Marcellus Shale Newswire 12/02/2011

Vol. 2, Issue 38
PennEnvironment
Last updated: 1/25/2012

Business Journal Daily

Protestors: Not in Anyone’s Back Yard

http://business-journal.com/protesters-not-in-anyones-back-yard-p20510-1.htm

By George Nelson

December 01, 2011 

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- During debate over a proposed ban on shale gas extraction in the city of Pittsburgh, Doug Shields recalled that one of his colleagues on Pittsburgh City Council asked industry executives to identify the neighborhood where they planned to drill first. 

"There was silence in the room," he said. "You could hear a pin drop. They knew if they mentioned just one name of a neighborhood, they would have holy hell to pay with the people of that neighborhood."

 

Chesapeake Bay Journal

Marcellus Shale drilling may take huge chunks out of PA forests

By Karl Blankenshi

December 01, 2011

http://www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=4246

During the coming two decades, Pennsylvania could lose enough forest land to build a couple of large cities. The forest won't be lost in a single large chunk, but as thousands of small sites that are cleared to drill natural gas wells and connected with hundreds of miles of new pipelines.

While those impacts will be scattered across the landscape, their cumulative impact on forest habitats could be severe, and it could also complicate the state's efforts to meet its nutrient and sediment reduction obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or pollution diet.

 

New Jersey Spotlight

Committee Says NJ Won’t Treat Wastewater from Hydraulic Fracturing

By Tom Johnson

November 29, 2011

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/11/1129/0045/

In a move that may be more symbolic than substantive, a legislative committee yesterday voted to prohibit New Jersey's sewage treatment plants from accepting wastewater from operations drilling for natural gas in Marcellus Shale deposits in Pennsylvania and other states.

The legislation, narrowly approved by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, is unlikely to win final legislative approval in the lame duck session, but both proponents of the bill and foes agreed it would send a signal that New Jersey steadfastly opposes the controversial method of extracting natural gas.

 

OnEarth Magazine

Adding Up the Impacts of Gas Drilling

By John Quigley

December 01, 2011

http://www.onearth.org/blog/adding-up-the-impacts

When it comes to managing the challenges of shale gas development, there are many basic requirements: Protecting public health and the environment. Applying the right science. Enacting and enforcing the right regulations. And in Pennsylvania’s case, adequately taxing the industry. 

But all that is not enough. It must also include an ability to add things up.

The Marcellus formation underlies two thirds of Pennsylvania. At least seven million acres -- 25 percent of the state’s land area -- has been leased for drilling. About 4,000 Marcellus wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania so far, and over the next several decades, tens of thousands -- maybe hundreds of thousands -- of wells will be drilled.

 

BBC News

PA DEP Takes Steps to Improve Consistency in Marcellus Shale Enforcement

By Peter Marshall

November 28, 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15919248

Bradford County, Pennsylvania, is one of the most fracked places on the planet. Its gas-rush, which began in earnest in 2008, has seen around 600 wells drilled deep into the Marcellus Shale. The county seat is the town of Towanda. If you want to know what a gas-rush does to an area there is no better place to look for answers. First impressions? It is busy. It seems every other truck is carrying water or sand to serve the fracking industry

 

Pocono Record

DEP’s definition of fracking disputed by environmentalists

By Kurt Bresswein

November 27, 2011

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111127/NEWS90/111270345/-1/NEWSMAP

Tucked into a statement last week from Pennsylvania environmental officials touting their ability to regulate natural gas drilling was a line that environmentalists are disputing and a lawmaker says caused him concern. "Hydraulic fracturing, or (fracking), is a process used in oil and natural gas drilling that injects a mixture of sand and water into the cracks of rock formations to create fissures that allow more oil and gas to be extracted," the news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection read.

 

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Petitioner aims to keep local control of drilling

By Brian C. Rittmeyer

November 28, 2011

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/westmoreland/s_769327.html

A retired elementary school teacher has collected nearly 11,000 signatures on an online petition opposing state legislation he says would pre-empt "strong local ordinances" regulating natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale. Ron Slabe, 64, of Upper Burrell plans to present his petition to state Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Murrysville, at a town hall meeting the legislator is hosting Wednesday in Lower Burrell.

 

Huffington Post

Mark Ruffalo Joins Protestors Against Hydraulic Fracking in New York City

By Mary Esch

December 01, 2011

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/01/mark-ruffalo-joins-protes_n_1123569.html

NEW YORK -- Gas-drilling opponents including actor Mark Ruffalo and "Gasland" documentary producer Josh Fox called for a ban on gas development using hydraulic fracturing at a New York state hearing on drilling regulations Wednesday.

As the hearing began, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation announced that the 90-day comment period on its 1,537-page review of the environmental impacts of shale gas drilling and proposed regulations has been extended to 120 days, ending Jan. 11.

 

Bloomberg

New York Fracking Rules Won’t Protect City Water, Foes Say

By Jim Efstathiou Jr.

December 01, 2011

http://www.delawarefirst.org/19762-gas-fracking-critics-Delaware

he drinking-water supply for 9 million people in New York City won’t be protected by New York state’s proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, residents and politicians said.

“There is no possible regulation strong enough that you could come up with to prevent that one accident,” State Senator Tony Avella, a Democrat who has introduced a bill to prohibit fracturing, or fracking, said at a hearing yesterday at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. “New York state should never consider this process.

 

US News Opinion

Learn the Hard Lesson of Coal Pollution

By Trent Dougherty

November 29, 2011

http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/is-fracking-a-good-idea/learn-the-hard-lessons-of-coal-pollution

Drilling for oil and gas is not new. Fracking is not necessarily new. What's new? The massive and unprecedented scale, that's what. To exploit the deep, natural gas-rich shale deposits, like the Utica and Marcellus in Appalachia, operators must drill and frack like never before. This scale of drilling requires more of everything: more acreage (5 acres cleared per well pad); more chemicals to stimulate production; more fresh water (estimated 5 million gallons per fracking cycle); and more truck traffic (estimated 13,000 diesel truck trips per site).

 

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Preserved farms not protected from drilling

By Jennifer Reeger

November 27, 2011 

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/westmoreland/s_76921...

Terry Matty never signed a lease with a company to drill Marcellus shale gas wells on his South Huntingdon Township farm. Nonetheless, two vertical gas wells have been drilled on the 166 acres he owns with his brother and sister-in-law. Gas rights on the land where they board horses and grow crops were leased by a former owner decades ago. Two horizontal wells are planned for the property, which the family protected several years ago for agricultural use through the state's Farmland Preservation Program.

 

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Group continue push for state fracking ban

By Brian C. Rittmeyer

December 01, 2011

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/s_769848.html

LOWER BURRELL -- Concerns about state legislation that opponents say doesn't do enough to protect people from Marcellus shale natural gas drilling dominated a town hall meeting state Rep. Eli Evankovich hosted Wednesday night.

Most of the roughly 50 people who attended the meeting at the Kinloch Volunteer Fire Department were there because of Marcellus shale drilling and their concerns about the legislation.