PA Marcellus Health Impact Study Finally Gets Funding

finally In August 2012, Geisinger Health System along with a second health system, Guthrie Health, announced they would jointly conduct the first ever study of the health impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling (see Health Care Systems Partner to Study Marcellus Impacts). They were later joined by a third organization: Susquehanna Health (see Third Group Joins Unfunded Marcellus Health Impact Study). Problem was, they didn’t have funding to begin the study (see Much-Ballyhooed Marcellus Health Impact Study Not Funded).

Six months later funding has finally arrived in the form of a $1 million grant from the Degenstein Foundation of Sunbury, PA. Geisinger Health announced the grant yesterday on their website:

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Bomb Threat at Natrium, WV NGL Plant Doesn’t Slow Construction

A $500 million natural gas liquids processing plant in Natrium (Marshall County), WV will go online in the next few weeks—even with a temporary stoppage of construction last Saturday due to a bomb threat (no word on who made the threat or why). The Natrium plant is part of Blue Racer Midstream, a $1.5 billion joint venture between Dominion and Caiman Energy (see Dominion, Caiman in $1.5B Utica JV: Blue Racer Midstream). The new plant was originally scheduled to go online by end of 2012.

Some of the construction for the plant is happening across the border in Belmont County, Ohio:

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Eureka Resources Building PA’s Biggest Marcellus Wastewater Plant

Eureka Resources currently operates a Marcellus Shale wastewater treatment facility in Williamsport, PA that processes 8,000 barrels of wastewater per day. The company announced today it is building a new, second facility near Towanda, PA. The new plant will have the capacity to treat up to 10,000 barrels of wastewater per day. Target completion date is October of this year…

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Patriot Water in Warren, OH Objects to ODNR Directive

A feud that stretches back to June 2011 between shale wastewater treatment company Patriot Water Treatment of Warren, Ohio and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources continues.

The latest skirmish in what has become a legal battle is over the ODNR’s order to D&L Energy to stop shipping wastewater to Patriot’s Warren plant:

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Landowners: Make Lease Payments You Receive Tax-Free

MDN ran across a story in the local Zanesville, Ohio newspaper that makes an interesting boast. A group of three financial advice firms have joined forces to offer workshops for landowners in the Coshocton, OH area that supposedly instructs landowners on how to save “virtually every tax dollar” on lease bonus payments. The technique, which involves setting up some sort of special legal structure, will also “save taxes” on royalty payments. We are 100% in favor of landowners keeping their money!

But, is it too good to be true? We don’t know. However, it does sound interesting, and if you live somewhere in the Coshocton vicinity, we’d encourage you to check it out. Let us know if you do…

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New Rules/Laws for Shale Drilling Will Come to WV in 2013

Last week a set of legislative rules crafted to regulate the horizontal gas well industry cleared an important committee hurdle when the WV joint Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee gave its qualified blessing to rules proposed by the WV DEP. In addition, some 60 bills related to the energy industry were introduced in the first two days of the new West Virginia legislative session—24 of them concerning natural gas. Conclusion: More regulation of shale drilling is on the way in 2013.

First, details about the DEP fracking rules recently approved by the joint committee:

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Hilcorp Subsidiary Leases Property for Utica Transfer Facility

The Columbiana County Port Authority operates an industrial park in Wellsville, Ohio. Tucked into a story about road improvements the Port Authority is making at the park we learn that two subsidiaries of Utica Shale driller Hilcorp have leased two different parcels in the park: Arrowhead Utica Pipelines and Harvest Pipeline Co. The Port Authority is spending over $900,000 on road upgrades, largely to expand a road to the future site of a new shale gas transfer facility that will be built by Arrowhead.

The details:

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Anatomy of a Moratorium – Why Some NY Towns Ban Fracking

Ill-informed (we would call them willfully ignorant) people show up at a town board meeting and make false statements about the shale drilling industry and ask the board to ban fracking. It’s a scene that plays out repeatedly across New York State, and has just happened again—this time in Pomfret (Chautauqua County), NY, in the western part of the state:

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WV Gov. Tomblin Proposes Ending Tax Credit for Electric Cars

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a tax credit in 2011 that covers 35% of the cost for “alternative fuel vehicles”—up to $7,500 for passenger cars and $25,000 for large trucks. His “good intentions” are costing too much. The original bill covered many types of alternative fuels, including electric and coal liquids. Gov. Tomblin wants to change that. He’s proposing new legislation that eliminates the tax credit—now—for all vehicle types except those that run on natural gas.

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