* To view permanent documents, past updates, reports, general information and meeting information http://westmorelandmarcellus.blogspot.com/
* Our email address: email@example.com
* To contact your state legislator:
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To read former Updates please visit our blogspot listed above.
Facebook Site- Please see the Westmoreland Marcellus Citizen’s Group county facebook site for more articles and photos.
CPLV Third Tuesday of the month , 7:30 PM, UU Church in Ligonier
Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group- Second Tuesday of the month, 7:30 PM, email Jan for directions
Local Permits/ Decisions/Violations
(This is only a partial list. Please sign up for SkyTruth Alerts (see link at the bottom of the newsletter) to receive Skytruth notices.)
***Apex Violation Quest Spill-Penn Twp
Apex Energy (Pa) Llc
Violation Type Administrative
Violation Date 2016-12-02
Violation Code 78a55(b) - CONTROL AND DISPOSAL PLANNING – PPC Plan - Operator failed to prepare and develop a site specific PPC plan prior to storing, using, or generating regulated substances on a well site from the drilling, alteration, production, plugging or other activity associated with a gas well or transporting those regulated substances to, on or from a well site.
Violation ID 774277
Permit API 129-28892
Municipality Penn Twp
Inspection Type Incident- Response to Accident or Event
Comments Inspection performed in response to Emergency Response Team’s (ERT) request for a Department follow-up to an odor complaint received by ERT on 12/1/2016. NRC Incident Report (#1165394) relating to odor complaint stated a release of 2 ounces of mercaptan (odorant) from the unconventional drill pad due to unknown reasons. Prior to this inspection, Emergency Response Incident Report and Operator stated initial clean-up measures on the day of the incident consisted of the removal of three sealed 5 gallon plastic buckets of impacted soil. Operator stated that Deomer (deodorant) to neutralize the smell of the mercaptan was applied on the impacted area. A plastic mat/tarp was also placed over the impacted area to suppress the odor until remediation of the soil could be conducted the next day. On 12/2/2016 @ 11:00 WQS-Alawattegama, OGI-Braunns and AQS-Miller arrived on site to conduct a joint inspection. At the time of inspection, Lance Casaday, Jim Drinkwine (contractors for Operator) and, clean-up crew were present on site. Operator explained that Apex Energy personnel were in the process of performing scheduled maintenance work that involved replacing the manifold that is attached to a 1000 gallon mercaptan tank. At around 11:30am operator personnel damaged the 1/4” line connected to the mercaptan tank. This line had approximately 2-3 ounces of residual mercaptan that was released to the ground. Operator estimates that the 1000 gallon tank had less than 30 gallons of mercaptan at the time of the incident. Spill occurred on the gravel well pad beneath the mercaptan line. Impacted area measured approximately 15’x15’. Clean-up operations had not yet commenced at the time of inspection. The Department did not detect any odors until within 6-10ft of the impacted area. An Altair 5x gas meter was used to conduct gas monitoring (VOC’s H2S, CO, and combustibles) of the air in the vicinity of the (unexcavated) impacted area. The meters did not indicate the presence of VOC’s, H2S, CO, or combustible gas at the time of inspection. During the inspection, clean-up crew proceeded with excavating the impacted soil and gravel which was placed in steel drums and sealed pending appropriate disposal. Altair 5x gas meter was used to conduct gas monitoring (VOC’s H2S, CO, and combustibles) of the air in the vicinity of the excavated (impacted) area. The meters did not indicate the presence of VOC’s, H2S, CO, or combustible gas at the time of inspection. The 1,000 gallon mercaptan tank was located within secondary containment and both the tank and containment appeared structurally sound. The odorant mercaptan tank was not labeled at the time of inspection. PPC and ER plans were located on site. PPC plan does not appear to be site specific as mercaptan was not listed as a material being stored at this specific well site. ER plan did not include Safety Data (SD) sheets for the odorant (Mercaptan) and deodorant (Deomer). Department requested Operator provide a written report detailing the cause, nature of release, and actions taken to remediate and future actions/plans to prevent such incidents as well as copies of SD sheets for chemicals released and applied as a result of the odorant release. Department also requests Operator explain how volume of odorant released was estimated (e.g. odorant tank readings before and after release) and/or any other means. Violations are being issued under 25 PA CODE 78a. Additional violations may be forthcoming pending Departmental investigation. Department will conduct a follow-up inspection. Department will conduct follow-up inspection. Additional violations issued under: 78A55(I)5I Emergency Response 78A66(B)1 Reporting and Remediating Spills and Releases 78A66(B)1I Reporting and Remediating Spills and Releases 78A66(B)2 Reporting and Remediating Spills and Releases
ID: 774277 Date: 2016-12-02 Type: Administrative
78a55(b) - CONTROL AND DISPOSAL PLANNING – PPC Plan - Operator failed to prepare and develop a site specific PPC plan prior to storing, using, or generating regulated substances on a well site from the drilling, alteration, production, plugging or other activity associated with a gas well or transporting those regulated substances to, on or from a well site. Additional violations issued under: 78A55(I)5I Emergency Response 78A66(B)1 Reporting and Remediating Spills and Releases 78A66(B)1I Reporting and Remediating Spills and Releases 78A66(B)2 Reporting and Remediating Spills and Releases
349372 NOV - Notice of Violation
*** Fairfield Twp Violation
PA Permit Violation Issued to Keyrock Energy Llc in Fairfield Twp, Westmoreland County
Environmental Health & Safety violation issued on 2016-11-09 to Keyrock Energy Llc in Fairfield Twp, Westmoreland county. 78.54 - GENERAL REQUIREMENTS - Operator failed to control and dispose of fluids, residual waste and drill cuttings, including tophole water, brines, drilling fluids, drilling muds, stimulation fluids, well servicing fluids, oil, and production fluids in a manner that prevents pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth. Department observed what appears to be remnants of a prior spill, as indicated by black, visibly stained soil/gravel, with areas of visible sheen. Impacted area is surrounding the wellhead and measures approximately 5’x5’.
Tags: PADEP, frack, violation,
***Derry Gas Well Permit
Well Type: Gas
Permit Issued: 2016-12-01 00:00:00
Operator: WPX ENERGY APPALACHIA LLC
Site Name: DURALIA 1-5H
Township: Derry Twp
Permit Type: New
Description: Drill & Operate Well Permit
Well API Number: 129-28934
OGO Number: OGO-39155
Facility ID: 812146
***Salem Twp Faulk Pad Permit
Well Type: Gas
Permit Issued: 2016-11-29 00:00:00
Operator: APEX ENERGY (PA) LLC
Site Name: FAULK PAD 7H
Township: Salem Twp
Permit Type: New
Description: Drill & Operate Well Permit
Well API Number: 129-28932
OGO Number: OGO-39639
Facility ID: 811980
***Delmont Fatur Pad Permit
DEP drilling approval for the Fatur well pad (Apex company) about 3800 ft from the Delmont Catholic church and homes (2 wells so far):
Well Type: Gas
Permit Issued: 2016-10-20 00:00:00
Operator: APEX ENERGY (PA) LLC
Site Name: FATUR PAD 10H
Township: Salem Twp
Zoning Decisions and Court Cases
***Apex Settlement Means Gas Wells Are Approved in Penn Twp.
Apex would sue for $300 million
“December 6, 2016 The settlement automatically approves the Beattie and Draftina well pads that had previously been denied by the Zoning Hearing Board, and thus renders Protect PT’s appeal of the case before the Westmoreland Court of Common Pleas moot. The settlement also allows the hearings for Numis, Deutsch and Drakulic sites to appear before the Zoning Hearing Board. Protect PT feels this decision was not permissible and violates our due process and constitutional rights. It was apparent that Resolution No.104-2016 would be passed without further discussion, without consideration of public comment, and that this meeting was a mere “formality.”
***Appeal of Kiskadden Water Case, Commonwealth Court Decision--Despite Range’s record of spills and leaks, the Court says no proof water affected
"Loren Kishkadden will appeal a PA Commonwealth Court ruling that takes to task the “reckless” drilling operations of Range Resources, but finds the Washington County landowner failed to prove the company’s leaky Yeager gas drilling site contaminated his water well.
Mr. Kiskadden’s attorneys, John and Kendra Smith, said they will appeal the Commonwealth Court’s 6-1 decision to the state Supreme Court within 30 days.
The majority opinion also noted that at least 15 leaks, spills and overflows occurred between March 2010 and June 2011 at the Yeager drill site in Amwell, impacting the environment and contaminating soil and springs. Some of those leaks and spills were not reported to the state DEP, the opinion found, while others were not reported accurately.
“Range’s reckless business practices, combined with its repeated failure to report problems at the Yeager site, are irresponsible in the extreme,” the court wrote in its conclusion. “The list of leaks and spills is troubling.”
Mr. Smith said his client’s appeal will focus on the Hearing Board’s failure to consider evidence of other well and spring contamination in the area caused by Range’s operations, as well as other legal issues. The Supreme Court has the discretion to hear the appeal or not.”
***December Murrysville Council Meeting- On Gas Ordinance, buffers
***Forest Hills Had a Ban --Now Caves to the Industry
"Forest Hills — one of the first Pennsylvania municipalities to ban fracking — is set to adopt a zoning ordinance that would allow conditional oil and gas drilling in some areas."
***Mariner East-YouTube About potential Mariner East disaster scenario at a joint hearing in Harrisburg.
Bibianna Dussling, a veteran Navy helicopter pilot and emergency preparedness officer who lives with her family in Delaware County: "I cannot, in good conscience, send my child to school nor remain in our community without such issues resolved, any more than I could embark upon a mission with unacceptable risks to my air crew.
"If I could not mitigate such risks," she said, "it was my duty to cancel the mission."
***Chapter 78 Regulations began October 8
After six long years, Pennsylvania's new unconventional drilling regulations are set to take effect Oct. 8, despite opposition from the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA).
· The new regs prohibit the storage of waste in pits at shale wells. Waste must be stored in tanks with secondary impoundments.
· Drillers will have to restore any tainted water to its original condition or better.
· The new rules presume that any water contamination near a new well is the driller's fault, but allow for pre drilling water tests to rebut that presumption.
· The 100 foot setback of a well from water resources remains, but requires notification of responsible state agencies if a well is within 200 feet of a public park or forest, as well as notification of a public water utility if it is within 1,000 feet of a utility's water extraction point.
The new regs affect only unconventional shale drillers. Most environmental groups were pleased with the new rules, but shale gas drillers were not. For more information:
WITF STATE IMPACT / Marie Cusick
POST-GAZETTE / Laura Legere
“The Legislature is considering bills and amendments that would ease some of the new standards by requiring less frequent waste reporting, less stringent construction standards for freshwater holding ponds and more time for well site restoration without companies needing to ask DEP for an extension.”
Other Fracking News
***Murrysville School Evacuation
***From: Murrysville Medic One Facebook Site
“Four business plazas, multiple pre-school facilities, four school buildings, and multiple independent businesses were evacuated. Nearly 1200 people were medically evaluated and over 60 patients in total were transported to hospitals. EMS agencies from Westmoreland, Allegheny, Indiana and Fayette Counties responded. Also fire departments from Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties responded. Saying thank you just doesn't say enough about your response and assistance today.”
WTAE Nov 9, 2016
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. —
The Franklin Regional middle and high schools and two elementary schools were evacuated due to a natural gas odor in the vicinity of the schools on Wednesday.
Westmoreland County emergency dispatchers confirmed the evacuations.
Officials confirmed 60 people, including 49 students from the middle school, one adult and 10 patients from other area businesses were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
Another natural gas odor was reported at nearby Redstone Highlands Senior Living Communities.
Middle school students were out of their building the longest, as emergency medical crews evaluated dozens of students with nausea, headaches or other non-life-threatening symptoms.
"As I was walking out, I saw a bunch of kids on stretchers going into an ambulance and getting transported to the hospital," junior Mason Blumling said.
School activities resumed as normal around 1 p.m.
"We have been communicating with our parents through releases and constant contact information, as well as global connect calls," superintendent Dr. Gennaro Piraino said. "As parents, we want them to know that our first and foremost priority is the health, safety and welfare of our students."
Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said a disabled truck was located on Route 22 that had been leaking differential fluid due to a mechanical failure. This occurred prior to police receiving the calls about the odor. The truck was burning the fluid traveling on Route 22. The differential fluid gives off a similar odor as natural gas or propane.
Hazmat rechecked all the schools with meters and they all had negative results.
A Peoples Gas spokesman said crews were on-site and did not find a leak in the area. Crews were expected to work at a site in nearby Plum, but those lines had not been bled at the time the report was made to 911, Barry Kukovich said. He added that anytime gas line bleeding is planned, gas crews call 911 to inform them of the pending work in the event residents call to report the odor. 60 taken to hospital after natural gas odor near Franklin Regional Middle School
School evacuated Wednesday morning in Murrysville
DEP has not been able to verify the cause of this incident. Haz mat was not called to the scene immediately by the fire chief even though students were being transported to the hospital. In Westmoreland County, the protocol is that a fire chief has to call hazmat-- 911 will not dispatch hazmat despite the fact that they had received numerous calls in this case. Hazmat did do testing later in the day, but fumes had obviously dissipated. Peoples Gas had originally stated they were cleaning lines but then “revised” that statement, stating that the cleaning of the lines occurred two hours after the incident. Several of us have had multiple conversations with the DEP, to try to determine speicifically what was in air emissions children were exposed to. No one at the agency has put forth the differential fluid story and DEP never confirmed that story. People reported the smell of mercaptan being in the air which indicates natural gas.
Timeline (This is the timeline we have identified)
9:39 Murrysville Police Dept Timestamp 9:39 --Advisory: Report of a strong smell of natural gas on SR 22 from Blue Spruce to Cozy Inn. Call 911 to report any issues.
Report of a strong smell of natural gas on SR 22 from Blue Spruce to Cozy Inn. Call 911 to report any issues. Evacuate building if needed, extinguish open flames, and call 911 for an ambulance if anyone feels ill.
At 9:39, parents received an email NIXEL alert about the natural gas smell. (Fire whistle, etc. came earlier than 9:30)
At 10:12, the Franklin Regional Robocalls and emails went out notifying parents that the kids were evacuated.
At 12:21, the Franklin Regional Robocalls and emails went out notifying parents that the MS was cleared but that they were going to feed the kids lunch before sending them back to the MS.
By 12:00 -12:30 Parents noted that the Superintendent was on site by 12:00-12:30 (so this could have been earlier) and said he got a call from People's. So People's had called the superintendent sometime prior to 12:00.
***Mercaptan “On the toxicity of methyl mercaptan. "Methyl mercaptan is absorbed rapidly through inhalation and minimally through skin and eye exposure. The gas is absorbed rapidly through the respiratory system and ultimately reaches the vascular system.
Inhalation exposures: Symptoms may include fever, cough, dyspnea, tightness and burning in the chest, dizziness, headache, loss of sense of smell, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Inhalation may cause CNS depression, respiratory irritation, respiratory paralysis, pulmonary edema, tremors and seizures. It may also cause liver and kidney damage, tachycardia and hypertension. Methemoglobinemia and severe hemolytic anemia with hematuria and protenuria have been reported in a patient with G-6-PD deficiency."
*** Residents Address Westmoreland County Commissioners-
County Commissioners Meeting – Dec 15- 2016
Eight county residents spoke to the Commissioners on Dec 15, accompanied by at least another 10 supporters.
Speakers commented on
Air pollutant emergencies/Hazmat – We have an immediate, critical need for a better use of our high quality hazmat and other emergency resources to sample air immediately in any situation where air pollutants are involved. Several speakers pointed out the unacceptable situation recently when many people we harmed by a substance; e.g., no one can tell parents of 49 kids what sent those kids to the hospital on Nov. 9. Also, in only the last few weeks we had at least 2 accidents with air pollutants released, but no air testing. Even if a complete analysis of air pollutants cannot be done in every emergency situation involving air pollutants, at least samples could be collected.
A moratorium - Several speakers pointed out the need for a moratorium, as called by the unanimous vote of PA physicians, e.g., citing one leader’s comments that the health harm we now see outweighs any economic gains. Also, given the large number- over 500 peer-reviewed articles -- that now document harm from fracking industry operations, the evidence is clear. An oncologist compared the current situation to the avoidable tragedies she sees every day as she talks with her cancer patients who smoked. They tell her that if they had been told of the harm smoking caused, they would not have waited so long to stop smoking or ban smoking from public places. Now that we know shale gas operations are a public health harm, the commissioners should not wait to act.
Bullying Lawsuits from Gas Extraction Corporations - Several speakers asked the Commissioners to do their proper job at managing industries that cross over township lines, in this case, the shale gas industry. Small townships should not have to spend thousands to defend themselves against $380 million lawsuits from a heavy industry that wants to put dangerous operations near homes and schools. Communities whose tax base depends on homes and farms with reliable clean air and water should not have to alter land use plans to please heavy industry owners, most of whom live far from here and whose profits will mostly go elsewhere . The municipal codes and recent court decisions support the rights of municipalities to regulate land use, but re-stating this in a court battle in each municipality is too costly for taxpayers. The county is not doing enough to protect its citizens and save our tax payers unnecessary legal fees
***PA Doctors Assoc. Calls for Moratorium and Asks For Health Study
"The state’s largest association of doctors has called for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and is urging the state to establish an independent health registry and initiate a study on its impacts on public health.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s 300-member House of Delegates unanimously approved a resolution calling for the fracking moratorium, registry and research at its annual meeting on Sunday.
Walter Tsou, also of Montgomery County, the author of the resolution and a nationally known consultant on public health and health care reform, noted that a similar resolution was rejected three years ago, but now, “growing evidence has shown its increasing deleterious effects outweighs any economic benefit.”
***Air Testing At the Quest Site
"Recently released: a study of air quality on the air quality impacts of the 2-well Quest well pad near the site (Delmont and Manordale Farms areas),
1. Distance (and therefore setbacks!!) matter: "The analysis showed that the Specks we placed outside the homes recorded about two to four peaks of PM 2.5 per day at all five houses over a 32-day period during our monitoring. Peaks were substantially higher closer to the well pad, at Moore’s house. The Speck on his porch [500 ft away] recorded peaks more often and at higher levels than Specks farther away."
“This fits with the expectation that the source of PM 2.5 is closer to this residence than it is to the remaining four homes,” EHP researchers concluded.
2. Short-term exposure was common: "EHP researchers found that peaks of PM 2.5 at all five houses were high enough to potentially cause upper respiratory problems in sensitive populations including children, the elderly and people with asthma."
3. "None of the residents participating in this project reported health problems to me. However, in October 2015, when the drillers were using incinerators to combust gas, several people living within 1 to 2 miles of the gas site reported sore throats and coughing fits to Protect PT, a local citizens group against fracking near homes."
4. Methodology and industry and DEP responses are also included.”
Summary by Alyson Holt
***EP Issues WPX Drilling Permit While Six Families Are Still Without Potable Water-Near Donegal Lake on Rt 711 heading south from Ligonier
“Contact: Melissa Marshall, 724-455-4200 x7
WPX Energy Has Yet to Remedy Water Contamination Issues in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County
Donegal Township: In October 2016, WPX Energy Appalachia, LLC (WPX) began construction of a new gas well on the 27-acre Kalp site in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) issued WPX a new Drill and Operate permit in April 2016 even though for the last several years, six families have lived without potable water as a result of well water contamination from WPX operations on the site.
Since 2012 PADEP has issued at least five contamination determination letters and at least four water replacement letters. These orders require WPX to permanently restore or replace the contaminated water supplies in accordance with sections 3218 and 3253 of the 2012 Oil and Gas Act. Despite the issuance of these orders, the families are still forced to rely on bottled water and Reverse Osmosis water treatment systems that are not adequate to supply their daily needs.
“Residents are required to bathe, clean and cook with water PADEP has determined is contaminated. Many of the folks affected are elderly or have physical disabilities which increases their hardship as a result of this situation—a situation from which they did not benefit financially,” said Krissy Kasserman, Deputy Director of the nearby Mountain Watershed Association (MWA). “Local property assessors have concluded the homes with contamination are essentially valueless, due to the lack of running potable water. This is a completely unacceptable situation and an outrageously unfair burden for these families to carry.”
MWA has submitted a letter to PADEP calling on the agency to hold WPX accountable for the water contamination and to enforce the law. The letter states, “WPX has begun construction of a newly permitted well on the Kalp site. They do so despite the fact that they are in daily violation of at least four Orders from the Department. Operators should not be rewarded for violating the Department’s binding consent orders, or for violating Pennsylvanian’s right to clean air and clean water. It is critical that the Department hold WPX accountable and enforce the laws the Department was created to enforce.”
The permit for the new well (DEP Permit #1096064) can be found here:
The newly updated Chapter 78a regulations on fracking activity went into effect on October 8, 2016. They impose even higher standards for operators who have contaminated water supplies. Yet the PADEP has yet to enforce the previous regulations and they continue to disregard their own protocol by issuing drilling permits to operators who violate administrative orders as is the case in Donegal Township.
eFACTS on the Web
***Public Herald Presents Records On The Woodlands’ Water Case
“The complaint records discussed are part of a Public Herald three year investigation. The impacted residents from the Woodlands were denied access to the complaint records when an NGO requested them on their behalf in 2014 — yesterday was the first time they heard what the records said about their case. In 2017, our newsroom will release all of the records for 40 of 40 shale gas counties in the state.
This presentation was hosted by Marcellus Outreach Butler as part of the six year anniversary of The Woodlands water crisis.”
***Reading Eagle Became The First Major Paper In Pennsylvania To Call For A Statewide Moratorium On Fracking
***Wolf Takes Money From Alternative Energy For Gas Pipelines
"Governor Tom Wolf’s administration announced it would begin accepting grant applications to fund up to $24 million in projects to make natural gas available to Pennsylvania schools, manufacturers, hospitals, and other businesses.
The Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) grants will help construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines needed to connect supply with demand.
The PIPE program is funded by shifting $12 million annually for the next two years from the state’s Alternative Energy Investment Act, which provided grants for clean energy projects.”
***"Pennsylvania Republicans Want To Join In Legal Battle To Allow Fracking In The Delaware River Basin.
“In a court filing, state Sens. Joseph Scarnati, Lisa Baker and Gene Yaw urged the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to allow them to join a group of landowners challenging a long-standing drilling freeze in the 13,539-square-mile watershed, which includes parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.
The de-facto moratorium has been in place since 2010 while the interstate Delaware River Basin Commission considers rules for hydraulic fracturing." http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2016/10/27/stories/1060044868
***EPA Listens To Science Advisory Board & Confirms Fracking Impacts Drinking Water
“Last year the EPA released a draft study of fracking’s impacts to drinking water. The study’s summary stated, “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms [hydraulic fracturing operations] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”
That report has been widely used by the fracking industry and its backers to claim that fracking is “safe.”
But the report’s own data (which was entirely self-reported by the industry), finds several clear incidents of contamination, and certainly no conclusion of safety can be drawn from such a limited, industry-approved study."
“The EPA reversed itself to confirm that fracking has an adverse impact on drinking water. The panel took particular issue with a finding that seemingly came out of left field: the agency’s statement that fracking has not led to “widespread systemic impacts” in the United States, which did not have clear, scientific basis of support.”
***DEP Fines Rice Energy $3.5 Million for Violations At 10 Well Sites and 6 Pipeline Locations.
“Rice was fined for: An unpermitted wastewater impoundment that leaked, wells that were improperly constructed, rules that were violated for erosion and sediment control, permits that were not obtained, and other infractions in Green and Washington Counties.”
(Latrobe Bulletin, Dec. 8, AP Press)
***Ft. Cherry Schools - Supervisors Allowed Fracking 3/4 Mile From The School Compound
"About 20 parents and activists sought to pressure Mt. Pleasant Township supervisors, alleging a natural gas driller violated a condition of a permit for a well pad near Fort Cherry Schools – an assertion township officials rejected.
Several parents spoke during the board of supervisors monthly meeting, saying trucks belonging to a subcontractor working for Range Resources interfered with school bus traffic during students’ morning commute earlier this month. Township supervisors granted a permit for a well pad at the Yonkers site – about 3/4 mile from the district campus, 110 Fort Cherry Road.”
***Westmoreland County Continues To Push The Use Of Gas Which Increases The Demand For Fracking.
"Westmoreland County Transit Authority will begin converting its bus fleet next year to compressed natural gas as part of a statewide project.
Authority board members this week unanimously approved a contract with PennDOT to allow for the installation of natural gas pumps by summer at the agency's Hempfield maintenance facility."
***Public Not Informed Of ND Spills
"North Dakota had nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, none of which were reported to the public. From January 2012 – September 2013, these pipeline spills were just a part of approximately 750 “oil field incidents” that took place in the state without the public’s knowledge, according to a report by The Associated Press. It’s estimated that around 4,328 barrels worth of oil were spilled in this period."
***Sunoco Gas Pipeline Ruptures In Lycoming County
"Flash floods and landslides in north-central Pennsylvania have caused a Sunoco pipeline to rupture, spilling an estimated 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a tributary of Loyalsock creek in Lycoming County."
***Methane Reaches New Levels—
Fracking Produces the Potent Greenhouse Gas Methane
"New Threshold: 2015 Saw Average Carbon Dioxide Levels of 400 PPM
The planet has crossed a new threshold: The average carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere throughout 2015 was 400 parts per million. This according to the World Meteorological Organization. Scientists have long warned carbon dioxide levels must remain below 400 parts per million—if not below 350 parts per million—to avoid catastrophic climate change. Scientists predict the carbon dioxide levels will not dip below 400 parts per million on average for decades to come, even if there are aggressive measures taken to cut global carbon emissions. 2016 is also slated to be the hottest year on record." https://www.democracynow.org/2016/10/25/headlines/new_threshold_2015_saw_average_carbon_dioxide_levels_of_400_ppm
***Puzzling Concentration Of Greenhouse Gas Methane In SW US Found To Be Coming From Gas Production
"The new study identified the sources with spectrometers aboard aircraft that flew 3,000 to 10,000 feet above the ground over about 1,200 square miles.
Researchers identified more than 250 sources of a methane hot spot over the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. They include gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines and processing plants.
"Where we saw the biggest anomalies from space, that's where we put our target area," said Christian Frankenberg, lead author of the study.” http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f22a932ee8314c18affd75381c861edf/study-most-sources-methane-hot-spot-are-gas-facilities
***Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, New Yale School of Public Health Study --Leukemia Lymphoma Risk “Expansive new analysis by Yale School of Public Health researchers confirms that numerous carcinogens involved in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing have the potential to contaminate air and water in nearby communities. According to the findings, the majority of chemicals (>80 percent) lacked sufficient data on cancer-causing potential, highlighting an important knowledge gap. Of the 119 compounds with sufficient data, 44 percent of the water pollutants and 60 percent of air pollutants were either confirmed or possible carcinogens. Because some chemicals could be released to both air and water, the study revealed a total of 55 unique compounds with carcinogenic potential. Furthermore, 20 chemicals had evidence of increased risk for leukemia or lymphoma specifically. This analysis creates a priority list of carcinogens to target for future exposure and health studies." http://publichealth.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=13714
"The majority of compounds (> 80%) were not evaluated by IARC and therefore could not be reviewed, highlighting an important knowledge gap. A total of 17 water and 11 air pollutants (20 unique compounds) had evidence of increased risk for leukemia/lymphoma, including benzene, 1,3-butadiene, cadmium, diesel exhaust, and several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
***Increase of Certain Substance In Water Wells Near Fracking "A new study has found heightened concentrations of some common substances in drinking water near sites where hydraulic fracturing has taken place. The substances are not at dangerous levels and their sources are unclear, but the researchers say the findings suggest underground disturbances that could be harbingers of eventual water-quality problems. The study may be the first of its kind to spot such broad trends.
The researchers, from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions, found that both distance and topography play a role. In lowland drinking wells within one kilometer (about six-tenths of a mile) of a drill site, they found higher levels of dissolved calcium, chlorine, sulfates and iron. In lowland wells more than a kilometer away, they found higher levels of methane, sodium and manganese compared with equally distant wells on higher ground. Upland wells within a kilometer of a drill site showed no specific trends."
***Water Used For Fracking In Water-Stressed Areas
"New Ceres research shows that 57 percent of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells over the past five years were in regions of high water competition, particularly in Texas and Colorado, creating significant long-term water sourcing risks for communities, companies operating in these regions, and their investors."
*** Report Dangerous and Close – Fracking Puts the Nation’s Most Vulnerable People at Risk: Children and the elderly at risk from "dangerous and close" fracking
Boston, Mass.– More than 650,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade children in nine states attend school within one mile of a fracked oil or gas well, putting them at increased risk of health impacts from dangerous chemicals and air pollution.
The finding comes from a new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center that exposes the proximity of fracking near schools, hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes, risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations.
Using data provided by the oil and gas industry and state regulators, Dangerous and Close – Fracking Puts the Nation’s Most Vulnerable People at Risk found that:
*1,947 child care facilities, 1,376 schools, 236 nursing care providers and 103 hospitals are within a one-mile radius of fracked wells in the nine states examined.
*More than 650,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade children attend school within one mile of a fracked well.
*The highest percentage of children attending school close to fracked wells is in West Virginia, where 8 percent of children spend their school days within one mile of a fracked well.
*Texas has the largest number of children attending school close to a well, with 437,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade students attending public or private school within one mile of a fracked well.
The report included data from nine states total including Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.
Letter To the Editor
“Would you mind adding 50 truck trips a day down your road? How about 50 truck trips an hour?
According to the article in Saturday's Trib, Huntley and Huntley, Inc. are proposing "to drill one or two wells in Penn Township."
Their engineer, Nathan Garlitz, projected that the maximum truck trips the site would generate was "NO MORE THAN 50 PER HOUR." Not 50 per day; this is 50 per hour during peak traffic! And this is for just one or two wells!
This is one reality of fracking. Is this what you want for your neighborhood, your town, our county?
Frack Links and Resources
***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:
***From the Environmental Integrity Project: How to report an environmental incident in your area: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/3160b3df-9661-438d-aae9-652950430355
***Renewables is Doable NOW--Report from Delaware Riverkeepers
"Delaware Riverkeepers has issued a report by Synapse and EQ that lays out how PA can meet all its energy needs with 100% renewables by 2050 and very far along by 2030, with no new fossil fuel plants starting NOW.
For a copy of the report go to: http://www.synapse-energy.com/sites/default/files/Envisioning_PAs_Energy_Future_Public Webinar_Slides.pdf
***Protect Our Children
Newsletter information-Please Contact Jan Milburn