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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PFBC To Inspect Gas Well Sites; Local Group In Field Today

gaspipelineRepresentatives of the Potter County Natural Gas Task Force are conducting a field visit today at a Marcellus shale gas well in the area of eastern Potter County and western Tioga County. Purpose of the trip by the Water Quality Study Committee is to learn about a gas pipeline construction project that includes special measures to avoid any potential impact on an exceptional-value headwaters stream in the region. A report on the committee’s findings will be presented at the next Task Force meeting.

Meanwhile, another state agency has stepped in to assist with oversight of natural gas drilling, due to concerns about possible environmental damage. Law enforcement officers and biologists with the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will conduct field inspections of active drilling sites for Marcellus shale gas wells beginning next month, the agency announced this week.

“Until now our agency has only reacted to those drilling sites where a problem resulted in material entering a waterway or wetlands,” said Dr. Douglas Austen, PFBC executive director. “We are now taking a proactive approach to identify possible problems at a drilling site and to work with the company to ensure necessary measures are in place to minimize the possibility of damaging nearby waterways.”

The agency will focus on those well sites that are in close proximity to waterways, including wetlands. Inspections will determine if adequate measures are in place at the drilling site and access roads to prevent damage to the nearby aquatic resources. As part of the inspections, PFBC staff will also be obtaining water quality data from several locations in the nearby waterway.

“The commission believes (gas production) can be accomplished in a manner that provides protection to Pennsylvania’s valuable aquatic resources,” Austen added. “Because of the importance of this issue, waterways conservation officers and field staff have set aside other job duties and functions for a period of time in order to conduct these field inspections.”

More than 150 active well sites have been identified so far for inspections, which are expected to take place over the next several months. Potter County Today


Anonymous said...

The fish commision is NOT qualified to inspect this work. They don't have a clue.They have NOT had ANY training.There are companys that have qualified personnel to inspect.

Anonymous said...

Natural Gas Task Force???
Fish and Boat commission???
Private company???
Someone check the gate,the loons are loose!!

Anonymous said...

The drilling sure as hell can't make the fishing any worse.It has sucked for a few years now and the fish comm. can't even fix that !

Anonymous said...

The Elite and PFC want nothing but Wild Trout in Potter County. No more stocking here as they are sending the Trout down to the big Cities. If you think fishing is bad now just wait until later.

Anonymous said...

There are people in the area that are trained to do these type of inpections on these sites but unfortuanally DEP has taken this away from them so don't blame the Pa Fish and Boat Commission. Turn it back to the local county conservastion district to govern this type of activity

Solomon's words for the wise said...

Well unfortunately, Rendell just let Scores of DEP employees go, after assuring us that DEP would be able to monitor the drilling to keep us safe from pollution, etc. I wonder how much POGAM had to donate to accomplish this. Especially when PA just raised the fees to drill by a very large amount so they could pay the DEP to monitor the business.

Anonymous said...

They can RANT & Rave down in Coudy or at the STACK House, but have no Idea what is hurting this County or going on.

Anonymous said...

What are the credentials of the above mentioned groups. They have no authority, They are no different than a tourist when looking at a well site. The only thing they cre about is getting every tax dollar they can for the local government and school districts. everything else is a smoke screen

Anonymous said...

Just what is needed at every well and construction sight, when people are already trying to do a dangerous job. TOURISTS
Then when they are escorted off site,or one of them gets hurt badly,that too will be gas and oil industry's fault!
These sites are no place to play. gawking can get you or someone trying to protect you killed!