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And the Law Suits Begin Over Pennsylvania HB1950 (Pa. Oil & Gas Act Re-write) (Plus Pictures of Drilling Truck Spilling During Rig Move)

February 21, 2012

There are municipalities already filing lawsuits over the zoning aspects of the bill drilling companies basically wrote themselves. On February 13, 2012 Robinson township in Washington county, gave solicitor John Smith the ok to challenge the law that Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law earlier in the day.

Township supervisor Brian Coppola says the loophole-riddled bill effectively strips away every Pennsylvanian’s personal property rights, particularly in suburban and urban areas. He says it also will scare off developers over worries that a drilling rig, waste impoundment or compressor station could be set up nearby.

Under the state law, Local governments will now be powerless to keep large Marcellus wells and wastewater impoundments more than 300 feet from homes, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses. The bill allows compressor stations as a conditional use within 750 feet of any building within all zoning districts, including residential districts. Compressor stations are authorized in all agricultural districts. The bill allows pipeline construction in all areas, including residential zones. So what this means is if the gas company decides that it is cost-effective to run the pipe line down the alley behind your house they can do so and you municipality cannot do a thing about it.

In today’s Washington Observer/Reporter [02/18/2012] There is an article that tells of some of the townships anger with the bill.

What townships are specifically objecting to are state regulations they say usurp their control over gas companies and limit their ability to plan for development.
Cecil Township Manager Don Gennuso said Friday supervisors have scheduled a workshop for 6 p.m. March 5 to discuss options regarding a possible challenge to the law.

“The workshop will dictate the direction that the board will go,” Gennuso said, adding that Cecil spent a year developing an oil and gas ordinance that is now superseded by the state law.

Other townships in Western Pennsylvania are looking into the changing of their codes when it comes to the drilling industry operating in their area. These townships have invested a lot of time and money in doing what they feel is in the best interest of their citizens health, and rights.

Corbett Proves the Health and Safety of the Citizens Does Not Matter

There will also be suits brought by healthcare givers and families of people affected by fracking chemicals. Under this law the chemicals used in the Hydraulic Fracturing are treated as proprietary property. This means that they don’t have to be listed under the Hazardous Materials List. If an emergency occurs where the breakdown of these chemicals is needed, the medical staff has to get permission from the company that made the chemical and then doctor has to sign a statement saying, he will not release or say anything about the chemical under threat of punishment by fines and or imprisonment.


“All of the oaths (of the medical profession) require us to work for the good of the public in addition to the individual patients,” said Paulson in a phone interview. “So blocking our ability to collect and share information, or make the collection and sharing of information more cumbersome, means we wont be able to fulfill our responsibilities.”

Back in 2008 there was a spill in Durango Colorado, it almost cost an ER nurse her life because they could not get the make up of the chemicals she was exposed too while working on a worker that was covered in Zetaflow. This bill is as bad as having nothing in an emergency.

Cathy Behr, an emergency room nurse in Durango, Colo., had almost died after treating a wildcatter who had been splashed in a fracking fluid spill at a BP natural gas rig. Behr stripped the man and stuffed his clothes into plastic bags while the hospital sounded alarms and locked down the ER. The worker was released. But a few days later Behr lay in critical condition facing multiple organ failure.

Her doctors searched for details that could save their patient. The substance was a drill stimulation fluid called ZetaFlow, but the only information the rig workers provided was a vague Material Safety Data Sheet, a form required by OSHA. Doctors wanted to know precisely what chemicals make up ZetaFlow and in what concentration. But the MSDS listed that information as proprietary. Behr’s doctor learned, weeks later, after Behr had begun to recuperate, what ZetaFlow was made of, but he was sworn to secrecy by the chemical’s manufacturer and couldn’t even share the information with his patient.

Back on May 31, 2010 I wrote an entry on spills at Cross Creek Lake in Washington County Pa, that caused a large fish kill in 2009. Here it is two years later and nothing has been said about how the water once contaminated is never 100% right(uncontaminated) and people still are eating the fish from the lake. I had mentioned to my neighbor and a few of his fishing buddies who always fish at the lake about the spills and they were dumbfounded because they were not told anything about it.

Spillage on the roads and No Clean Up

Fracking Haul 3

Spillage continues.

Yesterday on my way to Claysville Pa. I noticed a trail of oily water on the road about a thousand feet up the road from one of the local restaurants. It started just past the entrance of the Dryer holding pound and continued past the entrance of the Dryer drilling site and compressor station.

Out he road about a mile or so I got behind a truck loaded with pipe and hoses used at the drilling sites. Before I could get backed off of the truck water started spewing from the side of the truck as he went around a turn. As I followed him up the road I noticed water splashing out over the sides of the truck. As we went up a steep hill a wave of water came out the back getting on the windshield and front of my car. After I cleaned the windshield I pulled out my phone and started taking some pictures. We only were doing about 10 to 15 miles an hour so I just pointed and clicked. When he turned into the site off of 231 I pulled in behind him and he took off down the road to the site. I got out to take a few pictures and as luck would have it my phone had shut-off and by the time I got the camera back up he was gone.

Below are the photos of the truck and the there was no name on the doors or a MSDS placard on the bed.

Moving pipe from one site to another.

Road Spill

Near the site


Final Shot

[Pictures taken by ABA607 and are the property of ABA607]

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