Saturday, June 19, 2010

EPA to hold Marcellus Shale hearing at Southpointe

Staff and wire

The Environmental Protection Agency has scheduled a series of public hearings, including one in Canonsburg, over concerns the rapid increase in natural gas drilling work might be polluting drinking water supplies.
The July 22 hearing at Hilton Garden Inn, Southpointe, will collect information on the process known as “fracking,” which injects large amount of water, sand and chemicals underground to tap into the Marcellus Shale.

The huge boom in the industry has resulted in economic development across Washington and Greene counties. The Marcellus Shale is a rock bed the size of Greece about 6,000feet beneath the state, and also New York, West Virginia and Ohio.

The hearings, which also will be held in Texas, Colorado and New York, follow concerns from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee about the chemicals used in the drilling. Some of the chemicals are benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

The hearing in Cecil Township will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the hotel at 1000 Corporate Drive.

EPA meeting addresses impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water
By Christie Campbell, Staff writer,

As part of a two-year study on hydraulic fracturing and whether it has any impact on drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public meeting in Canonsburg next month.
The EPA will take comments from citizens concerned about the drilling process as well as stockholders in the natural gas industry from 6 to 10 p.m. July 22 at Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Corporate Drive.

The meeting is being hosted as part of a study the EPA's Office of Research and Development is conducting to determine if hydraulic fracturing has any adverse affect on drinking water or the environment. Hydraulic fracturing is used to stimulate natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale development and is used locally in gas wells.

An EPA spokesperson said Monday that the time frame to complete the study is late 2012. That should give the drillers plenty of time to destroy the county's drinking water supply and property values before any new EPA laws are legislated.