SRBC Lifts PA Water Withdrawal Restrictions, Drilling Resumes

There is no official notice posted on the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s (SRBC) website, but according to a Reuters news story, the SRBC has lifted its temporary ban on water withdrawals implemented two weeks ago on April 18. Hydraulic fracturing uses a lot of water. Drillers get the water from various sources, most often rivers and streams. If that river or stream happens to be located in the Susquehanna River Basin, withdrawals are overseen by the SRBC, which ensures water levels do not get too low.

Recent less-than-normal rainfall in Pennsylvania caused the SRBC to stop water withdrawals in certain areas, and apparently those restrictions are now lifted. One of the companies affected was Talisman:

Talisman Energy had to suspend some drilling mid-month after the commission put the ban in place.

On Monday, the company said water withdrawal was no longer an issue.

"Our sites are no longer under passby flow conditions and withdrawal is permissible as required," said Diane Gross, a Talisman spokeswoman in Pittsburgh.(1)

Here’s the list of those whose water withdrawals were temporarily suspended:

BRADFORD COUNTY

Chesapeake Energy: Sugar Creek
Healthy Properties: Sugar Creek
Talisman Energy: Fall Brook at Bense, Seeley Creek at Jones, Sugar Creek at Hoffman, Wappasening Creek at Adriance, unnamed tributary to North Branch Sugar Creek
Tennessee Gas Pipeline: Towanda Creek

LUZERNE COUNTY

Eagle Rock Community Association: Abandoned Quarry associated with unnamed tributary to Tomhicken Creek

LYCOMING COUNTY

EXCO Resources: Muncy Creek at McClintock
Hughesville-Wolf Township Joint Municipal Authority: wastewater from treatment plant
Keystone Clearwater Solutions: Lycoming Creek
XTO Energy: Lick Run, Little Muncy Creek

SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY

Carrizo: unnamed tributary to Middle Branch Wyalusing Creek

TIOGA COUNTY

Keystone Clearwater Solutions: Babb Creek
Tennessee Gas Pipeline: unnamed tributary of North Elk Run(2)

(1) Reuters (Apr 30, 2012) – Pennsylvania drought subsides, natgas drilling resumes

(2) Susquehanna River Basin Commission (Apr 18, 2012) – Seventeen Water Withdrawals for Natural Gas Drilling and Other Uses Temporarily on Hold to Protect Streams

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