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.

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Corbett names pick for Conservation and Natural Resources

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

By Laura Olson and Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett announced his pick for one of two remaining cabinet posts this afternoon, selecting Richard J. Allan to head the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Mr. Allan, 57, has spent his career working in scrap recycling. His family operates Allan Industries, a metal recycling facility, in Wilkes-Barre, and he has run his own energy consulting firm since 2005. The Cumberland County resident also is an executive director for the PA Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, and serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. He earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and biology from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre.

The conservation agency has gained attention for its oversight of the growing number of Marcellus Shale gas wells being drilled on state forestland. Cuts in DCNR funding in recent budgets have shrunk the department’s resources for drilling oversight, state park operations and forest management.

“Richard Allan is a proven leader and commands a wealth of knowledge and experience in environmental and energy issues,” said Mr. Corbett in a news release. “I am confident that his abilities and background will be a tremendous benefit to DCNR, especially during this critical time in the agency’s history.”

Mr. Allan is the nephew of Pat Solano, former Luzerne County Republican chairman and a power broker in the state’s northeastern GOP politics. His wife, Patricia, was recently named policy director for the Department of Environmental Protection. He contributed $2,150 to Mr. Corbett during the last campaign cycle, according to the Department of State’s campaign finance database. He also was a member of Mr. Corbett’s transition team for energy and environmental issues.

The department has been run by Acting Secretary Cindy Dunn, formerly a deputy secretary for the agency, since the Corbett administration took over in January. The remaining department without an announced secretary is Labor and Industry. Mr. Corbett said earlier this month that he had made offers to candidates for both of the unfilled positions.

Below are comments from Anne with the Responsible Drilling Alliance (RDA). Definitely some things to think about and be concerned with.

COMMENTS:

I have highlighted parts of the above text in bold for emphasis.

Mr. Allan brings to the post of head of PA’s Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) an unusual background. Only time will tell whether one whose career has been in scrap recycling understands the depth and breadth of environmental issues facing Pennsylvania – particularly issues regarding deep shale natural gas extraction, processing and transmission.

Mr. Allan would be wise to listen carefully to DCNR’s experienced staffers, particularly its scientists and attorneys, whose training and daily work experience in environmental areas is more recent than Mr. Allan’s bachelors degree.

Besides the issue of adequate background for an understanding of PA’s environmental complexities, there are some other areas of potential concern. There’s the obvious one of whether campaign contributions, family and political connections fostered a political appointment. And, there are questions about Mr. Allan’s status within Allan Industries, including whether he continues to profit from this corporation and whether its activities are regulated by either DCNR, which he will head or PA DEP, where his wife holds a key position.

More important, however, is how this appointment may affect the relationships among regulatory agencies. When considering the long term and critically important connection that DCNR has had with PA’s Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), some may question the appropriateness of having DCNR’s head coming from the same household as PA DEP’s Policy Director. Both agencies have working relationships in such crucial areas as permit reviews. With budget cuts and mandates for expedited permit reviews coming from the new Governor, one can only hope that concerns of potential conflicts of interest will not materialize and DCNR’s role will not be further marginalized than it has been to date from its severe budget cuts.

Anne

House Bill 2235 Letter

Here’s is a sample letter to my local representative. Please feel free to copy and paste it if you are not sure how to write your own. Make sure you send it to your correct representative.

Representative Matthew Baker
Ryan Office Building, Room 115
451 North Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2068

Dear Representative Baker,

I urge you to vote for the Save Our Forests legislation (HB 2235). We
need this legislation to put a freeze on new leases for natural gas
drilling on our precious state parks and forests, and to ensure that
the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources can sustainability
manage these lands.

–  Already one-third, or 700,000 acres, of state forest lands are open
for natural gas drilling. We should not be forcing open any more lands
just to balance the state budget. A severance tax on gas drilling
should be pursued instead.

–  Our local industries like outdoor tourism, recreation and
sustainable timbering rely on well-managed, protected lands in order to
thrive. Gas drilling operations would threaten these industries that
have been thriving here for generations.

–  Drilling for gas involves clear cutting fields and trees to install
enormous well pads, as well as building access roads and pipelines. In
many cases, this infrastructure has yet to be constructed and will mean
significant disruption to our otherwise well managed forests.

Pennsylvania is to no stranger to environmental destruction at the
hands of a booming industry. Our landscapes are still scarred from our
coal and steel legacies. We cannot again sacrifice the long term health
and well being of our Commonwealth for short-term gain.

Please be a hero for our state forests and vote for HB 2235.

Sincerely,

(Your name and address)

Delay Equals Opportunity…make your voice heard!

Last week’s expected House floor action on the Save the Forests bill (HB 2235) – to protect the best parts of our state forest land from gas drilling – was pushed back to next week. HB 2235 would impose a five-year freeze on new leasing of state land for gas drilling until the state can study the impacts of drilling on natural resources and hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other uses of the forest. The bill’s proponents are working to gain strong bipartisan support for the bill.

If you haven’t already done so, contact your representative in the State House and asking her/him to vote for the bill. Don’t let this opportunity to help save the forest pass by.

House Bill 2235

palta logo

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will consider Rep. Vitali’s House Bill 2235 this week. The bill would place a 5-year moratorium on new leases of State Forest to natural gas drillers.  The five years would give DCNR time to study the impacts current drilling leases will have on the environmental, economic and recreational values of our State Forests.  After the moratorium ends, the bill would allow DCNR to lease further lands only if DCNR determines that such leases can be done without threatening water and air quality, habitat, ecosystems, recreational, social and asthetic values of the forests.

Call your PA Representative and ask them to
1. support the moratorium bill, and
2. vote against weakening amendments.

Find your representative’s contact information.  Just use box labeled “Find Members By” in the upper-right hand corner…

Background:

One third of our state forests are already open to natural gas drilling.  Without careful scientific study and planning, we can’t know what additional drilling, if any, can occur without harming our publicly owned forest’s environmental, economic and recreational values.  Our state forests are one of our greatest public assets, protecting our highest quality streams, providing public recreation, supporting tourism, and providing a sustainable timber supply.  As such, we should exercise balance and restraint when considering making additional lands available for drilling.

Several amendments have been filed which seek to weaken the moratorium proposal, mainly by shortening the moratorium to 1 year.  The moratorium needs to be 5 years to yield enough data to meaningfully understand the cumulative effects of drilling in our State Forests.  To date, there are only 9 Marcellus wells in production in State Forests; however, 2000 more are expected to be drilled in the next 5 years.

No private lands will be affected by the moratorium nor will any State Forest land already leased.

The moratorium would take effect after the additional leasing of state forests already planned by Governor Rendell for the 2010-2011 budget (which is expected to yield $112 million).

For more information, please call 717-230-8560.

Leasing of PA state land for natural gas drilling

Here is a link to the transcript about the PA House Majority Policy Committee’s public hearing regarding the leasing of state and for gas drilling.

http://www.pahouse.com/policycommittee/documents/31810hmpc.pdf

Gas industry’s potential impact on the environment discussed at public hearing here

By DAVID THOMPSON dthompson@sungazette.com

POSTED: April 14, 2010

While few people are questioning the enormous economic impact of developing the natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale, the gas industry’s potential impact on the environment is generating a lively debate.

That debate came to Lycoming College Tuesday during a public hearing by the state House Democratic Policy Committee.

The event, which mostly focused on environmental issues related to gas exploration, and to a lesser extent, the Chesapeake Bay, was co-chaired by state Reps. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, and Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

Also sitting on the panel was state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven. Hanna said he supports a moratorium on leasing state land until the full impact of the gas industry is known.

A diverse group of speakers provided testimony regarding the Marcellus Shale during the near four-hour session.

Read it all here:

http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/542033.html?nav=5011