Marcellus Shale Water and Air Issues

Allegheny County considers air and water controls; Shale Commission details leak Friday, 03 June 2011 10:06 Written by Erich Schwartzel – At a local hearing yesterday, Allegheny County health officials said they’re considering tighter controls on air and water quality for gas drilling here. While state environmental officials have raised no concerns, they noted worries about the cumulative effect of hundreds of wells in the region.

– In Harrisburg, it may felt like there already were hundreds of tax or fee proposals for the gas drilling industry, but there appear to be at least three more. Two tax proposals appeared yesterday, which both take the approach of balancing out their increased tax burden by lowering another tax (which would keep with the no-tax-hike pledge that Gov. Tom Corbett signed). And industry leaders are privately touting a three-year fee plan, which would assess a well for $90,000 over that period, reports (subscription-only.)

– And more draft recommendations from the governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission are leaking out: the Times-Tribune of Scranton reports that DEP Secretary Michael Krancer is seeking “stronger buffer zones to keep natural gas drilling away from water sources, tougher penalties and bond requirements, and a “cradle-to-grave” manifest system to track wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.”