Patriot Water Treatment Plant in Owego Gets a Yellow Light

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Feb 17)
Owego wastewater plan hits snag

Patriot Water Treatment wants to build a wastewater treatment plant in Owego, NY. The plant would take in fracking water from drilling operations in the region, treat it, and return the water back to drillers to be used again. According to Andrew Blocksom, of Patriot, the resulting treated water is “cleaner than my tap water.” This new plant will bring 20 fulltime jobs and tax revenues to the community, and is needed for area drillers. But, it also will bring traffic, which is a concern:

Approximately four trucks per hour for 24 hours a day would enter the facility with fracking water. The facility would treat the water, distilling it in a vacuum, and provide distilled water back to trucks to return it to natural gas drilling sites.

Neighbors of the facility and those that live along proposed truck routes voiced concerns about spills and the toxicity of the incoming fracking water.

And this:

“I don’t think 24 hours, seven days a week is reasonable,” Village of Owego Mayor Ed Arrington said. “If there was another way, I wouldn’t oppose it.”

The Tioga County Planning Board was due to make a recommendation on whether or not the Village of Owego Planning Board should accept the plan. Unfortunately, five of the Tioga County Planning Board members were AWOL from the meeting, so the final vote was 5 to 2 to recommend, but not the required 6 affirmative vote minimum that would be needed for an official recommendation. Marcellus Drilling News wants to know why five members were missing from such an important meeting? For or against the facility is not the issue—Planning Board members are supposed to be present and represent the people. This is dereliction of duty in our humble opinion.

No word on who was absent, and no word on what the next step is for Patriot now that it appears the process is stalled.

East Resources Predicts 6,000-7,000 New Wells for Tioga County, PA in Next Few Years

Williamsport Sun-Gazette (Feb 18)
New ventures in natural gas may take Tioga County from ‘rags to riches’

An influx of people and jobs will lead to a boon in economic growth for Tioga County, Pennsylvania, according to an article in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. Local resident Ed Trask is setting up a Community Education Team to “help manage the economic and social impacts of Marcellus Shale gas play in Tioga County.”

Trask was quoted as saying:

“I think the fastest growing areas of the county are going to be Mansfield, Wellsboro and Lawrenceville,” he said, adding that he thinks the valley between Mansfield and Covington will “fill in” in the next few years, mainly because of the discovery of gas within the Marcellus Shale.

In the same article, Jack Showers, community relations liaison with drilling company East Resources Inc., said:

[T]here already are 255,000 acres leased for natural gas wells, with up to between 6,000 and 7,000 wells drilled by East in the next several years.

Trask added that before the drilling activity Tioga County was “slowly dying.” But now? Trask says: “I think we are going to become ‘enriched rural.’”

One thing’s for sure: Drilling in Tioga County, PA is about to pick up rapidly.