CHC Update: Big News!

Greetings friends,

Good news!!
I’m happy to inform members of the Coalition for a Healthy County that the Yellow Creek well is now under inactive status, and MDS will begin the process of reclaiming the site.
According to MDS spokesperson, Mike Knapp, they stopped drilling at about 7,800′ when they encountered an apparent fault. The well has not been fracked. They will re-evaluate the project once better subsurface data becomes available.  In the meantime, the original contour of the land will be replicated, topsoil will be spread and the site will be seeded and mulched. The wellhead, and possibly the access road will remain.
While we respect the financial impact for both the drilling company and the property owner, this is good news for members and supporters of the Coalition for a Healthy County. It means there is currently minimal risk from the hazards of fracking in these natural areas, and the moratorium on Marcellus Shale drilling within these protected zones imposed by Commissioner Ruddock still holds. This is in no small part due to the work and activism of CHC. Thanks to all of you who’ve stayed with us, continued to contact our local elected, and have helped to keep our community educated.
Not out of the woods
As passed in April, the update to the oil and gas act, Act 13, significantly reduces the authority of our county to maintain this moratorium through traditional zoning. However, these zoning preemption provisions are currently on hold while the state defends the preemption language against a lawsuit brought on by several municipalities across the state. Indiana County has delayed consideration of our new ordinance for the conservation zones until that lawsuit has been settled, likely not until August or September.
CHC will continue to update you on ways to make sure your voice is heard!
Next Steering Committee Meeting – All are invited!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 7pm
103 S. 5th Street
As usual, anyone on this list is invited to participate as part of CHC’s steering committee, even if it’s your first one. We have a lot of exciting work and challenges coming up that you can be a part of, including our Fall membership meeting in October where we’ll do some major goal setting. Please RSVP just to make sure I have enough chairs.

Draft Agenda:
Conservation Zone Update
Other CHC projects:
 – Summer Field School and Appalacian Teaching Project
 – Sierra Club HC hearing
 – ECO club and Mountain Watershed Association’s Visual Assessment Training Part 2, Sat. July 14th
Fall Meeting, proposed dates: Oct. 13, 20?
Meanwhile, there is drilling
Attached is a google earth file that has all the drilled Marcellus Wells in Indiana County. If you have Google Earth on your computer, try opening it with that. you can zoom in on each site. While there is currently a lull in drilling, there is still a lot to learn.
Visual Assessment Training:
Saturday, July 14, 9am – 3pm
IUP Hadley Union Building (HUB)
Susquehanna Room 
Are you interested in preventing pollution from Marcellus shale activity in your community? Attend the Monitoring Marcellus Training that Mountain Watershed Association (MWA) and the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) will provide on Saturday, July 14, 2012 from 9AM to 3PM in Indiana County at Susquehanna Room of the HUB at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1101 South
Drive, Indiana. This workshop will provide you with information on the science behind Marcellus shale, visual assessment, and water monitoring. Water monitoring equipment will be made available to those interested. To register call or email Veronica at or 724-455-4200 ext. 4#.

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