Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Mark West Liberty Midstream & Resources has agreed to install appropriately sized emergency vents on its condensate storage tanks and adopt an approved maintenance schedule at all 14 of its compressor stations in Washington and Butler counties.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday two separate settlements with companies that have agreed to improve operation of their natural gas facilities in western Pennsylvania, and Washington County specifically. EPA alleged that the companies failed to comply with federal clean air regulations to prevent accidental releases of flammable substances. Mark West Liberty Midstream & Resources has agreed to install appropriately sized emergency vents on its condensate storage tanks and adopt an approved maintenance schedule at all 14 of its compressor stations in Washington and Butler counties. The Mark West compressor stations receive natural gas from well sites, separate out the liquids from the natural gas and route the …
Sunday, April 14, 2013
As the Marcellus Shale industry expands in western Pennsylvania—and individual property owners start to benefit—issues often become controversial, especially when it comes to the environment.
Marcellus Shale is here to stay. Like its natural resource predecessors—coal deep mining and strip mining, natural gas and oil wells, and logging—Marcellus Shale drilling brings jobs and a source of energy for businesses and consumers. Like its predessors, Marcellus Shale drilling also brings and will most likely leave behind environmental concerns. Today, there's mine insurance today for those who own homes and businesses above areas that were mined for coal 100 or more years ago. Reclamation efforts were mandated in 1977 to restore areas destroyed by strip mining and why there's always a danger of an oil or gas well fire or leak into waterways. Reforestation replaces trees lost to the logging industry. Already, Marcellus Shale has raised…
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The Peters Township manager updated council members last week.
Peters Township Manager Michael Silvestri alerted council members last week that the Chesapeake Marcellus Shale drilling work is under way nearby at Trax Farm. The Union-Finley Messenger reports that the first of three wells across from the Trax Farm parking lot is drilled, fracked and capped. Work on the second well will begin soon. It will be completed in late fall or early winter, according to the report.
Monday, February 25, 2013
The Washington County Conservation District will receive a total of $83,758—the third highest amount in the state.
Washington County is one of five southwestern Pennsylvania counties to receive a large portion of a state fund set aside by Marcellus Shale drilling fees to promote local conservation efforts. “These grants will help fund the important work of county conservation districts,” state Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, said. “Learning better ways to use and save resources while teaching stewardship to citizens is an important part of our effort to preserve and improve the environment of the region.” The grants will be dispersed from the Unconventional Gas Well Fund, created under Act 13 of 2012 to help all county conservation districts continue their services, with a special emphasis on those that host Marcellus Shale gas wells. Conservation …
Monday, February 11, 2013
The potential deal could generate an estimated $500 million for the airport.
Former Moon resident Gary Sheffler said his civil engineering firm PVE Sheffler struggled in the years after U.S. Airways abandoned its hub and cut flights at Pittsburgh International—a move that triggered a downturn in the overall airport corridor economy. "To put a personal face on this, my company went from 15 employees down to three employees," said Sheffler, speaking before hundreds Thursday at a public hearing at Robert Morris University. The burgeoning natural gas drilling industry in Western Pennsylvania has helped his company grow to hire a staff of 70, he said. "I would have a hard time telling 70 people with families and kids, 'I think we have got to shut it down because of the environment,' " he said. Allegheny County …
Saturday, January 5, 2013
The movie, filmed in the Pittsburgh area, digs into the debate over fracking.
Troy Bogdan, an organic farmer living in Bridgeville, says he caught the “acting bug” after a back injury sidelined him from working on his Crawford County farm last year. An audition for a role as an extra last May has snowballed into a flurry of acting parts in several movies filming around western Pennsylvania, including the major production of Promised Land, which opened in theaters Friday morning. “I’ve been a fan of movies all my life, but I never thought I would be working for them,” Bogdan said. “It’s a hobby and we’ll see where it goes. I don’t have any expectations of being a movie star, but maybe it can lead to part-time income to supplement the farm income. I’ll do it as long as I’m still having fun.” The work started after …
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
But Cecil and three other local communities will have their portions withheld until the state reviews their drilling ordinances.
Gov. Tom Corbett today announced that Act 13 has generated more than $204.2 million through the new impact fee. Most of this money will be distributed directly to local communities across the state—except for in the case of Cecil Township, Mount Pleasant, Robinson and South Fayette. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported those communities will have their share of the local impact fee witheld until their ordinances governing drilling have been reviewed by the state and deemed in compliance with Act 13. In all four instances, residents lobbied the Public Utilities Commission to review those ordinances. In addition, Range Resources also filed a request for South Fayette's ordinance to be reviewed. Reached Monday afternoon, Cecil Township …
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The groups gathered at the Capitol at noon Tuesday.
A coalition of environmental and community groups, as well as state Sen. Jim Ferlo gathered in the state Capitol at noon Tuesday to call on state lawmakers to revoke Act 13—the state's new Marcellus Shale drilling law—and to support newly written legislation that would impose a statewide gas-drilling permit moratorium. Ferlo is a Democrat serving parts of Allegheny, Armstrong and Westmoreland counties. The other groups attending included the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Berks Gas Truth and Delaware Riverkeeper Network. The moratorium would be in place while a study commission "determines the wide range of impacts caused by hydraulic fracturing," Ferlo's office indicated in a media advisory. Those in attendance held signs reading, "Don'…
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The order, dated Monday, also denied Marcellus Shale industry groups' petition to intervene.
A state Supreme Court order dated Monday denied the request from two top state Republican leaders to intervene on the Act 13 appeal scheduled for oral arguments Oct. 17. State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati and Speaker of the House state Rep. Samuel H. Smith in August had sought to intervene in the appeal of a Commonwealth Court ruling that struck down portions of the state's new Marcellus Shale law as unconstitutional. A request by the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Markwest Liberty Midstrearn & Resources, LLC, Penneco Oil Company, lnc., and Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC to intervene and participate in oral arguments in the appeal was also denied in the order Monday. To read the…
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Earthworks, a nonprofit, released its study, 'Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement' Tuesday.
On Tuesday Earthworks, a nonprofit, released "Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement," a new research study indicating that states across the country—including Pennsylvania—are failing to enforce their own oil and gas development regulations. The one-year, in-depth research project examined enforcement data and practices in Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Mexico and Colorado and included interviews with ex-industry and state agency employees. "State enforcement of oil and gas rules is broken," said Earthworks' Senior Staff Attorney Bruce Baizel. He continued, "Across the country, public health and safety are at risk because states are failing to uphold the rule of law. Until states can guarantee …