Susquehanna River Basin Commission Establishes Marcellus Shale Field Office in Northeast PA

To it’s credit, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) has established a field office in Northeastern PA specifically to monitor compliance with Marcellus drillers in the Susquehanna River watershed. Too bad the Delaware River Basin Commission is not as industrious and sensitive to landowners’ rights as the SRBC (no drilling allowed in the Delaware River watershed for the foreseeable future).

From the SRBC press release:

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) today announced the start-up of its first-ever field office aimed exclusively at enhancing compliance through increased on-site inspections, particularly of natural gas well development projects in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions. The field office is located on 1760 Elmira Street, Sayre, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

This location strategically places SRBC’s compliance staff in and around the most active drilling areas in the upper basin region. It also allows staff to follow up more quickly on problems and concerns reported by basin citizens in Pennsylvania and New York.

Prior to the Sayre field office, staff drove from SRBC’s headquarters in Harrisburg to inspect natural gas well development sites and to meet with citizens and industry officials.

“Having our compliance staff closer to project areas to conduct inspections and to the citizens affected by the boom in natural gas drilling is intended to enhance our effectiveness and day-today efficiency,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz.

“For each and every water withdrawal or water use project the Commission approves, there are many subsequent and ongoing compliance requirements we impose on project sponsors such as monitoring and reporting. Because we take very seriously our obligations to verifying compliance, the Commission took the extraordinary and historic step of establishing the Sayre field office.”

The Sayre office is currently staffed by three SRBC compliance employees. Given that staff members are largely out in the field conducting inspections, interested public, industry officials or others wanting to meet with staff on compliance matters need to call for an appointment Monday through Wednesday at (570) 731-4839 or by emailing Mr. Eric Roof, SRBC Director of Compliance and Enforcement, at [email protected] Limited, set office hours that do not require prior appointment are on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

SRBC will continue to have compliance staff located in the Harrisburg office.

More than 72 percent of the tri-state Susquehanna watershed, covering portions of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, are underlain by the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. Advancements in technology for capturing natural gas in those shale formations require operators to inject large amounts of water under pressure several thousand feet underground to fracture the formation to stimulate the flow of gas. For more information on SRBC’s regulation of natural gas well development projects or for information on all SRBC-approved projects and pending applications, go to SRBC’s website at

The Harrisburg-based SRBC is the governing agency established under a 100-year compact signed on December 24, 1970 by the federal government and the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to protect and wisely manage the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin. The Susquehanna River starts in Cooperstown, New York, and flows 444 miles to Havre de Grace, Maryland, where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.

SRBC Press Release (May 11) – SRBC Opens Field Office in Northern Pennsylvania to Increase Inspections in Marcellus Shale Region