Friday, December 30, 2011

Fracking cracks the public consciousness in 2011

PROPUBLICA-- This was the year that "fracking" became a household word.

It wasn't just that environmental concerns about the underground drilling process finally struck a mainstream chord -- after three years of reporting and more than 125 stories. For the first time, independent scientific investigations linked the drilling technique with water pollution, and a variety of federal and state agencies responded to the growing apprehension about water contamination with more studies and more regulation.

The most important development -- and perhaps a crucial turning point -- was in December. In a landmark finding, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that hydraulic fracturing was the likely culprit in a spate of groundwater contamination that had forced residents to stop using their water in dozens of homes in central Wyoming. The agency had been investigating since 2008.

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Planning Commission approves fracking water treatment plant

DAILY REVIEW---  "North Towanda Township--The Bradford County Planning Commission on Tuesday approved construction of Hydro Recovery-Bradford LP's proposed plant in Standing Stone Township, which would treat and recycle various kinds of residual waste from gas drilling sites, including flow-back water from fracking.

The approval is conditioned on Hydro Recovery addressing 12 issues raised by an engineering firm hired by the county. The commission gave Hydro Recovery 90 days to meet the conditions, which include providing a long-term maintenance plan for on-site storm water management control measures, providing a map showing the location of current and planned utility lines, and providing copies of approvals from other government agencies.

The plant would process up to 300,000 gallons per day of residual wastes from gas well sites, such as flowback water from hydraulic fracturing, said David Hedrick, a project manager with Hydro Recovery."

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Landowners turn against leasing for 'fracking'

The Independent-- "Nearly half of the landowners who have leased their ground to shale gas developers in the north-east of America regret doing it, despite the money, according to a new report by Deloitte.

In findings that will intensify opposition to the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, some 47 per cent of respondents in the 'new shale' states of Pennsylvania and New York, who have rented out their land, said they wouldn't repeat the experience."

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Philly Inquirer runs in-depth series on fracking

If you haven't yet seen the Philadelphia Inquirer's recent investigative series on fracking in PA, be sure to check it out.  The newspaper has also collated all make and manner of resources, graphs, timelines, maps and an archive of previous stories about all aspects of drilling the Marcellus Shale.  Click HERE to read the series and access the links to all other resources.

Baker's Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Bill Signed Into Law

Power Engineering-- "Gov. Tom Corbett today signed into law Rep. Matt Baker's (R-Bradford/Tioga) legislation establishing regulatory oversight of natural gas pipelines in the Commonwealth to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

The new law will authorize the PUC to conduct safety inspections and investigations of natural gas pipelines within the Commonwealth in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (U.S. DOT).

'This legislation is just common sense and keeps us in line with what other 31 natural gas-producing states are doing,' said Baker. 'I am pleased that the General Assembly and governor recognized the immediate need for such legislation and fast-tracked it through the legislative process and signed it into law.'"

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Corbett signs pipeline safety measure

CPBJ-- "Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday signed a bill giving Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission regulatory oversight of the commonwealth's natural gas pipelines.

The new law, which takes effect in 60 days, gives the PUC authorization to conduct safety inspections and investigations of pipelines in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration."

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