Wheeling approves oil, gas drilling in city parks
In Logan County, controversy surrounds Marcellus shale drilling in Chief Logan State Park. Houston-based Cabot Gas and Oil is suing the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, after DEP officials rejected the company's application for a permit to drill nearly three-dozen new wells in the park.
DEP fines Oklahoma based Dunn's Tank Service $3000. for illegal operations in Wysox, PA
Company was storing gas well drilling wastewater without permit
Natural Gas Caucus Launched
Congressman Glenn Thompson and other members of Congress officially launched the House Natural Gas Caucus today at a hearing to discuss the state of US natural gas.
The hearing included testimony from industry experts, business officials and scholars, including Dr. Robert Watson of Penn State, who said over the next 5 years Marcellus Shale will probably transform Pennsylvania into a net exporter of natural gas.
T. Boone Pickens reinforced those views when he testified...
Water offers link to gas drilling oversight
Broome looks to develop data base to help monitor pollution
Local health officials are developing a data base for naturally-occurring ground water conditions throughout Broome County that could be used to help flag pollution from gas drilling.
Because drilling comes with the potential for disturbances that can harm water tables, new regulations proposed by the state would require gas companies to sample water before, during and after drilling to track any changes. The water testing is part of a larger proposal to regulate Marcellus development being finalized by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Trout Unlimited angles on gas impacts
“It’s changed the region where I live in Colorado entirely within a decade,” said Frank Smethurst, on the topic of natural gas extraction.
Wastewater disposal is another important issue, due to the presence of toxic chemicals mixed into the fracking fluids. Elizabeth Maclin, vice president for Eastern conservation at TU cited recent examples of contamination in Dimock, PA, related to drilling operations there. “Even with the best environmental regulations, there will be negative impacts to the cold-water habitat,” she said. “It will be critical to work with the states to ensure protections for streams and trout habitat.”
Maclin called development of the Marcellus Shale “the biggest issue to impact trout habitat in Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia in decades.”
Safe drilling, or risky business?
If a company asked you for permission to drill for natural gas by pumping chemicals into the ground near your well, you would probably ask, "What will you do if you contaminate my water?"
If that company answered "Nothing," you would probably send it packing.
What will be done if something goes wrong, and who will be on the hook for, say, the $9 billion to $10 billion it would take to build a water filtration system for New York City? The DEC's preemptive response: Don't worry, there is "no realistic threat."
Nor has the industry agreed to accept liability for such a disaster. For all the DEC's assurances that the risk is infinitesimal, for all the industry's claims that there is no risk to water supplies, drillers won't say, "If we break it, we will pay for it."
Just how small is this risk that the industry balks at underwriting? Did just the very question of liability suddenly make it measurably larger? Or did incidents like several recent hydrofracking chemical spills and gas contamination of private wells in Pennsylvania change the odds?