Another OH Company Shut Down for Illegal Frack Wastewater Dumping

black eyeYesterday the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) shut down St. Clairsville (Belmont County), OH company Harch Environmental Resources saying the company was caught illegally dumping fracking wastewater on the ground in Ohio. ODNR also rapped Gulfport Energy on the knuckles but good as well. Gulfport used Harch but, according to ODNR, “failed to meet its responsibility to monitor” frack wastewater from cradle to grave. Both Harch and Gulfport are now being investigated by Ohio’s attorney general for civil and criminal charges.

The notice issued yesterday from ODNR:
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PA Judge Rules on When Drilling “Begins” & Extends a Lease

An important question for PA landowners whose leases are set to expire soon: When, exactly, does the law consider a driller has begun drilling? Sometimes drillers will do the bare miniumum to prepare a site without doing any actual drilling and declare they’ve met their lease obligation, and those very basic actions reset the clock, giving the driller more time (sometimes years) to actually drill the well. Such was the case with Range Resources and Good Will Hunting Club in southwestern PA. Last week a district court judge ruled and said the drill bit doesn’t have to touch the ground for drilling to have “commenced”…
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Wheeling Councilwoman Softens Stand Against Frack Wastewater Plant

When anti-drillers shut up and actually listen, they tend to learn things. Case in point: The recent tour given by GreenHunter Water of their proposed frack wastewater recycling plant along the Ohio River in Wheeling, WV (see GreenHunter Gives Tour to ‘Wheeling Water Warriors’) seems to have softened the opposition of at least one anti-drilling Wheeling City Council member–Gloria Delbrugge. After touring the proposed plant and getting answers to her questions, Delbrugge said: “It was interesting. … I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I learned a lot more that I didn’t know.” That’s quite a change in attitude from just two months ago (see Wheeling Councilwoman Vows to Prevent Frack Water Treatment Plant).

So perhaps it was “mission accomplished” with Ms. Delbrugge. As for the obtuse “Wheeling Water Warriors,” it seems their mouths remain opened and their minds remain closed…
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OH Gov. Kasich Goes Foreigner-Hunting in Strasburg

Never mind that under Barack H. Obama illegal aliens continue to pour across an unprotected border along Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California (new Democrat voters streaming across to assist in the next election). Ohio Gov. John Kasich has far more important work to do in personally securing Ohio’s borders by investigating “foreigners” (i.e. American citizens) from exotic locations like Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and yes, Texas who come to Ohio to operate oil and gas drilling equipment. Kasich is on a mission to keep them out! (See OH Gov. Kasich Continues Trash Talk Out-of-State Workers.)

Kasich’s latest excursion in foreigner-hunting led him to Strasburg (Tuscarawas County), Ohio, to Schlumberger–pronounced shlum-bur-zhay, kinda Frenchy soundin’ y’know. Inquiring minds want to know… Did Kasich find any foreigners working there?
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Utica Shale Potpourri: Gulfport, Chesapeake, Antero & More…

The Akron Beacon Journal‘s Bob Downing does a great job, as usual, of jamming a lot of useful facts and figures into a single article. He posted a story on Monday that we would call “Utica Shale potpourri”…a round-up of interesting tidbits from the world of Utica Shale drilling from recent analyst and investor phone calls.

Here’s Bob’s latest information feast!…
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USGS Report on Drilling’s Effects on PA Landscape

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just released a new study titled, “Landscape consequences of natural gas extraction in Fayette and Lycoming Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004-2010” (full copy embedded below). The study is the fourth in a series by the USGS related to landscape disturbance from natural gas drilling activity. Drilling is an industrial activity and no one, least of all MDN, claims there is no impact from such an activity. There is. And it’s a good thing there’s some actual science going on by the USGS to measure some of the impacts–so we have good, objective information on which to base future decisions about where and how much drilling should take place.

The USGS in their research looks at not only unconventional (or shale) drilling, but conventional as well. It is important to consider the effects of both types of drilling together, which are often performed in the same geography…
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FERC Hearing Near Wilkes-Barre for Transco Pipeline Expansion

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency tasked with approving new interstate pipeline construction, will conduct a public hearing near Wilkes-Barre, PA on Wednesday, June 12 to consider an application by Williams to expand the Transco natural gas pipeline in the area. The proposed expansion in Luzerne County, PA (and in several other locations) will allow Williams to use more Marcellus Shale gas to service an addition 2 million homes along the pipeline’s route…
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