2012 NY Assessment – New Fracking Regs Will Protect Public Health

that was then this is now A draft assessment written in early 2012 by the New York State Dept. of Health, at the request of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), offers us insight into the state’s thinking about potential public health impacts from fracking. The opinion expressed by the health department (and the DEC), at least at that time? If the DEC’s proposed new fracking regulations are adopted, shale drilling would be safe and public health would be protected.

The New York Times and Gannett recently obtained a copy of the previously unpublished assessment. When asked about it, the DEC was quick to distance itself from the “old” and “outdated” assessment:

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Enerven Completes Sale of WV Compressor Plants, All Other Assets

Crestwood Midstream announced in November they were purchasing a “bolt-on” acquisition of four compression/dehydration stations from Enerven Compression for $95 million (see Crestwood Midstream Buys 4 Compressor Stations in WV). The deal will mean an additional $11-$12 million in new revenue for Crestwood in 2013. As of Dec. 28, the transaction is officially completed and the stations now bear the name of Crestwood Midstream.

Apparently selling the four compressor stations was part of a larger strategy for Enerven. In addition to the WV sale, they’ve now sold the rest of the company!

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Two Fierce Competitors Join Forces to Drill in OH Utica Shale

Drilling company Magnum Hunter Resources announced a joint operating deal yesterday with Eclipse Resources to drill 12 Marcellus and 12 Utica Shale wells on 1,950 acres in Monroe County, OH over the next three years. Both companies together will invest $200 million in the program.

The reason for the partnership between these fierce competitors? According to Magnum Hunter, it’s due to the “treacherous terrain in this region” of the state. They want to pool resources and keep costs down. Of course, it also helps that Eclipse will start using Magnum’s pipeline system (Eureka Hunter Pipeline), providing more revenue for the midstream area of the business.

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Vandergrift, PA Threatens Seismic Mapping Co with Lawsuit

Ion GX Technology, a company that produces high fidelity underground maps, is attempting to produce a three-dimensional seismic map of the Marcellus formation over a 281-square-mile area (180,000 acres) covering nearly all of central and southern Armstrong County and crossing into parts of Westmoreland and Indiana counties. But they’ve hit a snag with the borough of Vandergrift (Westmoreland County), PA. Borough officials are concerned the technology used to create vibrations could potentially damage underground structures like sewer lines, so they’ve denied the company permission to test on public property.

GX, however, has tried to circumvent that denial by going direct to individual landowners to request permission, which has ticked off Vandergrift council members. The borough’s solicitor sent GX a letter telling them to “cease and desist” from trying to deal with private landowners in the borough under threat of a lawsuit. Sounds a bit dicey to tell a private company what it can and can’t do in private business transactions. The complication is, of course, if their activity did crack a sewer line…

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Marcellus Website Gets Prominent Op-Ed Published in WSJ

Congratulations to Keith Mauck, publisher of the GoMarcellusShale.com website. He had an op-ed article published on the Wall Street Journal website yesterday titled, “The EPA’s Tainted Fracking Tests.”

The article takes a look at the flawed methodology used by the Environmental Protection Agency in its testing of the water aquifer in Pavillion, WY, where it claims fracking led to contamination. MDN has written about Pavillion a number of times (see API Says EPA Botched Pavillion, WY Fracking Tests).

For those without a subscription to the WSJ, read a full version of Keith’s excellent article on the GoMarcellusShale.com website here.