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.

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PA DEP Fines Pennsylvania General Energy Co. LLC $28,960 for Illegal Surfactant Discharge

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau

Room 308, Main Capitol Building

Harrisburg PA., 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

02/2/2011

CONTACT:

Daniel T. Spadoni, Department of Environmental Protection North-central Regional Office

570-327-3659

DEP Fines Pennsylvania General Energy Co. LLC $28,960 for Illegal Surfactant Discharge to Pine Creek in Lycoming County

Incident Occurred at a Marcellus Natural Gas Well Pad in Cummings Township

WILLIAMSPORT — The Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it has fined Pennsylvania General Energy Co. LLC (PGE) of Warren $28,960 for the illegal discharge of Airfoam HD, a surfactant, into Pine Creek in Lycoming County last March.

Surfactants are used by natural gas drillers to create a foam that will lift water and drill cuttings to the surface. Airfoam HD is approved by DEP for use by the industry.

“PGE responded immediately to this incident and fully cooperated with the department,” said DEP North-central Regional Director Nels Taber.

During the weekend of March 13 and 14, 2010, there was significant rainfall and snow melt that caused residual Airfoam in a Marcellus well bore to migrate to a spring on the hillside creating a white, foamy substance. The spring was not used as a source of drinking water.

A DEP investigation on March 15 verified that the material was flowing from the spring, down the hillside, under Pa. Route 44 via a storm drain, and into Pine Creek. At the time, the spring was flowing at an estimated 180 gallons per minute.

PGE began diverting foam from the storm drain in the road berm and later placed an absorbent boom across the spring run on the hillside, which prevented further discharges to Pine Creek.

No constituents of Airfoam HD were detected in Pine Creek.

The discharge was a violation of the Clean Streams Law, Solid Waste Management Act, and DEP’s oil and gas regulations.

The fine was deposited into the fund that supports DEP’s oil and gas permitting and enforcement programs.

For more information, call 570-327-3659 or visit http://www.depweb.state.pa.us.

What has Matt Baker done to protect Pennsylvania from the negative impacts of the current underregulated gas rush?

Below is a letter written to the Wellsboro Gazette. Voting day is coming up quickly and here is an opportunity for those of us who are unhappy with the decisions Matt Baker has been making in regards to the gas rush. The fact that Matt Baker has not had, and will not otherwise, have anyone running against him again means he can be extremely wishy-washy on this subject as well as others. At this point he doesn’t have to take any position and can play all sides in his favor without actually having to be educated about the subjects economic, environmental or health issues that are arising. AND, if he has made an effort to educate himself about them on his own (not from the oil and gas industry spokespersons) then he is truly more interested in selling out to a huge industry that is already bloated with money and getting fatter off our resources.  Please read the letter if you are curious or are concerned that you are not being fairly represented by your local representative.

For those who haven't seen my letter in the Wellsboro Gazette.

I would really like to get the Democratic nomination by write
in since otherwise I need to collect nearly 500 signatures to get
on the ballot in November.

 http://www.tiogapublishing.com/articles/2010/04/29/opinion/letters/doc4bd8a0836c297146754097.txt

Why me?

Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 4:15 PM CDT
To the editor;

Why am I, a registered Green, asking Democrats to write me
in as their candidate for state representative on May 18?
In a nutshell, to keep Matt Baker from once again running as
a Democrat as well as a Republican. But if you want an issue,
how about the upcoming devastation of much of the state?

What has Matt Baker done to protect Pennsylvania from the
negative impacts of the current underregulated gas rush?
Despite ample evidence of problems from places like Texas,
Colorado and Wyoming, as well as Dimock, Hickory, Bradford,
Waterville and Fall Brook right here in Pennsylvania, Mr Baker
continues peddling industry’s pipe dreams that we’re all going
to be millionaires and that there is nothing to worry about.
He and every other elected official from County Commissioner to
President have not just let us down but sold us out to a
rapacious industry. Who should decide whether Tioga County
is turned into an industrial sacrifice zone, gas industry
executives or the people who live here?

I am not so naive as to expect to derail Mr. Baker’s well
oiled political machine, but I do believe that if enough
voters, both Republican and Democrat, made the effort to write
me in, he might be reminded that he is supposed to represent the
people rather than rich and powerful corporations.

John Kesich

Millerton

WENY TV Coverage for “Faces of Frackland”

WENY TV called me yesterday around 6pm and asked if they could interview me about the “Face of Frackland” Blog. They showed up about an hour later (which didn’t give me much time to collect my thoughts) but I was happy that they gave us a spot on the 11 o’clock news and That Cindy Kalbach from Gaines got a chance to meet with them as well. It is nice to see that the new blog is getting attention and I have to give about 98% of that credit to Hannah because she has been doing all the posting since I am so busy! Thanks for all the hard work Hannah and thanks for traveling with me to visit these folks as well.

Here is a link to the TV spot. I had to take the clip off of their Facebook page because their home site is not working???

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Horseheads-NY/WENY-TV-News/337822014639

Natural Gases in Ground Water near Tioga Junction, Tioga County, North-Central Pennsylvania

The following is the opening statements from journeyoftheforsaken.com

Note: The following is excerpted from an excellent and relatively revealing study of the Tioga Junction area, conducted by the USGS. I found this report particularly helpful because it helps explain the uncertainty associated with isotopic analysis – particularly in alluvial mixing zones.

Currently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and some area oil and gas operators in our region rely upon a thermogenic signature detection method that fails to account for obvious environmental factors and relies too greatly upon flawed assumptions ultimately yielding bias and therefore inaccurate results suggesting that a sudden appearance of methane gas in stream beds and alluvial areas is purely biogenic in nature.

This report reveals key factors which, when properly considered, demonstrate certain mechanisms which would facilitate a mixed and more complicated hydrogeologic dynamic and therefore truer assessment of groundwater/surface water contamination.

I’ve noted some of these key revelations in bold blue font.

Read the report here:

http://www.journeyoftheforsaken.com/tiogajunctionpa.htm

PennDOT Closing Elk Run Road to Gas Well Traffic

PennDOT is advising motorists in Tioga County that State Route 3001
(Elk Run Road) in Gaines Township is being temporarily closed to gas
well traffic due to severe deterioration.

The road is open to local traffic only until repairs are made.

Responsible parties are being contacted to facilitate repairs to restore
the roadway to a safe and passable condition for the traveling public.

This road carries a year-round, 10-ton weight restriction.

Gas and Taxes

Pennsylvania and New York are the only two oil and gas producing states which don’t levy a severance
tax. In Texas (the Barnett Shale) they don’t have a state income tax thanks to their severance tax and in
Alaska not only do they not have a state income tax but every resident gets an annual check.
Pennsylvanians may not be able to secure the same benefits as Texas or Alaska but why wouldn’t we
want to get something out of this?
Having a Severance tax in place is of the utmost importance. Without one we are left to deal with these
questions. Should the highly profitable gas industry or Pennsylvania’s tax payers foot the bill for proper
monitoring and inspections? What about the damage to our roads, contaminated well water and
pollution to our beautiful streams and forests? Who should reap the most benefit from Pennsylvania’s
natural gas – outside speculators or its citizens? Is there a reasonable alternative to a severance tax for
achieving any of this? The gas industry pays as little as it can for our gas, shouldn’t we be
taxing their profits at the highest rate we can? Isn’t the Marcellus Shale, and more importantly the land
and people above it, worth just as much as the Barnett Shale?

Most of us are aware that Pennsylvania has not enacted a Severance tax yet. If your not familiar with this issue or have not looked into it for a while then this should help get you updated on it
The Pennsylvania Legislature is debating whether the state should levy a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas to help reimburse state and local governments for environmental, infrastructure, and societal costs imposed by the industry. Until recently, Pennsylvania has had a modest natural gas extraction industry…. One of the central claims of critics regarding the proposed tax is that it is unneeded as drillers here “face the highest corporate tax rate in the nation.” A closer look at the evidence shows that this is not the case for most companies. In fact, the drillers of more than 70% of the wells in the Marcellus Shale will pay the state’s 3.07% Personal Income Tax (PIT) rather than the 9.99% Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT).i The following table lists all companies with permits to operate wells in the Marcellus Shale and highlights the firms that are paying the lower PIT rate. ….
To read the rest of this report and view the table, click here:

http://pennbpc.org/sites/pennbpc.org/files/Over 70 Percent of Marcellus Shale Wells Pay PIT.pdf