Community Workshop in Tioga County on Environmental and Health Impacts of Natural Gas Operations

The Clean Air Council and Penn Environment, state-wide environmental groups, will give an educational workshop in Tioga County for residents of north-central Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 24, 1-4 PM. The training will be held at the W.M. Tokishi Training Center, NYPUM Drive, Wellsboro, PA 16901.The workshop will focus on information and skills that residents can use to be aware of and participate in decisions about natural gas development. The presenters will provide an overview of how natural gas operations can potentially impact public health and the environment. They will train people on how to track and report disturbances, write comments that generate public hearings, and achieve media coverage with letters to the editor. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Matt Walker at Clean Air Council, 215-567-4004 (ext 121) or mwalker@cleanair.org

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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

 

Speaking Out on Water Issues

Tiadaghton Audubon Society is pleased and privileged to have Sean Saville, National Field Director of the National Audubon Society speak on the Gulf Oil Spill at our annual meeting on Wednesday November 17 at 7:30PM in Mansfield Pa at the Holy Child Church, 242 South Main St. He has extensive and intimate knowledge of this disaster and how it affects all of us.

Penn State, the same evening, will be setting up water well samples sites from residents at the Tioga County Fairgrounds (see below) to be used in a study concerning gas well drilling in the Northern Tier.

Please consider coming to Mansfield to hear Sean’s presentation after you drop off your water samples. Get first hand information from Sean on the Gulf Oil Spill. Please join us.

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

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

Split Estate Free Showing at Mansfield University

Professor Russell Dodson at Mansfield University has arranged a free, public showing of the documentary ‘Split Estate’, on the risks and dangers of natural gas drilling. Our Tioga County Planner, Jim Weaver will be present to take questions.

Tell everyone you know!

Time: Monday, March 29th at 7PM.

Place: 153 Grant Science Center, Mansfield University

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.