Drinking Water Source Protection Workshop

DEP to Hold Drinking Water Source Protection Workshop

WILKES-BARRE — The Department of Environmental Protection today invited water suppliers and local officials to learn how they can work together to better protect drinking water sources at a free workshop to be held next month in Bethlehem, Northampton County.

The workshop will be held from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, at the main campus of Northampton Community College. It will explore how communities can assess and protect the areas surrounding water sources, facilitate better local decision making on land use and open space preservation, and involve the public in contamination prevention efforts. Information on DEP’s source water protection technical assistance program also will be presented.

Those interested in attending must pre-register for the workshop by visiting www.drinkingwaterwise.org or by contacting Julie Kollar of the League of Women Voters’ Water Resources Education Network at 267-468-0555 or e-mail juliekwren@verizon.net.


To read the full DEP press release, click here:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=9159&typeid=1

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Mayor of Dish, TX to speak in Elmira, NY.

The  Mayor of Dish, TX, Calvin Tillman,  will be in Elmira Heights this Saturday, Feb 20th to speak out about the air and water contamination problems they are having and have had in Dish due to natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale.

The presentation will be held from 8:30am to 10:55am and has been relocated to the Heights Theater at 210 E. 14th Street in Elmira Heights. It is free and open to the public.

DEP Issues Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit to Williamsport’s TerrAqua Resource Management

First New Permit for Treating Drilling Wastewater to Be Issued in West Branch Susquehanna River Watershed.

WILLIAMSPORT — The Department of Environmental Protection today issued a system industrial wastewater discharge permit to TerrAqua Resource Management LLC of Williamsport that allows the company to treat and discharge 400,000 gallons per day of gas well drilling wastewater.

“This is the first new permit issued in the West Branch Susquehanna River watershed for treating gas well drilling wastewater,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “The monitoring requirements and stringent limits on total dissolved solids, chlorides and sulfates in this permit will protect the water quality of the West Branch Susquehanna River.”

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit requires TerrAqua to meet the proposed new regulatory standards of 500 parts per million for total dissolved solids and 250 parts per million for chlorides and sulfates. These standards will be required statewide effective Jan. 1, 2011.

TerrAqua has indicated that it will pursue a thermal treatment process capable of reducing total dissolved solid levels to less than 500 parts per million at all times.

The discharge permit also requires TerrAqua to monitor for radioactivity, a large number of metals, including barium, strontium, iron, manganese and aluminum, as well as organics such as toluene, benzene, phenols, ethylene glycol and surfactants.

The company’s application for the permit, which was submitted in August 2008, went through an extensive public participation process. More than 150 people attended a DEP public meeting held in July 2009 to discuss the permit and ask questions.

“The department received nearly 200 public comments regarding this permit application and have responded to and addressed all relevant questions and concerns raised in those comments,” Yowell said.

(NOTE: MANY RDA MEMBERS WERE AMONG THOSE WHO RAISED CONCERNS, URGING DEP TO DENY THIS PERMIT IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM. WE ARE GLAD THAT TERRAQUA HAS AGREED TO ADHERE TO THE  1-1-11 TDS PROPOSED REGULATIONS.

WE WILL FOLLOW THIS APPLICATION INTO ITS NEXT PHASE WHERE THE ACTUAL TECHNOLOGY WILL BE DEFINED.

ALSO OF CONCERN ARE AIR QUALITY ISSUES. WE WILL GET A BETTER IDEA ABOUT THESE AS THE APPLICATION PROGRESSES. )

TerrAqua now must submit a water quality management permit application to DEP for the treatment plant’s design and technology. This permit is required to construct and operate the plant.

The company has also applied for a general permit from DEP’s waste management program to process, recycle and reuse this wastewater for subsequent fracking operations.

The DEP Northcentral Regional Office has nine additional permit applications under review for proposed gas well drilling wastewater treatment plants in Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Lycoming, and Tioga counties. Proposed discharge points include the Susquehanna, Chemung, and Tioga rivers as well as several streams.

For more information, call 570-327-3659 or visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.

Uh-Oh!

Beneath Pennsylvania’s forests lies a treasure worth billions of dollars.

by Isaiah Thompson

Our capitol may be a cesspool of corruption — hello, Bonusgate — but we’ve got us a real nice state forest. Pennsylvania is one of nine states whose forests are certified “sustainable” by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

But even that proud jewel could get buried in the dung. Beneath Pennsylvania’s forests, beneath a big piece of rock known as the Marcellus Shale, lies another treasure — natural gas, worth billions of dollars, some of it on state-owned land. Uh-oh.

You can read the rest of this article at:

http://citypaper.net/articles/2010/02/04/pennsylvania-forestry-drilling-natural-gas

Refracking wells?

In an Q and A interview in the Williamsport Gaurdian, Richard Adams , a spokesman for Chief Oil and Gas said—
“Re-fracking is not a common event in the Barnett or any other shale field at this time and I would not expect it to be common in the Marcellus at any point in the future.”

If this were true, it would be a good thing.

If a well is only fracked once, then the number of fracks would equal the number of wells but if wells are refracked every few years the number of fracks grows exponentially larger than the well count.
Each refrack uses more water than the last, 25% more is the given figure.  Each refrack generates a new load of highly contaminated waste water. Each refrack restresses the well casings with 6000 to 8000 pounds per square inch of pressure.  Each refrack invites the danger of surface contamination by spilled or leaked concentrated chemicals.

When some folks in the Barnett Shale area of Texas were asked if Adam’s statement was true they gave these replies.

“Baloney!  I don’t have time to find references now but they are available. They don’t have to get a permit so no one really keeps track but it’s common knowledge.”

“Chk (Chesapeake) has told folks they plan to refrack many times over the life of the reserves..like every 3 or 4 years.”

“If they are on the lease side trying to say you will make lots of money…,and they refrack When they are talking about the environmental side, they say the opposite.”

“FALSE.  One of the pad sites near my home is refracked regularly due to several wells on the site. The frack trucks are also a common site on the highway. Ubiquitous is the word.”

“Absolutely they will refrack  and have already at many wells. The Industry folks I talked to relayed the probability of  every 3 to 5 years  depending on the well.”
And here’s what the industry has to say about it.

“It has been established that only 10% of GIP [gas in place] is recovered with the initial completion. Refracturing the shale can increase the recovery rate by an additional 8% to 10%. Simple reperforation of the original interval and pumping a job volume at least 25% larger than the previous frack has produced positive results in vertical shale wells.”

source:  Halliburton. Jan. 2007. “Developing Gas Shale Reserves .“ Advances in Unconventional Gas. A Hart Energy Publication. p. 28.
Focus on the Marcellus Shale By Lisa Sumi
FOR THE OIL & GAS ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT/
EARTHWORKS, MAY 2008
According to Halliburton, an oil and gas service company:
It is important to note that a well drilled in the Marcellus shale may have to be fracked several times over the course of its life to keep the gas flowing, and that each fracking operation may require more water than the previous one.

From a Devon investor report: (Devon is one of the major gas exploration companies in the Barnett shale)

In addition to the refracs, we have also drilled and completed several wells on 250-foot spacing rather than the 500-foot spacing that our existing proved reserves are based on. If the early success of the first several wells drilled on 250-foot spacing continues, there may be substantial additional reserves to be recognized in the Barnett Shale over the coming years.

Our gas drilling in the Barnett Shale and Selma Chalk continues to provide additional production and reserves as we continue to test the limits of each field, whether it is from down spacing, extending the limits of each field or refracking of existing wells. (emphasis added)

As an example of a successful refrac, Devon Energy has reported on a well from which production had declined from 2,000 mcfe/day to 500 mcfe/day after 4.5 years. A re-frac restored production to 1,600 mcfe/day initially, declining to 1,000 mcfe/day after 3 months, and has probably doubled the remaining reserves from this well.
I suppose this information speaks for itself.

Waterdog Update

Here’s an update on the Waterdog training coming up this month. Don’t forget to call Erika and let her know you are coming to the training. Contact me if you need her number.

Hello Waterdogs,

I wanted to let everyone know that I have finally confirmed the location for the Advanced Waterdog Training!!  It is Saturday, February 27, from 9-12 at the Ives Run Recreation area at the Tioga Hammond Lakes.  It will be held in the Visitor’s Center/Ranger Station.

This training is for current waterdogs only – but I only have some of the emails!!  I will be mailing out other fliers for those that I don’t have emails – so if you could please send this on to someone that you know is already a waterdog I would really appreciate it.  Also I have cards for everyone – I have redone the cards if you have already received one – they are more wallet friendly!!  So please let me know one way or the other if you are coming to the training – if you are not planning to attend the training I will mail your Id card to you.

Thank you,

Erica Tomlinson

Watershed Specialist

Tioga County Conservation District

Gas vs Wine

In New York state’s Marcellus Shale region the Keuka Wine Trail may soon get a new neighbor: a disposal facility for toxic brine flowback from natural gas drilling. In his latest column about drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation, journalist Peter Mantius of Burdett writes that local government officials may face tough calls over which to favor: the natural gas industry or the wine industry….

To read the article, click here

http://www.odessafile.com/features-Mantius7.html