Court Halts Work on Broome Co. Virtual Pipeline, Residents Sound Off

Tractor Trailer NG proposes to use at Fenton location – Click image for full size version

MDN editor Jim Willis attended one of the information sessions offered by NG Advantage at the Port Crane fire hall last night. NG Advantage is making a concerted effort to dispel false rumors and misunderstandings on the part of neighbors who live near a proposed “virtual pipeline” site that is a series of compressor stations grabbing gas from the Millennium Pipeline in a Binghamton suburb, compressing it and loading onto tanker trucks. Jim knew it was going to be an interesting night when he arrived at 7:15 pm to find a packed previous session that began at 5 pm was still going strong. Jim wandered to the back of the facility (in the parking lot) to view one of the tanker trucks that NG hopes to have accessing the facility (see our pic). In fact, two of these trucks each and every hour of the day will enter and leave the facility, some 50 trucks per day, on average, according NG officials. As Jim approached the truck, a woman also walking in the same direction said loudly, “My God! Look how BIIIIIIGGGG it is!” Like she’d never seen a tractor trailer before (actually, it’s shorter than a standard trailer). Since no one else was close to her, Jim assumed she said it for his benefit–likely hoping he would join in and agree. Jim said nothing. The same woman grilled the NG rep standing there, asking how many trucks per day, etc. And then she said, “I’m against this–I’m just glad there’s now a stop work order,” which was the first we had heard the news (more on the stop work order below). The woman’s demeanor and her ebullience that the project is now halted was an early signal: Jim knew he was in for a long night of high emotion from local residents who don’t want the facility, largely because of truck traffic. Jim was right…
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Utica Leasing Takes Off in Jefferson County, OH – Bonus $6K/Acre

In early June, MDN brought you the news that officials with Ascent Resources (formerly American Energy Partners) and Chesapeake Energy said their respective companies are putting a renewed focus on Jefferson County, OH in the coming months (see Uptick in Utica Drilling Predicted for Jefferson County, OH). We have some evidence that their words are becoming actions. MDN pulled the list of requests to drill new horizontal wells in Jefferson for Jan 1 – Jun 29 from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources’ website. Indeed, we found 19 such permit requests, most of them from Ascent and a few from Chesapeake (see the chart below). However, before the drillbit hits the dirt, you must first lease land. An MDN reader and landowner who lives in Jefferson County sent us an update on leasing activity in the county–very exciting leasing activity. Not only is Ascent active, so too is Gulfport Energy…
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NJ DEP Rejects Water Permit for PennEast Pipeline – What’s Next?

The New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) sent PennEast Pipeline a letter yesterday saying they have closed the application for water-crossing permits for the project–without granting those permits. In April the NJDEP temporarily rejected the permits, giving PennEast another 60 days to respond to requests for more detailed information about the project (see NJ DEP Temporarily Rejects PennEast Request for Wetland Permits). The NJDEP says PennEast isn’t making sufficient progress and so they are simply closing the book on it. Which may sound like the end of the line for PennEast. That is, if you read statements by radical environmentalists like Jeff Tittel from the Sierra Club. Except it’s not game over. PennEast says, in essence, “No problem. Thanks anyway. We’ll be back and refile the application shortly.” Which they can do. Below is a copy of the letter from the NJDEP, some select (biased) coverage from anti-fossil fuel mainstream media, and a full statement from PennEast, to set the record straight…
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ODNR Approves Plans for 2 New Trumbull County Injection Wells

Some good news for Utica (and Marcellus) drillers: The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) has just approved permits for two new frack wastewater injection wells in Trumbull County, OH. Which doesn’t make the local anti-fracking nutters with FrackFree America happy. One of them calls the approvals “immoral.” She’s calling on the company building the wells, Highland Field Resources, to “abandon its plans.” (chuckle) The wells will be built in the town of Brookfield. ODNR has attached a myriad of conditions and required testing before the wells can go live. Here’s the immoral details…
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Radical Enviro Group Sues Warren Frack Wastewater Plant

The Fresh Water Accountability Project, an anti-fracking group based in Michigan, has filed a frivolous lawsuit against the Patriot Water Treatment facility and the City of Warren, OH, claiming they are processing frack chemicals at their plants that don’t get processed enough–and consequently get released into the Mahoning River. This is not Patriot Water’s first time in court. Patriot has had a long-running feud with the Ohio EPA and Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR)–a feud that goes all the way back to 2011 (see MDN’s string of Patriot Water stories here). Patriot processes frack wastewater at it’s Warren plant and then disposes of the wastewater by using the local Warren municipal sewage treatment plant. That is, Patriot strips out all of the really nasty stuff, and then the sewage plant finishes off the process and the water is then released into the Mahoning River, near Youngstown. The OH EPA and ODNR pulled Patriot’s permits to operate for a four-month period in 2012, but Patriot sued and won the right to continue operating, sending their wastewater to the sewage plant. Everything is legal. So now a non-profit group, Fresh Water Accountability Project, is going to try and shut down Patriot with a new lawsuit. If Fresh Water Accountability loses, can we shut them down? At the very least, their tax-exempt status should be stripped away for engaging in overtly political activities…
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Rover (Again) Asks FERC for Permission to Finish Horizontal Drilling

Yesterday Energy Transfer Partners, the builder of the Rover Pipeline, once again asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) if they could pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top resume horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in a couple of key locations in Ohio, so they can finish phase one of the pipeline somewhere close to on-time. Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. It is a critical piece of sorely needed infrastructure for the Marcellus/Utica industry. As soon as ET received approval for the project in February, they began building it. But they hit a few snags along the way, including an “inadvertent return” (i.e. leak) of 2 million gallons of drilling mud in a swamp next to the Tuscarawas River (Stark County, OH). Following that leak and other leaks, FERC told Rover to stop any new underground drilling not already under way (see FERC Slaps Rover Pipeline with Stop Drilling Order). A few weeks later ET asked FERC if they could begin drilling again in a few key locations (see Rover Gets Serious About Mud Spills, Asks FERC for OK to Drill). But so far, nyet. Yesterday ET asked again, “respectfully,” to restart HDD drilling…
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FERC Gives Dominion VA/MD/DC Pipeline Favorable Enviro Assessment

In October 2016, Dominion announced a new pipeline project called Eastern Market Access Project (see Dominion Announces $145M Project to Expand Gas Supply to DC & MD). The project will beef up two compressor stations in Virginia, build a new compressor station in Maryland, and add a couple of pipeline taps near Washington, D.C. The purpose of the $145 million project is to deliver more gas to Washington Gas (and its customers), and to deliver gas to a new gas-fired electric power plant being built in Maryland. A Dominion spokesman confirmed for MDN that the gas will come from either the Marcellus or Utica plays. Some good news to report: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for the project…
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PA Dems Continue to Push Severance Tax Instead of Spending Cuts

Pennsylvania does not have a taxing problem, as people like Gov. Tom Wolf pretend–it has a spending problem, as in they spend beyond their means. The last governor that tried to correct that problem–Tom Corbett–got handed one term in the big chair for his efforts at dealing honestly with it. Big Education and Big Labor knifed Corbett in the back, politically, after he cut the mammoth increase in their growth. (FEED ME FEED ME) If you want to know why PA is in budget trouble, look no further than it’s Secretary of the Dept. of Community and Economic Development, Dennis Davin. Every econ growth guy we’ve ever talked to knows that increasing taxes gets less of what you tax–it is an incontrovertible fact in economics. Yet Davin, who’s boss is utter failure Tom Wolf, is pushing hard for a huge tax increase on the Marcellus industry–the very industry that has singlehandedly kept PA out of an economic abyss. And yet the guy who should understand the issue the best, is pushing hardest for the tax. That tells you all you need to know about the Wolf Administration and it’s utter failure…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Thu, Jun 29, 2017

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: New well permit for Columbiana County, OH; Wellsville barge facility ramps up on Ohio River; Italian engineering firm picks Pittsburgh for North American HQ; Trump to promote natgas on Poland trip; how natgas will help countries keep their Paris promises; wind turbines as big as skyscrapers; and more!
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