Thursday, March 31, 2016

Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group Updates March, 2016


* Our email address: westmcg@gmail.com
*  To contact your state legislator:
             For the email address, click on the envelope under the photo



WMCG is posting articles, research, events, and meetings on the Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group facebook page. We invite you to join the page.

Take Action

***Petition to DEP—Notifications to Townships
            Local Zoning to Play More Important Role
            “Please take a moment to sign this petition: https://goo.gl/mMiv67. The Environmental Integrity Project would like to present this petition to Secretary Quigley of DEP asking for changes in Act 14 Notifications that are sent to municipalities informing them about proposed oil and gas activities in the township. The current notifications are woefully inadequate for two reasons. The first is that municipalities are only given 30 days to respond which is not enough time to ensure a township meeting is held and elected officials have the chance to discuss the notice. The second is because there is no required standard language in these notifications, and elected officials are not realizing that this is their only time to comment on the activities. The notification should prompt municipalities to alert the DEP of any issues, like if the proposed site is not zoned for oil and gas activities. Local zoning is something that the SWPA DEP has stated publically they will be considering more often and changing the requirements of the Act 14 Notices would be a great step in the right direction.
             Thank you for your time in considering and signing this petition. Please share with other Pennsylvanians working on or dealing with Shale gas issues.”
 Sincerely,
 Stephanie Novak
Community Organizer
Mountain Watershed Association
(724)455-4200 ext. 5#

 Events
***Teleconference on Endocrine Disruptors and Fracking April 7
            “TEDX is pleased to announce a spring teleconference series on how chemicals associated with unconventional oil and gas development (known as fracking) may be affecting endocrine function, reproduction and prenatal development. Learn directly from scientists presenting their recent research on this emerging issue. Our first presentation is:
            Unconventional oil and gas extraction and endocrine disruptors: Implications for human and animal health
            Join us Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm Eastern, to hear Dr. Chris Kassotis discuss his recently published research demonstrating increased endocrine disrupting activity in surface and ground water near fracking wastewater spill sites, as well as nuclear receptor antagonism for 23 commonly used fracking chemicals. His studies have shown prenatal exposure to a mixture of those chemicals at likely environmentally relevant concentrations resulted in adverse health effects in both male and female mice, including decreased sperm counts, modulated hormone levels, increased body weights, and more. Dr. Kassotis will also discuss his recent work showing increased receptor antagonism downstream from a wastewater injection disposal site. See the call's webpage for more information.
Register now for the teleconference call!

***Josh Fox Climate Film- April 13
All are warmly invited to a special climate change event sponsored by the climate action group  Pittsburgh350. As part of his national tour, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) will present his new movie
 “How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things Climate Can’t Change“.
 7:00 pm, Wednesday, April 13
Carnegie Lecture Hall.
(Behind the Oakland Carnegie Library)
In the film, Josh Fox uses his deeply personal style to investigate the greatest threat our planet has ever known - climate change. After traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, Fox asks, “What is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?” 
 The movie will be followed by Q and A session with director Josh Fox.  Admittance is free, but a donation according to your means will be greatly appreciated.  The Lecture Hall is fully ADA compliant.

Legal Cases
***Act 13 Issues Argued on March 9 by Atts. John Smith, Jonathan Kamin,             Jordan Yeager
Note that Judge Wecht asks the questions we want asked.
(These are the Act 13 Issues that are being heard-gag orders on doctors, eminent domain, severability, and notification of contamination to private well owners)
            “In a 90-minute marathon that saw six attorneys take turns responding to four discrete questions posed by the court, the justices heard argument over the government's right to eminent domain, its responsibility to notify citizens of oil and gas spills affecting their water supply, and whether Act 13's limits on doctors' ability to share information about patients' chemical exposure harms the public health. The "whiplash" series of arguments in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, as one attorney described them, largely focused on whether portions of Act 13 provide special treatment to the oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania.
            In a related decision under the same caption, the Supreme Court in December 2013 struck down portions of the act requiring municipalities to adopt uniform zoning ordinances that would allow drilling in all zoning districts. The justices had asked the Commonwealth Court to further address some of the remaining provisions in the act, which was signed into law by former Gov. Tom Corbett in 2012.
Water Supplies
            John Smith of Smith Butz, arguing on behalf of a group of municipalities, said Section 3218.1 of Act 13 unfairly treats Pennsylvanians who rely on private water sources by excluding them from the notification provided to public water systems following an oil spill. The distinction is made "without a rational basis," he said. The Department of Environmental Protection could provide notification to those using private water, he said, but instead claims it isn't feasible. Sean Concannon, arguing on behalf of the DEP, responded to a question from Justice Max Baer about the agency's available information by saying it doesn't know where all the private wells are located and who owns them. Instead, Concannon said, the DEP knows of a "small universe" of wells—only those within 3,000 feet of a well pad—but that universe doesn't consider many of the thousands of acres where spills could occur.
            "How is this a rational classification that we can uphold?" asked Justice David N. Wecht.
            The distinction was a policy choice by the General Assembly, Concannon replied.
Justice Debra M. Todd said the group excluded from notice by Section 3218.1 is not de minimis, noting that it includes 3 million Pennsylvanians.
            "It seems to me the state's interest here is in protecting the drinking water," she said. "That's why I'm having trouble with the public-private distinction."
            Wecht, a vocal member of the bench in his first argument session, asked whether Act 13 requires rural citizens who use private wells "to wait until they or their animals grow three heads" before being made aware of contamination.
            Smith closed his argument by saying that in hundreds of cases of contamination stemming from spills and releases of oil, those affected used private water sources in every case.
Doctors' Disclosure
            Addressing the constitutionality of Sections 3222.1(b)(10) and (b)(11), which prohibit health care professionals from disclosing without permission information deemed by companies to constitute trade secrets, Jordan Yeager of Curtin & Heefner argued the statute gives the oil and gas industry special treatment. He questioned whether there is any legitimate state interest served by creating a limitation that exists in no other industry.
            "We're asking doctors to figure this out on the fly," he said.
            Wecht pointed out that, even if the statute represents "horrible policy," the court needs more to invalidate it.
            "Are you saying there's no rational basis for favoring this particular industry?" Todd asked.
            "Absolutely," Yeager responded.
            Howard Hopkirk of the Office of Attorney General said the appellants mischaracterized the statute by calling it a "gag rule."
            But Hopkirk took a series of rapid-fire challenges from the justices in making his case.
            "We don't need special legislation for this industry," Justice Max Baer said.
            Justice Christine L. Donohue asked whether the statute is "absolutely clear" that a physician can share information with a patient when necessary, commenting that statutes that don't affect the oil and gas industry "explicitly" allow such disclosures.
            Wecht questioned whether the statute exposes doctors to tort liability by preventing them from discussing their observations with colleagues, thereby "hampering their ability to stay up on science" and treat patients accordingly.
            Todd cut to the heart of the issue, asking if any other industry gets such statutory "preferential treatment."
            "Not in this specific way," Hopkirk conceded.
Eminent Domain
            Looking to Section 3241, Jonathan Kamin of Goldberg, Kamin & Garvin, arguing for the townships, questioned the public benefit in allowing a gas company to condemn the final portion of a property once it has the majority.
            "The whole industry has a public benefit to the Pennsylvania consumer," Baer responded.
            Kamin noted that there is no requirement in the statute that companies deliver anything to the public once land has been taken.
"If you're giving the supreme governmental right to take private property for the public good, there has to be a public component," he said.
            Matthew Haverstick of Kleinbard LLC, arguing on behalf of the Public Utility Commission, said the townships offered a facial challenge to Section 3241, which he said is "more than capable" of a constitutional reading.
            "There's a private purpose in the taking, no?" Baer asked.
            "Not in this case," Haverstick replied, adding that his opposing counsel was attempting to "crowbar" facts into the case.
            Haverstick, responding to a question from Wecht about the court's role in scrutinizing the issue, said the court should determine the "outer boundaries" of what constitutes a public taking. A factual situation could arise on a challenge at a later date, he said, "but that's not today."
Severability
            Yeager also addressed a fourth question from the court, on the severability of Sections 3305 through 3309 of Act 13, on challenges to government ordinances, from the sections invalidated in the first Robinson Township decision.

Following the 2013 ruling, those "provisions are incomplete and incapable of being executed," he said.
            The court said the statewide uniform regime couldn't withstand a challenge, and the sections at issue "provide a mechanism for enforcing that statewide regime," Yeager said, adding that "each and every part" of those sections is wound up in the provisions deemed unconstitutional.”

PCN-TV


***Yeager Compound-Argued by Smith Butz, LLC
(Excerpts From the Petitioner’s Brief)
(This case is important for many reasons. In addition to proving contamination of a private water source, it establishes negligence on the part of the DEP. jan)
            “The Petitioner, Smith Butz, LLC ("Counsel") is a law firm that represents several property owners in Amwell Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania who live in close proximity to the Yeager Impoundment and Yeager drill site.
            ..Shortly after the Yeager drill site and Yeager Impoundment were introduced into the area up-gradient from their properties, Counsel's clients became very sick and several of their pets and farm animals died. As Counsel's clients relied on water wells and natural springs for all of their domestic water needs and to support their animals, they called upon the Department (DEP, Jan) to inspect the Yeager Impoundment and Yeager drill site to make sure that these facilities were not impacting their water and air. The Department took limited action to investigate these citizens' claims and allowed for the continued operation of the Yeager drill site, including allowing the leaking Yeager Impoundment to remain in operation.
            …Presently, Counsel represents these individuals in a number of proceedings
in a variety of venues against the Department and against Range and its contractors. Counsel appears on behalf of its clients in an original jurisdiction mandamus proceeding before this Court, captioned Voyles v. .E.P., at Docket Number 253 MD 11, wherein it is asserted that the Department failed to perform its statutory obligations to investigate and prosecute numerous violations of both Pennsylvania law and federal law at the Yeager drill site, which includes the Yeager Impoundment. Subsequent to this act it has now been confirmed that the Yeager Impoundment leaked, a fact previously denied by Range and the Department for years . ….IT (counsel, jan)  also demonstrated that the Department withheld critical diagnostic results from water tests it conducted following complaints of contaminated water from Counsel's sick clients.
            In the summer of 2010, the Yeager Impoundment became septic, producing substantial amounts of dangerous and potentially deadly hydrogen sulfide. Due to the magnitude of the hydrogen sulfide problem, Range used AcroClear, a product containing the highly toxic chemical acrolein, to scavenge the bacteria producing the hydrogen sulfide. Department representatives have testified that in late August, early September 2010, they did not conduct any inspection as to the soundness of the Yeager Impoundment liner so as to prevent acrolein and other known chemicals and heavy metals from leaching into the groundwater.
            ..Written inspection report forms are completed by Department personnel after site inspections and then this information is manually inputted into eFACTS. . Each inspection report has its own unique Inspection ID number. Despite the fact that the eFACTS system is predicated on written inspection records with Inspection ID numbers existing the Department incredibly maintains that there are no such records.
            …Simply put, the Department does not want to admit that any records exist that further illustrate its reckless handling of an environmental catastrophe at the Yeager Impoundment that has sickened Counsel's clients, destroyed their property values and killed their pets and animals, the Department incredibly maintains that there are no such records.”


***Justice!  Cabot Case is a Win!! 4.25 million dollars
            Cabot banned from Dimock
            “A jury ruled that Cabot Oil and Gas did contaminate wells belonging to two families in Susquehanna County. Cabot Oil and Gas must pay millions of dollars to the families involved in the federal civil suit.
            Residents first reported problems in the wells in 2008. The water that came out of their faucets turned cloudy, foamy and discolored, and it smelled and tasted foul. Homeowners, all of whom had leased their land to Cabot, said the water made them sick with symptoms that included vomiting, dizziness and skin rashes.
            A state investigation found that Cabot had allowed gas to escape into the region's groundwater supplies, contaminating at least 18 residential wells.
            The Hubert family and the Ely family, both from Dimock Township, are the only residents who did not settle with Cabot Oil and Gas over water contamination.
            The plaintiffs' attorney called the verdict a warning shot that will resonate beyond the courtroom.
            "Cabot doesn't care. Industry doesn't care. They're the big bucks. Their influence is wide and far. ... It's fine with me if industry takes a big fat hit," Leslie Lewis said.
             The Ely’s were awarded $2.6 million and their three children $50,000 each. The Huberts were awarded $1.4 million, with another family member awarded $50,000.
            It took jurors two days to reach the verdict.
            “$4.2 million will not bring back drinkable well water to the long-suffering families of Dimock, Pennsylvania,” Sandra Steingraber, PhD, science advisor for Americans Against Fracking, told EcoWatch.
            “No amount of money can do that. Once groundwater is polluted, it’s polluted forevermore. But what this important jury decision does do is strip away the mirage of omnipotence that Cabot and other gas companies operate behind. Fracking poisons water. That’s what the science shows. The frackers will be held responsible. That’s what this court decision shows.”
            A NPR StateImpact report, prior to the trial, said that Cabot Oil & Gas had already accumulated more than 130 drilling violations at its Dimock wells, yet insisted that methane migration in Dimock’s water is naturally occurring. The company is currently banned from drilling in a 9-mile area of Dimock but is trying to lift the ban.
A state investigation, according to the AP, found that Cabot had allowed gas to escape into the region’s groundwater supplies, contaminating at least 18 residential water wells.”


Other news
***Thank you to David Ball-Letter to Editor
            (David is from Peters Twp. He is one of the leaders in the fight to protect the environment, and heath, and property values of the region. Jan)
“I thank God for Peters Township Councilman David Ball and other dedicated civic volunteers who look out for our best interests. I believe it’s fair to say that a lot of people who signed up for drilling now regret their decision or didn’t really know the implications. Everyone is busy, and who has the time to do all the research on this complicated topic? Apparently David Ball has taken on that task, and I for one am grateful for his efforts. Let’s applaud him, not criticize him.
Christine Posti
Venetia”

***Moraltorium on Fracking
            There was a call for a moraltorium on fracking on March 21 in Harrisburg..
  Members of the faith community asked for:
            *a MORALtorium on permits for any new wells that involve hydraulic fracking.
            *fully funding the examination of existing PA wells to monitor for methane leaks polluting the air and gas leaks polluting the water.
            *the cleanup of contaminated wells which cause health and safety problems for Pennsylvanians.
            *the retraining of workers displaced from fossil fuel-related jobs for the emerging renewable energy sector.

***Fracking Study Finds Toxins in Wyoming Towns Groundwater
            “Hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas operations contaminated the groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming, according to a new study by Stanford University scientists. The findings raise concerns about possible water pollution in other heavily fracked and geologically similar communities in the U.S. West. . Tests of nearby groundwater showed dangerous concentrations of diesel-related and volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, a known carcinogen, and the neurotoxin toluene.  Extremely high levels of diesel-related organic compounds were found in the monitoring wells. Also, low molecular weight organic acids were detected in high concentrations in the monitoring wells.
            The researchers also found that energy companies frequently fracked at much shallower depths than previously thought, sometimes very close to drinking water wells. In addition, companies fracked into underground sources of drinking water, or USDWs, defined under federal law as aquifers that could supply a public water system. Fracking into USDWs is legal, but the oil and gas industry has long insisted that fracking occurs far deeper than where aquifers are located." Published in Environmental Science & Technology, 2016

***Interesting Email From State Senator Dinniman About Landmen
            (A similar action should have taken place before thousands of Pennsylvanians signed leases for gas wells with landmen before fully understanding the implications of that action. Jan)
            “As more and more pipeline projects are planned for our region, with them come not only environmental concerns but also threats to individual property rights and historic preservation.
            You are invited to join me …for a special press conference in support of Senate Bill 991, legislation to regulate land agents in Pennsylvania. I will be joined by residents, business owners, and homeowners who feel that they have been intimidated, harassed and bullied by land agents.
            To negotiate easements and rights of way with property owners, pipeline companies employee or contract with land agents. These agents perform title or contract functions and negotiate the acquisition of land and property rights. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be held to the same standards and scrutiny as realtors. However, currently in Pennsylvania they operate without any oversight whatsoever. It seems like some of these agents, according to residents, will do or say practically anything to get landowners to sign over their property rights.
            In response to numerous complaints from residents, businesses and homeowners about the aggressive tactics employed by such land agents, I have introduced Senate Bill 991. The bill would amend Pennsylvania’s Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act to define the role of “land acquisition broker” and require registration with the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. Senate Bill 991 also calls for allowing public access to a listing of registered brokers, requiring criminal history background checks of brokers, and providing the commission with the authority to revoke or suspend them for a number of reasons such as fraud or misrepresentation.
            In addition, you may know that Ship Road Park is located near several properties that are impacted by Sunoco Logistics' proposed Mariner East pipeline project. Interestingly, the park is also adjacent to a potentially historically significant property that is believed to be the site of the encampment of the Pennsylvania First Militia during what became known as the “Battle of the Clouds” during the Revolutionary War. The event, which occurred on September 16, 1777, near present-day Malvern, was so-named because a sudden thunderstorm and torrential downpour prevented an imminent clash between General Howe’s British forces and the Continental Army under the command of General Washington. As a member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, I will be requesting that the commission conduct an archeological survey of the site to determine any historic artifacts.
            Thank you and please join me.. to support Senate Bill 991 and stand up for individual property rights, our environment, and our history.
Sincerely,
 Andy Dinniman
State Senator - 19th District

***Mt Pleasant Twp. Residents Request Evacuation plans
            “Residents of Westland were requesting info on evacuation plans, and that’s where this came from. They evacuated a couple of times, so we’re looking into what we can do in that respect,” Reed said.
            Board discussion revolved around how residents would differentiate between fire sirens and sirens that indicated specific emergencies, such as gas explosions.
            Jane Worthington of 135 Main St., Hickory, said during public comment Fort Cherry School District doesn’t have an evacuation plan in place in regard to oil- and gas-drilling accidents or railroad explosions.
            “The township doesn’t have exhaustive, complete evacuation plans for these types of situations, either,” Worthington said. “Is that what that motion does? I think this is a bigger potential problem than sweeping this under a plan to buy some sirens.” 

***IUP Students Test Westmoreland Water Supply
            (You rarely read anything about the fracking at Beaver Run Reservoir. For those who are not aware, IUP students and staff test the water quarterly at the Beaver Run Reservoir. Many questions remain including the extent of testing and specific chemicals tested for. This article from 2015 provides some background information.jan)
            “The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County will pay Indiana University of Pennsylvania $80,000 this year to test and analyze water samples at and around its Beaver Run Reservoir.
            It will be the fourth year the school's chemistry and science department has worked to review water quality issues near the 11-billion-gallon reservoir and surrounding property.
            The authority has leased property at the reservoir to Consol Energy, which has built nearly 40 deep wells to probe for Marcellus shale natural gas. Some of the wells are located just a stone's throw from the reservoir.
            IUP students and staff take samples from tributaries and streams that feed the reservoir, the reservoir itself and other ground water locations on the property.
            Results are posted on a website, run by the school, at least four times a year.
Results from IUP's last round of tests showed no abnormality with the water supply at Beaver Run, authority officials said.”
            The results can be found at IUP's website: http://www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=120005.

***Highly Polluting Petrochemical Plants Increase Due to Fracking
             “The boom in cheap natural gas is spawning a wave of petrochemical plants that, if built, will emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases. The Washington-based Environmental Integrity Project said hydraulic fracturing has resulted in a boom -- United States has begun exporting gas.
             The group calculated that if 44 large-scale petrochemical developments proposed or permitted in 2015 were built they would spew as much pollution as 19 new coal-fired power plants would. All these projects potentially could pump about 86 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year. That would be an increase of 16 percent for the industry's emissions in 2014, the report found.
            The report combined new natural gas, fertilizer and chemical plants and petroleum refinery expansions projects. Natural gas is a prime ingredient in ammonia, a basic element in fertilizers.
Similarly, the report said natural gas is important for chemical manufacturers of plastics and other products.”

***First Gas Leaves USA For Europe
             “The INEOS Intrepid, the world's largest LNG multi gas carrier, today left the Markus Hook terminal near Philadelphia bound for Norway carrying 27,500m3 of US shale gas ethane.
             This is the first time that US shale gas has ever been shipped to Europe and represents the culmination of a long-term investment by INEOS.
             The shale gas is cooled to -90ºC (-130ºF) for the journey of 3,800 miles, which is expected to take nine to ten days.  US shale gas will complement the reducing gas feed from the North Sea.
             Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of INEOS, says, "This is an important day for INEOS and Europe. We know that shale gas economics revitalized US manufacturing and for the first time Europe can access this important energy and raw material source too" http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/energy/2016/03/first-ethane-shipment-from-marcellus-heads-europe.html

***“Fracking Linked to Increased Infant Mortality in Alarming Study”
(This study was not publicized in the media. Nor were several other studies that indicate a link between fracking and perinatal mortality, low weight births, premature births and cancer in children. jan)

            “Pennsylvania has issued more than 10,000 drilling permits over the past decade. Infants and children may be paying a heavy price.
            A study has linked fracking to a higher incidence in infant mortality, perinatal mortality, low-weight births, premature births and cancer in infants and children.
            Funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation and written by Joe Mangano, co-founder and president of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a nonprofit educational and scientific organization that studies the relationship between low-level, nuclear radiation and public health, the study used data from state agencies to examine eight heavily fracked counties in Pennsylvania — four in the northeast and four in the southwest region of the state, counties that account for the majority of the state's natural gas drill wells and gas production. In all categories but child cancer, increases were greater in the northeast counties than they were in the four southwest counties.
            "The information presented in this report supports the hypothesis of a link between exposure to toxic chemicals released in fracking and increased risk of disease and death," writes Mangano. "While it is virtually impossible to estimate a 'dose' to a community from chemicals generated by fracking, it is clear that residents of the eight most-fracked counties received far greater exposures than those in the rest of Pennsylvania."
            Analyzing publicly available data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mangano found that, since the early 2000s and compared to the rest of the state, the heavily-fracked counties have seen a rise in infant mortality (13.9 percent), perinatal mortality (23.6 percent), low-weight births (3.4 percent), premature births/gestation less than 32 weeks (12.4 percent) and cancer incidence in age 0-4 (35.1 percent).
            Mangano asserts that the advent of large-scale fracking "has added considerable amounts of toxic chemicals into the environment, including various greenhouse gases and radiation. While potential health consequences of fracking has been become a national issue, very little research on health trends among affected populations has been conducted."
            Over the past decade, Pennsylvania and other parts of the U.S. have seen a rapid rise in fracking operations. Between January 1, 2005, and March 2, 2012, the Pennsylvania DEP issued 10,232 drilling permits, and denied only 36 requests.
            With 66 operators currently drilling 7,788 active wells, fracking has dramatically changed the landscape of northeastern and southwestern Pennsylvania. So too has the scientific evidence of fracking's negative impact on public health. The fracking process produces diesel particulate matter, the exposure of which may lead to asthma, headaches, high blood pressure, anemia, congenital hearth defects, heart attacks and cancer.
            Fracking has also been linked to drinking water pollution and the release of radon gas, a known carcinogenic. Some 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxins such as lead, benzene, uranium, radium, methanol, mercury, hydrochloric acid, ethylene glycol and formaldehyde.
                        Epidemiological studies on the effect of fracking on infants and children can be more useful than similar studies on adults. "Any environmentally-caused health problems in the very young are the result of a recent insult, while health problems in adults can be a result of a much earlier exposure with a long lag period before the disease is diagnosed," Mangano notes. "The very young are most susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental radiation, so any unusual patterns in morbidity or mortality would show up quickest in these groups."
            Clearly, there are problems with the methods used in Pennsylvania: Between January 2009 and March 2015, fracking operators in the state have been issued more than 4,000 violations with fines totaling $6.1 million.
            "The abstract is alarming," said Rebecca Roter, founder and chairperson of Breathe Easy Susquehanna County (BESC), a nonpartisan community advocacy group based in Montrose, Pennsylvania, seeking to reduce air pollution from natural gas drilling. Roter, who wrote a letter in support of Mangano's grant application for the study, advocates working with the oil and gas industry to achieve a common good: clean air. "It doesn’t matter what side of the issue of drilling you are on: you are breathing, too. We can all agree on maintaining air quality.”

Frack Links
***Link to Shalefield Stories-Personal stories of those affected by fracking http://www.friendsoftheharmed.com/

***To sign up for Skytruth notifications of activity and violations for your area:


 *** List of the Harmed--There are now over 1400 residents of Pennsylvania who have placed their names on the list of the harmed when they became sick after fracking began in their area. http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/

*** To See Water Test Results of the Beaver Run Reservoir
IUP students test for TDS, pH, metals- arsenic, chromium, and strontium.
We have not seen results for other frack chemicals including the organics BTEX group, or cesium for example. Here is a link to the IUP site:


For more information contact Jan Milburn
--

Friday, March 4, 2016

Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group Updates February, 2016


*  To view permanent documents, past updates, reports, general information and meeting             information http://westmorelandmarcellus.blogspot.com/
* Our email address: westmcg@gmail.com

*  To contact your state legislator:
             For the email address, click on the envelope under the photo
*  For information on PA state gas legislation and local control:             http://pajustpowers.org/aboutthebills.html-


Events
***Penn Twp What: Educational Workshop on “Defending the Environmental Rights of Pennsylvania Communities from Shale Gas Development; Strategies for Residents and Local Officials”
When: March 9th @ 6:30pm
Where: WCCC- Bushy Run Campus Classroom 9105 (6706 Mellon Rd, Ex-
port, PA 15632)
Why: In order to help meet the challenges of protecting the environmental rights of communities threatened by shale gas development, Delaware Riverkeeper Network has issued a guidebook to help municipalities and residents arm themselves with planning and zoning to protect them and their local environment from harm.
 Speaker: Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director Delaware Riverkeeper Network

***Film-Triple Divide –Claridge PA  Free and open to the public, the screening is set for Saturday, March 5th, Doors will open at 6 PM with the screening to begin at 6:30 PM.
2016 at the Bushy Run American Legion, 3002 Main Street Claridge, PA
15623.  Hosted by Protect PT

Legal Cases   These cases will shed some light on how the new PA Supreme Court will view fracking cases.
***Two important cases will be argued:
1) Robinson Twp vs. the PUC, DEP, and AG  (as previously announced)
    March 9, 9 AM
    City Hall - Room 456
    Philadelphia, PA  19107
2)  Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF)
        Attorney John E. Childe is scheduled to present Oral Argument in Philadelphia before Pennsylvania's Supreme Court in PEDF's  landmark lawsuit to affirm meaning to Article I § 27 (the public trust amendment) and save our state forests and parks from the  harmful effects of unconventional gas drilling.
            “ From FOREST Coalition:   Now is the time to support PEDF's case, because losing the right to clean air & water is for a lifetime. The PA Environmental Defense Foundation has taken on great debt to pay for this case.  Now it the last step.
PEDF is in need of donations. If you wish to help the cause:
PEDF is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization
Donations are fully tax-deductible
You can donate by PayPal or pledge a monthly amount at
or write a check today to:
PEDF,  P.O. Box 371,  Camp Hill PA 17001 - 0371
Please forward this message to your friends

   Winning means:
·       Every elected official, from the Governor on down, is responsible to protecting our right to clean air and water.
·       It will help DCNR to protect our State Parks and Forests from further destruction from gas leases.
     DEP's work is made easier with the Court's backing. Think of the impaired Susquehanna River and air quality near gas operations.

Losing would mean:
·       The words in Article I § 27 of our State Constitution will be interpreted by our State Assembly as they see fit.

           We can't take that chance, because without clean air & water, we have nothing.”


 ***Superior Court Says Range Resources Can't Hide Pollution Tests From Residents
             “Residents near Range Resource’s Yeager drill site in Washington Co. who are suing due to contamination, can seek records of air monitoring and other pollution tests that a consultant performed at gas facilities, the PA Superior Court ruled, shooting down the company's objections.
             The plaintiffs are represented by John Smith and Kendra Smith of Smith Butz LLC.            The case is Haney et al. v. Range Resources-Appalachia LLC et al., , in the Superior Court of the State of Pennsylvania.” https://www.law360.com/articles/752807/pa-fracker-can-t-keep-pollution-tests-from-residents

***Kretschmann Farm, New Sewickley
            Please note the denial of agricultural use designation for a mulching operation, yet townships argue fracking should be a permitted agricultural use.  

The appeal is based on :
** The Commonwealth Court’s determination that the New Sewickley Twp Board of Supervisors was NOT OBLIGATED to review the Application in the context of Article I, Section 1 and Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution during a conditional use review
** In regard to emissions and air quality concerns, Cardinal Midstream offered Ms. Christi Wilson as a witness. Ms. Wilson readily admitted that harmful pollutants, such as Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and Volatile Organic Compounds, including benzene, a known carcinogen, and toluene would, in fact, be emitted from the Compressor Station. Ms. Wilson testified that the Compressor Station would have to comply with state and federal permitting requirements but acknowledged on cross-examination by the Kretschmanns’ counsel that these permitting requirements were not health-based standards based on exposure.
            Ms. Wilson further conceded that Cardinal had not performed any air modeling for its Compressor Station to determine how far and where its emissions would travel in New Sewickley Township, what citizens would be affected and how they would be affected."
`            In a baffling rationalization, the Commonwealth Court reasoned that industrial compressor stations were compatible with farms and other agricultural uses because “no court has ever held that a compressor station cannot be compatible with other uses in an agricultural district.”
            That the Commonwealth Court would now suggest that an industrial Compressor Station is compatible with an agricultural zoning district is at odds with not only the stated purpose of the zoning district, but with the fact that it previously found that a “mulching business” was not compatible with an agricultural zoning district.
            If an enterprise where trees are cut into mulch is not “agricultural”, then a heavy industrial natural gas compressor station powered by a half-dozen internal combustion engines that emit known carcinogenic pollutants certainly cannot qualify as “agricultural,” and therefore is incompatible with the agricultural zoning district.
**            The Commonwealth Court’s Opinion lacked any discussion of compatibility of the use and the defined purpose of the A-1 Agricultural zoning district that is designed to preserve environmentally sensitive areas and how industrial compressor stations properly fit into this scheme.
**            The Commonwealth Court erred in allowing the Board to take action to approve an industrial use in an incompatible A-1 zoning district and, by doing so, violated Article I, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
            Moreover, the Commonwealth Court’s holding that Cardinal had no obligation to satisfy Article I, Section 27 misses the mark.

***Dimock Families Go to Federal Jury Trial Against Cabot Over Water Contamination
             “Dimock PA families with water contamination from drilling will be going to federal jury trial against Cabot Oil & Gas.  Except for a two- year period when Cabot supplied the plaintiffs, Nolen Ely and his family, and Ray Hubert and his family, with water, since 2008, the Elys and Huberts have been living without reliable access to water and under rationing conditions.  To survive day to day, these families haul water at their own expense every week for drinking, bathing and other daily basics.
            Beginning in the fall of 2008, Dimock families noticed problems with their drinking water, and began to experience rashes, nausea, headaches and dizziness. A trigger point to the litigation was the explosion of Norma Fiorentino’s private water well on December 31, 2008 due to methane gas accumulation in the well head.
            The case eventually included 22 families from Dimock and Springville Townships in Susquehanna County.”


PA News
***Ligonier Twp   Citizens to Preserve Ligonier Valley continues to work to support a legal challenge to the zoning ordinance which opens up much of the township to fracking. The legal committee continues to meet with environmental groups willing to assist our challenge and the board devotes much time and effort to the business needs of the group as we work towards the goal of protecting our area from shale gas development.

***Penn Twp. Approves Land Development
The Penn Township Planning and Zoning Commission  provided preliminary approval of the land development applications for all 7 recently proposed unconventional gas well pads in Penn Township’s agricultural zone. In December, the same board found all 7 of the land development applications to be incomplete.  “With state DEP permits and a decision from the Zoning Hearing Board still pending we are unsure about why they would choose to approve all seven of these land development applications, even preliminarily.  They are once again putting the cart before the horse, said Gillian Graber, president of Protect PT.
            “ Penn-Franklin's front page article, "Residents speak out against Beattie gas well," is an excellent, thorough report on the recent Penn Twp zoning hearing board public meeting. Please get a copy for yourself ($.35!) and support our local P-F. Apex has numerous leases in Murrysville and plans for a well pad less than 500 ft from the southwest Murrysville border along the PA Turnpike.

A few excerpts:
"I depend greatly on my (water) well," Gene Meyers, who lives on Davidson Lane in Penn Township, told members of the zoning hearing board.  "God gave me that resource, now it is threatened - it is to be taken from me."
Meyers was one of the witnesses called by Oday Salim, an attorney with fair Shake Legal Services, representing Protect PT, a citizens group which has raised concerns and objections to the Marcellus gas wells. 
During the hearing on the Beattie well, proposed for the Dutch Hollow section of Penn Township, Meyers told the board he moved to the area for the serenity, peace and quiet of the country. He said he is 1100 ft from the site of the proposed well.
Stating he has worked at various well sites before his retirement this year, Meyers said, "The noise will be devastating."
The Feb. 11 meeting was the second night of the hearing which began Jan. 14 on the well.  After two hours of testimony from witnesses called by Apex Energy and Protect PT, approximately 15 residents from the area had the opportunity to speak before time ran out at 10:30 PM.  With more residents expressing a desire to add their comments, the board decided to carry the hearing over to Feb 29 when a hearing on the Draftina well, which is located in the same area, is scheduled to begin. 
...Testifying first was Gary Yoder, vice president of environmental services for Clime Corp.  He told the board it is important to consider the contamination from normal operation in addition to accidents.  He said the report says the chemicals on site will be kept to a minimum which would mean frequent transport of the chemicals onto the site.  He also questioned the type of air modeling that was conducted.  He stated, in his opinion, the Apex report is an incomplete assessment of the human health risks.
. When questioned by Wilhelm, Mason agreed the lights and noise are now gone, but repeatedly stated that from June until October she was unable to sleep.
 Dr. James Lim voiced concern for the health of his family, stating the effects of the drilling process are not fully known. A doctor for UPMC, he said he is concerned for the health of his family, his neighbors and his patients.  "I'm obligated to do everything in my power to minimize the health risks to my patients, and my family. The possible air, water, noise and contamination effects are not fully known by Apex. And the risks outweigh the benefits."
In closing, he asked the board, "Can we trust you to keep us safe?"

***Another Gas Plant Proposed on the Yough
 Invenergy has proposed a new 450-550 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, called Allegheny Energy Center, along the Yough in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County. Community members are formally objecting to the issuance of variances for this site.

***Wilkins Twp, Fracking Limited To Manufacturing District
 "Wilkins Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that limits oil and gas drilling to the manufacturing zoning district in the township.
            The ordinance calls for 1,500 foot setbacks from protected structures like homes and schools and. Additionally, the ordinance states that applicants must complete a traffic study, submit a water withdrawal plan and emergency response plan as well as an air quality study among other requirements.
            Sylvia Martinelli, council president, said, “Wilkins Township is now a safer place to live,' she added."

***Wilmingham Twp-Conflict of Interest?  “  Township supervisors, against tremendous opposition, approved the Kingery Oil and Gas Ordinance, aptly named since Planning Commissioner Fred Kingery has stated publicly on numerous occasions that he wrote the industry friendly oil and gas ordinance.
On January 19th, attorneys filed a Procedural Validity Challenge against the township for the December 21, 2015 meeting.
            As a strategy, a Procedural Validity Challenge may only buy time since the same ordinance, or a similar revision, will no doubt be brought back for a vote in the coming months, but next time our township officials will be sure to follow the proper procedures.  We believe the rush to approve the industry friendly oil and gas ordinance is to allow for construction to begin before new regulations are implemented, because industry is often only required to adhere to regulations that are in place when construction commences.   Several pending court cases could have significant impact on zoning rights in Pennsylvania.  Our attorneys estimate expenses for our challenge to range from $5,000-10,000. 
             During the December 21, 2015 meeting, landman Wayne Gill presented a petition in support of the Kingery ordinance on behalf of 61 township landowners.  Later during the meeting, an Amish man reported that he knew that at least two Amish who signed did not understand what the petition was about.  I spoke with those landowners about the petition; apparently Wayne Gill told them that the November 2014 ordinance did not allow landowners to fully utilize their properties as they saw fit and could lead to other ordinances that would prevent farmers from spreading manure on their land.  By preying on their fears, Wayne coerced Amish landowners into signing the Kingery petition. I was told previously by my Amish neighbors that Fred Kingery first approached them with the petition, just three days after the October 28, 2015 meeting.  Most would agree that it is a conflict of interest for Planning Commissioner, Fred Kingergy, to circulate a petition in favor of an ordinance he wrote and could potentially benefit from, there is no doubt that landman Wayne Gill would directly benefit as he holds a working royalty interest in any leases he helped sign here; the more drilling that is permitted within the township, the greater his financial gain.
             In response to their petition, we have created our own petition and have begun circulating it throughout the township.  For nearly two years, concerned township residents have presented information and encouraged township officials to take the necessary steps to protect the rights of all residents and landowners, by increasing setbacks so that the industrial process of unconventional gas drilling would not adversely impact those who were not in favor of this development.  Recently, some residents have pushed for a compromise between the November 2014 and the recently approved Kingery ordinance.  However, if we are to come anywhere near the restrictions and requirements of the November 2014 ordinance, I feel that we must raise the bar higher by suggesting that the industrial process of unconventional gas drilling only be permitted in industrial zones.  This request does not "ban" drilling from our township (due to the limited size of the current industrial zones within the township), but insists that landowners who favor this development should be required to follow the established procedure for having their land rezoned as industrial.
 Carrie Hahn

***DuBois Fights Waste Injection Well-Letter to Editor, excerpt
The push continues to threaten and contaminate our "residential" neighborhood ...  Thousands of tanker trucks loaded with toxic, contaminated and some times radioactive waste will be hauled onto Highland Street to a proposed injection well.  Their cargo is not "residual waste" as labeled, but far more toxic. (Halliburton loophole). Loss of air quality through benzene laced diesel fumes, toxic off gassing from frack waste tanks and the threat to many families fresh water resources from casing failures and well failures, accidents and spill's all face the residents of this area.  Property value and quality of life are also going to be issues that will need to be addressed.” Randall R. Baird


Other Fracking News
***DEP-Discrepancy in Water Contamination Records
44% Complaint Record
 “Thousands of complaints about drinking water have been discovered coming from communities near fracking. This casts doubt that on the claims by the EPA that fracking isn’t causing widespread damage to drinking water.  DEP has received 2,309 water complaints from 17 of 40 counties where fracking took place. Of those, 1,275 can now be viewed by the public, thanks to the investigations of Public Herald. The sheer number of complaints casts a shadow over EPA’s claims, since Pennsylvania’s official tally of water degradation is only 271 for all 40 fracking counties in the state.
             In Pennsylvania, the reason for this discrepancy comes down to a singular issue: mismanaged record-keeping and reporting by the DEP.
             That means that for about every two fracking well pads, one homeowner called in a water complaint, instead of one for every seven wells drilled. That’s a 44 % fracking water complaint rate suggesting that water well issues are pervasive. Even if the water complaints are compared to the number of wells drilled in these 17 counties, it’s a 17 % water complaint rate.
            Not only is the sky-high complaint rate concerning, but why did the DEP dismiss and not report more than 1,000 water well complaints? Did 1,000+ homeowners call in bogus water well claims?"
            In Pennsylvania, water degradation is defined as when a private water well located within 2,500 feet of a fracking well has been negatively impacted within six months of drilling.” https://www.rt.com/usa/331334-fracking-pennsylvania-worse-thought/

***Racetrack Owner Questions Affect of Fracking on Horses
            “Jeffrey Gural, filed an appeal questioning the results of water supply tests conducted by DEP for an equestrian facility he owns in Bradford County after the agency said it was not affected by fracking.
            The Gurals said they notified the DEP of potential problems with their water in May, after noticing that a high percentage of the foals born at the facility over the past several years were experiencing health problems. They said the issue started shortly after a fracking operation commenced on an adjacent property.
            The Gurals point to a well operated by a subsidiary of Chesapeake as a possible cause, and said the DEP may have missed something when it found their water was not contaminated by Chesapeake.”

***France-- Solar Road Will Provide Power to 5 Million People
            The French government plans to pave 621 miles of its roads with solar panels in the next five years, which will supply power to millions of people.
            “The maximum effect of the program, if successful, could be to furnish 5 million people with electricity, or about 8% of the French population,” Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology and energy, said.
            The solar roads concept isn’t new. SolaRoad, the world’s first “solar road,” has been in operation in the Netherlands since November 2014, but it’s already generating more power than expected. Minister Royal said installation of the panels will begin this spring and proposes to pay for them by raising taxes on fossil fuels.”

***DEP Updates RulesPAs Environmental Quality Board EQB, approved major revisions to strengthen oil and gas regs. At a heated meeting, critics of the rules called elements of the package illegal or unnecessary.
            The DEP defended the revisions and advised the board against adopting 16 amendments that would have changed the regulations’ meaning. The EQB eventually voted 15-4 to adopt the rules as DEP proposed them.
            The updates to the rules focus on adding protections for public resources that might be disrupted by drilling, ensuring that new wells don’t intersect with abandoned ones, setting stricter standards for waste handling and cleanup, and requiring that damaged drinking water supplies are restored to a safe quality or better.” http://www.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2016/02/03/Pennsylvania-board-approves-major-revisions-to-drilling-rules-DEP-Marcellus-Shale-conventional/stories/201602030207

** Wolf Calls on DEP To Reduce Methane-  “Gov. Tom Wolf called on the DEP to cut down on the unnecessary release of the potent greenhouse gas from gas well sites, compressor stations, and pipelines.
            Regulators are first tackling emissions from new gas well sites and compressor stations. Regulations for existing oil/ gas facilities, and suggestions for leak detection and control along pipelines will take longer to implement.
            DEP said it is considering an array of new standards for well pads, among them: quarterly leak inspections with infrared cameras and monthly walk-though screenings; cleaner diesel engines on drilling rigs; quicker repairs once leaks are discovered; 95 percent control of emissions of associated pollutants from storage tanks; and reduced bleed-off from pumps.
            Department officials said they are considering similar controls for gas compression and processing sites— quicker leak repair, no-bleed or low-bleed controllers, no more venting during cleaning and maintenance.
            The new standards will be set out in general permits, which establish a baseline of behavior. Instead of applying for an individual permit for every new site it builds, a company agrees to comply with all of the terms of a general permit that have been set in advance for a whole class of similar sites.      http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2016/02/16/Environmental-regulators-tackle-methane-leaks-at-oil-and-gas-well-sites-Pennsylvania/stories/201602120218

***Iowa  Now Leads the Wind Power Generation
            Iowa wind power generates 32 % of state’s electricity, leading the nation.
The American Wind Energy Association says more than 31% of the state’s electricity came from wind turbines last year.
South Dakota was at 25.5% and Kansas at 23.9 %.
Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa has the potential to jump above 40% in the next five years.

***Gas Wells Can Continue to Leak Methane Even When Plugged
             “Methane is the main component of natural gas. It’s also a potent greenhouse gas that’s potentially explosive when it accumulates in confined spaces. In Pennsylvania and California, Jackson and his colleagues have tested abandoned wells, both plugged and unplugged, for methane leaks. The results are surprising; in most cases, the wells were leaking extremely small quantities of methane, but a few wells were leaking several orders of magnitude more.  It wasn’t just the unplugged wells. Some of those ‘super emitters’ had been plugged.
            Even those super leaky wells, from what we know, are emitting far less than, for example, the massive leak in southern California, but they do add up. In Pennsylvania, one of Jackson’s colleagues estimated that abandoned wells account for 4 to 7% of the state’s total man-made methane emissionsfile://localhost/.”    http/::insideenergy.org:2016:02:09:living-on-top-of-forgotten-oil-and-gas-wells:


***EPA VS FERC On Pipelines
In regard to exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and building interstate gas pipelines, EPA is calling for the consideration of climate change and the full life-cycle emissions associated with using gas.  EPA and FERC have a simmering disagreement over whether gas projects should be required to look at the upstream production impacts and downstream end-use effects associated with building infrastructure for the fuel.  EPA officials have urged FERC to consider not just the direct environmental effects of newly constructed facilities but also any indirect effects from new drilling activities to supply them and from the ultimate use of the fuel.
            In doing so, EPA has sided with a growing number of environmental activists calling for such expanded reviews, some of whom have staged protests at project hearings and at FERC's headquarters in Washington, D.C.”  http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2016/02/04/stories/1060031773

***What If It’s Overpiped?
 “It’s a concept rarely, if ever discussed in the Marcellus and Utica Shales region, but was heard uttered by no fewer than two speakers at the Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference. “What if the Marcellus/Utica region is overpiped?” asked Mark Eisenhower, vice president of Strategic Planning and Development for midstreamer Aspire Energy of Ohio. “I’m not saying it is, but it’s something that must be considered.”  “Producers scaling back will mean excess pipeline capacity, and excess pipeline capacity will reduce the basis differential and thus reduce/eliminate the value of new pipeline projects,” www.kallanishenergy.com/2016/02/01/marcellus-utica-could-soon-be-overpiped/

***Pipeline Eminent Domain Protest by Michael Bagdes-Canning
  Susquehanna Co.   “I don't usually feel optimistic about our fights with the industry but this fight is unique, powerful, and has already had some stunning successes. What makes this unique? This goes way beyond the usual arguments - health of the planet, the community, nearby residents, protecting water and air. It's all of those things but it's also a fight for property rights. These brave people fighting this pipeline going through their land didn't sign papers to give Williams access. The right-of-way was taken through eminent domain and these families haven't even been compensated. Further, this pipeline is going right through their sugar bush (a stand of maple trees used for making maple syrup). They were making syrup when I was there. The pipeline will destroy trees these people depend on for income. Even more devastating - Williams hasn't gotten the necessary permitting to finish this project (Governor Cuomo in New York must approve the Constitution Pipeline for this to even make sense and he has not done so yet.). If they don't even know if they can complete the project WHY THE HELL DO THEY HAVE TO DO IRREPARABLE HARM????? 


***Tenaska- Another source of pollution to come to Westmoreland County
Jan’s Letter ( I am printing my letter for the benefit of those who are unaware of the issues involved with the proposed plant.) Tenaska just received DEP approval of the air quality plan. See: Tenaska gets DEP approval on revised air-quality plan for South Huntingdon power plant http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/9985550-74/plant-tenaska-power

Attn: of Alexander Sandy
 Department of Environmental Protection
Tenaska Plan Approval. PA-65-00990E
 January 31,  2016
          The Tenaska Plant, proposed to be built in South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, and will annually emit several million pounds of serious pollutants including CO, VOC, NOx, PM-2.5, PM-10, formaldehyde and 6 billion pounds of CO2.                                 
            Many areas of Westmoreland County are already listed as EPA non-attainment areas for ozone and particulate matter 2.5, so the county does not have the capacity to handle additional emissions that will contribute to the burden of ozone in the area as well as health impacts. Westmoreland County has received a grade of D for ozone pollution and D for small particulate pollution from American Lung Association. The rate of asthma is very high and the plant's emissions will aggravate existing lung conditions, more asthma patients may be diagnosed, and children with developing lungs and seniors with respiratory disorders will be disproportionately at risk.
           According to the American Lung Association, every county in the Pittsburgh region except for Westmoreland County had fewer bad air days for ozone and daily particle pollution compared with the previous report. Westmoreland County was the only county to score a failing grade for particulate matter.
                       Westmoreland County and the Laurel Highlands region regularly experience periods of air inversion where pollutants become trapped. This air inversion puts southwest Pennsylvanians at risk of ground level ozone exposure in addition to the many toxins emitted by the plant.
                   Westmoreland County has a higher incidence of disease than other counties in United States. And the pollution doesn’t stop at the South Huntingdon Township border; it will travel to the surrounding townships and counties.
           We request that the DEP observe the law and protect our health by considering renewable energy as opposed to an energy source that will add to the pollution of Westmoreland County.
            25 PA Code 127.505(5) “… an analysis shall be conducted of alternative sites, sizes, production processes and environmental control techniques for the proposed facility, which demonstrates that the benefits of the proposed facility significantly outweigh the environmental and social costs imposed within this Commonwealth as a result of its location, construction and modification.”
           “Alternative Production Processes:  Production processes to be considered include renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar, biomass, and wind power) and fossil fuels.”

Jan and Jack Milburn
114 Mountain Road
Ligonier, PA 15658


***Lawrence County--If  Gas Operations Are Sited On Agriculturally Zoned Property in Lawrence County,  You Pay Industrial Taxes




*** Recently Release Violation List From DEP
 Violations from Skytruth:
Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Morris Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Morris Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Hopewell Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Jefferson Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Robinson Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in West Finley Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Findlay Twp, Allegheny county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Morris Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Jefferson Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Buffalo Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Mount Pleasant Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Morris Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Smith Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Hopewell Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Chartiers Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Donegal Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Frazer Twp, Allegheny county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Hanover Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Cross Creek Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Hanover Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Buffalo Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Donegal Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Independence Twp, Washington county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Fawn Twp, Allegheny county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-19 to Range Resources Appalachia Llc in Frazer Twp, Allegheny county. OGA 3216(C) - Failure to fill all pits used to contain produced fluids or industrial wastes and remove unnecessary drilling supplies/equipment not needed for production within 9 months from completion of drilling of well.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-18 to Hilcorp Energy Co in Pulaski Twp, Lawrence county. OGA 3220(A) - Failure to plug the well upon abandoning it.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

PA Permit Violation Issued to Timberline Energy Inc in Porter Twp, Clarion County
Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-02-17 to Timberline Energy Inc in Porter Twp, Clarion county. 78.86 - CASING AND CEMENTING - DEFECTIVE CASING OR CEMENTING - Operator failed to report defect in a well that has defective, insufficient or improperly cemented casing to the Department within 24 hours of discovery. Operator failed to correct defect or failed to submit a plan to correct the defect for approval by the Department within 30 days.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation, drilling

For more information contact Jan Milburn    westcg@gmail.com


Officers: President-Jan Milburn
              Treasurer and Thomas Merton Liason-Lou Pochet
Science Advisor-Dr Cynthia Walter
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Westmoreland Marcellus Citizen’s GroupMission Statement
            WMCG is a project of the Thomas Merton Society
To raise the public’s general awareness and understanding of the impacts of Marcellus drilling on the natural environment, health, and long-term economies of local communities.

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