Stray Shallow Gas a Challenge for Drillers, Water Drinkers in Northeastern PA

An article by Times-Tribune staff writer Laura Legere on Friday entitled “Stray Gas plagues NEPA Marcellus wells” drew a lot of thoughtful and detailed comments online. Mostly, the discussion revolved the causes of local water pollution, shallow, thermogenic methane migration and cement casings. Yet it seems all sides, including the experts cited in Legere’s actual reporting, acknowledge that there’s a lot more gas in the water up there now that fracking has begun in earnest. What’s more, the problem is a riddle that’s far from being solved. My head starts to spin as try to comprehend all the social and geological complexities of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Then, a single comment, clearly written from the heart, shifts the paradigm for me, yet again:

Comment by Felicia Alexandra Prehn:
I live in Susquahanna county, and I feel like I’m the only one here who sees drilling for what it is; evil, destructive, unnatural, and dangerous. The companies harass my family regularly, sending people to our hom et all hours of the night and putting things in our mailbox(which is a felony, mind you) despute ius tellng them over and over again that our right to clean water is more important than any amount of money. It makes me sick to see my own fellow PA residents defend the actions of gas companies who can’t make it any more clear that the well beings of our families mean absolutely nothing to them. We can live without natural gas, but humanity would cease to exist without water. Northeastern Pennsylvania had some of the cleanest and purest water in all of North America before these companies showed up, and now look what we have…methane, and a population that’s seemingly divided down the middle…and don’t even get my started on how rude and disrespectful the out-of-town workers these companies bring with them are.This is a very bad scene, and if we all don’t start sticking together and standing up for our rights, we’re all going to be forced to move, and we’ll be puttin our children in danger.


Read Article:

Comment by KeepTapWaterSafe:

There should be baseline water testing for shallow methane in local water wells within a mile radius of all fracking sites because that’s how far a a gas well can extend horizontally. Also, monthly testing for bromide, radioactive elements, barium and strontium at all municipal water intakes. And there ought to be required manifesting for all recycled frack flowback before it can be deposited into sewage treatment facilities. I believe the DEP is currently suggesting mandated manifesting of recycled waste water from wells producing 80,000 gallons or more, but that leaves a lot of waste unaccounted for. Plus, I think the state should handle the testing (transparently) – think of the great jobs! – and the drillers should pay for it.

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