Southwestern Energy Plans to Drill Marcellus Shale Wells on Property Bordering Former Hazardous Waste Dump in N.E. PA

Southwestern Energy plans to construct a well pad and drill six to eight Marcellus Shale wells on the border of a former hazardous waste landfill in New Milford (Susquehanna County), PA. A local group has started a letter-writing campaign to stop the project.

Southwestern Energy Production Co. has received a permit to construct a well pad on the former Lyncott Corp. landfill property in New Milford Twp. and has applied for a permit to drill the first of six to eight Marcellus Shale wells planned for the pad. The landfill was closed in the 1980s after 10 acres of the 192-acre property were used for decades to dispose of industrial chemicals without proper containment. It is monitored by federal and state environmental regulators for arsenic, manganese and lead contamination that has stabilized but continues to leach into the groundwater there.

Now a group with a legal stake in the site’s cleanup is mounting a letter-writing campaign to try to stop state regulators from issuing the drilling permit.

RESCUE of Susquehanna County member Sandra Babuka said she was alerted to the drilling proposal by a Department of Environmental Protection staff member who suggested she might want to object to the planned well.

Hazardous material is contained in cement bunkers buried at the site and Babuka said she is concerned about the effects of vibration from drilling, hydraulic fracturing and heavy truck traffic on the aging containers.*

*The Daily Review (May 28, 2011) – Group objects to gas well planned near former hazardous waste site