Dear Shalers,
In Part 1 of the Aquifer Contamination discussion we explored the pro's & con's of the proposed drilling that is expected, and seemed to have come to several observations:
1) Drilling is good for the economy and produces jobs and revenue
2) Drilling techniques have been used for a long time, and the fracing process is non-hazardous
3) The drilling can cause contamination when proper procedures are not followed
4) The companies doing the drilling are not looking out for anything other than to get the job done at the least cost to themselves
5) There are horror stories of real folks being negatively impacted, and those with an agenda (either pro or con) twist the facts to suit their own cases.
6) No-one is looking out for the landowners best interests- not the company, the state or the federal government.
7) What rules and regulations there are, and the agencies that administer/police them, are woefully inadequate

I believe that we are now in a position to examine how best to protect ourselves, our land, our neighbors and the environment as a whole. With that goal in mind, I'd like to examine the specific things that can be done.I have no quarrel with folks getting as much for their land as possible, nor anyone becoming better off because of the mineral wealth. Other sites focus on the ongoing values being offered, and negotiating postures. I'd like to focus on the things we ought to be trying to do to better protect ourselves.

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Comment by daniel cohen on May 13, 2010 at 12:27am
Dear Shalers,
My apologies for not being computer literate enough to get the pictures to appear here.
Comment by daniel cohen on May 13, 2010 at 12:09am
Dear Shalers,
• With special thanks to Angel, below you’ll find a good reporting site ( ) should you become aware of a site contamination. This contamination was spotted in Shaffer creek in clearville, Pa.
• IMGA0265.JPG
• IMGA0266.JPG
• IMGA0270.JPG
• IMGA0263.JP
• IMGA0439.JPG
• IMGA0444.JPG
• IMGA0445.JP

When you see this stuff , you can call your regions e.p.a. but the best thing that you can do is to fill out a reporting form on the web.

If you prefer to use a phone, then report any problems by calling 1-800-424-8802 You can send any pictures you take to senators and elected officials.

Bottom line folks-we need to help the Oil/Gas folks to be good neighbors. We need to be vigilant, and to hold them to good practices and proper working responsibilities. They are not evil, just business folks willing to cut corners if permitted.

Comment by daniel cohen on May 8, 2010 at 9:56am
Dear Shalers,
With special thanks to Angel, we all ought to be getting behind some of the recommendations that this senator is making.

Senator Casey asks federal agency to investigate drilling contamination
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
by Laura Legere
Scranton Times-Tribune
Senator Bob Casey is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate cases of water contamination related to natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania after a gas company operating in Susquehanna County failed to stop methane from leaking into residents' drinking water.
In a letter Monday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Mr. Casey said he wants greater EPA involvement in the state because contamination incidents, including methane migration in Dimock Twp., "raise the question of whether the necessary steps have been taken to protect Pennsylvania families and communities against the detrimental side effects of drilling."
The oil and gas industry is largely exempt from federal environmental oversight and is instead regulated by state agencies. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection regulates the industry.
But in a press conference Monday, Mr. Casey said several layers of government oversight may be necessary to ensure drilling is done safely. And he believes the federal environmental agency already has some power to regulate the industry in general - and to investigate the Dimock incident specifically - through the Superfund program and emergency powers outlined in the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
He wants the EPA to determine its authority under those laws. If the agency finds that it does not have sufficient authority to protect against the hazards of drilling, it should ask Congress for more, he said.
"I have a concern that there isn't enough of a federal responsibility here," he said, "or even if there is the statutory authority, that the federal government hasn't done enough in terms of investigation or action in this area."
Last year, Mr. Casey introduced legislation, called the FRAC Act, that would require the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells to be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It would also require that drilling companies disclose the chemical composition of the fluids they mix with sand and water to break apart - or hydraulically fracture - the gas-bearing rock.
The gas industry maintains that hydraulic fracturing has never been the confirmed cause of drinking water contamination and argues that federal oversight would be an unnecessary burden.
Mr. Casey said Monday that it is possible for gas drilling to be done safely. "We don't have to choose between jobs and the environment, or choose between economic opportunity and protecting families' drinking water," he said.
Victoria Switzer, a Dimock resident whose drinking water has been contaminated with methane, said she and 13 neighbors have had to live with that choice because oversight of the industry was not stringent enough to protect them.
"We've lost our drinking water; there's lots of gas there. That's not a choice people should have to make," she said.
Comment by daniel cohen on May 4, 2010 at 5:45pm
With special thanks to CJK, the following may also have significance to those looking for a mortgage:

"This is not new. Visions has that policy as well, in fact there are many banks that are considering calling their mortgages in because of the gas leases on the property. It is my understanding that gas leases take a priority to mortgages in the courts. The banks do not want any risks. It is conceivable if anything might happen on the property that not only would the banks lose their investment but they could be possibly listed in the law suit as a party of interest. "

Comment by daniel cohen on May 4, 2010 at 5:26pm
With special thanks to Marie, the following may have significant meaning for those looking to obtain a home equity loan:

Comment by daniel cohen on April 29, 2010 at 11:14am
With special thanks to Peacegirl, the following ought to be posted around the sites as we surf:

Report a Spill or Dumping
EPA Eyes On Drilling
Report non-emergency dumping, illegal & suspicious hauling, disposal:

To report a spill in NY state:

To report an emergency spill or release of hazardous material to the National Response Center:

Comment by Brian Oram, PG on April 17, 2010 at 10:16pm
Comments on Proposed regulations are on my blog
Comment by daniel cohen on April 9, 2010 at 7:30am
With special thanks to Angel, did you all see this?
Philadelphia, PA -
Environmental groups from across the region hailed passage of a Philadelphia City Council Resolution yesterday calling on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to reject all permits related to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, until a full environmental impact assessment is complete. The groups said the DRBC should follow the Council's direction and not allow this environmentally destructive drilling practice to occur in the Delaware River Basin.

"We are extremely happy that City Council took its first strong step towards protecting Philadelphia's watershed from shale gas drilling," said Iris Marie Bloom, Campaign Director of Protecting Our Waters, a grassroots Philadelphia organization that opposes shale gas drilling. "Thanks to this resolution, the Delaware River Basin Commission now knows that Philadelphia's elected officials don't want any arsenic, benzene, radium 226 or hundreds of other Marcellus Shale fracking contaminants anywhere near our drinking water!"

"The Delaware River Watershed provides drinking water to 15 million people who will all be affected if shale gas drilling moves ahead in the River's headwaters, 1.5 million of them here in Philadelphia," noted Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. "Until comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of this new industrial activity is complete and protective regulations are in place, we will continue to fight to prevent shale gas extraction in our watershed".

So far, no gas drilling has occurred the Delaware River Basin but many companies are poised to drill if they can obtain permits. Two applications from Stone Energy, one to frack the first well in the Delaware River watershed and one to withdraw up to 700,000 gallons per day from the West Branch Lackawaxen River, for five years, are pending. How DRBC rules on the Stone Energy permits will be considered a bellwether for gas exploration in the region. The DRBC Public Comment Period on the Stone Energy permits ends on April 12, 2010 and a decision could come in May.

"There are some places that simply are too sensitive and too important to allow any drilling at all, and the Delaware River Basin is one of those places." said Deborah Goldberg,
Managing Attorney for Earthjustice, a national environmental organization with offices in New York.

Stone Energy's water withdrawal permit would allow them to withdraw up to one billion, 277 million gallons of fresh, clean water from the West Branch Lackawaxen River over the next five years. If permitted, all of that water would be mixed with a toxic cocktail of fracking chemicals including methanol, formaldehyde, 2-butoxyethanol, and other known carcinogens. Fracking technology is exempt from major provisions of five federal environmental laws. The EPA recently announced a two year environmental review of the technology. New York City commissioned a scientific study which concluded there should be no shale gas drilling within 7 miles of New York City's watershed.

"There is no doubt that tremendous pollution of our water and air would result if these permits are granted" concluded Bloom, adding, "The net impact on climate change appears to be negative. This tiny, healthy tributary to the Lackawaxen River, Pennsylvania's 2010 River of the Year, spawns tremendous biodiversity and keeps the water flowing down to the mainstream Delaware River clean and fresh."
Comment by Brian Oram, PG on March 21, 2010 at 12:01am
I think the proposed PA regulations go a long way to address many of the issues. Third party inspections of the cement, multiple casements using centralizers, putting together emergency response plans in case of a contamination event. I believe all very good choices that improve safety, reduce risk, and help to minimize impacts. I would like to see some more realistic isolation distances from surfacewater impoundments used for drinking water - than the simple 100 foot distance. The isolation distance should be based on the engineering controls and monitoring plans at the site and pad.
Just my thoughts - More at my blog
Comment by daniel cohen on March 17, 2010 at 1:10pm
Sorry Guys,
It won't let me post a link, and I'm too computer illiterate to get around it.
Contact me directly ( and I'll get a forwarded email out to you with the proper links.

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