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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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Couple more article I came across: Firms see 'green' in nat-gas production from The Wall Street Journal and Enbridge planning nat-gas liquids pipeline from The Canadian Press.

The former suggests oil companies are taking people's concerns seriously, and the later may explain the continued drilling despite historic lows in natural gas prices.

Posted on: 2010/3/31 18:46
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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For yet another unfortunate incident, check out www.post-gazette.com/pg/10091/1047159-58.stm. Looks from the picture that it was a beautiful, serene farm and natural area.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 9:54


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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Posted on: 2010/4/1 10:01


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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It appears the link I just posted doesn't work due to my lack of computer skill. In any event, if others wish to view the story about a gas well explosion in Southwestern PA, or if anyone else can post the link, it is in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette online and titled, "Residents Report Gas Odors Before Explosion". Scary Stuff.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 10:02


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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RADIATION?

Article

[quote]Questions raised as landfill seeks to increase intake of Marcellus drilling waste

By Tom Wilber •twilber@gannett.com • March 31, 2010, 7:40 pm

Chemung County officials see tons of solid waste pulled from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania as an asset, although some residents disagree. The waste includes cuttings and mud produced by energy companies boring through the Marcellus south of the Chemung County border. Because it's regulated as solid waste, drill operators pay to get rid of it, and officials managing the Chemung County Landfill welcome it as a revenue source.
The relationship raises more questions of how Marcellus waste -- which tends to contain radioactive particles and heavy metals -- will be regulated and handled as multinational energy companies begin full-scale development of the massive natural gas reserve stretching throughout Appalachia and parts of New York.
While the state Department of Environmental Conservation has approved Chemung's acceptance of the drilling waste, opponents question whether it belongs in a municipal landfill.
Earl Robinson, vice president of Residents for the Preservation of Lowman and Chemung Inc., is leading a challenge to plans for increasing shipments to the landfill on several grounds, including evidence that the cuttings have unacceptable levels of radioactivity.
Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli, on the other hand, favors increasing the landfill's intake along with its revenue stream. Sensors that flag radioactivity are on order and will be installed at the landfill, he added.
Although the county has a contract with Casella Waste Services to manage the landfill, it would receive a portion of the revenue generated from the landfill's growth, which would be placed in a tax stabilization fund, according to Santulli.
"There is no question, counties are going to face some very difficult times," he said. "This will help down the road."
The landfill is now accepting between 1,000 and 2,000 tons of drilling waste a week, said Larry Shilling, a district manager for Casella. He would not disclose the terms of a contract with the companies disposing of Marcellus waste. The tipping fee for municipal waste generated within the county is $40 a ton.

Landfill officials are seeking approval from the state to increase annual tonnage for all waste from 120,000 to 180,000, Santulli said. The county, in return, would begin receiving about $1 million a year after it exceeds the 180,000-ton threshold.

Eventually, he would like the landfill to take in 417,000 tons annually -- the maximum allowed under its contract with Casella. For that to happen, the county would need a full environmental review approved by the state, a process that would not likely be completed until 2015, Santulli said.
The timeframe for the growth generally corresponds with projections of Marcellus development in Pennsylvania. Well permitting is expected to accelerate in coming years, according to information from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Department of Environmental Protection.
"It would be devastating," Robinson said. "It would be bad enough with just garbage, let alone God knows what from the drilling." His advocacy group intends to prove to a DEC administrative law judge overseeing the expansion request that the cuttings have unacceptable levels of radioactivity, he said.
The debate could be relevant to all communities with a stake in Marcellus production.
Dan Schofield, director of solid waste for Broome County, said the county has not yet been approached by drilling companies, but it might happen after the DEC completes an environmental review necessary for Marcellus permitting to begin in New York.
"It doesn't fit our business plan right now, but it might down the road," he said "We'd have to become a lot more comfortable and familiar with the product, and see how these issues shake out."
Broome, which sits over one of the most desirable parts of the Marcellus, is proposing leasing mineral rights to drillers at the county landfill and airport.
Yancey Roy, a spokesman for the state DEC, said the agency reviewed an analysis of samples of drill cuttings provided by companies disposing of them at the Chemung landfill. From that, officials concluded they were acceptable. He could not provide a copy of the analysis for public review Wednesday.
Officials at the state Department of Health and the U.S. Geological Survey have warned that waste from the Marcellus tends to be radioactive and warrants a close and consistent look by DEC officials.
An analysis of Marcellus wastewater samples by the Department of Health found levels of radium-226, and related alpha and beta radiation up to 10,000 times higher than drinking water standards, according to a memo the agency sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation in July. The agency recommended routine sampling of Marcellus cuttings and brine.
Geologists at the USGS pointed out that parts of the Marcellus with the most gas tend to be the most radioactive.
"This needs to be better characterized across the entire play, so when questions come up, we can say yes, no or maybe," said Bill Kappel, a USGS hydro-geologist who has been following Marcellus issues.

Posted on: 2010/4/1 10:37
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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[img] [/img]

Posted on: 2010/4/9 12:46
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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Get Your Wallets Out

Quote:
Potter County roadways seeing effects of truck traffic as Marcellus Shale drilling heats up

By JOELLEN CHESNUT
Era Reporter
joellen@bradfordera.com







More News
Two die in St. Marys accident

Bradford native, opera legend Horne to serve as honorary chairwoman for YWCA membership drive

Fire destroys apartment building, leaves 10 people homeless

Decision to block tolls on Interstate 80 welcomed by local lawmakers

Some owners of blighted buildings in city plan to tear them down at own expense

Foster Township seeking new development

Smile!

McKean County could foot the bill for three murder trials

Potter County roadways seeing effects of truck traffic as Marcellus Shale drilling heats up

DeSoto Motel on East Main Street receiving needed improvements

New Bradford City Police Chief


Potter County roadways are seeing the effects of heavier truck traffic in some areas as the Marcellus Shale drilling projects pick up.

Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel explained that areas in West Branch Township south of Galeton have roads that show deterioration already.

When asked if the commissioners had concerns about this potential issue, Heimel said, “It’s already hitting and with all forecasts of increasing activity this year and in coming years, it is an issue that is going to worsen. It does demand some attention, and we are really thinking of funding.”

Heimel explained the commissioners and Scott Majot, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation maintenance manager for Cameron and Potter counties, met with Lt. Gov. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, to bring the situation to his attention in March.

“Senator Scarnati was quite interested in Scott’s perspective,” Heimel said. “Scott was very candid with the senator and explained that with a pretty tough winter in terms of road treatment and stress on PennDOT personnel, a lot of the budget was used. Scott was emphasizing that PennDOT needs more money to be able to maintain state-owned roads with all the drilling beginning. They are working with a very lean budget right now, at the worst time possible.”

Heimel also noted the issue has several angles that have to be considered, including that of the townships.



“Many township supervisors are concerned,” Heimel said. “However, the gas companies operating here are priding themselves on their good relationships with the townships. We’ve heard from several of the township levels that the companies are communicating openly and saying that they are going to cause serious damage to the roadways. They are willing to sign a maintenance agreement, not only to restore the roads but in some cases to improve the road so it is in better shape than before the work started.”

Heimel said the gas companies are attempting to be very proactive with the supervisors prior to the beginning of drilling and note that while there will be a period of time the road will be in rough shape, that period will be temporary.

PennDOT spokeswoman Marla Fannin stated that the department is already in preliminary discussions with the companies.

“We are working with haulers in regard to the issue,” Fannin said. “We certainly do have concerns as far as maintaining the integrity of the roadways. We are going to be staying on top of the issue.”

Fannin said that roadway repair will be a main topic, and that at this point, all parties who need to be involved in the conversations are involved and are cooperative.

Posted on: 2010/4/9 12:49
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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2009/4/1 21:52
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There are three active sites within a 20 min. drive of my house here in J-town , let me be the first to volunteer to observe and report to a data base , if i wasn't old and stoopit i'd set it up , but i have no clue , but i do have a truck and binoculars and the gift of gab and some gas money any of you young and smart guys r gals out there ??? ORGANIZE???

Posted on: 2010/4/9 17:53


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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Up here, there has been some organization concerning watchdog groups. They are called "Water Dogs", and keep a vigilant watch on the Pine Creek.

Posted on: 2010/4/10 21:15
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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2009/5/29 6:40
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I believe watchdog groups are a wonderful thing. if the gas companies know people are watching their every move, they will be less likely to cut corners and do things properly. just aren't enough state officials to take care of things, especially once the drilling really gets rolling. if anyone has any addresses of groups, maybe post them here, that way we have them in case any of us see anything out of sorts

Posted on: 2010/4/11 6:11


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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bikerfish..........yeah man!!!!! That's what i'm talkin about. Festus........i'll be a waterdog , an old dog can learn new tricks.

Posted on: 2010/4/11 6:43


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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More Pollution At Dimock/Cabot Denies Responsibility

Pa. cites Cabot for leak into wetland

Quote:

DIMOCK, Pa. -- State regulators have cited Cabot Oil & Gas for violating environmental laws after finding a dark fluid running from a drilling operation into a spring and wetland.

In a notice dated April 8, the Department of Environmental Protection cited the company for violating the Clean Streams Law, the Oil & Gas Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act.
The violations stem from an inspection on March 22, 23 and 24 that found "black fluid originating at the A&M Hibbard drill pad was not properly contained in a pit or tank," according to the citation. The fluid flowed into a hand-dug well, a spring near the location, as well as a wetland downstream, the document states.
Kenneth Komoroski, a spokesman for Cabot, said the company's analysis of samples collected at the site in Dimock Township show the pollution is unrelated to Cabot drilling.
"We don't know what it was, but we know it's absolutely clear it's not related to Cabot operations," he said. The company sent a vacuum truck to the area to collect the suspicious fluid, inspected the lining of a waste pit on site and found no leaks, he added.
The citation from the DEP puts the company on notice, but it is not an official enforcement action. The violations each carry the potential of up to $30,000 in criminal and civil penalties, plus $1,000 for each day they go uncorrected, according to the document.
The notice from DEP requires a written explanation from Cabot, along with steps to fix the problem, within 10 days.
Cabot has paid more than $200,000 in penalties for environmental violations related to drilling in Dimock, and operations were suspended for a several weeks after a series of spills in the area contaminated surface water last year.

Posted on: 2010/4/11 14:04
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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Groups protest Marcellus Shale waste at Chemung County Landfill

Quote:
By G. Jeffrey Aaron •jgaaron@gannett.com • April 9, 2010, 7:20 pm

TOWN OF CHEMUNG -- Local and state environmental groups joined together Friday to protest the Marcellus Shale waste that is being disposed of at the Chemung County Landfill.

he groups conducted a press conference armed with studies warning about the hazards of disposing the potentially radioactive drill cuttings and backed by regional environmentalists concerned about the shale's contaminants finding their way into local drinking water supplies.
The Residents for the Preservation of Lowman and Chemung and People for a Healthy Environment released a study by Radioactive Waste Management Associates that said "the disposal of drill cuttings from horizontal wells into the Marcellus Shale at the Chemung County Landfill are likely to result in significant risks to human health."
The two groups, in its presentation at Riverside Cemetery in the Town of Chemung, also presented a letter sent by the Residents Vice President Earl Robinson to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asking for a halt to dumping of Marcellus Shale waste at the local landfill.
Other information presented Friday included the threat to "pursue legal actions to stop the disposal of such wastes in New York landfills until a full analysis of the waste is completed."
"We're aware of Marcellus Shale drilling cuttings coming in the landfill and we know they are radioactive," said Robinson. "Our purpose was to inform the public. When the operation of the landfill was passed to Casella (Waste Systems the owner of the Chemung landfill), they said the operation of the landfill wouldn't change but we felt something like this was going to happen."
The local groups were joined by two members of the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes.
"The public needs to know that what happens in Chemung County can set the precedent for the rest of the state," said Jack Ossont, of the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes. "I'm concerned about limiting the spread to other Casella-owned landfills."
Ossont, who said he's been active in environmental issues for 30 years, also said his group has sent letters to the state attorney general and the Department of Environmental Conservation, asking both offices to further investigate the issue.
(2 of 3)


Permits for more waste
Since last fall, from 1,000 to 2,000 tons of Marcellus drill cuttings have been brought weekly into the Chemung landfill.


At issue is a proposal to increase all tonnage received at the landfill from 120,000 to 180,000 tons per year. The proposed revisions would also permit the landfill's operator, Casella subsidiary New England Waste Services of New York, to make a single application for a permit to increase the capacity at the landfill to 417,000 tons annually. Otherwise it would have to first apply for a 280,000-ton permit before seeking the modification to 417,000 tons.
In return, Chemung County would receive $5 million by April 30, which would be placed in a county tax stabilization fund. That initial payment would be followed by payments of $1 million in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The county would also be forgiven the advance payments it has received from Casella totaling about $1.6 million as well as receiving $100,000 community development payments from Casella for the next 15 years.
The Chemung County Legislature is expected to vote on the revisions Monday.
But Robinson and others who are leery about the proposed increase say the money promised by the landfill operator is blinding the county's eyes to the potential for environmental damage caused by the radioactive materials and heavy metals contained in the drill cuttings.
"The new agreement is all about money and we want the date of the Legislature's vote to be pushed back," said Robinson. "The money is the motivating factor over the health concerns. The City of Elmira is saying 'no', the Town of Chemung might sue and the public is outraged."
Detectors questioned
Robinson also said he isn't putting a lot of faith in the effectiveness of the detectors for radioactive materials Casella plans to install at the Chemung landfill by the end of April.
However, Casella District Manager Larry Shilling said the radiation detectors and the DEC's analysis of drill-cutting samples should be enough to effectively monitor the drill cuttings coming into the landfill.
(3 of 3)


"Pennsylvania requires radiation detectors at every landfill," Shilling said. "They've been doing it for about six months and nothing has set off the alarms. We anticipate the same thing here. The detectors are simple to operate; an alarm goes off and the employees then go through the steps."


In addition to the Chemung landfill, Shilling said two other Casella-operated landfills -- one in Painted Post and the other in Allegany County -- also receive Marcellus Shale and all three are getting detectors.
Shilling also said that while the cuttings contain relatively low levels of radioactive materials, of greater concern is the liquid that comes up with the gas after the well is in production -- a liquid waste material that can't be taken to solid-waste disposal sites -- and the sludge created when the liquid is treated before disposal.
"We can take the sludge, but whether we do or not will depend on what the testing shows, and at this stage, there's not enough of it out there," said Shilling. "What we are taking is the waste from the construction, the cuttings from the drilling and we will install the detectors to make sure nothing too radioactive comes in."

Since last fall, from 1,000 to 2,000 tons of Marcellus drill cuttings have been brought weekly into the Chemung landfill.



At issue is a proposal to increase all tonnage received at the landfill from 120,000 to 180,000 tons per year. The proposed revisions would also permit the landfill's operator, Casella subsidiary New England Waste Services of New York, to make a single application for a permit to increase the capacity at the landfill to 417,000 tons annually. Otherwise it would have to first apply for a 280,000-ton permit before seeking the modification to 417,000 tons.
In return, Chemung County would receive $5 million by April 30, which would be placed in a county tax stabilization fund. That initial payment would be followed by payments of $1 million in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The county would also be forgiven the advance payments it has received from Casella totaling about $1.6 million as well as receiving $100,000 community development payments from Casella for the next 15 years.
The Chemung County Legislature is expected to vote on the revisions Monday.
But Robinson and others who are leery about the proposed increase say the money promised by the landfill operator is blinding the county's eyes to the potential for environmental damage caused by the radioactive materials and heavy metals contained in the drill cuttings.
"The new agreement is all about money and we want the date of the Legislature's vote to be pushed back," said Robinson. "The money is the motivating factor over the health concerns. The City of Elmira is saying 'no', the Town of Chemung might sue and the public is outraged."
Detectors questioned
Robinson also said he isn't putting a lot of faith in the effectiveness of the detectors for radioactive materials Casella plans to install at the Chemung landfill by the end of April.
However, Casella District Manager Larry Shilling said the radiation detectors and the DEC's analysis of drill-cutting samples should be enough to effectively monitor the drill cuttings coming into the landfill.


"Pennsylvania requires radiation detectors at every landfill," Shilling said. "They've been doing it for about six months and nothing has set off the alarms. We anticipate the same thing here. The detectors are simple to operate; an alarm goes off and the employees then go through the steps."




In addition to the Chemung landfill, Shilling said two other Casella-operated landfills -- one in Painted Post and the other in Allegany County -- also receive Marcellus Shale and all three are getting detectors.
Shilling also said that while the cuttings contain relatively low levels of radioactive materials, of greater concern is the liquid that comes up with the gas after the well is in production -- a liquid waste material that can't be taken to solid-waste disposal sites -- and the sludge created when the liquid is treated before disposal.
"We can take the sludge, but whether we do or not will depend on what the testing shows, and at this stage, there's not enough of it out there," said Shilling. "What we are taking is the waste from the construction, the cuttings from the drilling and we will install the detectors to make sure nothing too radioactive comes in."

Posted on: 2010/4/11 14:07
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Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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I have a friend who works for Waste Management , another one legged guy i met at physical therapy , he said the radioactivity detectors went off at the Davidsville landfill and it turned out to be the source for an x-ray machine , so they do work , we had them in the steel mill for checking scrap. Festus.............how about a contact for those waterdogs?

Posted on: 2010/4/11 18:21


Re: Marcellus Shale Drilling

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Posted on: 2010/4/11 18:46
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