The Marcellus Shale layer is about a mile down, depending on where you are. Lately, there’s been talk about tapping into the Utica Shale, which sits below the Marcellus, at about two miles down. A recent permit granted to Williams Production Appalachia to drill its exploratory well deeper on Route 487 in Sugarloaf Township, Columbia County in Pennsylvania sparked rumors that Williams was planning to tap into the Utica. But a spokesperson for Williams, Helen Humphreys, says that’s not true:
Now that Michael Krancer has received official confirmation from the Pennsylvania Senate to be the Secretary of PA’s Department of Environmental Protection, he is talking freely with the press and he has plenty to say.
Krancer said the following about his recent “voluntary request” to drillers to stop sending fracking fluid to municipal treatment plants that are not equipped to handle it:
Kathryn Klaber, the president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition based in Canonsburg, PA, is perhaps the most visible face of the pro-drilling movement in the Marcellus Shale. The Coalition she represents has as its members most of the energy companies who actively drill in the Marcellus. Ms. Klaber is articulate and smart, and not afraid to answer the tough questions about drilling. In a recent interview, she addressed a wide range of issues including how much and what types of investments are being made in the Marcellus, how many jobs it produces, mineral rights vs. surface owners rights, accidents, environmental issues and more.
Among her comments was this exchange about the drilling moratorium in New York State:
A volunteer water monitoring project in Centre County, PA began in 2010 with the aim to produce a baseline for the health of local streams and waterways in the county. The volunteers keep an eye on the streams because of the upswing in Marcellus Shale drilling activity in the county. If there should be accidents, or if fracking fluid should somehow find its way into local waterways, the data collected by the volunteers will prove a valuable resource for evaluating the environmental impact.