Potter County Natural Gas Task Force to Discuss Drilling on State Forest Land

From pottercountytoday.net

Spotlight will be on natural gas production on state forest land and related topics during the next meeting of the Potter County Natural Gas Task Force, to be held at 7 pm Tuesday, July 13, at the Gunzburger Building in Coudersport. With the topic having a far-reaching impact on the region, a large turnout is expected. Officials from the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will present the program and field questions.

Mineral rights on roughly half of the 262,000 acres of Susquehannock State Forest land in Potter and McKean counties are privately owned and available for gas drilling. Additionally, DCNR has leased thousands of acres to energy companies. Last year’s auction resulted in the leasing of 11,000 more acres to Seneca Resources and Penn Virginia Corp.

On May 5, the State House passed HB 2235, which would impose a three-year moratorium on drilling on state lands. No action is imminent in the Senate. HB 2235 would require DCNR to monitor and assess the impact of the leases on plants, wildlife, air quality, tourism, aesthetics and quality of life. According to DCNR, several thousand wells are coming on state forest land over the next decade, regardless of what transpires with HB 2235.

Those interested in learning more about the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry, including timely news and issues affecting Potter County, are encouraged to visit the Potter County website at pottercountypa.net.

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