Public Meeting Tonight On Gas Drilling’s Impact On Water Resources

Potter County Today
A public meeting on the potential impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas production on water resources will be held by the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) at 7:00 tonight (Monday, Oct. 3) at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport. Titled “Water Quality and Marcellus Shale: An Aquatic Resource Perspective,” the evening meeting will feature several guest speakers:

  • Pine Creek Water Dogs,  Jerry Walls, former director of the Lycoming County Planning Commission.
  • In-Stream Data Loggers, Len Lichvar, manager of the Somerset Conservation District and PFBC member.
  • Perspectives, Concerns and Responses of a Municipal Water Supply, Walt Nicholson, executive director, Williamsport Sanitary Authority and Municipal Water Authority.
  • PFBC Roles, Observations, and Recommendations, Tom Kamerzel, director of law enforcement, and Mark Hartle, chief of aquatic resource section

PBFC last week called on the legislature to provide resources that would allow the agency to step up its oversight of water resources across the state. “In all likelihood, Pennsylvania will continue to experience high rates of environmental, health, and safety violations at Marcellus Shale drilling sites,” the agency reported.

PFBC Executive Director John Arway said the gas industry “has come into Pennsylvania in full force and has substantially increased the responsibilities of conservation agencies like the PFBC . . . Since 2001, the PFBC has tripled the number of oil and gas well permit reviews it conducts each year, and we are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing volume. Within the past year, PFBC staff also have conducted approximately 175 field views of gas well sites and have observed water quality degradation from a number of these facilities.”

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