Is the Gas Industry Spreading Brine on Our Roads?

Hi all. Here are some responses to the question of brine being spread on dirt roads. If you have any further info on this topic from DEP, DCNR or PennDOT please get in touch with the PA forest Coalition. They are the ones providing this info in this form. There is contact info fro Dick Martin of the PA Forest Coalition at the bottom of this post.

July 8, 2010  –  Reference to a  2005 news report:

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/5334068/detail.html

Questions:

  • Is brine still being spread on dirt roads in Pennsylvania?
  • Are there restrictions, now that the brine could be from Marcellus drilling (with the fracking chemicals included in the flowback water).

==============================

2 ] Initial responses

  • Brine water is being applied to control dust on dirt road in PA.
  • The permit is limited to shallow gas well wastewater
  • Wastewater from deep Marcellus wells that are horizontally drilled is NOT permitted to be road –applied.            JimApparently, road application of gas drilling wastewater is:

  • Limited to certain waste fluids for rural
    dust control and winter maintenance
  • DEP approval required
    Road authorization
    Chemical analysis of brine
    Limited application rates and frequency (monthly)
  • Other factors

– weather,

location of water bodies (150’),

road gradient (<10%)

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3 ]   From Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies

From: Tim Ziegler
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2010 10:44 AM
Subject: RE: Brine on dirt roads


The 2005 article exposes truths.

The ESM training for the Dirt and Gravel Road Program discusses brines in the Stabilization module, and these issues are included in that discussion.  However, the animal is bigger than we have influence over.

The Program will not fund any project that includes the use of
brine water.

Marcellus flow-back, however, has not received DEP approval for road dust control, due in large part to the chemical concoction that goes down-hole, as well as the heavy metals and the NORM.

Overall, not a good situation, but this is PA.

Tim Ziegler
Field Operations Specialist
Larson Transportation Institute
Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies
201 Transportation Research Building
University Park, PA  16802
814-865-5891
www.dirtandgravelroads.org

4 ] From DCNR

Subject: RE: Brine on BOF Roads
Date: 7/20/2010 9:17:38 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From: ra-forestrecreation@state.pa.us

Hello Mr. Martin,

The Bureau of Forestry does not permit the use of brine on BOF roads.

5 ]  Questions remain

If you see a truck spreading what appears to be brine on a dirt road,

  • how can you tell if it is legal brine or residual waste from the
    Macellus?
  • What should a Waterdog do?
  • Why shouldn’t trucks hauling Marcellus residual waste be properly
    labeled with the appropriate hazardous materials placard(s)?
  • Have the Waterdogs called for such requirements?
  • Have the Waterdogs written any officials asking for any changes to gas production regulations?        John Kesich

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

.  .  .  So it appears that there are some regulations in place, via DEP, DCNR, PennDOT or municipalities.

One Biologist is planning a research project in Sproul State Forest, Clinton County.  Soil will be tested where water trucks have been seen spraying fluids on Forestry roads.

It would be good if that research were replicated wherever Marcellus wells are located.    Any takers?

Dick Martin Coordinator     www.PaForestCoalition.org

The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the good stewardship of our public lands. Caring for what God has created

Republicans for Environmental Protection
http://www.repamerica.org/

Stand up for what you believe in – You know what’s at stake!

Pittsburgh – Philadelphia – Ohiopyle – Harrisburg

It’s time to show up and be counted

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR OUR STATE FORESTS

Stand up for what you believe in – You know what’s at stake!

Be a Hero for our Forests
Attend an event to show your support for protecting our precious state forests from further natural gas drilling and for an impact fee to ensure drillers pay their fair share

Currently the state legislature is moving forward with a budget plan that relies on new natural gas drilling leases on state forest land to cover the budget shortfall – threatening our public natural resources and compromising public access to our forest land.

We need forest heroes- our legislators and Governor Rendell must pledge not to support a budget that relies in drilling in forests. Instead, they need to enact a gas extraction impact fee to pay for the damage to natural resources and communities that drilling causes. Our legislators need to support the impact fee and the Save our Forests legislation (HB 2235), which puts a five year freeze on new deep natural gas drilling leases in state forests.

Come to one of these events to stand up for our forests:

April 14, 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. – Philadelphia
Demonstration to Save Pennsylvania’s Forests
Gov. Rendell’s Southeast Office
200 South Broad Street (near Broad and Walnut).
Join us during your lunch hour as we conduct a fun demonstration with a local arts group to show support our remarkable state forests.

April 15, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Ricketts Glen
Picnic in Ricketts Glen State Park to Save Pennsylvania’s Forests
Rickets Glen State Park Picnic Pavilion #2
695 State Route 487, Benton, PA 17814
Gather your friends and family and join us for a relaxing lunch in the park to show your support for protecting our state forests and to simply enjoy the beauty of Ricketts Glen State Park.

April 17, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.- Philadelphia
Annual PennFuture Watershed Workshop: Bold Action to Protect Water Quality in Philadelphia and Beyond
Friends Center, 1501 Cherry St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
This workshop will discuss changes Philadelphia is making to ensure the health of our waterways and take a look at Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, and why it is relevant to local water quality.

April 20, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.- Pittsburgh
Rally for the Trees to Save Pennsylania’s Forests
Portico steps of the City-County Building, 414 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA  15219.
Grab your friends and spend your lunch hour showing your support for Pennsylania’s state forests.

April 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Ohiopyle
Celebrate Our Forests – and learn more about gas drilling
Ohiopyle Stewart Community Center
15 Sherman Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Learn more about natural gas drilling – what it is and what the impacts will be – and share your stories about what our state forests mean to you.  We’ll deliver your stories to elected officials on Earth Day in Harrisburg.

April 22, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Harrisburg
Earth Day Rally to Protect Penn’s Woods
Pennsylvania State Capitol Main Rotunda
Gather your friends, postcards, and signs and join us in a rally encouraging our legislators to protect Penn’s Woods.

Coordinator www.PaForestCoalition.org

PA Budget and Taxing the Oil and Gas Industries

Below is a letter from the PA State Forest Coalition. Has some good contact numbers and other info in it.

72 Days without a State Budget  – Help the Politicians Solve the Budget Impasse

Pennsylvania is poised to be the center of the Marcellus Gas industry.  Our location, close to pipelines and the big markets on the East Coast, is ideal because their biggest cost is transportation – getting the gas to markets.

The Gas Industry will make billions of dollars from drilling in the Marcellus. That’s a given.  Pennsylvania taxpayers should not be stuck paying for the damage they do to our roads, bridges and water supplies.

Natural gas is not subject to local taxation in Pennsylvania (PA Supreme Court 2/19/09), so the Townships & Counties suffering the damage will have a big problem footing the bill for repairs.

Pennsylvania State Representative Bud George has proposed a Natural Resource Severance Tax Act (House Bill 1489).  Of the 14 states with large natural gas fields, only California and Pennsylvania do not have a gas severance tax.  HB 1489 is a fair bill. It would ensure that tax dollars would be returned to the communities suffering the impact of the industry.

The Pennsylvania bill is nothing new – it is simply copying what West Virginia had recently enacted – but the Lobbyists are crying to our politicians “Don’t kill our infant industry with a tax on the gas we take”.                             Bullfeathers, folks.

The Oil & Gas industry can certainly afford the extraction fees.

The 200 largest O&G companies now operating in Pennsylvania all have between 108 and 5,374 wells.  A total of almost 98,000 wells.

See DEP’s listing at:

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/OILGAS/2008%20Operators%20w%20GT100%20Active%20Wells.htm

A recent Penn State publication titled “Marcellus Shale: What Local Government Officials Need to Know,” stated on page 15 that local municipalities will “very likely will face higher demands for services and thus higher costs, and yet receive little new revenues to pay for those services. The result could be higher local taxes  .  .  . ”

View the entire document at:

http://downloads.cas.psu.edu/naturalgas/pdf/MarcellusShaleWhatLocalGovernmentOfficialsneedtoknow.pdf

HB 1489 would ensure that the gas industry pays its own way for the impact it will make on the boroughs and townships in Pennsylvania because the municipalities would share part of the revenue.

When we remember the damage left behind by previous extraction of oil and coal in Pennsylvania  (taxpayers are still footing the bills for that damage), it is only fair that the industry pays their own way this time around.

We’ve been 72 days without a State Budget.   Go to www.legis.state.pa.us, enter your zip code in the upper-right corner and contact your State Senator and Representative.

Use a few of the talking points we covered to convince your legislators that we’ll be stuck for the bills associated with the Marcellus Gas extraction unless the Gas Companies pull their own weight for a change.

.   .   .   Do your good deed for the week for Pennsylvania

Dick Martin
Coordinator,  PaForestCoalition.org