Trout Unlimited to hold training session for Marcellus Shale Monitoring

The following Trout Unlimited-sponsored training session is for those interested in learning about the signs and symptoms of trouble in the Marcellus Shale drilling areas, and to learn what’s normal when such activity is on-going.

When: February 26, 2011 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Where: Citizen’s Hose Co., Lock Haven, PA (on Rt 150 – aka Bellefonte Ave.)

Cost: Free for Trout Unlimited members; $17.50 for non-members (lunch and training materials included)

Registration contact: Dave Sewak – email: dsewak@tu.org or phone: 814.659.1772

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Changes Made to DEP’s Website

FYI –  DEP has made a change to their website, making it a little harder to find violations of Oil & Gas drillers. From the DEP main page, you now have to click on “Latest News” tab – Violations are listed there now, along with the production data.

Not hidden, just moved.

You can also go there directly via

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/oilgas/OGInspectionsViolations/OGInspviol.htm 

Become a Waterdog!

Become a Pine Creek Waterdog!! It’s simple and could make a huge difference in protecting our environment and assisting the DEP in enforcing compliance with our regulations. 
The Pine Creek Headwaters Protection Group is holding a training and registration for Waterdogs on February 8, 2011 from 7 to 9 pm at the Tokishi Training Center, NYPUM Drive, Wellsboro Pa. 
There is a $10 registration fee to cover cost of materials. 
To register, call 
Erica Tomlinson
Watershed Specialist
Tioga County Conservation District724-1801×118 
Limited to 35 Waterdog trainees. 
You will be provided with a bumper sticker, registration card and logbook for recording your observations. This training will show you how to document and record important observation information and who to call in the event of environmental harm or public safety issues.  So join us for an interesting evening program on how a citizen can participate in the protection of our environment and place your “Pine Creek Waterdog” bumper sticker on your vehicle and go forth!
General info about Marcellus Shale in PA
The Marcellus Shale natural gas play is one of the largest deposits of natural gas in the United States. The northern tier of Pennsylvania, which contain some of the deepest stratum of Marcellus shales in the Eastern United States, has recently become the focus of intense energy development. An increased awareness of the importance of this “discovery” has brought many companies to seek El Dorado in the region.

Currently there are drilling rigs scattered across the region, with rigs located in Tioga, Bradford, Lycoming and Susquehanna Counties. Marcellus Shale rigs typically explore as deep as 8,000 feet and drill horizontal legs as far outward as 4000 feet from the vertical well. In order to release the gas from the tight shale formation a process called hydrofracturing is used. Hydrofracturing (called fracing for short) fractures the shale through the use of pressurized water. Special sands, called propents, and chemical are injected along with the water to form a porous route for the gas to flow through.

We are fortunate that our Department of Environmental Protection has a very rigorous permitting and inspection process that the companies must follow in order to extract the gas. We do however understand that those personnel cannot maintain a watch on the activity of all the people, rigs and trucks contracted and subcontracted to produce the gas. Many contractors and companies brought in from outside the state are not yet familiar with our regulations regarding water usage, erosion and sedimentation, and waste disposal. The region is too large and the resources of the regulators too limited to effectively keep track of the exponential growth in activity taking place.