Friday, April 19, 2013

Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group Updates April 19, 2013
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               For email address, click on the envelope under the photo
*  For information on the state gas legislation and local control:        

Earth Day DEP Rally-North Shore

(There are rallies in other parts of the state as well.)

The land march will begin at 2:00 pm in the North Shore Trail Parking Lot closest to the Walking Bridge and proceed to the DEP Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. There will also be a river march by boat across the Allegheny River. For more information, please contact Patrick Young at 412-298-6361 or Mel Packer at 


A quote from  Michael and Tim Bagdes-Canning , Cherry Valley Borough Council, Butler County:

               “We are engaged in a battle for our communities.  Who has a right to determine what our homelands look like: the people that live and love there or strangers looking to extract a profit?  Who is in a better position to protect our communities: those with a stake in its long term health or those looking for a short term pay off.  We would posit that any procedure that may irrevocably harm air, water, and soil is a price too steep.  Any government that is not looking out for the long term health of communities is not worthy of our support.”


***Special Earth Day Fair -  Renewable Energy

 St Vincent College-  Sunday , April 21,  12-4 pm and talk at 4 pm
Commercial providers of many renewable systems will be at SVC
See details at SVC web site and Winnie Palmer web site

***A Public Forum-Open Records and Right to Know-May 9

What do you know about your Right to Know when it comes to records regarding drilling for natural gas in Marcellus shale?


Gayle Sproul | Open government attorney | Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz
Kevin Begos | Reporter | Associated Press Pittsburgh
Robert Donnan | citizen activist
Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition
Free and open to the public
THURSDAY, MAY 9 •  6:30 pm
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh | Squirrel Hill
5801 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh Parking on street and in lot beneath library

It’s your government. You have a right to know. 


***  Moratorium in PA-Link Provided –Penn Environment

“It's time to stop the frack attack in Pennsylvania.

The gas industry has gotten away with far too much for far too long, and the pressure is on to put a moratorium on drilling that would protect the entire state.

The moratorium would mean a full stop to drilling; at least until a comprehensive study can show that fracking is definitely safe for Pennsylvania's communities and climate. It would also mean critical breathing room for the parts of the state that have been overrun with drilling in the past few years.

Organizations from across PA have gathered 85,000 signatures in support of a stop to drilling, and the goal is to reach 100,000 before delivering them to the Governor at the end of this month.

Can you add your name to the call for a halt to fracking in Pennsylvania

 From: Linda Capato - “

Click here to add your name, and let's keep putting the pressure on


*** Call/Email Senator Tim Solobay-D Canonsburg regarding his statement about fracking activists.

Solobay's contact: (724) 746-3762 and (717)-787-1463


Sen. Solobay said: "A majority of the negative voices out there are paid activists (that) do nothing but spread false rumors and scare people."

          He also said about environmentalists: “(they) enjoy spreading fear and uneducated comments.”

               (Perhaps we uneducated volunteers should send Sen. Solobay the thousands of pages of studies, reports, surveys, journal and news articles on fracking that we study and cite.

               Other than a handful of people working for organizations, we are all volunteers-thousands of us. We get no money, no perks, no accolades, no revolving doors. What we get is stressed and disgusted having to observe representatives who are more than happy to represent the industry, receive their enormous campaign contributions, and ignore the rights of their constituents. Jan) 

The news Article Quoting Solobay--

White: DEP Ignored Open Records Request Regarding Range Resource’s Worstell Impoundment

               “It's been more than a week since state Rep. Jesse White made a formal state Right to Know request for information associated with the Range Resources waste water impoundment in Cecil Township.

               And the Democratic lawmaker from Cecil said Tuesday afternoon that he has yet to get a response from the state agency. White made a request for permits and other documents associated with the site after news surfaced that there was a 30-gallon leak from a storage tank located near the impoundment on Swihart Road.

               Solobay also expressed frustration with the Range Resources' impoundment issue and the publicity and reaction that is spawned.

"It is frustrating when people spin and challenge every bit of information and action out there with the sky-is-falling mentality," he said, adding that some seem to "enjoy spreading fear and uneducated comments."

Solobay added: "A majority of the negative voices out there are paid activists (that) do nothing but spread false rumors and scare people."

***Write letters to Assoc. Press About Bias of AP Reporter Kevin Begos

               Begos is the AP natural gas reporter.  The vast majority of his reports have a clear pro industry slant-- we need to respond to that kind of biased reporting.

This is the email address I found for AP:

               And if you receive a local paper that publishes Begos, please write a letter to your news editor complaining about the lack of objectivity in his columns. I cancelled my subscription to the Latrobe Bulletin because of this AP reporter.(jan) 

Frack Links

***Environmental Justice Film Series: 

The Price of Sand and Triple Divide.

Please visit:
For additional information contact: Wanda Guthrie 412-596-0066 or email:


The Price of Sand:   Saturday evening, April 20, 7pm Saturday evening, The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue (Squirrel Hill Community) 15217

 In parts of rural Wisconsin, the presence of sand mines is something you can feel, smell or taste.  The presence of those mines and the trucks hauling its powdery sands toward natural gas drilling sites has been devastating. The sand is an essential ingredient in the fracking process.

Sand, fracking, and health : It has been tough for residents of Pennsylvania to prove that natural gas production is harmful to health. It has been equally difficult for  our Midwest neighbors to convince the public of the health hazards posed by the frack sand mining.


Triple Divide:  Monday evening, April 29, 7pm,  5401 Centre Ave  Pittsburgh, PA (Shadyside Community)15232

               Through personal stories, experts and public documents, Triple Divide tells a cautionary tale about the consequences of fracking, including contamination of water, air and land; intimidation and harassment of citizens; loss of property, investments and standard of living; weak and under enforced state regulations; decay of public trust; illness; fragmentation of Pennsylvania’s last stands of core forest; and lack of protection over basic human rights.

               The film begins at one of only four triple continental divides on the North American continent in Potter County, Pennsylvania, where everything is downstream. From this peak, rain is sent to three sides of the continent—the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, Chesapeake Bay on the eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. This vast water basin is drained by three major rivers—the Allegheny, Genesee and Susquehanna. These waterways rank among the most coveted trout streams in the U.S., helping to create a regenerative tourism economy upon which locals have depended for generations. At this “watershed moment” in Pennsylvania’s history, which way will the future flow?

               The documentary filmmakers, Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, will lead a question and answer session.


***New Outstanding Video  by Geomicrobiologist Yuri Gorby

15 Minutes

Excellent short video to pass on. Includes Raina Rippel, Carol Moten, Randy Moyer, Rep. Jesse White, Ron Gulla, the Headleys.  Families and workers discuss health problems.

***Watch Triple Divide Online for 13 Days

The filmmakers of Triple Divide, a new investigative documentary co-narrated by actor Mark Ruffalo, will host an Online Premiere between April 8th and 20th. For a $5 donation, online users can watch the film for 48 hours at

               This 18-month, cradle-to-grave investigation by Public Herald, an investigative news nonprofit co-founded by journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, features uncovered state documents, never before seen interviews with industry giants and advocates, exclusive reports with impacted landowners, and expert testimonies.

               With stunning cinematography, the film reveals how state regulators are using compliance as a means of “regulating” without enforcing the law, abandoning the public and environment in the wake of shale gas development.

               Organizations United for The Environment call it the “best documentary on fracking, ever!”

               Writer Elizabeth Hoffman said, “Troutman and Pribanic document several cases of people sickened by fracking...violations with no consequences...drillers proceeding without authorization...drillers with violations nevertheless getting new permits...[and] scientists raising serious questions about the whole mess.”

               Judy Bear, a water well driller and the first female director of Pennsylvania Groundwater Association, provides her insight in Triple Divide and asks what should concern every citizen: “Who is protecting the residents of this state if our own state is not willing to do it?”

Note: Screeners of the film are available for those wishing to write a review.

From the Offices of Public Herald Nonprofit Investigative News


For more information contact:

Apr  Editor-in-chief and Triple Divide filmmaker Joshua B. Pribanic

   , 419-202-8503

Investigative fracking documentary available April 8 thru 20


*** Fracking & Public Health’ on You Tube

 Seminar held at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa


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


  ***Headley Story on WTAE


***List of Harmed Now on Fracktracker



1. Jesse White Proposes Legislation to Ban Frack Pits

From: Representative  Jesse White To All House members: 

               I will be introducing legislation which will ban the use of open air impoundments (or pits) to store wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing process.

               Wastewater impoundments are NOT an industry best practice, as per the industry itself. The new Center for Sustainable Shale Development, which includes industry partners Shell, Chevron, CONSOL and EQT, recently identified eliminating wastewater impoundments as one of their performance standards. Unfortunately, less reputable operators will not be bound by these standards and will continue to dump this hazardous material in this highly dangerous manner. Wastewater impoundments are banned in North Dakota and are not used in Texas and other drilling-friendly states.

               Under my legislation, "freshwater" impoundments, used to store water before the hydraulic fracturing begins, would still be permitted for a period of seven (7) days and then would have to be closed. Under no circumstances would wastewater, produced water, flowback water, drill cuttings or any similar waste be permitted in the freshwater impoundment. DEP announced last week that they would begin testing for radiation in this wastewater, as it can contain naturally-occuring radioactive material brought up as part of the drilling process.

               Currently, a company can build a freshwater impoundment, then convert it to a wastewater impoundment and haul hazardous material from anywhere and dump it there. DEP documents confirm these impoundments often leak and impact drinking water and nearby streams. 

Even if there are no leaks, the water evaporates and the chemical emissions into the air can present a serious health hazard for nearby residents. Under Act 13, water impoundments are a permitted use in all zoning districts, including residential; not only would municipalities have no way to regulate them, the municipality and the residents have no way of knowing they even exist. Just last week, we learned about a possible leak at an impoundment in my hometown in Washington County of a 12,000,000 gallon wastewater impoundment no one even knew was there because it was built on top of a hill. This impoundment was originally built as a freshwater impoundment and then converted through a simple permitting process with the DEP.

               We all talk about trying to develop Marcellus Shale "the right way"; wastewater impoundments do not fall under any definition of the "right way". These impoundments are hazardous waste dumps that are totally unnecessary for any responsible company operating in Pennsylvania. They are not a best practice and should be banned to safeguard the health and safety of Pennsylvanians living and working in the Marcellus Shale region.”


2. DEP Wants to Weaken Protection from Water Pollutants

               After receiving public comment the (DEP) has proposed removing chloride and sulfate standards from the final version of the state water quality standards. These are pollutants commonly found in oil and gas wastewater as well as from mining and coal power plants, its critical that we have these standards protecting our rivers and streams. Seen as concessions to industry, member groups of the state-wide Clean Water Campaign are asking the state Environmental Quality Board to reject the DEP proposal.


               The groups claim that DEP itself has not provided any scientific justification or data to rationalize the removal of their proposed chloride water quality standard. DEP based its draft chloride standard on a standard that Iowa developed in coordination with EPA.

               Sulfates are discharged in large quantities by coal mines, power plants, and a number of other industries, and data from DEP’s sampling in the Monongahela River watershed indicates that there are significant issues for protecting aquatic life from sulfate discharges.

               The Clean Water Campaign also urges the EQB to establish a bromide water quality standard that is protective of potable water use as soon as possible.”


3. Rep. Jesse White Keeps Asking Questions- Ignored by DEP

 From Rep Jess White

To the PA DEP:

               I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with the lack of response by DEP to my request for a meeting to discuss environmental issues relating to the Worstell Wastewater impoundment in Cecil Township, Washington County. On April 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM, I sent the following email to DEP employees Tom Santanna, John Poister and Brian Shimmel:

               As you are likely aware, I recently filed a request under the Right To Know Law regarding any potential leak or other issues at the Worstell Wastewater Impoundment site in Cecil Township, Washington County. To expedite the process, I would be interested in any information you can provide me that could potentially limit the scope of that request. I would also like to be included in any meetings regarding the situation, including any meetings which may occur with legislators and/or staff.

               Hopefully this approach will allow us to get some answers in a direct and

concise way.

Thank you,



               I never received any response of any kind from anyone at DEP to that request, which was designed to hopefully reduce the scope of my Right to Know Law Request. As per the letter I received today from DEP, the agency is requesting an additional 30 days to review my request, which could have been avoided.

               But more troubling is the lack of response from DEP in light of the following comment made by DEP Spokeswoman Katy Gresh in the Washington Observer Reporter on February 13, 2013, in an article about DEP’s refusal to participate in a Democratic Caucus Policy Committee Hearing: “DEP’s attention is focused on our core mission of protecting the environment, not wasting time on political theater. When our staff and the secretary are invited to legislative hearings and other meetings that are productive and professional, we are willing to attend.”

               I am curious. What part of the email I sent requesting a meeting failed to meet

your own standard of “productive and professional”?

               Although you were unwilling to respond to my April 8 email, I was highly

disturbed to learn that DEP did in fact meet with Senator Tim Solobay in what he

described to a reporter as an “extensive” meeting on this issue. (See for the exact quote.) I believe it is fair to ask the following question. What could you discuss with Senator Solobay regarding the Worstell Wastewater

Impoundment that you couldn’t discuss with me?

               The DEP’s strategy of delay and denial of information is well-documented, as the tactic appears to be focusing on the process story to distract from substance. You hope that by attempting to make me appear unreasonable or irrational, it minimizes the legitimacy of my requests. Due respect, the DEP is engaging in exactly the kind of “political theater” you claim to abhor.

               I get it. You don’t like me. But whether you like someone or whether they’re willing to blindly accept your interpretation of facts without supporting evidence is not a legitimate prerequisite for compliance with the law. You claim you have nothing to hide, yet deliberately avoid responding to my very reasonable requests for information. This is a slap in the face not just to me as a duly elected member of the General Assembly, but to the 60,000 Pennsylvanians I represent.

               This should have been simple. DEP originally said there was a leak at the 12 million gallon Worstell Wastewater Impoundment. Then the story changed. There was an extensive sign-in sheet from a DEP meeting with Range Resources from a meeting last year; the sheet was in the DEP file on the Worstell Impoundment, but according to DEP the impoundment was not discussed at the meeting. Was there a leak or not? Was it freshwater or wastewater? Why was no one notified? If the leak detection systems in the impoundment showed an issue, isn’t that by default a leak? Was the impoundment drained? Matt Pitzarella from Range Resources told the Washington Observer-Reporter that the impoundment hasn’t been used in six months, which directly contradicts what my constituents and I have seen with our own eyes.

               These are reasonable questions that anyone living next to this 12 million gallon waste dump would want to have answered, and DEP’s clear contempt for me and the people impacted by the highly questionable performance of your regulatory duties is not a valid excuse to simply ignore these people and their elected representative. I am not looking for political theater, glib spin or delay tactics; I just want facts. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, and I hope the DEP is willing to change their approach in a more positive and forthright manner.



Jesse White

State Representative, 46th District

Washington/Allegheny/Beaver Counties

                    I have included my colleagues and counsel in the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus as well as several media contacts on this email to avoid any misrepresentation of my position.



Worstell Impoundment

Video of the Worstell Wastewater Impoundment:  (2:03)



4.  Impoundments & Groundwater-from Bob

Who Knew Leakage was Allowed?

(The chart being referred to below is from the DEP document “Design and Construction Standards for Centralized Impoundment” and it states that the allowable leak rate of frack pits is based on the maximum depth of the impoundment fluid.

“ If the fluid height is less than 10 feet- the allowable leakage rate is 340 gallons per acre per day

If the fluid height is 15-20 feet the allowable leak rate is 490 gallons per acre per day

If the fluid height is 25-30 feet the allowable leak rate is 610 gallons per acre per day”


Comments from a professional hydrogeologist on recent items in Marcellus from Bob Donnan’s Morning Reports:

The concern regarding the 490 gal/acre/day (Pa DEP permitted leak rate from a new impoundment) permitted is that, for a 3.68 acre impoundment, it corresponds to 658,168 gallons per year.  Depending on what is in the water even 490 gallons could be a concern.  Also, it is unlikely that fluid losses are closely monitored, or even noticed until the leakage is substantially greater than 490 gal/acre/day.  About the only way to detect leakage is with downgradient monitoring wells.  If the O+G industry were required to install monitoring wells around their impoundments many would be found to be leaking.  That many of these impoundments are on public and private lands adds further to the concerns.”


5. PA Taxes Go to Gas-- Not Clean Energy Sources Wind and Solar

               “Gov. Tom Corbett and like-minded members of the state Legislature scoff at the notion that taxpayers should subsidize the development of an alternative energy industry. They have killed a once-promising solar manufacturing industry in the state and have slowed wind development.

               Meanwhile, they treat some of the wealthiest companies on the planet as if they will be swallowed by the earth without assistance from the commonwealth's taxpayers.

               Tuesday, the state House passed a bill to provide tens of millions of dollars in tax credits to help develop or expand in-state markets for gas, directly benefiting the wealthy energy companies now drilling and fracking across the Marcellus Shale.

               Lawmakers have yet to explain why subsidizing market development for Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Chesapeake or others is a good idea, while doing so on a much more modest scale for solar energy companies is a bad idea.

                              One bill would provide $25 million in credits to help businesses convert vehicle fleets to natural gas. But if doing so is in those businesses' interest in the marketplace, why do they need state help?

               Another bill would provide $5 million a year in credits to help service centers along interstates install natural gas fueling equipment. Yet if the market demands it, wouldn't they just do so?

               Who knows what other potential tax credits state taxpayers could give to wealthy energy companies? Well, the energy companies know and they'll be happy to advise compliant legislators. Both bills would provide industry representatives with seats on advisory committees that would recommend future tax credits to legislators - a giveaway not just of tax credits, but of policy itself.”


6. Frack Facts from Journalist Walter Brasch

*** “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spends more in lobbying expenses than any company or organization and has been a prime supporter of fracking, spent about $901.2 million between 1998 and 2012, with $95.7 million of it spent in 2012.

 ***Between 1990 and October 2012, the oil and gas industry (PACs, individuals, and outside soft money) contributed about $238.7 million to candidates for elected positions; about three-fourths of the contributions went to Republican candidates. Among those who received money was Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett, who received about $1.8 million, and now says he wants his state to be the Texas of the Natural gas Industry. The natural gas industry contributed $3.7 million in campaign contributions to current members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.”


               If you're interested in learning more about the problems of fracking, now a pervasive presence in about half the country, get a copy of FRACKING PENNSYLVANIA: FLIRTING WITH DISASTER ( Fracking Pennsylvania is written by Walter Brasch and available at : Find out what fracking is doing to YOU as an individual. (And, yes, even if you don't live in Pennsylvania, your health can be directly affected by any of the 650 carcinogens already identified in the fracking fluids.)”

 Water Brasch


7. Benzene and Breast Cancer Article

(Benzene is a pollutant related to gas operations. jan) 

“Breast cancer and the environment: Women's exposures early in life could unlock mysteries.  One of every eight women in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, with more than 232,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, according to the American Cancer Society.

               And in 2011, an institute of the National Academies of Sciences reported “a possible link” between breast cancer and some common ingredients of vehicle exhaust, benzene and 1,3-butadiene. Some scientists say timing of exposure may be the single most important factor when evaluating how chemicals may contribute to breast cancer risk.

               The breast is a complex tissue that undergoes several important periods of development and remodeling over the course of a woman’s life. During these periods – before birth when the bud of the mammary gland forms, at puberty when breast cells are rapidly growing and dividing and during pregnancy as the mammary gland transitions to lactation – the breast may be especially susceptible to outside chemicals.

               When breasts are exposed to hormone-like substances during those sensitive times, it could “influence susceptibility of the tissue to carcinogens or other hormonal stimuli that could increase cancer risk later on,” said Ruthann Rudel, a researcher at the Silent Spring Institute, a nonprofit research group in Massachusetts, and lead author of a 2011 review.” 


8. Authorities Investigating Tyler County, WVA  Explosion

               “Authorities are investigating the cause of an explosion at a gas well compression station in Tyler County. Four people suffered injuries.

               According to the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, there was an explosion with storage tanks on fire and at least two people injured at the Twin Hickories Road compression station near Wick, W.Va. Three people were flown by helicopter to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. A fourth person was taken to Sistersville General Hospital. The condition of the victims is unknown.”


9. Diesel has Reached Gates to Parachute's Drinking Water Reservoir-Colorado

By The Denver Post

               State environmental overseers said diesel organics detected in Parachute Creek near a hydrocarbon spill has reached gates to a town drinking water reservoir. The gates have been closed since the spill by William’s energy company's gas processing plant was reported last month.

               The results of water test taken on April 6 and 7 showed diesel organics at 0.71 and 0.49 parts per million. Diesel organics at a slightly higher of 0.73 ppm had been found on the creek upstream of the suspected source of the spill.

               Cancer-causing benzene was detected in groundwater drawn from a test well about 10 feet from the creek at a concentration of 340 ppb, state natural resources spokesman Todd Hartman said. Colorado's limit for benzene in water is 5 ppb.

               Williams crews are sucking up contaminated groundwater from interceptor trenches dug near the stream, as close as 10 feet from the creek. They also are pumping groundwater for the purpose of drawing the flows away from the creek.

               Williams officials orally reported "contaminated soil" to the state on March 8. Clean up crews rolled into action about a week later, after company officials reported liquid hydrocarbons had been spilled.

               Earlier this week Williams said the spill actually happened in December and that they stopped it on Jan. 3. But state officials still are investigating that scenario.”



10. Bradford, Susquehanna, and Washington Top Marcellus Air Pollutors  

               “Bradford and Susquehanna counties led the state in the volume of air pollution released by companies producing and processing gas from the Marcellus Shale in 2011, according to data published this week by the DEP. The Northern Tier counties ranked first and second in nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides and total shale-related air pollution tallied in the first-ever statewide inventory of the industry. They ranked second and third after Washington County for emissions of volatile organic compounds.

               Total air pollution was down significantly in the state for the period between 2008 and 2011.           

The DEP said regulations requiring pollution controls and the increased use of natural gas instead of coal to generate electricity spurred the decline in statewide air pollution, especially a 500,000-ton cut in annual sulfur dioxide emissions, which translates to between $14 billion to $37 billion in annual public health benefits.

               The state is required to compile the emissions inventory every three years and submit it to the U.S. EPA. Marcellus Shale-related emissions from wells and compressor stations were added to the inventory for the first time in 2011 and will now be submitted to the state annually.

               "The data show that emissions from drilling represent a small fraction of air pollution in the state," DEP Secretary Michael Krancer said Tuesday.

               The data also show that Marcellus Shale operations are now significant emitters in rural counties with few other so-called point sources of air pollution.

               The 2,600 tons of shale-related nitrogen oxides emitted in Bradford County in 2011 dwarfed the 235 tons of NOx pollution emitted from all other facilities in the county that year, according to DEP data. And without the 2,440 tons of shale-related NOx emissions in Susquehanna County, DEP's facility emissions report for the county includes just one source: a compressor station on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline that emitted 17 tons of NOx in 2011.

               The combined shale-related nitrogen oxide emissions in Bradford and Susquehanna counties - 5,000 tons - are nearly a third of the statewide shale-related NOx of 16,500 tons. Both together and separately, they surpass the single-largest industrial source of NOx pollution in the 11-county northeast region, GenOn Energy's Portland Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant in Northampton County that emitted 2,000 tons of NOx in 2011, according to DEP facility reports.

               Aimee Curtright, Ph.D., a researcher in the RAND Corp.'s Pittsburgh office, helped author a recent study of Marcellus Shale-related air quality impacts in the state that also found that gas drilling emissions are a small percentage of the statewide total and overall emissions are declining.

               "Not everyone benefits equally from that," she said. "In these more remote places where the activity is happening, the air tends to be relatively clean, so you're adding pollution where there really wasn't any before."

               Allen L. Robinson, Ph.D., a professor in Carnegie Mellon University's mechanical engineering department who is researching Marcellus Shale-wide air emissions, said drilling-related pollution is significant in aggregate and in rural pockets without established air pollution sources.

               "For rural counties that don't have a few big coal-fired power plants, this is going to be the big source" of some pollutants, he said.

               Short-term DEP monitoring at shale sites throughout the state in 2010 did not find any compounds at levels that would trigger air-related health issues or exceed federal ambient air quality limits, DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday said. The state is also conducting a long-term air monitoring study in Washington County and is adding stationary or movable monitoring devices in Bradford, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties to evaluate any shale-related changes.”


Contact the writer:


11. From Iona:   Dear Friends,

Angel and Wayne Smith are now friends of mine through my anti-fracking work. Perhaps you saw her featured in my newspaper a couple of times. The story below is tragic and she has given me permission to share it with you all.

For the Earth,


Letter from Farmers Wayne and Angel Smith

“We are just farmers, claim to be nothing else. We awake every morning to see if our cows are up on four legs, or flat out dead.

March 31,2013- Our pond was beautiful, not red, not brown just blue as could be [took pictures]

April 1st 3013- We had a beautiful black angus bull calf. We called him big boy, we were happy, he has 4 legs, 2 eyes handsome. Every evening we would scratch him on the neck, he seem to like it.

April 4th 2013- The compressor station started hammering away, loud enough that 1/2 mile away we heard it as plain as anything.

April 5th, I had a bloody nose.

April 6th and 7th -The compressor station just hammering.

April 11th 7:54 am- Gas man called, said there would be a little extra activity at the station today

April 11th at 7:55 am- Compressor station blew off.

April 12th  Compressor still running along, loud as ever.

April 13th, around 3:30 pm- Had to close a grave up at cemetery (There is a cemetery right beside the compressor station. My husband closes the graves, and then donates the money back to the cemetery)   Talking with a friend of a worker that works at compressor station. My buddy said that there was a problem over there at the station.

April 14th, 2013  We buried our big boy. 14 days old and gone. Took pictures of the pond too, turning brown..I guess in the morning we will go check our cows, see which one is up on all fours... or laying out flat dead. Like I said.. WE ARE JUST FARMERS!

Wayne and Angel Smith



12. Seismic Testing Notification

 (I am reposting the seismic testing notificationff.  Jan)





My property extends to the middle of the road.  The limited right of way that PennDOT,  the County or the Township may have for transportation of vehicles on the road and maintenance of the road surface does not include any right to give permission to or authorize anyone to perform seismic testing.  Any use of my property (including my portion of the road) for seismic testing without my express written permission obtained in advance of such testing  is a DEFIANT TRESPASS  under 18 Pa. C.S. 3503 and may subject you to criminal liability.


Seismic testing from this road that is directed downward or outward under my property may damage my property including any wells or other structures installed on my property.  Such testing also would collect data from my property without my permission and is a violation of my property rights and a trespass.  Any data collected from my property is part of my property rights and cannot be used or sold without my express written permission obtained in advance of any data collection or testing activity.


  I will pursue and enforce my property rights and in any lawsuit that may be filed to protect my rights, along with other appropriate relief, I will request the court to order that 1) the defendant(s) immediately deliver all copies of any data to the court pending the resolution of this lawsuit, 2) the defendant(s) are barred from using or transferring to any other party any of the data collected from my property, and 3) the defendant(s), at their sole expense,  must fully repair or replace any damaged wells, structures or other portions of my property.        



Westmoreland Marcellus Citizen’s GroupMission 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
                 Treasurer-Wanda Guthrie
                 Secretary-Ron Nordstrom
                 Facebook Coordinator-Elizabeth Nordstrom
                 Blogsite –April Jackman
                 Science Subcommittee-Dr. Cynthia Walter
To receive our news updates, please email jan at
To remove your name from our list please put “remove name from list’ in the subject line