Thursday, February 24, 2011

Huge explosion rocks western PA gas site

At approximately 6:30pm last night an explosion at a Chesapeake drill site rocked the small community of Avella PA (Washington County) and burned for nearly 3 hours as firefighters from at least 2 counties battled the blaze.  The explosion injured 2-3 people who are now being treated for burns.  Two contractors were reportedly flown via helicopter from the scene to UPMC-Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.  For video of the site, click HERE to see the WTOV footage.

"I was eating dinner when all of a sudden there was an explosion," said Katie Leeper, whose home is on a hill across the valley from the well. "I didn't know it was an explosion at first, but the whole house shook and the windows rattled.  "I looked outside, saw all the neighbors, looked over the hill and saw the big fire."  Another neighbor, Robert Dalesio, who said his house is 650 yards from the well, thought a plane had crashed.  "I first thought a C-130 (military transport aircraft) went down because they fly over here all the time," he said. "There was a pretty good concussion. I looked over and saw the whole hillside on fire."  To read the full story, click HERE.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

3400 gallons of frack water spilled in Lock Haven

SWISSDALE - The state Department of Environmental Protection confirmed this morning that 3,400 gallons of treated frack flowback water were spilled during Friday's tri-axle truck crash on the Coudersport Pike, near the "horseshoe curve."  "There were two things spilled ... 50 gallons of fuel and oil and 3,400 gallons of treated frack water," DEP spokesman Dan Spadoni said. "We have no information that any waterways were threatened by this. I don't think that's a concern."

The water truck is owned by A&A Construction of Clarence. The water was from a well drilled by Anadarko.  A&A has hired an environmental consultant, GEF, at the direction of DEP, to conduct an investigation, Spadoni said.  "That's part of it," he said. "We've already taken soil samples and have taken at least some private drinking water samples. We'll be following up today."  Spadoni said someone from the agency's Environmental Cleanup Program will be collecting more samples from private drinking water wells.  As far as any fines that may be instituted, Spadoni said that will be decided at a later date.  "Right now, we're focused on the site remediation," he said.

To read the remainder of the article in full, please click HERE.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"A catastrophe waiting to happen"

LinkTV, an independent media orgranization whose mission is to "engage, inform and inspire viewers to become involved in the world," recently posted an in-depth investigation into Marcellus drilling activity--based in large part in Bradford County, PA.  The report seems to have its basis in the fact that natural gas drilling is planned for large parts of Europe.  It's an excellent piece of investigative journalism--I urge you to take the time to watch!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sierra Club video series on fracking effects

The PA chapter of the Sierra Club recently posted a series of 10 video clips featuring Kevin Heatley, Restoration Ecologist.  The series documents the various effects of fracking to PA forests. The first video can be seen below; click HERE  to view the remaining nine.