Controversial billboard depicting contaminated water comes down

The Sautners from Dimock put up a billboard that has a picture of their dirty water and the words “FIX IT” on Rt. 29 in the heart of Cabot Oil & Gas territory. As soon as it went up, they held a press conference.  Angry pro-gas neighbors were also there –  and Cabot spokesman George Stark.

Read the details here: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/controversial-billboard-depicting-contaminated-water-comes-down-1.1184658#axzz1UBDbLfOQ

SPORTSMEN MARCELLUS SHALE SUMMIT

Saturday, June 4th
University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown Campus

In the heart of the Marcellus Shale region, sportsmen and women, and conservation groups are working together to identify and propose solutions to mitigate the impacts from gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on hunting, fishing and trapping experiences.

Learn more about the Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation efforts and listen to experts in the field, along with sportsmen and women with first-hand experience, discuss the following topics:

  •    Potential impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development on wildlife, coldwater    fisheries, and habitat and forest ecosystems;
  •    Impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development on the outdoors experience;
  •    Lessons from oil & gas development in the West;
  •    What you can do as an individual outdoorsmen; and
  •    How sportsmen and women interests can be protected through policies and best
    management practices that protect fish, wildlife and the outdoors experience.

How to Register:
Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. and opening remarks will be offered at 8:45 a.m. The conference will conclude by 4:30 p.m. Attendance at the Summit is free. However, space is limited and registration is required. Registration closes on May 31st. Save your space now, by registering herehttp://www.tu.org/conservation/eastern-conservation/marcellus-shale-project/summit 

Attendance is free, space is limited, registration is required, and registration closes on May 31, 2011

 Directions to the Summithttp://www.sportsmenalliance.org/directions.htm

Food and Lodginghttp://www.sportsmenalliance.org/FnL.htm

To read about this event online, click here:

http://www.sportsmenalliance.org/conference.htm

To read about Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Shale Conservation is, click here:
One thing the organization says about its focus is this:
“Even with the best environmental standards in place,
the immense number of wells projected to be drilled in the Marcellus Shale is likely
to have a cumulative impact on the region’s wildlife and coldwater fisheries, that will
in turn affect hunters and anglers and the recreational economies built upon these
sporting traditions. For these reasons, sportsmen and women from across the
Marcellus Shale region are coming together to identify and propose solutions to
mitigate the impacts from gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on hunting, fishing
and trapping experiences.” (see: http://www.sportsmenalliance.org/index.html)


Video: Natural gas blow back in Bradford county

Frac fluid spills from well for 20 hours at Chesapeake site near Canton. Fluid flowed into a creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna. For more details, see

http://www.wnep.com/wnep-brad-leroy-gas-drillingemergency20110420,0,1884646.story

EPA Wants to Look at Full Lifecycle of Fracking in New Study – Gas industry not happy

by Nicholas Kusnetz

ProPublica, Feb. 9, 2011, 2:32 p.m

The EPA has proposed examining every aspect of hydraulic fracturing, from water withdrawals to waste disposal, according to a draft plan the agency released Tuesday. If the study goes forward as planned, it would be the most comprehensive investigation of whether the drilling technique risks polluting drinking water near oil and gas wells across the nation.

The agency wants to look at the potential impacts on drinking water of each stage involved in hydraulic fracturing, where drillers mix water with chemicals and sand and inject the fluid into wells to release oil or natural gas. In addition to examining the actual injection, the study would look at withdrawals, the mixing of the chemicals, and wastewater management and disposal. The agency, under a mandate from Congress, will only look at the impact of these practices on drinking water.

The agency’s scientific advisory board will review the draft plan on March 7-8 and will allow for public comments then. The EPA will consider any recommendations from the board and then begin the study promptly, it said in a news release. A preliminary report should be ready by the end of next year, the release said, with a full report expected in 2014.

A statement from the oil and gas industry group Energy in Depth gave a lukewarm assessment of the draft. “Our guys are and will continue to be supportive of a study approach that’s based on the science, true to its original intent and scope,” the statement read. “But at first blush, this document doesn’t appear to definitively say whether it’s an approach EPA will ultimately take.”

The study, announced in March, comes amid rising public concern about the safety of fracking, as ProPublica has been reporting for years. While it remains unclear whether the actual fracturing process has contaminated drinking water, there have been more than 1,000 reports around the country of contamination related to drilling, as we reported in 2008. In September 2010, the EPAwarned residents of a Wyoming town not to drink their well water and to use fans while showering to avoid the risk of explosion. Investigators found methane and other chemicals associated with drilling in the water, but they had not determined the cause of the contamination.

Drillers have been fracking wells for decades, but with the rise of horizontal drilling into unconventional formations like shale, they are injecting far more water and chemicals underground than ever before. The EPA proposal notes that 603 rigs were drilling horizontal wells in June 2010, more than twice as many as were operating a year earlier. Horizontal wells can require millions of gallons of water per well, a much greater volume than in conventional wells.

One point of contention is the breadth of the study. Chris Tucker, a spokesman for Energy in Depth, said he understands the need to address any stage of the fracking that might affect drinking water, but he’s skeptical that water withdrawals meet the criteria. “The only way you can argue that issues related to water demand are relevant to that question is if you believe the fracturing process requires such a high volume of water that its very execution threatens the general availability of the potable sources,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The EPA proposal estimates that fracking uses 70 to 140 billion gallons of water annually, or about the same amount used by one or two cities of 2.5 million people. In the Barnett Shale, in Texas, the agency estimates fracking for gas drilling consumes nearly 2 percent of all the water used in the area.

The EPA proposes using two or three “prospective” case studies to follow the course of drilling and fracking wells from beginning to end. It would also look at three to five places where drilling has reportedly contaminated water, including two potential sites in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, and one site each in Texas, Colorado and North Dakota….

To read this article in full online, view the photos, videos, sidebar topics and access the links within it, click here:

http://www.propublica.org/article/epa-wants-to-look-at-full-lifecycle-of-fracking-in-new-study

EPA to Hold Public Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing

EPA to Hold Public Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study In
Canonsburg July 22*

(*PHILADELPHIA** *- July 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is hosting an informational public meeting
in Canonsburg, Washington County, Pa. about its proposed study of the
relationship between hydraulic fracturing and potential impacts on drinking
water.

The meeting will be held from 6-10 p.m., July 22, at the Hilton Garden Inn
in Canonsburg to provide information about the scope and design of the
proposed study, and give the public an opportunity provide input and comment
on the draft study plan.

 Hydraulic fracturing is a process used for extracting natural gas or oil
from shale and other geological formations. By pumping fracturing fluids
(water and chemical additives) and sand or other similar materials into rock
formations, fractures are created that allow natural gas or oil to flow from
the rock – through the fractures – to a production well for extraction.

In March 2010, EPA announced that it will study the potential adverse impact
that hydraulic fracturing may have on drinking water.  In developing the
study, EPA is holding a series of meetings to receive public input about
specific drinking water, human health or environmental concerns that need to
be factored into the study.

To support the planning and development of the study, the agency sought
suggestions and comments from the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB), an
independent, external federal advisory committee. The agency will use this
advice, as well as extensive public input in designing the study.

EPA requests that citizens who are interested in attending to *pre-register
by Monday, July 19.* EPA will also hold meetings about the study on, July 8
in Fort Worth, Texas; July 13 in Denver, Colo.; and, August 12
in Binghamton, N.Y.

Call 1-866-477-3635 toll free to register.  Or register on-line at:
http://hfmeeting.cadmusweb.com.

Those wishing to contribute comments to EPA regarding the proposed hydraulic
fracturing research study may also submit electronic comments to EPA at
hydraulic.fractur@epa.gov ; or send written comments to:

Jill Dean

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Mail code 4606M,

Washington, DC  20460.

A Letter to the Editor…

The following letter to the editor in today’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette has some interesting ideas. Whether or not you agree with any or all of these, it surely will get you considering ways to think out of the box in addressing gas drilling issues.

A Gas Drilling Protection Plan-Posted April 29th-letter to the editor

I was surprised how fast the gas drilling industry charged into Pennsylvania and I suspect once our natural gas wealth is taken, the profiteers will be equally fast in leaving. We will be left with a destroyed landscape, massive pollution, and for decades with the clean-up costs. Pennsylvania’s gas wealth belongs to the people, not the grab and go profiteers. We can not stop it, but we can control it, and share it. We must demand our elected officials return all contributions from the drillers or give it to a charity and that they notify the public of every lobbying contact. If they don’t and do not pass the following legislation, let’s vote them out of office.

We need an immediate moratorium on drilling until the following can be enacted:

1. An annual $5,000 per well drilling fee.

2. Five cents per gallon for the water drained from our creeks and rivers.

This money would be used to hire hundreds of inspectors and auditors to monitor drilling activity independent of but as a complement to our under-staffed DEP….

To read the full letter, click here:

http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/542635.html?nav=5008

Natural Gases in Ground Water near Tioga Junction, Tioga County, North-Central Pennsylvania

The following is the opening statements from journeyoftheforsaken.com

Note: The following is excerpted from an excellent and relatively revealing study of the Tioga Junction area, conducted by the USGS. I found this report particularly helpful because it helps explain the uncertainty associated with isotopic analysis – particularly in alluvial mixing zones.

Currently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and some area oil and gas operators in our region rely upon a thermogenic signature detection method that fails to account for obvious environmental factors and relies too greatly upon flawed assumptions ultimately yielding bias and therefore inaccurate results suggesting that a sudden appearance of methane gas in stream beds and alluvial areas is purely biogenic in nature.

This report reveals key factors which, when properly considered, demonstrate certain mechanisms which would facilitate a mixed and more complicated hydrogeologic dynamic and therefore truer assessment of groundwater/surface water contamination.

I’ve noted some of these key revelations in bold blue font.

Read the report here:

http://www.journeyoftheforsaken.com/tiogajunctionpa.htm

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