Update on PA Roads Effected by Gas Drilling from DCNR

From the DCNR website:

In recent years there has been a marked increase in natural gas activity in state forests in north central Pennsylvania . Visitor experiences and road usage can be impacted by this activity.

Loyalsock State Forest

Bodine Mountain Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected . Traffic control will be established at Grays Run Road intersection. Expect 10-15 minute delays during periods of heavy truck traffic.

Brown Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Traffic control will be established at Hagerman Run and Long Run Road intersections. Traffic is one way from Hagerman Run Road to Long Run Road . Outgoing truck traffic may be heavy.

Grays Run Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Two way traffic. Drive with caution.

Hagerman Run Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Hagerman Run Road is one way from Rte. 14 to Newman Fields and the intersection with Browns Road. Parking on Hagerman Run Road is extremely limited.

Long Run Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Long Run Road is open to public travel and must be used to exit the area. Traffic is one way from Browns Road to Grays Run Road. Parking along Long Run Road is limited.

Loyalsock State Forest has sustained severe damage to its road system due to flooding from Hurricane Lee. All roads except Pleasant Stream Road , lower Shanerburg Road, Walker Road, Dry Run Road and lower Rock Run Road ( Sullivan County ) are now passable, but visitors must travel with caution. Visitors should contact the Resource Management Center for updates before traveling at 570-946-4049 or email at fd20@state.pa.us.

Rock Run Road in Sullivan County is closed in the vicinity of CCC Camp 95. The iron bridge crossing the Loyalsock Creek is closed to vehicles. Pedestrians may continue to cross. The bridge was damaged by flooding during Hurricane Irene. View map here.

High Knob Road is accessible only from Worlds End Road . Dry Run Road from Rte. 87 to High Knob Road is closed due to severe flood damage. There is no estimated date of opening.
Moshannon State Forest

Four Mile Road: Open to the public but heavy truck traffic should be expected due to gas development. Drivers should be aware of increased height of road berms and soft road shoulders.

McGeorge and Lower McGeorge Roads: Open to the public but heavy truck traffic should be expected. Pipeline construction may create short delays.

Knobs Road: Expect long delays due to pipeline construction. The road surface may be impassable at active construction zones.

Caledonia Pike: Long delays are possible due to pipeline construction. The road surface may be impassable at active construction zones. Construction zones are continually changing and drivers should be vigilant.

Billote Road: Open to the public but it is the main access road for construction associated with the Caledonia Pike. Truck traffic may be heavy at times and drivers should remain vigilant.

Merrill Road: Open to the public but truck traffic may be heavy at times.

Ardell Road: Open to the public but truck traffic may be heavy at times.

Claymine Road: Bridge is closed for bridge replacement near Six Mile Road. There is no through traffic. Access to most of the road is possible from Strawband Beaver or Shirks Road from the south and east.

Little Medix Road : Closed for bridge work. There is no through traffic.

Sproul State Forest

Beech Creek and Shoemaker Roads: Increased traffic due to gas development is to be expected. There are no travel restrictions at this time.

Ritchie Road: Will be impacted due to a natural gas pipeline under construction from Hyner Mountain Road to Old View Road . Expect heavy truck traffic.

Pats Ridge Road: Will have a guard station for natural gas activity just beyond the power line corridor. The last quarter mile of this road is closed to public travel.

Benson Road: Will be impacted by the construction of a new entrance from Rte. 44. Expect heavy gas truck traffic.

Dry Run Road: Will be impacted by gas development. Expect heavy truck traffic.

Carrier Road: Will be impacted by gas development from Haneyville to Ponderosa. Expect heavy gas truck traffic.

Route 144: From State Game Lands 100 to Allen Dam road heavy gas truck traffic should be expected.

 Susquehannock State Forest

Card Creek Road: Open to public travel but be aware of ongoing natural gas activity. Expect heavy trucks and other gas related traffic. Several pull offs have been installed along the road to aid in passing oncoming vehicles.

Big Fill Haul Road : This gated road is currently being impacted by natural gas activity. The road can still be used for walk in access for hunters and other recreational users as it has traditionally. Parking is still available in the area between Rte. 6 and the gate. Be alert for heavy truck and other gas related traffic.

Tiadaghton State Forest

Narrow Gauge Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Francis Camp Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Lebo Vista Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Browns Run Road : Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Sinking Springs Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Bull Run Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Big Springs Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Limbaugh Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Parker Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Ramsey Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Okome Road: Heavy gas activity is to be expected. Drive with caution.

Armstrong Road on Bald Eagle Mountain east of South Williamsport  and U.S. Route 15 has been closed due to storm damage that has rendered the roadway impassable.

Tioga  State Forest

Mill Run Road in Elk Township will be closed from November 19 to December 11 from the intersection of Mill Run and Elk Run south to the top of Cedar Mountain (approximately 2 miles). Visitors wishing to use the area can access Mill Run Road from Thompson Hollow Road.

Visitors should use caution when using the Old Arnot Drivable Trail Road (also known as the Walnut Street Extension) which is located north of Arnot ( Bloss Township ) due to heavy truck traffic associated with natural gas development. Users should expect a traffic control point stop and controlled one way traffic flow with short time delays.

Armenia Mountain area drivers should use caution on River Road , Fellows Creek Road, Hemlock Road and Ridge Road due to heavy truck traffic associated with natural gas development.

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%)

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

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/

Increased Gas Drilling Activities Bringing New Challenges to Local Governments in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 24, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Counties and municipalities across Pennsylvania where natural gas drilling is taking place — particularly in the Northern Tier region — are also struggling to meet a number of additional challenges associated with the industry’s increased presence and rapid growth, according to state officials. PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski today said that in the wake of the drilling, there have been increases in truck traffic, traffic violations, crime, demand for social services, and the number of miles of roads that are in need of repairs. 

According to Biehler, hundreds of miles of secondary roads in Pennsylvania’s northern tier have been damaged or even rendered impassable because of heavy truck traffic associated with drilling activities. While drilling companies have committed to repairing roads they use, Biehler said, their efforts have not kept pace with the damage in a number of cases. “The high volume of heavy truck traffic carrying water, equipment and chemicals to drilling sites has caused extensive damage to secondary roads and even some primary roads,” Biehler said, noting … we’ve had to close roads and revoke a drilling company’s permit to use those roads because repairs were not made in a timely manner. The condition of some of these roads has made travel a safety concern.”

PennDOT has ordered drilling companies to post bonds for 1,711 miles of roads and that number is expected to double this year….  State Police Commissioner Pawlowski attributed much of the road damage to overweight trucks serving the gas industry. He cited a Feb. 9 enforcement effort in  Susquehanna County that found 56 percent of 194 trucks checked were found to be over the weight limit. Fifty percent of those trucks were also cited for safety violations….

“More and more, it seems the police reports coming out of the northern tier include arrests because of drug use and trafficking, fights involving rig workers, DUIs, and weapons being brought into the state and not registered properly,” said the commissioner. “We’ve even encountered situations where drilling company employees who have been convicted of a sexual assault in another state come here to work and do not register with our Megan’s Law website…. 

Boldness must arise locally to save roads

This issue is just one of many that will arise. Classic freeze/thaw cycles in PA already compromise our secondary and tertiary roads without heavy truck traffic. Many of these roads have 10 ton weight limit bridges as well as weight limitations for the roads themselves, and much of the truck traffic greatly exceeds those limits. Not only does the question of “who will pay to fix these roads” come up again and again but the quality to which they are fixed may become an issue. Elk Run Road in Gaines, PA is being attended to daily by the company whose trucks destroyed the road. The gas company’s trucks, with a high clearance and/or 4-wheel drive, might be able to manage this fix of gravel and muck but the people who live on this road are struggling to get their every day vehicles in and out.

Published: March 14, 2010

It’s nearly spring and the secondary roads here are in poor shape. Some of the main roads, as well. It’s an annual occurrence. But, this year there is a dramatic difference More roads are in far worse shape than perhaps ever before, in large part because of the battering from heavy trucks, many of which are in the area tending to the burgeoning natural gas industry….

Inconvenience is an issue for motorists, of course. But far more important is safety for drivers. Safety for cars, safety for small trucks, safety for school buses carting children, and safety for big trucks, farm equipment and other vehicles.

Residents were warned about such looming hardships two years ago by county commissioners who saw early on some of the pros and cons of the natural gas boom resulting from exploitation of the Marcellus Shale play under Bradford County.

But, no one foresaw such a rapid expansion of prospecting and drilling – and infrastructure deterioration. Oversight, direction, regulation, control all lagged while the county was being transformed for better or for worse. Virtually all the mineral rights in Bradford County have been leased to gas companies, according to the Shirley Rockefeller, county register and recorder. Permits for 430 wells were issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection in 2009 for Bradford County alone, and 113 new wells were drilled. The rapid pace continues this year with 29 more drilling permits issued in January, second in the state only to Tioga County.

Plans for pipelines to transport the gas to markets are in the works. PennDOT, which only last week warned of a regional problem, says more than 60 roads in the county have been posted with weight restrictions. It is hard-pressed to keep up.

Behemoths lumber down the highways, some oversized, some overweight and, in too many cases, going too fast. They include 5,500 gallon and larger water tankers, flat beds to haul equipment, and dump trucks to haul material, all of which clog the roads, and grind the pavement. Crashes are more and more common. State police are levying unheard of fines for illegal loads running in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The roads, especially the secondary and tertiary roads are being pounded and pulverized into pot holes, gullies and broken shoulders. Driving is a hazard. Residents are growing impatient, even angry. Township supervisors and other municipal officials are at wits end.

It’s a crisis….

To read the full article, click here:

http://thedailyreview.com/opinion/boldness-must-arise-locally-to-save-roads-1.678530