PLEASE SEND A LETTER (info below).
LETTERS NEEDED TO STOP “EXPLORATORY” WELLS IN MARCELLUS SHALE; and remind them of your opposition to proposed Stone Energy Gas Permits!
Hess Corporation is getting permits from PADEP to drill shale gas wells in Wayne Co., PA. Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is not requiring that these “exploratory” wells get approval from them. We can’t let these test wells go forward without DRBC approvals! No shale gas wells have been approved yet in the Delaware River Watershed.
THANK YOU to the 2000 people who sent letters to the DRBC regarding the commencement of shale gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed. The comment period is closed on proposed natural gas permits for Stone Energy along the Lackawaxen River, a major tributary to the Delaware, but the DRBC is still listening and won’t be voting until July 14 at the earliest on Stone’s permits; please keep telling DRBC NO PERMITS by sending a letter now. See sample below.
Until a cumulative analysis of the impacts of natural gas development on the Delaware River, its water supplies and ecosystems has been completed so pollution and degradation can be PREVENTED, until natural gas-specific regulations are adopted by the DRBC (these are underway), until hydraulic fracturing is regulated to protect drinking water (the FRAC Act has been introduced in Congress and USEPA is studying “hydrofracking”), NO PERMITS SHOULD BE APPROVED by the DRBC, regardless of whether they are test wells or production wells. BOTH will harm our Watershed.
14 gas drilling applications are in the works at PADEP in Wayne County in the Upper Delaware. These wells will have direct adverse impacts on the environment and the resources of the Delaware River and its tributaries as production wells. These wells MUST be subject to the same DRBC scrutiny as any natural gas well; let’s not let them slip in through a loophole.
The Executive Director Determination issued by the DRBC May 2009 determined that “as a result of water withdrawals, wastewater disposal, and other activities, natural gas extraction projects in shale formations may individually or cumulatively affect the water quality of Special Protection Waters by altering their physical, biological, chemical or hydrological characteristics.” Although exploratory wells were not included, it is crucial that they now be covered. These test wells have the potential to pollute and degrade resources just like production wells. Pollution events at one well not covered by the DRBC’s review already resulted in toxic contamination of an area in Oregon Township, Wayne County. For DRBC to ignore these wells is letting Hess get its foot in the door without adequate regulation.
PLEASE send a letter to the DRBC asking them to take responsibility for these and all natural gas wells in our Watershed. The future of the water supply for more than 15 million people and the precious ecosystems of the Delaware River Watershed are at stake! You can use the sample letter below or write your own. But please take a minute to register your opposition to these test wells and the Stone Energy permits for withdrawal of .70 million gallons of water per day and a shale gas well NOW.
Commission Secretary, DRBC
25 State Police Drive
P.O. Box 7360
West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360
fax (609) 883-9522
SUBJECT LINE: “Public Comment – Stone Energy Dockets” AND NO NATURAL GAS TEST WELLS WITHOUT DRBC APPROVAL
Dear Delaware River Basin Commission Members,
I am writing to ask that the DRBC take responsibility for all natural gas well projects in our Watershed. You have determined that shale gas wells have the potential to impact the water resources of the Delaware River. “Exploratory” or “test” wells can have the same adverse impacts on the Delaware River’s Special Protection Waters that production wells can. The clearing of the land, construction of the well pad, the building of an access road and storage basins, the drilling and development activities that a test well requires, are all the same as a production well. Drilling muds and other dangerous materials used in gas well drilling contain toxic components (even before “fracking”) and the construction of a well indelibly transforms the land and can adversely impact water quality. Pollution at one test well (Robson gas well, Oregon Twp., Wayne Co.) not reviewed or approved by the DRBC last year has already caused documented pollution to the environment.
PLEASE recognize that you have authority over these test wells and can PREVENT pollution by taking a precautionary approach to these wells. PADEP is reviewing permits as I write. Please tell all natural gas project applicants that they are required to meet your current regulations to protect Special Protection Waters and the River, including test wells.
I also am opposed to the Stone Energy Dockets D-2009-13-1 and D-2009-18-1because of the environmental liability they pose and ask that they NOT BE APPROVED.
I am counting on you to exercise your authority and protect the water supply for over 15 million people and the irreplaceable ecosystems and resources of the Delaware River and its Watershed. Please exert jurisdiction for all test and exploratory wells in the Delaware River Watershed NOW before wells are drilled and damage is done.
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