Everything’s a Mess and No One’s Responsible…

I received a link to this article from my mother who lives near the Tioga County/Potter County line and keeps tabs on that area for me. Both she and some local friends have been monitoring the smaller creeks in that area for a while now…thank you!

So the article found here talks about one of the main issues that occur when only the type of short sightedness this industry creates finally comes into play. Where the hell do we put all this radiation frack water once were done with it? (what, there’s radiation in that stuff?) If you read the article you’ll find out that nobody seems to know and apparently no one (no regulatory office, no state office, no federal office, etc) is responsible for regulating or disposing of this type of thing. It seems to fall in between the gaps of the existing laws we have, probably because this is the first time deep horizontal, hydraulic fracturing of wells has been done at this stupendously high level and SO very close to people’s homes and water supplies. In short, no one thought it through and no one bothered to test and see if there was radiation and then make a plan for disposing of it.

The finding of this article actually comes from here. This is a fellow blogger who I think is located in the Potter County area. They posted the article I mention above on February the 6th. The interesting part of this are the comments after the post. read through them to discover some scary experiences from a frack truck driver and get a bit of a feel for how some folks feel about this.

PennFuture files federal lawsuit against Marcellus Shale driller Ultra Resources, Inc. for violations of federal and state air pollution laws

Harrisburg, PA (July 21, 2011) – Citizens for Pennsylvania‟s Future (PennFuture) filed a lawsuit today in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Ultra Resources, Inc., for air pollution at its Marcellus Shale drilling sites, which violates the federal Clean Air Act, Pennsylvania‟s State Implementation Plan (the “Pennsylvania SIP”), and Pennsylvania‟s New Source Review regulations. PennFuture also filed a formal request with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for all records of air pollution at drilling sites throughout the Commonwealth.
“Ultra‟s drilling operations in Tioga and Potter counties are emitting dangerous and illegal air pollution and operating without the required permits,” said Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of PennFuture. “Unless gas drillers operating in Pennsylvania control the air pollution from their operations, air quality will deteriorate, putting public health at risk.

“The noxious air pollution is widespread in the two county area of the Marshlands Play,” continued Jarrett. “The operations include natural gas wells, pipelines, compressor stations, and other equipment, all of which are connected by pipeline to a Metering and Regulation Station, also constructed and operated by Ultra, where the gas produced at Ultra’s wells is adjusted for pressure, measured, and delivered to an interstate pipeline. Ultra constructed the operations without the necessary permits – specifically a permit required by Pennsylvania’s New Source Review (NSR) regulations, and without achieving the lowest achievable emissions rate or purchasing emissions reductions credits. The company is emitting large amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the air, creating serious health risks for anyone living downwind from the operations.

“The laws were passed for a reason – to protect the health of our families,” continued Jarrett. “According to the United States EPA, even short-term NOx exposures, ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours, cause adverse respiratory effects including airway inflammation in healthy people and increased respiratory symptoms in people with asthma. And this air pollution also leads to more fine particle pollution, which can cause heart attacks and other deadly illnesses.

“But this appears to be business as usual for many drillers,” continued Jarrett. “A study out of Fort Worth (TX) recently showed that the NOx pollution just from the average compressor engine there is about 60 tons per year. And with drilling going like gangbusters here in Pennsylvania, that same kind of pollution from all the operations would create serious public health problems, and destroy any ability of Pennsylvania to meet air quality standards. We’ve also seen the formerly pristine air in Wyoming now more dangerous than that in Los Angeles, thanks to massive drilling. We need to stop this problem here and now.“We are also asking DEP to open the books on its assessment of air pollution at other drilling operations throughout the Commonwealth,” said Jarrett. “We cannot and will not allow the drillers to operate without meeting our clean air rules.”
Copies of the PennFuture court filing and Right to Know request may be downloaded at www.pennfuture.org
To read a copy of the Right to Know Request, click here:

A Substitute for Tears…

Two fellows that have had profound effects on the music in my life have each written songs about the gas drilling and want to preserve the beauty and purity of places they have come to know and love in Pennsylvania.

Check out Van Wagner’s tune here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trxrh_FmPeI&feature=share

And Tom Oswald’s tune can be found here: http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/7585531

 

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.

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.

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

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