Tag Archives: Marcellus Shale drilling

DEP: Additional Chemicals “Associated with Drilling” Found in Contaminated Soil at Range Resources Impoundment


A Department on Environmental Protection spokesman on Thursday confirmed that “other chemicals associated with drilling” have been found in the contaminated soil being hauled from the Jon Day impoundment in Amwell Township, Washington County – the site of a “significant” leak earlier this year.

The spokesman, John Poister, said a “wider array” of tests showed the other chemicals, while initial testing showed only chlorides, which he indicated was a “marker” for contamination.

The exact chemicals found in the soil were not immediately disclosed.

DEP is seeking further information from Range Resources, Poister said.


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Obit: Daisytown Farmer Terry Greenwood, Whose Well Water Was Polluted by Dominion Energy, Dead at 66

Terry L. “Crow” Greenwood, a Washington County man who made headlines in 2008 after the Department of Environmental Protection forced Dominion Energy to supply his family with drinking water after Marcellus Shale drilling activities near his Daisytown farm polluted his water well supply, died Sunday after a three-month battle with cancerous brain tumors.

He was 66.

Born in McKeesport on October 26, 1947, he was the son of the late Harold and Eleanor (Kles) Greenwood.

“Crow” was a retired truck driver from Supervalu in Belle Vernon and also enjoyed farming. He was a member of the Harry Enstrom Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America and the St. Dominic’s Social Club in Donora.  His interests were many and included riding his motorcycle, going to auctions, and he was especially interested in protecting our environment.

His motto was, “Water is more important than gas.”

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Kathryn (Yanachik) Greenwood and their children, Terence Greenwood of Daisytown, Todd (Amy) Greenwood of Charleroi and Tracy Greenwood of Bentleyville; his son, Jeffrey (Tina) Greenwood of Cincinnati, Ohio;  two grandchildren, Cassidy & Eric Greenwood; 2=two brothers, Dennis (Cindi) Greenwood of RuffsDale and Randy (Jo) Greenwood of Rostraver Township; two nieces; a dear cousin, Gaylen Spinnenweber; and his best friend, Barry “Sunday” Nartowicz.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two nephews, Tim Greenwood and Allan Greenwood.

Friends will be received 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the James C. Stump Funeral Home Inc., 580 Circle Drive, Belle Vernon/Rostraver Township where a Blessing service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday with Msgr. Roger Statnik officiating.  Interment will follow in Monongahela Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice. To leave online condolences or for more information on services, click here.

On Jan. 28, 2008 Green wood told the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that “the water from the water well supply turned cloudy and discolored and contained sediment,” according to DEP documents. He asked the department to investigate.

The surface of the a nearby Dominion Energy gas well was about 400 feet away from the Grenwood family’s well water. And while pre-drilling tests showed iron and magnesium in acceptable levels, a post-drilling test indicate the level of those chemicals in the Greenwood’s water exceeded drinking water standards.

“The water…continues to be cloudy and discolored and cannot be used for the drinking and cooking purposes served by the well water supply.”


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Protesters Waiting to Deliver Petition to Gov. Corbett Asking for Ban on Fracking of Public Forests


(Photos of protesters waiting to deliver petition to Corbett is courtesy of the John Hanger Campaign)


About 100 protesters waited Tuesday afternoon to deliver a petition to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

More than 15,000 people signed a petition calling for a ban of fracking in state forests. Held in the rotunda of the state Capitol, the rally was organized by League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action.

John Hanger, a Democrat seeking the nomination for governor in the May primary, posted on his Facebook page that he supported those gathering in Harrisburg to oppose Corbett’s plan to allow Marcellus Shale gas drilling in state forests.

In a press release, he said:

I salute the coalition of almost three dozen organizations led by the League of Conservations Voters to bring the message to Corbett’s doorstep that “no means no.” They deserve our thanks and support.

For coverage from NPR, click here.


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Accountability Should Be Demanded in Wake of Greene County Gas Well Explosion

Editor’s Note: I felt this needed to be said. Op ed piece below.

Let me ask you a question: In your experience, what would happen to your neighbor – the guy who lives, say, a half-mile down the road – if he was working on his property and something exploded?

Like, a crazy-flames-shooting-into-the sky, local-first-responders-need-to-set-up-a-perimeter kind of explosion. Before you answer, let me add this query: What if the explosion sent someone to the hospital (while another disappeared during the incident)? What if it was the kind of explosion that burned for days – the kind of explosion that, the day it happened (in, say, the dead of winter) there was an air quality alert?

Think he would be taken in for questioning? Think he might get criminally charged? Have some explaining do?

I do.

For some folks in Greene County, Pennsylvania, Chevron is that neighbor down the road.

Local news reports confirm: The explosion happened early Tuesday morning. A half-mile perimeter has been established by local first responders. The fire is expected to rage for days. There will not be access to the site for days.

If past practice is any indication, our state Department of Environmental Protection will, at best, say it is “investigating.”

Just like it was investigating the various incidents of billowing black smoke and unexplained, prolonged flaring at one of the Marcellus Shale compressor station sites in Washington County, Pennsylvania. And let’s not forget about the DEP’s “investigation” into what internal emails from a water hauler in Washington County referred to as a “massive” spill that was the subject of a “cover up.”

A state official asked the DEP (and Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone’s office) to refer the case to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

What’s happened with all that in the past couple of months? Nothing that the public is, or likely will be, privy to.

Because it seems like when it comes to environmental accountability for incidents that may impact the community, the term “it’s under investigation” is the equivalent of a junk drawer where you throw all the stuff you don’t want to deal with.

If you haven’t seen video footage online, please take a look. Like, now. The video is embedded above.

Now tell me: Would you feel safe living 500 feet away from a well? Would you feel your child was safe if she attended school within 500 feet of a well? What if your child attended school 2,500 feet away from a drill site? Safe? (If you answered no, and live in the Fort Cherry School District, for example, it’s just too bad– because the junior-senior high is 2,500 feet away from the Chiarelli well pad).

Here’s my last question: What is it gonna take for people to start getting pissed off enough by these incidents to demand accountability and transparency?

We live in a society where a petition to get Justin Bieber deported got 100,000 signatures almost overnight, but there is little righteous outrage over these kind of incidents. The people who do raise a little bit of hell? They are criticized for being radical activists.

Caring about your community, your neighbors and your natural resources – and demanding accountability from people and corporations that threaten them – is far from radical activism.

It’s being a good citizen.

And I wish I saw more of it.

Pissed off enough to make a phone call or send an email? Here’s a page of contacts to start with.

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New PA Study Suggests Link Between Fracking and Low Birth Weight in Infants

A new study links fracking to low birth weight.

A new study links fracking to low birth weight. Photo Courtesy of Sara-Summer Oliphant

A new Pennsylvania study suggests that a pregnant mother’s proximity to Marcellus Shale fracking sites may increase the likelihood that her child is born with a low a birth weight.

The study, conducted by three researchers from Princeton and Columbia universities, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was presented last week at the American Economic Association in Philadelphia, found that “proximity to fracking increased the likelihood of low-birth weight by more than half,” according to a report published Jan. 4 by Bloomberg.

The story indicated the researchers scoured birth records from 2004 through 2011 for infants born within a 2.5 kilometer radius of fracking sites.

That story can be viewed by clicking here.

It was noted that the new study builds on one published in 2012 by a Cornell PhD student published in 2012 that shows “that infants born near fracked gas wells had more health problems than infants born near sites that have merely been permitted for fracking,” according to Bloomberg.

To read more about that 2012 study, click here.

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