Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blossburg council votes to change zoning for ‘fracking’ water plant

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SEPT. 15, 2009

BLOSSBURG - Borough council voted 4-1 with one abstention to change the zoning classification on a 10-acre parcel of land on the site adjacent to and behind the Kwik Fill gas station from commercial to heavy industrial so a fracking water treatment facility can possibly be constructed there.

According to Taylor, the plant would remove "suspended solids" from the water used by the natural gas industry to "fracture" the Marcellus Shale natural gas "fairway" currently being developed in Tioga County.

The plant would then sell the water back to the gas companies for re-use.


Before taking the vote, council heard from several people at the meeting Monday night, many of whom voiced their opposition to the change, fearful of noise and disruption from increased truck traffic.

There also were unanswered questions about the chemicals used by the natural gas industry in its drilling operations for the natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale play.

(Now how come that is??? Is it because they're unanswerable, cause the industry is refusing to provide this information... and for instance, protecting it, even when 'the chemicals' raise serious health and safety issues, such as when they apparently killed 17 peacefully grazing cows in a Louisiana field? Read the latest about it HERE.)

Borough resident Jeri Deming asked council how much research it had done in the month since it tabled a decision on the change at its August meeting.

"The problem isn't with the water plant, it's with the drilling," she pointed out.

[Council president] Ogden told her and others that if they were concerned about the chemicals used in the drilling process they need to address the Department of Environmental Protection.

"Beyond making the zoning change we have no control over anything," he said.

Isn't this a bit like saying "Beyond making all traffic lights permanently green lights, we have no contol over anything (i.e., any accidents) that might happen." ???

As for the noise and dirt from increased truck traffic coming off Route 15, Ogden said that it would come whether a plant was constructed in the borough or not.

Here's comes a classic argument that ignores all other possibilities:

"If they don't build here they will build somewhere else, possibly Morris Run or Arnot, and they will have to use the same exit," Ogden said. "They are drilling all over the place. It's progress and it is inevitable," he said.

Richard "Rusty" Taylor, of Linden, vice president of Hydro-Recovery LP, a newly formed subsidiary of RNS Services, Blossburg, is working with the Williamson Land Co. to get the $6 million facility constructed. He said the zoning change was merely "the first step" of many approvals that would be needed before ground is ever broken for the plant.

One such permit needed is a "consumptive use" water permit from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to use water from Johnson Creek, Taylor said.

The water is already being used by Ward Foundry for cooling before it is then discharged back into the creek, "slightly warmer than when it was taken out," Taylor said.

"Our intention is to intercept that water and use it for this purpose," he said, but no water from the operation will ever be discharged back into the creek, he added.

"This will be a zero-liquid discharge. We are not going to discharge into the stream. We treat it, dilute what remains and sell it back," he said.

Fact is, these millions and millions of gallons of water are too toxic to discharge anywhere. They're 'gone gallons'! GONE.

If the SRBC decides the creek cannot sustain that kind of usage, then the permit will not be issued, he said, and "may be an issue that prevents this facility from operating."

Taylor said the affirmative decision will allow the "process to continue."

Taylor recommended residents visit the Web site www.pamarcellus.com for more information about the drilling process and the chemicals used.

To read this article in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

www.pamarcellus.com is an industry website that presents a rosy picture of the industry and its activities. From the introductory propaganda:

"You'll find information on the Marcellus Shale formation, how we extract the natural gas and protect the environment, why we value the communities where we do business, and the opportunities that the Commonwealth and its residents can realize in the coming years and decades through natural gas exploration and production.

You'll also learn about the important issues being addressed by our Marcellus Shale Committee and the positive impacts natural gas drilling is already having on families, businesses and communities in many parts of Pennsylvania."

Heh. Almost any of the posts on this blog will give a clear idea of how the industry values the communities they invade, and the positive impacts families and communities are experiencing.


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