Scott Township Commissioners Hold Public Forum Before Passing a Drilling Ordinance

On Tuesday, May 24, 2011 0 comments

Pennsylvania - Scott Township commissioners are holding a public hearing on May 24th as they continue working on an ordinance regulating natural gas drilling.

The ordinance is far from completion, however, commissioners are hoping the public forum will give residents a chance to offer their opinion on how they think the township should handle Marcellus Shale Drilling, if it were to come to their community. The forum was planned after neighboring community, Collier Township held several similar public meetings before passing a natural gas drilling ordinance in early May. 

According to an article on Chartiers Valley Patch, "Scott Township Commissioner David Calabria said some in the community may not want drilling, but the municipality does not have the ability to stop it outright. The best plan, he said, is to work out an ordinance that allows the township to regulate the industry."

“This is a discussion. We want to get the views from all the people,” Calabria said. “We’re trying to find the places that would be available for them (to drill) and go from there. You put restrictions in from the schools and churches and residential areas and go from there.”

There are not many places to drill in the township, but Calabria said there still need to be rules regulating where they do drill. He added there are some parameters already outlined, although there is plenty of room for changes an improvement.

“We’re somewhat safe (in Scott) but you have to be open and you can’t just say no to them,” Calabria said. “It’s still open for discussion. We still have a ways to go.”

"The public hearing in the municipal building at 301 Lindsay Road will begin right before the commissioners’ scheduled voting meeting."

To read the entire article, click here.

Pennsylvania Fines Chesapeake Energy $1.1 Million Dollars

On Thursday, May 19, 2011 0 comments

According to an article in the Bloomberg Business Week...

"Pennsylvania has fined Chesapeake Energy Corp. $1.1 million for contaminating well water and causing a tank fire during natural gas drilling operations.

The state environmental protection department said Tuesday that the well contamination fine was the largest it ever imposed against companies drilling in the Marcellus shale, energy-rich formations under the Appalachians.

Chesapeake agreed under a court-monitored consent order to pay $900,000 for contaminating water supplies and $188,000 related to a Feb. 23 tank fire at a drilling site.

The state agency said that throughout 2010 it investigated complaints of private water well contamination from residents of Bradford County in northeastern Pennsylvania. The agency said it determined that improper casing and cementing of wells allowed natural gas to seep into groundwater, contaminating the water supply of 16 families.

Chesapeake, based in Oklahoma City, agreed to fix the wells, take steps to prevent seepage and report complaints about water supplies, the agency said. It said $200,000 of the fine will go to a well-plugging fund.

The agency said the fire occurred during testing at a well in Washington County, near Pittsburgh. It blamed improper handling of a liquid form of natural gas called condensate. Under the agreement, Chesapeake must give the state agency a plan for any well that could produce condensate.

The environmental department secretary, Mike Krancer, said the well-contamination fine was the biggest penalty the agency had ever levied against an oil and gas operator, and the fire-related penalty was the biggest it could impose under state law.

Last month, a blowout at a Chesapeake gas well in rural northern Pennsylvania spilled thousands of gallons of chemical-laced water, contaminating a stream and leading to the evacuation of nearby families. Chesapeake said a piece of equipment failed while it was "fracking" or injecting a brew of water and chemicals at high pressure to break up rock formations and extract gas.

Chesapeake shares fell 42 cents to $29.20 in afternoon trading."

Click here to read the entire article.

Over a Hundred Gather at Morgantown WV Marcellus Shale Protest

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Over a hundred protesters gathered at the local courthouse in Morgantown, WV to protest the potential of marcellus shale drilling in their area.

According to the Associated Press, "Rallygoers and others who want to continue the protest can attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Friday, in the Morgantown High School cafeteria.

John Barnes tapped right to the source of the angst Wednesday morning as he stood on Courthouse Square to protest the planned drilling of two Marcellus shale wells in the Morgantown Industrial Park.
"I'm telling you, if we don't step up, it's going to be like a moonscape around here," said Barnes, who was among the crowd of 100 who turned out to discuss ways to persuade (or force) the gas industry to slow up on the extraction process that he says ruins streams and makes farmland barren.

Barnes was talking about work that started a week and a half ago in the city's industrial park near Westover to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale, a 450,000-year-old geographic formation running thousands of feet under Appalachia and the Allegheny Mountains, including most of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Northeast Natural Energy, of Charleston, is planning the work.

Energy experts say the shale's wellspring of natural gas can meet the United States' energy needs for the next 10-15 years.

But it doesn't yield its treasures easily.

The formation lies at least 8,000 feet beneath West Virginia's mainly rugged, and mostly rural, terrain.
Drilling in the shale means using about 6 million gallons per well of chemically treated water to fracture, or "frack," the buried rock to release the gas.

The water must first be drawn from area streams. Then, in its incarnation of "frack water," it must be pumped back out. In the industrial park, water is a triple issue, since the wells will be drawn around 1,500 feet from a drinking water intake for the Morgantown Utility Board.

That's too close, Barnes and others on Courthouse Square said. "

To read the rest of the article published by The Charleston Daily Mail, Click Here.

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