Drilling Operation in Indiana County, PA Vandalized

How sad and tragic when someone opposed to drilling comes unhinged and turns to violence, as just happened in Indiana County, PA:

A day after a controversial Indiana County Marcellus Shale gas well got the go-ahead from the state to restart drilling, someone fired six shotgun blasts into the lining of a drill cuttings pit, and stabbed more holes into the liner with a stake, the well owners said Wednesday.

The owners of the well, MDS Energy of Kittanning, believe the vandalism is the result of the seven months of public debate over whether they should be able to drill the well, which sits within the county’s "conservation zone" around Yellow Creek State Park.

The conservation zone requires drillers to obtain a special use permit from the county, which was granted Sept. 9. Tuesday, inspectors from the state Department of Environmental Protection inspected the site and gave the go-ahead to begin drilling, which is expected to start next week.

The $3,500 in damage, the cost of a new liner, was caused sometime after 4 p.m. Tuesday, when crews and inspectors left the site, and 2 p.m. Wednesday, when the crew returned, according to state police.

MDS is now posting a security guard at the site from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. every day.*

Hopefully the lawless vandal will be found and prosecuted.

*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Sep 23, 2011) – Shale gas well vandalized in Indiana County