"Certainly we're very pleased," said Pittsburgh lawyer Kevin C. Abbott, who had filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case on behalf of Chesapeake Energy Co. and other gas companies. "It does certainly look like a victory for the oil and gas industry."
The decision is expected to settle dozens of other cases pending in Pennsylvania's state and federal courts.
Crews are still cleaning up the oil that spilled earlier this month on Hedgehog Lane in Bradford Township, a Department of Environmental Protection official said Friday.
Freda Tarbell, DEP community relations coordinator, said the contracted cleanup company, Environmental Coordination Services and Recycling Inc., plans to continue flushing the area with water to remove as much residual crude oil as possible.
“There are small amounts of residual crude product that gets trapped in vegetation and debris along the stream banks,” she said. “The goal is to clean that all up.”
Crews will corral the waste by pushing it with water to an area where they can collect it, Tarbell said. If necessary, workers will use absorbent pads and booms to sop up what was on the surface and contain the waste.
On March 11, approximately 1,400 gallons of crude oil spilled on Schreiner Oil Co. property in the area of 158 Hedgehog Lane. Bradford Township Volunteer firefighters and a number of other emergency agency responded to the spill before ECS&R workers took over. The spill was contained within a quarter-mile stretch, with some containments near Willow Dale Cemetery.
Neighbors take a stand on noise, odor of gas drilling
Sunday, March 14, 2010
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Just outside a fence enclosing a field on Debbie Hanes' farm near Hickory in Washington County sits a noisy, smelly, two-story natural gas compressor station, running 24/7 and lit up at night like a minor league baseball park.
The rumbling noise of the four compressors in what's known as the Fulton Station is audible a little more than 700 feet away at Ms. Hanes' home in Mount Pleasant and to other residents of Washington Road up to a half-mile away...More
Tangle of private claims poses a major threat to a wonderland enjoyed by 1.8 million visitors a year
March 14, 2010
By Brian Nearing
ALLEGANY STATE PARK -- The world's first oil boom echoed through this mountainous part of Cattaraugus County more than a hundred years ago. The first oil well in the state opened here in 1864. But drilling petered out by the end of World War I, and all that remains of the industry in the state's largest wild area west of the Adirondacks are some abandoned wells.
But something else was left behind: a legal tangle of drilling rights still in private hands that lay claim to the ground beneath half of the state's largest park, which occupies some 65,000 acres about 60 miles south of Buffalo....More
There were several inaccuracies contained in a story appearing on page 2 of Wednesday’s edition of The Era regarding Schreiner Oil and Gas Co. complying with a Feb. 23 order issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection to resolve water issues as a result of the company’s drilling activity near Hedgehog Lane...More
Oil spill on Hedgehog Lane results in 1,400 gallons of crude spilled
March 12, 2010
By AMANDA NICHOLS and JOELLEN CHESNUT, Bradford Era
An oil spill on Hedgehog Lane in Bradford Township resulted in extensive clean-up operations and the closure of the road from the West Washington Street entrance to the area of 172 Hedgehog Lane for most of the day on Thursday. Officials believe the spill to be accidental, but the investigation continues....More
Traffic to gas wells concerns Highland supervisors
March 11, 2010
JAMES CITY – The Highland Township supervisors are concerned about the amount of heavy truck traffic en route to Marcellus Shale gas wells near Owl’s Nest.
Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the board, Supervisor Charlie Vaughn said “people don’t realize” how many trucks travel on township roads to reach the deep wells on the State Game Lands near Owl’s Nest....More
Schreiner Oil and Gas Co. complies with DEP orders
March 10, 2010
By AMANDA NICHOLS, Bradford Era
Schreiner Oil and Gas Co. has responded to and complied with a Feb. 23 order issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection, proposing a comprehensive permanent solution to water issues afflicting two homes as a result of the company’s drilling activity near Hedgehog Lane. ...More
Drinking water issues in Marcellus Shale region debated
March 4, 2010
By JOELLEN CHESNUT, Bradford Era
As Marcellus Shale drilling occurs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York state, issues with the process and potential harm to drinking water for residents in the areas where drilling occurs are continuing to be discussed. ..More
POGAM to merge with another industry group in light of Marcellus Shale drilling
March 3, 2010
By PATRICK CONNOLLY, Bradford Era
Due to industry attention from the Marcellus Shale drilling, the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association (POGAM) plans to merge with the Independent Oil and Gas Association of Pennsylvania...More
Marcellus shale could be a boon or bane for land owners
February 28, 2010
By Elwin Green, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When CNX Gas Corp. was spun out of Consol Energy Inc. in 2005, the infant company began life as a coalbed methane producer with tens of thousands of acres of land. Only later did it realize it held 161,000 acres that could produce natural gas from the sprawling geographical formation called the Marcellus Shale...More
DEP directs Schreiner Oil and Gas to resolve water issues for Hedgehog Lane residences
February 26, 2010
By JOELLEN CHESNUT, Bradford Era The state Department of Environmental Protection has directed Schreiner Oil and Gas to resolve water issues for two residences on Hedgehog Lane in Bradford Township. In a press release issued Thursday, the DEP noted that currently water supplies at seven homes have been restored. However, the problems for two families remain unresolved.
The order, which was issued Feb. 23, also directs the company to continue maintaining the other seven water supplies and to improve cement casing at three of its drilled oil/gas wells to prevent groundwater contamination....more
DEP Orders Schreiner Oil and Gas to Restore Water Supplies at Two Homes in McKean County
MEADVILLE -- The Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Schreiner Oil and Gas Co. to provide a permanent solution to water supply issues at two homes the company’s drilling activity impacted near Hedgehog Lane, McKean County....more
By Amy Goodman
Mike Markhamof Colorado has an explosive problem: His tap water catches fire. Markham demonstrates this in a new documentary, “Gasland,” which just won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize. Director Josh Fox films Markham as he runs his kitchen faucet, holding a cigarette lighter up to the running water. After a few seconds, a ball of fire erupts out of the sink, almost enveloping Markham’s head.
The source of the flammable water, and the subject of “Gasland,” is the mining process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”...more
Gas well foes vow to fight Rendell Lawmakers line up against governor's forest leasing plan
Monday, February 22, 2010
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A caucus of 37 "green dog" and "hunting dog" legislators is barking mad about a Rendell administration budget proposal that would seek to raise $180 million by leasing more state forest land for Marcellus shale gas well drilling...more
Game Commission sees no way to carry out study advice
February 19, 2010
By MARTHA KNIGHT, The Bradford Era
The Pennsylvania Game Commission administers more than 1.4 million acres of game lands, of which some 1.2 million acres are classified as forest. That’s a little over a quarter of the 4 million acres of state-owned public forest in Pennsylvania...more
CBF, Trout Unlimited Call For Ban On Marcellus Gas Wells In Floodplains After Incidents
February 19, 2010
PA Environment Digest
Marcellus Shale natural gas wells are being permitted and drilled in floodplains. Two such wells, one operated by Stone Energy along Wyalusing Creek in Rush Township, Susquehanna County, and one operated by XTO along Muncy Creek in Shrewsbury Township, Lycoming County already experienced flooding events. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Trout Unlimited call upon the Department of Environmental Protection to remedy this clear environmental and public health hazard...more
DEP Fines Jersey Shore $75,000 for Sewage Treatment Plant Operation, Discharge Violations
February 19, 2009
Daniel T. Spadoni, DEP Northcentral Regional Office
WILLIAMSPORT -- The Department of Environmental Protection has fined the borough of Jersey Shore $75,000 for operation and discharge violations at its sewage treatment plant in Lycoming County during 2008 and 2009.
“The borough had several violations of its gas well wastewater acceptance plan in addition to violations of its DEP discharge permit,” said DEP North-central Regional Director Robert Yowell. “This has resulted in a significant penalty assessment against the borough.”...more
Drill, Baby, Drill! The inside story of Ed Rendell's plot to pillage Pennsylvania's forests, consequences be damned.
February 17, 2010
By Isaiah Thompson
On March 27, 2009, Michael DiBerardinis, secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), dispatched an unusual memo to his boss, Gov. Ed Rendell. Though only two pages long, the note was, for career bureaucrat DiBerardinis, uncharacteristically impassioned in its plea that Rendell reconsider his request to lease an additional 40,000 acres of state forest to be drilled for natural gas....more