The debate over horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale has now spilled over to affect conventional gas drilling in New York State. Protesters rallied outside Auburn City Hall (a small city in Upstate New York) yesterday afternoon to oppose the local municipal sewage treatment plant’s practice of accepting gas drilling wastewater for treatment and release into the Owasco River. None of the wastewater accepted comes from Marcellus Shale drilling—it all comes from conventional natural gas drilling in New York State.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer sent a letter on May 27 to Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, chairman of the governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. Krancer, along with Cawley, is a member of the commission. The commission’s charter is to deliver a list of comprehensive policy recommendations to the governor and the state legislature by July 22 to improve Marcellus drilling in the state.
The fact that Krancer is calling for tighter regulations is a sure sign that new regulations are on the way in PA. Among the recommendations outlined in the letter: