The Fracking News – A Pollution Pass

The Fracking News

Lee Schweitzer reminds the county commissioners that the decisions they make now will affect the area for generations to come. I hope that the legacy of the current commissioners will not be not spoiling the county parks by allowing drilling.

The  County Commissioners have requested a voluntary moratorium on all applications to drill in the conservation zone.  No kidding!!   This “Gentleman’s Moratorium” has no legal authority – but it seems that at least the two companies that have planned to drill in the conservation zone, MDS and EQT,  are going to respect it.

This isn’t exactly about fracking, but more about accountability:  A superior court judge has dismissed the EPA’s case against the Homer City Power Plant. Not because they weren’t polluting our air, they were, and they are, but because it took 20 years to get them to court. It’s time for a change – take action now to clean up this massive source of pollution.

Speaking of air pollution, this week the House Democratic Policy Committee held hearings on the enormous amount of air pollution from fracking, “Over 13,000 tons per year of nitrogen oxide associated with the Marcellus industry have been permitted by the Southwest Regional Office alone.”

Part of the issue is that typically, one single piece of equipment in shale drilling doesn’t constitute a major source, but the cumulative effects are dangerous. Just ask the former Mayor of Dish, TX, who’s family’s‘ nosebleeds didn’t stop until they moved off the Barnett Shale and away from fracking wells. This is also happening in PA

But don’t ask the DEP to help, Secretary Krancer just proposed inadequate air pollution regulations. Of course, industry loves his proposal.

In other legal news – Range Resources is on a rampage, suing both Fayette Township, and Cecil township for their efforts to regulate drilling. Guess what regulations haven’t been challenged?

The industry’s lawsuit against Warren Township was dropped, because they withdrew their ordinance banning frack fluid from being dumped into deep injection wells. Clearfield county is also trying to keep the frack waste out, and officials are helping.

Presidential candidates Rick Santorum (have you googled him?) and Rick Perry were talking about energy today – and jobs. While they’re both wrong about a lot of things, the fact is that there are jobs available in fracking, and there have been ripple effects to other industries. Schools are redesigning curriculum to prepare.

The other not terrible news is that gas is replacing coal (coal is terrible). What do you think about gas replacing gas?

Do you do water testing for effects of Marcellus Shale drilling?  Then make sure you’re hooked up with the folks putting together a statewide database – either from Penn State, or the  Delaware River Basin Commission

Unfortunately, for the people of Dimmock, the results are in, their water is still explosive.

And lastly, in a case that could reverse over 100 years of policy, The Supreme Court has been asked to rule on whether or not shale gas is a mineral. Did that just blow your mind?

One Response to “The Fracking News – A Pollution Pass”
  1. Mike Knapp says:

    Great to see the CHC is taking issue with one of the nation’s worst pollution facilities right in its own back yard, the Homer City Power Plant. I see you also mention the 13,000 tons of “permitted” NOx emissions from the Marcellus industry. I’m trying to discern how much of that 13,000 tons is actually anticipated to be emitted (assuming these facilities are requesting more capacity then they actually intend to emit). Either way, the number is too high.

    I have some interesting perspective on both of these numbers:

    Homer City Generation Station, according to the most recent statistics (2007), emits 17,444 tons of NOx per year itself, and the Keystone Power Plant in Shelocta emits another 12,267 per annum, for a total of 29,711 tons.

    Power plants across PA emit a total of 187,055 tons. That means that those two plants emit nearly 15% of all the NOx emissions from PA power plants.

    Above data sourced from the EPA:

    That being said, we support legislation that calls for all best management practices be employed to minimize all air pollution associated with natural gas drilling.

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