Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Marcellus Highlights, Dec. 12, 2011

Now that I can tweet daily Marcellus news, I will only post weekly highlights here at the Old Schoolhouse.  Three main themes were in the news this past week, the endless saga of will we or won't we have an "impact fee" in PA, the continuing drama over contaminated water in Dimock and the growing pipeline infrastructure.

Pennsylvania towns contend with gas pipeline proposals
A number of municipalities in Washington County have spent the past few months crafting regulations for Marcellus Shale gas well drilling pads, compressor stations, processing plants and even employee work trailers. But pipelines? Not so much.

Two of those municipalities in the northern portion of the county, Peters and Union, now find themselves scrambling to brace for proposed pipeline projects on their doorsteps.

"I don't think we thought of it," said Peters Manager Michael Silvestri about why township officials failed to consider pipelines when council approved a gas well drilling ordinance in August.
 'Gas gold rush' prompts pipeline
A Wisconsin construction company is ready to dig under the Monongahela River to complete a major Marcellus Shale natural gas pipeline.
Michels Corp. of Brownsville, Wis., will cause partial navigation channel closures as it completes the project this month between Carroll and Rostraver townships near Donora and Webster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh announced Thursday.
Dominion Resources of Richmond, Va., is developing the pipeline in response to what is "tantamount to a gas gold rush" in Washington County and outlying areas, company spokesman Charles Penn said. Dominion has contracted with Michels to lay the pipe at the bottom of the Mon, the corps said.
Powerful Pipes, Weak Oversight

There was trouble on the job. Far too many of the welds that tied the pipe sections together were failing inspection and had to be done over.
A veteran welder, now an organizer for a national pipeline union, happened upon the line and tried to blow the whistle on what he considered substandard work.
But there was no one to call.
Pennsylvania's regulators don't handle those pipelines, and acknowledge they don't even know where they are. And when he reported what he saw to a federal oversight agency, an inspector told him there was nothing he could do, either.
Business leaders ask Corbett, Pa. lawmakers for resolution of Marcellus shale legislation
The state's leading business organizations asked Gov. Tom Corbett and legislative leaders to reach agreement on natural gas drilling legislation that would create uniform standards for zoning and impose an impact fee that's competitive with other states.
Activist Group Tries to Deliver Water to Dimock

Anti-natural gas drilling activists travelled from New York City this week to deliver fresh water to residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania.  The trip was as much of an effort to help the residents, as it was an effort to raise awareness of potential health hazards associated with Marcellus Shale drilling.
Dimock has become known as the town where residents can set their tap water on fire. Cabot Oil and Gas had been supplying affected residents with clean water. But the company ended their deliveries a week ago, after the Department of Environmental Protection said that the water was safe to drink.

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