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Re: Warren Company Agrees to Pay $25,000 Settlement

Joined:
2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2757
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Hi Pat,
I understand your point. But regardless of whether something is termed a "wilderness" area or is a part of the forest that is pristine and not zoned a "wilderness" area, it is all still a wild area and in my opinion, should not be open to something as industrial as hydrofacking (Marcellus, Utica, Devonian shale). We are only looking at the tip of the iceberg, I think. This isn't surface drilling, mining, logging, etc. This is a whole new technology in a whole new area and as one who would prefer to keep the forests the way they are (as I know you do too), I say we don't bother with legal semantics.

We are seeing a lot of interesting developments regarding this industry at work and while I can't go into more detail, it is definitely creating an area of concern that we aren't currently prepared for. I hope we can get our regulations, fines, oversight, etc. in order before Corbett opens the state again.

But I appreciate your explanation!
Missy (accidentally posted as Dave-sorry!)

Posted on: 2011/2/27 18:02


Re: Warren Company Agrees to Pay $25,000 Settlement

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13700
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Missy,

To be clear, there are very few areas in PA that I consider to be "pristine", as 99.9% of our state was completely timbered out at one point or other in history. There's a few stands of virgin timber left, Hearts Content and small tract of Rickett's Glen come to mind, and I'm sure one or two others.

Nonetheless, I understand your point, areas that are currently forested. The problem is that our government, while they may own the surface rights and designate it as National Forest, State Forest, State Park, SGL, etc., in most cases they don't own the mineral rights. The state aquired the land from timber and mineral companies who sold it only with the stipulation that they are selling the surface rights only, and maintaining control of the mineral rights. Thus, while it sucks that drilling must take place on these lands, we have to remember that if the government had demanded the mineral rights, then it likely wouldn't have been public land to begin with.

From a land use perspective, we should be thankful the owners of the mineral rights let us have the wilderness areas we have! Petitioning to stop the drilling will amount to nothing. Even if the politicians were on our side, they really don't have the power to stop it.

Where they have power is with regulations. Our government has the right to protect our water supplies, our high quality waterways, with regulating the types of tanks, pipes, etc. and the materials used, etc. i.e. fighting the "where" of the issue is a losing battle, but fighting "how" isn't.

The methods aren't new, they've been used on western PA for a long, long time. The regulations have largely worked to protect it. The problem is that the new wells use higher volumes of water, experience higher pressures, etc. But they're still under those old regulations. We're missing the boat if we put our efforts into trying to preven it from taking place. Our efforts need to be on specifying the details which can prevent disaster. The types of pipes used, the time lines, the road impact, the errosion controls, the amount of water allowed to be discharged from treatment plants, the types of treatment that it must undergo, etc.

Posted on: 2011/2/27 19:12


Re: Warren Company Agrees to Pay $25,000 Settlement

Joined:
2007/12/1 15:23
From wellsboro
Posts: 452
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Pcray, the DCNR owns or controls the mineral rights under 85 percnet of the SFL in the Marcellus region. The opposite is true of the game comission and state parks land. The ANF controls next to none of its mineral rights. The SFL is what most of the land Missy was talking about would fall under when she spoke of forested land, so yes politicians can control a lot of the drilling that takes place on publicly owned land.

Posted on: 2011/2/27 20:32


Re: Warren Company Agrees to Pay $25,000 Settlement

Joined:
2007/12/1 15:23
From wellsboro
Posts: 452
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In fairness to PGE, the company spoken of in the original post, they did at one point "donate" the mineral rights under the Hammersly Wild area to the DCNR for considerably less than what they were valued at per their web site.

Posted on: 2011/2/27 20:38



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