June 29, 2011 —
Matamoras explores impacts of drilling on June 30th
Matamoras Borough Council and Matamoras Municipal Authority in Pike County, PA are co-sponsoring an evening to examine the potential impacts of gas drilling on the water supply and community of Matamoras on June 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Matamoras Borough Hall Annex at 10 Avenue 1. A presentation by Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, will review the issues and open a discussion of what the controversial development of natural gas in the Upper and Middle Delaware River means for Matamoras and the region. For information call Matamoras Borough at 570/491-2771.
EPA identifies PA Sites for national study on hydraulic fracturing
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the next steps in its congressionally mandated hydraulic fracturing study. EPA has identified seven case studies to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Three of the case studies will take place in Pennsylvania in the Marcellus Shale. The sites identified were selected following extensive input from stakeholders, including the public, local and state officials, industry, and environmental organizations. The EPA will begin field work in some of the selected regions this summer. Two of the seven sites were selected as prospective case studies, where EPA will monitor key aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process throughout the lifecycle of a well. Washington County, PA will serve as one of those study sites. Five additional retrospective case studies were selected from 40 nominations and will examine areas where hydraulic fracturing has occurred for any impact on drinking water resources. Three of the five are located in Bradford, Susquehanna and Washington counties, PA. Visit www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing  for a copy of the draft study plan and additional information.
DEP Fines Chief Oil & Gas $180,000 for Oil Spill, Waste Violations
The Department of Environmental Protection has announced that Chief Oil & Gas LLC has paid $180,000 in civil penalties for a hydraulic oil spill and for failing to properly maintain a drill pit at a Marcellus Shale natural gas well in Jefferson Township, Somerset County. A June 10, 2010 site inspection by DEP found evidence of the discharge of hydraulic oil onto the ground. Operators are required to notify DEP of any spills of that nature because the oil is classified as a residual waste. Chief did not notify DEP of the spill and was not permitted to discharge residual waste at the site. Chief Oil & Gas has since successfully remediated the site.
Catskill Citizens mails 158,000 fracking brochures
On June 30th, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy will mail the brochure “What Do You Know about Hydraulic Fracturing?” to every household in Delaware, Sullivan, and Ulster counties in New York. The mailing is scheduled to coincide with the release of the revised draft version of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation which may allow gas drillers to use a controversial technique known as high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which has never been permitted in the state before. Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of toxic fluid underground to release methane trapped in shale formations. It has already been linked to over 1,000 cases of water contamination in other parts of the country, including Pennsylvania. “Education is the key to a sane energy policy for our state” says Catskill Citizens member Bruce Ferguson. The project was made possible by a grant from the Civil Society Institute.