The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling group based in Pennsylvania, on Tuesday released its recommended practice for pre-drilling water tests.
Here is the news reelase that the outfit put out:
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Today, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) released a Recommended Practice (RP) for pre-drill water supply surveys. This is the third in a series of recommended practices, all aimed at reinforcing the MSC’s Guiding Principles to “continuously improve our practices and seek transparency in our operations” while furthering a fact-based dialogue that encourages responsible American natural gas development.
Pennsylvania regulations require natural gas producers to sample and test – with the owner’s consent – all water supplies within 2,500 feet of a proposed Marcellus Shale natural gas well. These pre-drill tests, which are conducted by certified laboratories, provide a baseline analysis of water chemistry prior to site preparation and development activities. Many natural gas producers test well beyond the 2,500 feet requirement, and were doing so prior to Pennsylvania enacting these new regulations.
According to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, nearly 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s water wells do not meet at least one safe drinking water standard and another 20 percent of wells contain pre-existing methane. More information about that analysis is available here. The pre-drill water survey RP document, along with an overview, is available here.
“For years, well before shale gas production began in the Commonwealth, straightforward science has informed us that Pennsylvania’s groundwater chemistry drastically varies across regions,” said MSC president Kathryn Klaber. “This Recommended Practice builds upon what’s required by law and lays out in great detail steps operators can take to help ensure homeowners have a clear understanding of their water quality before natural gas-related activities begin. These tests, paid for by the natural gas producer, are shared with the well owners and state regulators, serving a critical public health function in many cases.”
Developed by technical experts from a host of MSC member companies, this RP recommends the following steps:
Continued Klaber: “Additionally, the MSC is developing a robust pre-drill water quality database. When complete, this first of a kind library will serve as an important environmental and public health tool to help address water quality challenges that have persisted in rural communities for decades.”
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.