Marcellus Shale Coverage

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Fracking
1:40 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Drilling Companies Agree to Settle Fracking Contamination Case for $750,000

Stephanie Hallowich with her children. The Hallowich's sued after they say drilling activity made their children sick. The drilling companies say there is no medical evidence to link the illness to gas drilling.
Credit Mark Schmerling / Courtesy of Protecting Our Waters

Range Resources, MarkWest Energy and Williams Gas agreed to settle a high profile contamination case in Washington County for $750,000, according to recently unsealed court records.  

An order to unseal the records was entered Wednesday in Washington County Court of Common Pleas by President Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca. Judge O’Dell-Seneca reversed an earlier decision to permanently keep the more than 900 pages of court records secret. In the order she stated that the drilling company’s claims of privacy rights had no merit.

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Marcellus Shale
5:01 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

New Organization Will Independently Certify Shale Companies for Pollution Standards

A new Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization has been created to independently certify companies that develop shale natural gas based on their adherence to 15 pollution control standards.

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development was created with funding and input from southwestern Pennsylvania foundations, gas companies and environmental groups.

"Unusual bedfellows in this day and age, to be sure," said Robert Vagt, president of the Heinz Endowments.

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Marcellus Shale
1:52 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Settlement over Health Impact of Drilling Unsealed

A Washington County  judge says the public has the right to see a sealed settlement between gas drilling companies and a family that claimed the drilling operations damaged their health.

Judge Debbie O'Dell-Seneca ruled Wednesday that openness in the court system is more important than the interests of the companies.

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Marcellus Shale
4:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Fed Beige Book Mentions PA Drilling Impact

The U.S. Federal Reserve's latest survey of regional economic trends is mentioning the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom.

The Fed's latest Beige Book issued Wednesday mentions that Pennsylvania banks see customers paying down loans with natural gas royalty money. In neighboring Ohio the Fed says shale gas activity is expanding at a robust pace, but some auto dealers are worried they're lose technicians to energy companies.

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3 Rivers Quest
3:42 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Water Quality Monitors Wanted

3 Rivers Quest monitors water quality in rivers, tributaries and headwater streams that drain more than 25,000 square miles in five states.  Local watershed groups may apply for grants up to $7000 to help collect samples.  The four geographical regions and those partnering with West Virginia University in the project are the Monongahela (West Virginia Water Research Institute), Upper Ohio (Wheeling Jesuit University), Southern Allegheny (Duquesne University) and Northern Allegheny (Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited).

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Acid Mine Drainage
3:16 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Should Gas Companies Be Able to Use Acid Mine Drainage for Fracking?

Credit Rana Xavier/Flickr

Acid mine drainage is the most widespread water pollution problem in Pennsylvania. When water wells up inside abandoned coalmines, it leaches the iron compound ‘pyrite’ from the rock to form an acidic, sulfuric brine — called “yellowboy” for its color. As the pressure builds in the empty, underground mines, it often begins to seep out, the risk of a blowout increases, and, at times, the yellowboy could end up flowing into the nearest stream and killing wildlife.

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Environment & Energy
3:08 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Gov. Corbett's Spending Plan Ties DCNR, DEP Budgets to Gas Drilling Revenues

Democratic State Senators have a few problems with Governor Tom Corbett's proposed budgets for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

First of all, State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) said DCNR's budget is too dependent on royalties garnered from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling in state forest land. While $53 million of the DCNR budget comes from the state's General Fund, roughly $77 million comes from royalty fees on gas extraction.

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Act 13 Symposium
3:53 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Act 13 Debated at Pitt Symposium

Pennsylvania's law governing Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania, has made headlines because of its zoning rules, how it treats municipalities, and whether it is constitutional.

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Marcellus Shale
9:25 am
Wed February 20, 2013

County OK's Drilling at Pittsburgh International Airport

Land owned by the Allegheny County Airport Authority could soon host oil and gas drilling pads.
Credit Corey Seeman/Flickr

The Allegheny County Council has given approval to a contract to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport.  Council voted 9-4 with one abstention Tuesday night to approve the contract with Consol Energy Inc.

The deal comes with a $50 million up front signing bonus.  Once Consol starts drilling it will give the county 18% of the revenue generated by production at the site.  It has been estimated that could amount to as much as $450 million over the next 20 years.

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Marcellus Shale
1:46 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Long-term Marcellus Shale Study Underway

Geisinger Health System is using a $1 million grant to study the impact Marcellus Shale drilling has on people's health.
Credit Ari Moore / Flickr

Geisinger Health System is using a $1 million grant to study the impact Marcellus Shale drilling has on people's health.

The grant from the Degenstein Foundation will go towards building a data warehouse that will be home to healthcare, drilling, and environmental data needed for the project.

Stephen Sellers, Administrative Director of the initiative, said the project will take 20 to 30 years. He said they’re divided into 5-year phases and the grant will go towards the first.

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Environment & Energy
2:48 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Activists Lock Selves to Fence, Blocking Access to Pipeline Work in Pike County

Milford, PA resident Alex Lotorto and Vernon, NJ resident Allison Petryk locked themselves to an access road entry gate in an effort to halt clear cutting efforts.
Credit http://notennesseepipeline.blogspot.com/

A group of Pike County residents are spending President’s Day locked to a gate through Delaware State Forest.

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Environment & Energy
2:39 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Poland Hopes to Frack Shale Deposits

A map showing major shale gas basins around the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ask Poles how they feel about fracking for natural gas and responses are mixed. They hope for big money and free flowing gas. They recognize legal, environmental and societal concerns, but ask them why fracking for homegrown gas is important and the answer is the same: energy independence.

Poles from all walks of life say if they can get to the natural gas that geologists and energy companies say is trapped deep underground, Poland would be free from reliance on its neighbors to the east — Russians.

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