Sunday, May 23, 2010

Murrysville Concerns Prove A Reality Elsewhere

Marcellus Shale drilling a concern
By Amy Crawford
Thursday, May 6, 2010

When the Hallowich family moved to Washington County to build their dream home in 2007, they did not anticipate the impact that Marcellus Shale gas drilling would have on their lives.

"It's not the pretty pictures they show you, and the reclaimed sites and the people who've made their millions," said Stephanie Hallowich. "My kids can't go outside and play."

At a public meeting organized by Murrysville Council last night, Hallowich spoke to more than 50 residents about the so-called darker side of that Marcellus Shale.

The mineral rights were leased when she and her husband bought their property, near the community of Hickory in Mt. Pleasant Township. Their neighbors also had signed drilling leases, and soon the Hallowiches found themselves surrounded by four gas wells, a compression station, pipelines and a large holding pond containing polluted water.

The water, Hallowich said, had seeped into their well, making it unsafe to drink. Chemicals apparently escaped into the air, she said, and the family experiences burning eyes and throats.