Under the Influence of Fracking?

In addition to the environmental and health threats posed by gas drilling, driving on PA roadways is also becoming more dangerous. 

The Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of Environmental Protection announced that during an October three-day joint safety enforcement operation, three out of every four drilling wastewater hauling trucks stopped were cited for safety violations.  Out of 1,175 trucks inspected, 207 were so dangerous they were immediately placed out of service, and 52 drivers were driving illegally. Here in Lycoming County, the record was even worse than the state-wide figures. Of the 340 vehicles inspected, 85% (289) were issued citations and 55 (nearly 1 in 5) were immediately taken off the road.

These are the trucks you see on the highway as you travel in the family car. These are the trucks that share PA’s back roads with busloads of school children.

This is an ongoing problem the drilling industry doesn’t seem to want to fix. Each drilling site requires upwards of 2,000 trucks hauling gravel, water, and chemicals in and toxic wastewater out.

As the industry pockets billions in profits, these vehicle fines are not much different from the DEP fines levied for illegal dumping and other environmental violations – just a part of the cost of business as usual.

PA’s Department of Environmental Protection Releases Video of Gas Leaks

This video is a bit slow to load but is worth watching if you have not had the opportunity to see a well pad or a leaky well.

http://pahomepage.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=161487&shr=addthis

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Speaking Out on Water Issues

Tiadaghton Audubon Society is pleased and privileged to have Sean Saville, National Field Director of the National Audubon Society speak on the Gulf Oil Spill at our annual meeting on Wednesday November 17 at 7:30PM in Mansfield Pa at the Holy Child Church, 242 South Main St. He has extensive and intimate knowledge of this disaster and how it affects all of us.

Penn State, the same evening, will be setting up water well samples sites from residents at the Tioga County Fairgrounds (see below) to be used in a study concerning gas well drilling in the Northern Tier.

Please consider coming to Mansfield to hear Sean’s presentation after you drop off your water samples. Get first hand information from Sean on the Gulf Oil Spill. Please join us.

DEP Makes Oil and Gas Operations More Transparent

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

11/1/2010

CONTACT:
Jamie Legenos, Department of Environmental Protection
717-787-1323
 
DEP Makes Oil and Gas Operations More Transparent with New Online Resources

Information on Well Production, Waste Products, and Violations Now Online

HARRISBURG — For the first time, Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry production and compliance information is available online as part of the commonwealth’s ongoing effort to make the industry’s operations more transparent.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said the oil and gas public reporting website, which debuted today, allows access to production statistics for oil and gas wells in the state, including historical data. A new, separate webpage also lets users view violation data, by operator, as well as the department’s enforcement measures.

“The public reporting website will create much needed transparency that allows for citizens and policymakers to be aware of the increasing amount of natural gas being generated in Pennsylvania,” said Hanger. “This is an industrial activity that is taking place widely throughout the state. It’s important that families know what is happening in their backyards and whether or not the company drilling there has a good track record of safe and environmentally sound operations.”

The public reporting website, www.marcellusreporting.state.pa.us/ogrereports/, enables users to search all oil and natural gas production data by operator, county or a specific well number. Information on industry-generated waste can be viewed by operator, county or processing facility.

Act 15 of 2010 required Marcellus operators to report to DEP their well production totals from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 by Aug. 15. Subsequent reports on Marcellus production are due every six months. All other oil and gas production besides Marcellus wells must be reported annually.

“It is absolutely essential for the oil and gas industry to be excellent in their operations to protect public health and our environment,” Hanger said. “This information will allow the public to see which operators are leading the way in a safe and environmentally conscious manner and which ones need to address their operating procedures.”

The violation, inspection, and enforcement information is available for 2008 through 2010 to date, including resolved violations for the three-year span. Information for 2010 is available year-to-date or monthly. To view the violation reports, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the button that says “Gas Well Violations.”

For more information about oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on “Oil and Gas.”