PennFuture workshop: Gas and Our Water

Gas and Our Water:

Legal tools for watershed advocates dealing with

drilling in the Marcellus Shale

Saturday, April 16

King’s College, Wilkes-Barre

This workshop will give grassroots conservation and watershed groups, concerned citizens and volunteers the legal tools necessary to protect our water and ensure Marcellus Shale gas drilling is done responsibly. Hear from leading environmental attorneys on land use and zoning, permits, wastewater issues, and enforcement of our clean water laws and regulations. Find out how to participate in the permitting process and to get decision-makers to listen to you.

Specific topics include:

* Wastewater and stormwater permits and permit appeals;

* Clean water enforcement; and

* Land use and zoning – Planning a boom

 

Space is limited – Register today

3 CLE credits available

Breakfast and materials included

 

The cost of the workshop is FREE to PennFuture members and students with ID; $10 for non-members. Free parking.

Space is limited and registration is required; register online today or by calling 717-214-7920.

A draft agenda will be available soon.

Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location:

King’s College -Burke Auditorium

133 North River Street

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711

If you’d like to attend this event you can purchase tickets online by clicking here:

http://my.pennfuture.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=107422&autologin=true&AddInterest=1261

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Documents: Politics, Recycling and Tracking of Natural Gas Waste

The New York times ran this article recently. Documents: Politics, Recycling and Tracking of Natural Gas Waste

Over the past nine months, The Times reviewed more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through open records requests of state and federal agencies and by visiting various regional offices that oversee drilling in Pennsylvania. Some of the documents were leaked by state or federal officials. Here, the most significant documents on wastewater recycling are made available with annotations from The Times. Previously published documents relate to natural gas waste.

To see these documents click the link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/01/us/natural-gas-documents-2.html#document/p64/a10110

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/

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

Disposable Workers of the oil and Gas Fields

Read the article here:

http://www.hcn.org/issues/343/16915

After watching Split Estate a few weeks ago and seeing some of the terrible effects the gas drilling industry can have on human lives and health, my mind started asking questions about the workers at these sites. If someone living 200 yards away from a well pad can have health problems that effect them neurologically to the point they can’t speak, have trouble breathing, splitting headaches, aching joints and bodily pain, and never have touched or come into hands on contact (although they probably are in their drinking water and through showering) with the chemicals used to Frack a well, then what happens to the guys who frack the wells and actually live in this stuff for weeks, months, even years?

There were some disturbing images of wells being fracked in the film Split Estate that show rig workers being doused with frack fluids while wearing nothing but T-shirts and coveralls. But we rarely hear anything about how the workers are treated or how many health issues they have and how the industry has been dealing with it.

Broad Scope of EPA’s Fracturing Study

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica – April 7, 2010 7:09 am EDT

A federal study of hydraulic fracturing [1] set to begin this spring is expected to provide the most expansive look yet at how the natural gas drilling process can affect drinking water supplies, according to interviews with EPA officials and a set of documents outlining [2] the scope of the project. The research will take a substantial step beyond previous studies and focus on how a broad range of ancillary activity – not just the act of injecting fluids under pressure – may affect drinking water quality.

The oil and gas industry strongly opposes this new approach. The agency’s intended research “goes well beyond relationships between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water,” said Lee Fuller, vice president of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America in comments [3] (PDF) he submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the rest here:

http://www.propublica.org/feature/broad-scope-of-epas-fracturing-study-raises-ire-of-gas-industry

SRBC’S REAL-TIME WATER QUALITY DATA AVAILABLE ONLINE

Water Managers and Public Can Track if Streams Are Impacted by Pollution

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) today announced that real-time data from six initial remote water quality monitoring stations are now available on SRBC’s web site at www.srbc.net/programs/remotenetwork.htm.  A user-friendly map, graphs and charts are key features for viewing and understanding the data.

SRBC is deploying water quality monitoring stations in regions where natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale is most active, as well as other locations where no drilling activities are planned so SRBC can collect control-data.

SRBC’s remote water quality monitoring network continuously measures and reports water quality conditions of smaller rivers and streams in northern tier Pennsylvania and southern tier New York to track existing water quality conditions and any changes in them on an ongoing, real-time basis.

“The Commission is committed to applying good science to monitor water quality conditions in the Susquehanna basin,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz.  “The use of advanced technology through these monitoring stations is making it possible for us to generate the data needed to determine whether or not water quality impacts are occurring from various activities, including natural gas drilling.”

Five of the initial monitoring stations are located in Pennsylvania on Meshoppen Creek near Kaiserville in Wyoming County, Sugar Creek near Troy and Tomjack Creek near Burlington in Bradford County, Hammond Creek near Millerton in Tioga County and Trout Run near Shawville in Clearfield County.  The sixth station is located on Choconut Creek near Vestal Center in Broome County, New York.

Each monitoring station is equipped with water quality sensors and a transmitter to continuously report water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity (water clarity), water depth and conductance (ability to conduct electricity).  Elevated levels of conductance in water can be a leading indicator of impacts from natural gas activities if they occur.

SRBC receives the data collected by the network then makes it available to other resource agencies and the public through its web site.  The monitoring network will provide early warnings to help environmental protection officials respond more rapidly and better pinpoint causes if water quality conditions change.  It will also help local public water suppliers, local watershed groups and communities stay informed.

SRBC will continue installing additional stations in Pennsylvania and New York and making data available on the web site.  Thirty (30) total stations are planned by summer 2010.  More stations will follow this fall as a result of additional funding commitments SRBC has received.

The Harrisburg-based SRBC (www.srbc.net) was established under an interstate compact signed on December 24, 1970 by the federal government and New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to manage the water resources of the 27,510-square-mile Susquehanna River Basin.  The Susquehanna River starts in Cooperstown, N.Y., and flows 444 miles to Havre de Grace, Md., where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.