Study of Fracking Released by Irish EPA

The Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a report, a “preliminary study” that seeks to gather up what is known, and not known, about hydraulic fracturing. The 26-page study (full copy embedded below) was authored by Dr. David Healy from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Geosciences. Titled “Hydraulic Fracturing or ‘Fracking’: A Short Summary of Current Knowledge and Potential Environmental Impacts,” the study provides a good general backgrounder on what hydraulic fracturing is, how it works, and the main issues and objections to its use.

The main findings of the study are set out under three headings: (1) potential environmental impacts, (2) regulatory approaches used in other countries and (3) establishing best practice. Ireland has not seen fracking of any kind, but expects it may happen in Ireland within the next few years, hence this report and another that is planned.

A summary of the report’s findings:

Continue reading

PA PUC Adopts Guidelines for Impact Fee Collection/Disbursement

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) yesterday finalized provisions of Act 13 of 2012 related to the collection and disbursement of the impact fee for unconventional natural gas well drilling. Known as Chapter 23 of Act 13, the PUC voted 5-0 to finalize the procedures they would use to implement, collect and distribute the impact fee. A copy of the “Chapter 23 Final Implementation Order” as adopted is embedded below.

Because of an active lawsuit by seven townships and others against zoning provisions in Act 13 (known as Chapter 33 of Act 13), the PUC delayed action on that section of the new law.

Continue reading

NRDC Releases Report Critical of PA Fracking Wastewater

Advocating for stricter government controls, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) earlier this week released a “comprehensive review” of how fracking wastewater is handled in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale with recommendations for how it can be handled better. The NRDC says that the current methods of wastewater disposal are not adequate to protect drinking water supplies, and present a risk to the health of both humans and animals. A copy of the report is embedded below.

From the NRDC press release:

Continue reading

Altoona Scores a New Pump Plant for the Marcellus

Gardner Denver, a 150 year-old global manufacturer of industrial compressors, blowers, pumps, loading arms and fuel systems has a new manufacturing facility to add to the 40 it already owns around the world. The new 70,000 foot facility is located at Tipton, near Altoona, PA. The new plant will manufacture and repair pumps used in hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale. Gardner Denver expects to employ 100 people at the new plant within a year.

But why locate the plant in Altoona, where there’s very little nearby drilling?

Continue reading