Public Forum on the Development of PA Marcellus Shale Tonight

From the Responsible Drilling Alliance

TONIGHT! Thursday, Aug. 5, PA Representatives Rick Mirabito and Mike Hanna will host a public forum on the development of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.

While there have been several public hearings on natural gas exploration, none have given the public the opportunity to speak. This forum will allow residents to ask questions and share their concerns.

Marcellus Shale Public Forum
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5
South Williamsport High School Auditorium
700 Percy St.    South Williamsport

In addition to the legislators, Mark Murawski, (Lycoming County Transportation Planner); Thomas Murphy, (Penn State Co-op); Daniel Vilello, (DEP Enviromental Community Relations Specialist);
Dr. Jim Richenderfer, (Deputy Director of Technical Programs, SBRC); Ralph Kisberg, (Responsible Drilling Alliance) and others will be on hand.

If you are unable to attend, you are welcome to share your comments in writing via letter or email.

State Rep. Rick Mirabito
800 West Fourth Street, Suite G-02
Williamsport, PA 17701

State Rep. Michael Hanna
29 Bellefonte Ave.
Lock Haven, PA 17745

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One Comment

  1. RDA says:

    The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) of the PA Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed changes to Chapter 78 regulations governing drilling in PA’s Marcellus shale. The period for public comment on these new regulations ends August 9th. RDA is asking for your participation before this deadline.

    While we believe tighter regulations are necessary, and applaud the EQB’s attempt to propose stricter standards, we do not believe the new Chapter 78 proposals go far enough.

    In many areas, including cement well casing, incident reporting and air quality controls – far more stringent regulations are needed.

    Earth Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization, hired environmental and petroleum engineers from Harvey Consultants to study and make recommendation to the EQB about Chapter 78 proposals.

    RDA agrees with the 49 recommendations made by Harvey Consultants and set forth in a proposal to the EQB on March 1, 2010. The Earth Justice letter was co-signed by many other environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, Pennsylvania Forest Coalition, and Clean Water Action.

    We urge you to contact the EQB to express your concern over challenges that hydrofracking technology and gas development poses to both environmental and human health and safety. In your request, ask EQB to adopt the more rigid standards as set forth in the proposal made by Harvey Consulting.

    Send your comments electronically to: Letters can be mailed to: Environmental Quality Board, P.O. Box 8477 Harrisburg PA 17105-8477. Be sure to use subject heading “CH 78 Regulations” and to include your full name and address.

    The best source of information and talking points can be found in the Harvey Consulting document.

    Examples of talking points:
    Cement. The commission should require a better quality of cement mixture be used to prevent pollution and provide safer conditions. For example, compared to PA law, Texas requires a 72-hour compressive strength standard of at least 1,200 psi across critical zones of cement at the bottom of the casing seat where the highest pressures and stresses are likely to be encountered and in places where the well bore passes through aquifers and drinking water. By comparison, PA DEP’s definition for cement sets a 24-hour compressive strength standard of at least 500 psi. States like Texas have found that standard insufficient to prevent vertical migration of fluids or gas behind pipe.
    Protection of Water Supplies. DEP has proposed a number of important revisions to the Chapter 78 regulations to clarify what constitutes an adequately restored or replacement water supply. However, DEP did not recommend any revisions to set a timeframe for acting upon a complaint filed for pollution or diminution of a water supply as a result of drilling or operating a gas well. Experience tells us that folks without water are often ignored for weeks, as gas-drilling companies deny responsibility for polluting drinking water supplies and tie things up in court.
    Blowout Preventer. We need only look to the BP disaster in the Gulf and the recent gas well blowout in Clearfield to know the grave danger of well blowouts. Injury, fire, explosion, spills, gas venting, equipment damage, water pollution, and other environmental destruction and are possible. Once the surface casing is installed and cemented, ALL wells should be drilled with a Blow-Out Preventer. No exceptions.

    Thanks for reading this message to the end. I hope you are willing to send an email, or write a letter regarding these critically needed regulations. If you are unsure which points to make, or do not have time to read the details, we urge you to simply ask the EQB to include the language proposed by the Harvey Consulting report in the new Chapter 78 regulations.

    That one sentence, along with your name and address, can make a difference. Thank you.

    Responsible Drilling Alliance, Board of Directors
    Ralph Kisberg
    Jon Bogle
    Robbie Cross
    Barb Jarmoska
    Janie Richardson


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