Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group Updates August 24, 2012
* For articles and updates or to just vent, visit us at face book
* To view permanent documents, past updates, reports, general information and meeting information http://westmorelandmarcellus.blogspot.com/
* To discuss candidates: http://www.facebook.com/groups/VoteProEarth/
* To email your state legislator: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
* For information on the state gas legislation and local control: http://pajustpowers.org/aboutthebills.html-
You may have to Cut and Paste Links-(they work erratically)
**County Commissioners Meetings 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 10:00
The commissioners are soliciting comments on how to spend Marcellus shale impact fees. If you cannot attend a meeting, you can fill out a survey at this link.
SEE our Blogspot--To facilitate us in providing input, Cynthia Walter has written an overview of points to consider when making comments to the commissioners. Included is Mike Atherton’s statement.
*** Health Effects of Shale Gas Extraction Conference November 9
The Third Annual Health Effects of Shale Gas Extraction Conference will be held on November 9, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA. More information is available on the conference website: http://shalegas.pitt.edu
For a full calendar of area events please see Marcellus Protest calendar
Note from jan
This fall many of us will be focusing on the elections to help those candidates who prioritize health and environment get elected. This work is done by each of us as individuals, not as a group, since non-profits are not permitted to support specific candidates. I will print candidates positions on the Marcellus issue.
We must also continue to involve townships in stating their opposition to Act 13 via resolutions. And that work must be done NOW as the appeal moves closer. If you live in a township not yet signed on, please make an effort to get your supervisors to do so. Mt Pleasant, Pleasant Unity, Hempfield, Penn Trafford, North Huntingdon (there are others in Westmoreland County) have not yet taken action to support the resolution. Veronica and Melissa are posting on our blogspot under the heading “documents” resolution letters that you can copy and use within the next couple of days.
The webinar noted below presents important information which would inform supervisors about Act 13 and why the Commonwealth Court agreed that it is unconstitutional.
*** PLEASE FORWARD THIS WEBINAR INFORMATION
IMPORTANT TO SHARE!!
Att. John Smith and the other attorneys for the Act 13 case have presented a webinar for the purpose of understanding the Court Case. All of us should view it to better understand the Act 13 case and the zoning issues involved.
The webinar should be required viewing for local officials--supervisors, zoning hearing board members, solicitors, county commissioners, legislators, etc.
So please forward the webinar link to officials in your area. There should be email addresses on your township website. Everyone please take ten minutes to help and let me know who has been contacted. If they receive the information more than once that is fine. You can cut and paste the following and forward to your supervisors, zoning people, legislators, etc. :[
The following link to a webinar on Act 13, explains the lawsuit whereby the zoning portions of Act 13 were declared unconstitutional by the Commonwealth Court.
It is presented in an understandable manner.
You will be asked to register but the registration is immediate . The entire program is about 50 minutes.
Audio with slides: http://datashare2.choruscall.com/?meeting=1095288
*** Take Action on Compressor Stations with Quick links-Due August 27
DEP is about to issue air quality permits for a huge source of air pollution in Bradford County - a natural gas power plant. Among other pollutants, this power plant will emit almost 3 million tons per year of greenhouse gases, 206.36 tons per year of NOx, and 67.6 tons per year of hazardous air pollutants.
PA DEP is also ready to issue an air permit for the Cherry Compressor station in Sullivan County. Air pollutants from the plant and the station are detrimental to the health of residents who live nearby or in the region, create smog, and accelerate climate change. Pennsylvania continues to approve permits for large natural gas facilities at an alarming rate.
YOU ARE HAVING AN IMPACT. With PA DEP approving permits for the natural gas industry faster than ever, we need your help now more than ever. Your participation has already led to public hearings for over 10 compressor stations, cuts in hazardous air pollution and greenhouse gases, and the prevention of instant approval of these stations. PA DEP is aware that the public is watching and is even starting to include demands from past comments into their permit requirements prior to public scrutiny.
Comments for both the power plant and the compressor station are due at 5PM on Monday, August 27th. Take a few seconds out of your day to send comments and request a public hearing from PA DEP so the public can have more time to research the proposals, develop effective comments, and allow more affected residents to be aware of and participate in these decisions.
It doesn’t matter what part of the state you live in. Everyone can comment. If you have an extra minute, please change the comment to reflect your own views and voice. Thanks!
***TO SEND A COMMENT ON THE POWER PLANT http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1152/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11471
***TO SEND A COMMENT ON THE COMPRESSOR STATION
from Matt Walker, Clean Air Council
*** Email Westmoreland Municipal Authority About Beaver Reservoir Spill
If you live in Westmoreland County, email the authority office. We should be asking why they have allowed drilling near the county water supply when even fishing and bird watching are prohibited. Also, why, after 10 days from the spill occurring, have the 150,000 people served by Beaver reservoir yet to be publicly warned about the spill. (see article on the spill below)
Go to the MAWC site: MAWC.org, click on contact us, to file a complaint to the board of directors
*** Industry video admits fracking contaminates water
***List of the Harmed (this lists people suffering health effects from fracking—the list grows):
*** You Can Receive Sky Alerts on Gas activity/Problems in Your Area
You can sign up to receive notifications and alerts. This is one of the best sites I have used because it is easy and the alerts are sent for the area you select.
***A frack violation map. Click on the skull to find out more about the violation
*** When the Commonwealth and industry argued that the ruling (against Act 13) would “cost jobs”, the Judge stated, “Jobs don’t justify violation of the Constitution.” See item # 1.
*** “Any analysis is incumbent upon the user to make his own interpretation,” said DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday, defending the incorrect data from the DEP on gas production. (Huh? So apparently everyone just didn’t interpret the incorrect data correctly?? jan) see item #5
*** “It’s going to put the public health and safety at risk, This order was written by someone who has never had to sit down and review a complicated air or waste permit”, George Jugovic , former DEP employee, about Corbett forcing state employees to approve permits for gas projects more quickly—even those involving sensitive wetlands or ecosystems.
1. PA COMMONWEALTH COURT AGAIN RULES FOR TOWNSHIPS IN ACT 13 CHALLENGE
President Judge Pelligrini rendered a verdict that the injunction regarding Act 13 would remain in place throughout the appeal process.
During the argument, Judge Pelligrini asked the Commonwealth and the Gas Industry why they believed they were special and why the inconvenience of zoning that they argued for, should apply to everyone but them. When the Commonwealth and industry argued that the ruling would “cost jobs”, Judge Pellegrini stated that jobs don’t justify violation of the Constitution.
Noteworthy is the fact that the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) that the Governor and others have consistently cited as supporting Act 13, including the preemption of local zoning control, filed an Amicus brief in support of the township’s position. This is a clear statement that the Commonwealth is incorrect in stating that the PSATS, and by implication, the 1455 member townships, support Act 13. In point of fact, at the PSATS Convention in May, by unanimous vote, the PSATS members approved two resolutions very clearly opposing the zoning provisions of Act 13.
The Judge’s ruling is especially significant because one of the elements that the Township’s legal team had to establish was the probability of winning the main case on its merit before the Supreme Court. To rule as he did, the Judge obviously believes that this is a very good probability.
The appeal before the Supreme Court will probably occur in October. It is expected that a number of organizations and municipalities will file briefs in support of the townships’ position. In light of the clear direction of the court in declaring that the zoning provisions are unconstitutional and of the clear voice of the vast majority of townships in the state, one must ask why the Commonwealth continues to waste taxpayer money and resources to promote the interest of one industry to the clear detriment of Pennsylvania’s citizens.
(Press Release, David Ball, Councilman, PetersTownship)
2. PSATS Files Brief in Support of Act 13 Lawsuit
PSATs lawyer filed a brief in support of our position. Thanks goes to Dave, Brian, Deron, Andy and others for the pressure they have been putting on PSATs. These guys have worked day and night for the benefit of all of us.
3. Municipalities Retain Right to Restrict Oil and Gas Well Drilling, Commonwealth Court Rules
“The Commonwealth Court in July struck down parts of the law that were meant to limit municipalities’ zoning and land-use powers, and President Judge Dan Pellegrini ruled Wednesday that those portions of the law (struck down by the commonwealth Court) will stay inactive pending the state’s appeal, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
Most rulings are stayed during an appeal, but the plaintiffs, including several Pittsburgh suburbs, asked the court to leave its ruling in force. That’s so they don’t have to comply with the new rules ( change zoning ordinances to comply, Jan) only to change back if they lose on appeal, said John M. Smith, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney and solicitor for Cecil and Robinson in Washington County.”
(tribune review, timothy puko)
4. On Zoning
The central tool used in all zoning ordinances to protect property rights is to divide the municipality into zoning districts and to allow only specific, compatible uses in those districts. The choice of which uses are compatible with one another and thus allowed in a specific district has been delegated to each municipality. However, uniquely, with respect to forestry, municipalities must allow that use in every zoning district.
This assault on the zoning power heretofore delegated to local municipalities is unprecedented. Numerous municipalities joined, filing a 12-count petition for review before the Commonwealth Court pursuant to its original jurisdiction.
The petitioners alleged that Act 13 violated numerous constitutional provisions. They asserted that they would have to: (1) modify their zoning laws in a manner that fails to give consideration to the character of the municipality, the needs of its citizens and the suitabilities and special nature of particular parts of the municipality; (2) modify their zoning laws in a manner that would violate and contradict the goals and objectives of the petitioners' comprehensive plans; and (3) modify zoning laws and create zoning districts that violate the petitioners' constitutional duties to only enact zoning ordinances that protect the health, safety, morals and welfare of the community.
"By requiring municipalities to violate their comprehensive plans for growth and development, 58 Pa.C.S.§3304 violates substantive due process because it does not protect the interests of neighboring property owners from harm, alters the character of neighborhoods and makes irrational classifications — irrational because it requires municipalities to allow all zones, drilling operations and impoundments, gas compressor stations, storage and use of explosives in all zoning districts, and applies industrial criteria to restrictions on height of structures, screening and fencing, lighting and noise."
The court's ruling preserves foundational concepts of traditional zoning regulation. If a zoning ordinance does not have as its purpose either the protection of neighboring property owners from harm, the preservation of the character of neighborhoods and/or the rational classification of uses, then it is suspect of being at odds with the fundamental purpose of zoning. Where zoning is designed to favor a special interest at the expense of the health, safety and welfare of the public, it is unconstitutional. And, as Pellegrini stated, it is not made more constitutional simply because the commonwealth requires that it be done.
(by Gilbert P. High Jr., a partner at High Swartz, who has devoted his career primarily to the practice of municipal, real estate and land use law, and has extensive experience in legislative drafting, subdivision and land development, zoning litigation, public employment issues, local taxation, public contracting and the law of easements and rights of way.
(the legal intelligencer)
5. Chesapeake Didn’t Report Data- DEP Data flawed
“DEP released gas production data but never mentioned that the Chesapeake numbers were missing, making the biennial data was totally inaccurate. That data was supposed to be submitted by August 15.
Here’s what DEP had to say about the error: “Any analysis is incumbent upon the user to make his own interpretation,” DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday said.
Fadel Gheit , analyst with Oppenheimer &Co. said this was totally unprofessional and that DEP had the responsibility to let investors and industry know the totals were incomplete because financial markets and energy companies use them for long-term decisions involving billions of dollars.
Brackett, editor of industry newsletter, Shale Digest, said past releases have had errors but the problem last week went far beyond that. He said he could not understand a state agency that doesn’t bother to mention such issues. And that the DEP didn’t put a disclaimer on the website noting that the final numbers were changing almost every day. ‘ Pretty much every other major oil and gas producing state out there requires the data to be reported on a monthly basis” PA reports only every six months.”
(summary from Latrobe bulleting, Kevin Begos, ,8-21-12, critics say state dep gas data has serious flaws)
6. Cracker Plant In Monaca
“The U.S. is the second most cost efficient place in the world for petrochemical plants, ahead of Asia and behind only the middle East.
The plant will require the placement of hundreds of miles of pipeline that will be needed to be build to supply the plants as well as long- term deals needed with customers and suppliers in the region. Shell expects to use gas from Ohio and West Virginia too.
The final complex could cover several hundred acres. At the meeting at Monaca a week ago, there was not a single complaint regarding the plant despite some environmental groups and communities in other regions protesting the negative effects of gas.”(Latrobe bull, AP, Kevin Begos, 8-20-12, shell serious about petrochemical plant in western PA,)
7. Companies Push for Right to Export Gas
“A string of companies have applied for permission to export liquefied gas, to countries that don’t have special free-trade agreements with the United States. Under federal law, the Energy Department has to find such exports to be consistent with the “national interest” before they can occur, though the term isn’t clearly defined.
Last week, more than 40 members of Congress urged President Obama to move forward with approval, citing the benefits of free trade and the prospect of creating more jobs as demand for exports leads to growth in gas production.”
8. Air Monitoring Often Not Accurate
“Chevron’s refinery in Richmond VA spread smoke and soot and sickened thousands. The pollution made its way into lungs and the bloodstreams for residents but not into the air monitors. Thousands of residents went to the emergency room complaining of breathing problems. The monitors in the area track pollutants like ozone and carbon monoxide but they are not meant for refinery fires.
“There needs to be additional monitoring said John Gioia, a county supervisor who chairs the air district board of directors.
Air district and county workers began using eight bowling ball-size portable canisters to take downwind air samples, looking for 23 toxic compounds, including benzene, which can cause cancer. The canisters used did not test for particulate matter. Mike Jerrett, chair of Envir. Health Science at Berkeley School of Public Health said meaningful monitoring would require analysis of “dozens or hundreds of compounds”.
"Chevron has resisted giving more resources to locals and to government agencies," Karras , a senior scientist with Communities for a Better Environment, a nonprofit clean-air advocacy group in Richmond. said, "and when they're criticized, they offer to do their own monitoring as an alternative. The trouble is, people don't trust the fox guarding the henhouse."
Officials have looked into buying portable monitors that could spit out results in the field, but they don't think the technology is yet up to snuff, Hesson said. "You can do it - it won't be as good," Hesson said. "The portable instruments are getting better and better. ... But it will probably still be five to 10 years."
One tool the district has considered is a 30-pound portable chromatographer that looks like a "Ghostbusters" backpack. It costs $130,000, is 50 times less precise than the canisters and doesn't measure particulates, Hesson said.
"Do we want to spend that kind of money on something that doesn't work very well?" he asked.
Dan Jacobson, legislative director for the nonprofit Environment California, said he was unaware of any region in the country with robust monitoring of industrial emissions.
"This is sort of like drug testing on athletes - we're always behind the game," he said. "What we need is information constantly, and we need access to the information all the time. We shouldn't we be waiting for an accident and then trying to find out how bad it is."
(Demian Bulwa and Will Kane are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers.)
9. Frack Waste Injection Still Exempt from Class I Hazardous Waste Regs.
“An ever-increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that oil and gas wastes are toxic and have had substantial negative effects on human health and the environment. But because oil and gas waste has been given a special exemption from federal hazardous waste requirements, it is not subject to the same rigorous testing and disposal requirements as other toxic wastes under federal law. When it comes to underground injection, that means that oil and gas waste is subject, literally, to second-class rules ( known as “Class II Underground Injection Control” rules) that are significantly weaker than the “Class I” rules governing disposal of other hazardous waste.
In particular, the Class II rules are less stringent in ensuring that injection wells are not sited in areas where there are existing fault lines, abandoned wells, or other subsurface geological features that would increase the risk of earthquakes or groundwater contamination. The Class II rules also require less rigorous monitoring and testing to ensure that injection wells continue to function properly once underground disposal begins.”
10. On Flaring-Excerpt from article by Kelly Finnan
**See also the Sierra Club Report on Flaring:
My parents built our house together in the late 70′s. Overlooking a field and a little pond, it’s a marvel of stonework that took my father over ten years to complete. When it comes to gas leasing, our home is the single unleased property in a sea of leased land. This sickens me.
Flaring is the gas industry’s way of reducing pressure after they have fracked a well; they burn off raw gas, along with flowback/produced fluid and whatever else happens to be in the well, to relieve pressure that would otherwise be placed on a gathering pipeline. It’s a disgusting thing to live next to, and our home is currently within earshot of two.
Here are a few of the chemicals that my father (my favorite person ever and the only other member of my immediate family) is likely breathing while being wrongfully sentenced to live near a flare, according to this article by the EPA:
- Carbon particles (soot), [Fine particulate matter is a health concern because very fine particles can reach the deepest regions of the lungs. Health effects include asthma, difficult or painful breathing, and chronic bronchitis, especially in children and the elderly. Fine particulate matter associated with diesel exhaust is also thought to cause lung cancer and is therefore listed as a mobile source air toxic. Fine particulate matter can travel long distances on air currents and is also a major cause of haze, which reduces visibility, affecting cities and scenic areas throughout the United States" (EPA).]
- Unburned, partially burned, and altered hydrocarbons ["contributors of ground-level ozone, which is linked to difficulty breathing, lung damage, and reduced cardiovascular functioning. Also, hydrocarbons are often known human carcinogens" (EPA).]
- CO ["Carbon monoxide is harmful because it reduces oxygen delivery to the body's organs and tissues. It is most harmful to those who suffer from heart and respiratory disease. High carbon monoxide pollution levels also affect healthy people. Symptoms may include visual impairment, headache, and reduced work capacity" (EPA).]
- NOx [Nitrogen oxide: another smog contributor (EPA).]
And that was a conservative estimate. Dr. James Argo thinks that a “sweet gas” flare (“clean” gas under optimal conditions) produces even more emissions than that . I really don’t have the time to look up the known health impacts off all of this sh*t.
As an added bonus, “since flares do not lend themselves to conventional emission testing techniques, only a few attempts have been made to characterize flare emissions” (EPA). Apparently our poor little EPA thinks that testing emissions from natural gas flares is too hard. Better to use the citizens of Susquehanna County as lab rats instead…..
Just as I was falling asleep, my father called me to inform me that our neighbor’s gas well had exploded. EXPLODED. Bursting flames, loud booms, the whole nine yards. No one was hurt, but it took quite some time for firefighters to control the blaze, during which my father was told “there’s nothing to see here”.
Kelly Finnan, Susquehanna native
11. Republicans Try to Cut Program for Monitoring Carcinogens due to Industry Furor over Formaldehyde and Styrene finally being included
The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, publishes the biannual Report on Carcinogens, which is one of the primary sources of up-to-date public information about chemicals that are known or suspected causes of cancer. The report has been published since 1980, in response to a directive from Congress. But if Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) gets his way, soon we might lose this detailed information about the chemicals putting us at risk.
Rehberg's proposed Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill for 2013 would eliminate the budget for the Report on Carcinogens (RoC) until the agency follows through with an additional follow up to its 2011 report.
As a bit of background, the 2011 RoC report listed formaldehyde as a "known carcinogen" and styrene an "anticipated carcinogen" for the first time. This, as one might imagine, caused the industries that use those chemicals to freak out.
A few months later, the industry's Republican allies in Congress appended a conference report to the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act directing the Health and Human Services to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a review of the RoC's determinations on those two chemicals. As NIH has already affirmed, the Report on Carcinogens is peer-reviewed and also drawn from independent, previously peer-reviewed literature.
HHS is in the process of contracting with NAS to complete that review, but apparently it's not happening fast enough for Rehberg. He and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the appropriations committee, wrote a letter to Sec. Kathleen Sebelius earlier this month asking her to expedite the process. A spokesperson for HHS told Mother Jones the agency is "reviewing the letter and will respond in timely manner."
(from :Republicans Attempt to Axe Program Monitoring Carcinogens, By Kate Sheppard)
Comment from a scientist in a group of which I am a member, (jan):”
“I was on the styrene review panel for the NTP and I can attest that I have never seen such thoroughness, and unbiased evaluation of the published scientific data as well as consideration of the voluminous commentary submitted by industry. The loss of the ROC would be a huge detriment to the fields of toxicology, public health, and risk assessment. And ultimately be a loss for global assessment of the risks of chemical exposures in multiple settings. I hope the Society of Toxicology will weigh in on this.”
12. Marcellus Jobs for PA Workers?
“State Rep. Jesse White asks: 'Are we getting the jobs we have been promised from Marcellus Shale, or are we only getting a taste while companies continuously bring in workers from other places?' Everywhere you look, there are billboards, television and radio commercials, newspaper and website banner ads- you name it—from Range Resources. For a company that doesn’t sell any product to the public, they sure do an awful lot of advertising.
Police reports in the Dawson incident listed addresses in Texas, New Mexico and Nebraska for the five men involved; none gave a Pennsylvania address. This, coupled with the constant stories from constituents, including many who work in the natural gas industry but are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs, should make us question if we really are getting all of the local jobs Range is promising.”
*Photoshopped image* (with a Texas license) from a parking lot near Pittsburgh helps make the point:
from Bob Donnan
13. University of Texas-Another Study to be Evaluated by An Industry -Tainted Scientist
“A retired aerospace executive, Norman Augustine, was appointed to review a controversial study on fracking after it was disclosed the original author has strong industry ties. But Augustine himself has strong industry ties . University of Texas at Austin appointed Augustine to chair a panel appointed by the university to take “an independent look” at a study that concluded fracking doesn't harm groundwater.
But Norman Augustine “doesn't pass the smell test” because he served on the board of Houston-based ConocoPhillips or its predecessor company from 1989 to 2008, said Kevin Connor, a director of the Public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog group in Buffalo, N.Y. Augustine still receives payments from ConocoPhillips that he deferred after retiring as a board member on May 14, 2008, according to the company's 2009 proxy.”
14. Erin Brockovich Addresses Fracking Concerns On HuffPost Live
"Let's stop the bullshit and get down to finding some solutions to our problems," Erin Brockovich recently declared on HuffPost Live. Brockovich suggested during the discussion that it's reasonable for communities to say, "We want jobs... but we don't want to be poisoned." Brockovich argued that while America wants jobs and energy independence, it's necessary that "we don't deplete our water supply, pollute it more than it's already polluted, and/or jeopardize the health and welfare of our citizens."
15. Marcellus Wells “Dead” after only 7.5 Years?
From Bob Donnan
“Check out these gas production drop-offs on Range Resources’ Marcellus Shale wells in Buffalo, Pa… Scroll down to the production chart on this page:
50% to 68% production drop-off in less than a 3-year period.
If these wells continue to mirror the 10% drop-off they showed in the last 6-month reporting period, they will match the average life of a Barnett Shale well of only 7.5 years. Not the 20 to 30 year life you have heard their pitchmen say.
Deborah Rogers on Barnett Shale wells: “70% of predicted production in horizontal wells has been produced already by the end of year 5. Horizontal completions have not proven to be economically viable. There has been absolutely no improvement in well performance over time despite the industry’s claims that they’ve gotten so much better at this.”
To see more of her report, fast forward to the 4:37 mark of this YouTube video:
16. New York State to Allow Fracking
New York State has been a fracking holdout. CBS News announced that New York is about to okay fracking, and will issue guidelines after Labor Day.
Letter to the Editor
by Stephen Luffy, WMCG member, Latrobe Bulletin, AP Incorrect on Science of Fracking August 13, 2012
“In his article on skewed science, Kevin Begos, Associate Press reporter, ironically misrepresented the science on fracking. He cited sources that denied any basis for linking Texas gas facility pollution to breast cancer increases. But, he did not cite sources that did point to a link.
From the Denton Record Chronicle:
“According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's 2010 inventory of gas production equipment in the 24 counties of the Barnett Shale, the same six counties with rising rates of invasive breast cancer also have the highest count of compressors, separators, tanks and other above-ground points of emissions”. While not proof of causation, this data raised concerns.
Begos also takes issue with reports on air pollution from gas operations, arguing that coal plants emit more pollution than gas-powered plants. Apples and oranges. Begos ignores irrefutable data about pollution from gas operations i.e., wells, compressor stations, processing plants, valves, and condensate tanks. Combined, these facilities, being built near homes and schools, produce huge amounts of toxic air pollution: thousands of pounds of nitrogen oxide, VOCs, and disease- causing chemicals like benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde.
He quoted PennFuture’s statement that gas powered plants burn cleaner, but twisted that to a claim that gas results in improved overall air quality: “natural gas is having a positive effect on air quality”.
He omitted specific testimony from scientists who state unequivocally that gas operations will increase serious health and environmental problems in this area.
Begos also published articles on the recent Duke University brine migration study, interpreting it as a vindication of the industry. A headline of his article read, “Drilling Did Not Contaminate Drinking Water Wells”, emphasizing that the brine examined was not from fracking. But he ignored important data:
“ But there is concern that the presence of the brine suggests there are "natural pathways" leading up to aquifers from far below the surface, and that these pathways might allow gases from shale-gas wells to put drinking-water supplies at risk.”
Readers should expect fair and accurate information from reporters who are paid to do their homework. Sound, independent, research will serve as the basis for achieving better regulation of this highly polluting industry.”
Westmoreland Marcellus Citizen’s Group—Mission Statement
- 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.
Officers: President-Jan Milburn
Facebook Coordinator-Elizabeth Nordstrom
Blogsite –April Jackman
Science Subcommittee-Dr. Cynthia Walter
To receive our news updates, please email jan at firstname.lastname@example.org