Community Workshop in Tioga County on Environmental and Health Impacts of Natural Gas Operations

The Clean Air Council and Penn Environment, state-wide environmental groups, will give an educational workshop in Tioga County for residents of north-central Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 24, 1-4 PM. The training will be held at the W.M. Tokishi Training Center, NYPUM Drive, Wellsboro, PA 16901.The workshop will focus on information and skills that residents can use to be aware of and participate in decisions about natural gas development. The presenters will provide an overview of how natural gas operations can potentially impact public health and the environment. They will train people on how to track and report disturbances, write comments that generate public hearings, and achieve media coverage with letters to the editor. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Matt Walker at Clean Air Council, 215-567-4004 (ext 121) or mwalker@cleanair.org

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Waterdog Training August 11th

Below is note from Erica about the upcoming Waterdog training at Ives Run.

Hello Everyone

I just wanted to remind everyone that we are hosting another Advanced Waterdog Training on August 11th at Ives Run from 5-9 pm.  Please let me know if you can make it and also please feel free to share it with others that have attended waterdog trainings.

Thank you

Erica Tomlinson

Watershed Specialist

Tioga County Conservation District

570-724-1801 ext 118

Drilling Strains 911 Resposes at Tioga Court House

Being that I now live in south central PA, I listen to the WITF radio station on my way to work and back. They have been doing bits and pieces here and there about the Marcellus drilling and this month they have introduced a program called “State Impact Pennsylvania”.  So far this program seems to relate to just the gas drilling issues in PA. The first program started yesterday and the below link will take you to their page where you can read or listen to the program. Since I am from Tioga County, PA and lived in Wellsboro for years, this story was of immediate interest to me, especially having two friends that both work in the 911 center and knowing how tough this has been for them.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/

I feel that most of the interest and concern that have been generated of late from the NY Times and Philadelphia Inquire is coming a bit too late, based on the amount of accidents and spills that have already occurred in this region. But…better late than never.

Water Dog Training in July

I wanted to let everyone know they are planning another basic waterdog training on July 14th from 7-9 at the Tokishi Building in Wellsboro.  Please pass this on to others that may be interested.  There is also going to be another Advanced Training in August. (I will pass on more information as I get it)

Please contact Erica at the below phone number for more info or to register.

Erica Tomlinson

Watershed Specialist

Tioga County Conservation District

570-724-1801 ext 118

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.