Notable upcoming events and other announcements

Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project

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The Mountain Watershed Association (MWA) is developing a pilot ‘Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project’ in collaboration with the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and other environmentally-focused organizations to increase public awareness of issues associated with developing the Marcellus shale in western Pennsylvania. As part of this project, MWA will host four informational meetings and two citizen training sessions located in the Yough basin.

The informational meetings for citizens will include information on the drilling and permitting process, leasing pitfalls, compliance and the DEP’s role in oversight, and water, air and health impacts.

Informational sessions will be held on the following dates in the following PA communities:

September 28, 2010: Connellsville
October 5, 2010: Greensburg/Latrobe
November 4, 2010: Farmington
November 9, 2010: Somerset

Time and location TBA.

MWA will also be hosting citizen surveillance trainings designed to assist the public in conducting visual assessments and basic water monitoring associated with well development throughout the area. For more information on this initiative, contact Veronica.

Quick Update – Postponing WV FracTracker Mtg

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The FracTracker meeting that we planned to host on August 13th in West Virginia has been postponed. We will let you know when this meeting is rescheduled. In the meantime, please give us your feedback: malone@fractracker.org.

Public Meetings on Marcellus Shale

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Fellow Pittsburghers – If you are one of the many people interested in the issue of hydraulic fracturing & how it could affect the environment & public health, be sure to attend the following meeting:

  • Thu, July 22, 6pm – 10pm
    Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317
The EPA is looking for your input into developing its proposed plan to study the relationship between hydraulic fracturing & drinking water. You are being asked to pre-register for the meeting at least 72 hours ahead of time either by visiting: [link removed] or by calling the toll-free number 1-866-477-3635.

UPDATE: CHEC’s own Dr. Charles Christen attended the July 22nd meeting held by the EPA. See what the Pittsburgh Business Times had to say about the gathering that drew a crowd of over 1,200 people!

Thanks to a post from our readers, we were made aware of a meeting that the PA DEP is hosting to gather community input in this area about proposed regulatory changes. Be sure to check out the post from that reader below for the additional meetings being held across the commonwealth:

  • Mon, July 26, 7pm – 9pm
    Waterfront Conference Room A & B, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4745

Comments may be submitted electronically to the Board at RegComments@state.pa.us & must also be received by the Board on or before August 9, 2010. A subject heading of the proposed rulemaking & a return name & address must be included in each transmission.

 

Geo Animation: Marcellus Shale Permits in PA Over Time

By Josh Knauer, Rhiza Labs CEO (Reposted)

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Here at Rhiza Labs, we’re really excited to have a whole bunch of new public projects launching with our clients. These clients are pioneers who are exploring new ways to encourage communities of interest to aggregate data & share it publicly, while also providing these communities with incredibly powerful data analysis & visualization tools. One of the latest projects to launch, FracTracker.org, involves many dozens of community organizations that want to tract the impacts of Marcellus Shale gas wells in their communities.

I wanted to see how widespread this type of gas well drilling practice was, so I took the Marcellus Shale gas well permit data from the PA Dept of Environmental Protection and created a quick snapshot of the data, & then just clicked on the Action button in the upper right corner of the snapshot page & chose the options “Download as –> KML” to bring it into Google Earth. I then just hit “play” on the time slider within Google Earth.

The geo animation I created is captured below:

[media removed]

Concerned Groups Meet to Discuss Impacts, Options, and FracTracker

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On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, CHEC & the Foundation for PA Watersheds will be hosting one of the most diverse meetings ever assembled to address Marcellus Shale gas extraction concerns. The meeting is also to officially launch this blog! (We’re calling both components “FracTracker” for simplicity purposes.)
Serious economic, environmental & public health concerns surround the gas extraction process. These concerns include road infrastructure degradation, explosions & blowouts, agriculture & hunting & fishing impacts, water contamination from the disposal of waste fluids into surface waters, & human exposure to volatile organic compounds that off-gas from production facilities.
FracTracker will enable people to better assess documented & predicted impacts & correlate them with the geographic location of wells drilled & accompanying production facilities. For the first time ever, researchers across many disciplines will be able to collaborate directly with communities & citizens in the collection & analysis of data that track these impacts across the Marcellus Shale play. FracTracker also has the potential to significantly influence future research & policy formulation.
Additional FracTracker Meetings

Four additional meetings of a similar nature will be held in NY, Western PA, Eastern PA, & WV during July & August of 2010. See schedule below for more information. All meetings will occur from 10am – 4pm.

  • July 22, 2010 — Pittsburgh, PA
  • July 29, 2010 — Danville, PA
  • August 10, 2010 — Ithaca, NY
  • August 13, 2010 — Charleston, WV
If your organization would like to participate in one of those meetings, please email or call us at (412) 802-0273 to request an invite – pending available space.