Meeting Reveals Details re PGE’s Loyalsock Creek Pipe Project

Pennsylvania General Energy drills in several PA counties, including Lycoming County in the north central of the state. According to the Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018, PA General Energy is the fourth-largest driller in Lycoming County, with 103 producing wells and 42.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas production in 2017. PA General Energy wants to drill more wells in Lycoming. Those wells will need a gathering pipeline connected to them, and a water pipeline to provide water for drilling and fracking. Even though a water pipeline would save an estimated 126,000 truck trips on local roads, some residents are opposed (see Lycoming County Residents Oppose Loyalsock Creek Gathering Pipe). Last night residents got to hear more details about the project at a meeting organized by PA State Rep. Garth Everett.
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Truck Accident Spills 4,200 Gal. of Wastewater in Lycoming County

A truck hauling produced water–naturally occurring water from the depths that continues coming out of a drilled well long after it’s been fracked–overturned and spilled approximately 4,200 gallons of that wastewater. The wastewater, often called “brine” due to its minerally or salty composition, came from Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) shale wells and was being hauled by Stallion Oilfield Services. It spilled on the ground “adjacent” to a “native trout stream” in the Pine Creek area in Lycoming County, PA.
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Lycoming County Residents Oppose Loyalsock Creek Gathering Pipe

Pennsylvania General Energy drills in several PA counties, including Lycoming County in the north central of the state. According to the just-published Marcellus & Utica Shale Upstream Almanac 2018, PA General Energy is the fourth-largest producing driller in Lycoming County, with 103 producing wells and 42.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas production in 2017. PA General Energy wants to drill more wells. Those wells will need a gathering pipeline connected to them. Current plans for a pipeline have it running along a portion of the Loyalsock Creek, and that has some folks in the area up in arms. Yesterday at a county commissioners’ meeting, residents voiced their opposition to PA General Energy’s pipeline plans. A company rep at the meeting tried to assuage concerns. The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper has offered to be an “unbiased party” to “facilitate discussions between the company and those who reside along the creek.” You know what we think of so-called Riverkeepers who claim to be THE voice of a river…
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Grant Twp Antis Threaten to Break Law, Block Legal Injection Well

Two weeks ago MDN brought you the news that not only has the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued final permits for two new injection wells in the state, they also sued the two townships where those permits were granted because the towns had adopted home rule laws that are illegal, in contravention to state law that give power to permit and control injection wells to the DEP only–not to local municipalities (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). Grant Township (Indiana County) tried to block Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) from building a wastewater injection well in the township first by passing an illegal law, stirred up and proposed by the odious Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF (see Fed Judge Overturns Grant Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells). The town then tried to reorganize under a “home rule” charter in order to avoid the judge’s ruling (see Grant Twp, PA Reorganizes to Avoid a Court-Ordered Injection Well). The DEP is now suing Grant (and Highland Township, in Elk County) to nullify those provisions in the home rule charter that affect oil and gas regulation. In the meantime, PGE previously filed a lawsuit against Grant Township, demanding $1 million (see Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement). On March 31 and April 4, two decisions were handed down by the judge, essentially in PGE’s favor and against Grant. Below we have analysis of those decisions. All of this “bad news” for antis has created the perfect storm in Grant. Antis are now threatening to engage in so-called civil disobedience against the injection well. They plan to shut it down–or go to jail trying. Their leaders are criminals who have done this sort of thing elsewhere…
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PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns

Good news for Pennsylvania drillers: the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) finally, after years of review, granted permission to two different companies to operate two new wastewater injection wells in the Keystone State. One well is located in Elk County, the other in Indiana County. With these two new injection wells coming online, the state will have a total of eight operating injection wells (vs. hundreds in Ohio). You may have seen news about the newly authorized injection wells from other news sources yesterday. But you read MDN for “the rest of the story.” And here it is, something you won’t find anywhere else (until other news sources read MDN): As soon as the DEP issued the permits for the injection wells, the DEP filed lawsuits against the two townships where the injection wells will be located, because both of those townships–Highland Township in Elk County, and Grant Township in Indiana County–had previously passed so-called Home Rule Charters in an attempt to prevent the injection wells from being located in their towns. The DEP has sued each of them (copy of the Highland lawsuit below) to correct laws that attempt to prevent the DEP from doing its job in authorizing the injection wells. We have the full news of the DEP’s decision to permit the injection wells, along with details about the lawsuits, below…
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Federal Court Denies CELDF’s Re-Hearing Request in Grant Twp Case

exclusiveWe believe this bit of news is exclusive to MDN–we’ve not seen it anywhere else, yet. In early August MDN reported that the novel legal argument offered by the radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) in Grant Township (Indiana County), PA claiming to represent a local ecosystem had failed (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). The CELDF tried to claim the Little Mahoning Watershed, an ecosystem, is a “person” under the law–an asinine notion. The CELDF had hoodwinked local anti-drillers in Grant who are opposed to a legally-permitted injection well, attempting to block the well from getting built and operated by Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE). Claiming they speak for the ecosystem was the legal shenanigan the CELDF tried to pull–and it didn’t work. The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their arguments, clearing the way for PGE to build the injection well and continue with a $1 million lawsuit against Grant for causing economic harm to the company. Here is the new and exclusive news: The CELDF, masquerading as the Little Mahoning Watershed (the “ecosystem”), along with CELDF’s sibling organization called East Run Hellbenders Society, immediately petitioned the full Third Circuit (all of the justices) asking for a rehearing–something called a Sur Petition for Rehearing. The CELDF wanted another bite at the apple–a chance to prove to other justices that the Little Mahoning Watershed is a “person” under the law and should be represented by the crazies at the CELDF. The justices of the Third Circuit unanimously and swiftly rejected the petition for rehearing. It’s the end of the road for the CELDF and Grant Township in this case, which means the PGE injection well will now get built, and Grant Township taxpayers will have to pony up $1 million (if PGE wins their lawsuit, as we expect they will)…
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CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed

Gavel-falling.jpgScore an important victory against the forces of darkness. The radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) does its best to trick townships into passing illegal bans on fracking and injection wells. In 2013 the CELDF fooled Highland Township in Elk County, PA into passing a ban on wastewater injection wells. They also tricked Grant Township in Indiana County, PA to do the same thing. Both towns are in court defending their illegal actions. One of the idiotic legal tactics used by the CELDF in both cases is to claim that an ecosystem is a “person” under the law–a person who can file to join the town’s lawsuit in an effort to protect itself (see It Speaks! An “Ecosystem” has Filed to Join a Lawsuit in PA). Of course the CELDF appoints itself as the representative of said ecosystem. It’s an asinine notion. Will the tree in my front yard sue me for cutting a branch off it? Will my gravel driveway sue me if I decide to pave it? Get real. Back to declaring victory. Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) filed a lawsuit against Grant Township for $1 million for blocking construction of PGE’s legally permitted injection well. That CELDF has already said it won’t help Grant taxpayers foot the bill if they lose the lawsuit–after adopting the CELDF’s very own ban language (see Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement). Last week the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in PA ruled that a so-called ecosystem (the Little Mahoning Watershed) does NOT have standing in the case, completely rejecting the CELDF and their arguments. Grant Township taxpayers should be prepared to open up their wallets, they’re about to get soaked (note that the CELDF has already snuck out of town)…
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Top 20 Marcellus Drillers – Ranked by Environmental Impact

top 20Last Friday MDN brought you the news about a professor who devised a clever formula for evaluating the overall environmental impact of 20 Marcellus drillers (see Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Driller of Them All?). At the time we only knew who the top and bottom companies are in the list. CONSOL Energy took top honors, while ExxonMobil was last or “least” environmentally friendly as compared with the others. We now have the entire list (below). Where does your favorite driller fall in the list?…
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Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement

Question: How will Grant Township (Indiana County, PA), a town with 741 people in it, pay a lawsuit it may lose awarding Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) $1 million? Going by the law of averages, less than half of the 741 people actually pay taxes (the other half are welfare slugs). So the question is, how can something like 200 families come up with enough money to pay such a large lawsuit? Answer: they can’t. The town goes bankrupt. That is the very real situation facing the residents of Grant Township. You may recall we’ve written about this before. Grant tried to block PGE from building a wastewater injection well in the township by passing an illegal law stirred up and proposed by the odious Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF (see Fed Judge Overturns Grant Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells). The town has now tried to reorganize in order to avoid the judge’s ruling (see Grant Twp, PA Reorganizes to Avoid a Court-Ordered Injection Well). PGE has sued the town claiming (truthfully) they’ve suffered at least $1 million in damages. That case goes to trial in March. If the town loses, the town pays. The cowardly CELDF has admitted they won’t contribute a penny toward the $1 million fine if the case goes against the town. Nice friends the people of Grant have made in the CELDF, wouldn’t you say?…
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Fed Judge Overturns Grant Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells

court gavelThe radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) does its best to trick townships into passing illegal bans. In 2013 the CELDF fooled Highland Township in Elk County, PA into passing a ban on wastewater injection wells. They also tricked Grant Township in Indiana County, PA to do the same thing. Both towns are in court defending their illegal actions. One of the idiotic legal tactics used by the CELDF in both cases is to claim that an ecosystem is a “person” under the law–a person who can file to join the town’s lawsuit in an effort to protect itself (see It Speaks! An “Ecosystem” has Filed to Join a Lawsuit in PA). It’s an asinine notion. Will the tree in my front yard sue me for cutting a branch off it? Will my gravel driveway sue me if I decide to pave it? Get real. A federal judge has just ruled in the Grant Twp case and found (a) the town’s ban on injection wells is illegal, and (b) the ecosystem’s “interests” have been well-represented by the town in the case with no need for the ecosystem to join the lawsuit. The judge, in sidestepping whether or not an ecosystem is actually a person, kind of laughed at the notion–if you read between the lines…
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NH Co. Sells 3 Gas-Powered Turbines for Remote Marcellus Compressor

middle of nowhereFlexEnergy, a New Hampshire-based manufacturer of gas turbines, has just sold three of their gas turbines to Pennsylvania General Energy to power a remote compressor facility in the Marcellus Shale region. The PGE compressor station will be located in a middle of nowhere area without the benefit of an electric line–hence the FlexEnergy gas-powered compressors…
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PA DEP Nixes Previously Permitted Wastewater Injection Well

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection under Acting Sec. John Quigley (formerly from the anti-drilling organization PennFuture) has reversed a decision made by the DEP just last October to permit a rare/new wastewater injection well in Indiana County. Most Pennsylvania wastewater that gets injected travels out of state–to either Ohio or West Virginia–for disposal in their injection wells. It would be nice if PA handled a little more of its own wastewater. The DEP under previous Gov. Tom Corbett fully vetted a well Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) planned to use as an injection well in Grant Township. The DEP issued a permit for the well. Now they’ve welshed on their decision and rescinded the permit they issued last October. The only thing that seems to have changed in the past five months is leadership at the top of the DEP. Ergo, Quigley didn’t want this injection well…
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Little Mahoning Watershed to Testify in Court Case (??)

You have to give the silly anti-fossil fuel nutters one thing–they sure are creative. The latest nonsense to come from the extreme left is that artificial constructs like watersheds now have “rights” and can somehow speak for itself. At least that’s what’s being claimed in a “first of its kind” motion by–yes–the Little Mahoning Watershed (Indiana County, PA). We wonder, what does the Watershed’s voice sound like? And where, precisely, did the Watershed scribble down its statement that was recently delivered to the court? We’d like to see that place and behold that miracle. This would all be rolling-on-the-floor funny if extremists weren’t so hellbent on bastardizing our laws and the U.S. Constitution–to the point our legal system becomes meaningless. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), which hangs its hat in Mercersburg, PA, says Little Mahoning Watershed spoke to it and whispered it doesn’t want to be polluted by nasty frack wastewater…
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Marcellus Driller Asked to Replace PA Woodrat Habitat

Once upon a time a little fish not much bigger than a paperclip, called a snail darter, was considered “endangered” and the prospect of disturbing its “habitat” delayed the erection of a major dam. That was in the 1970s. Today? Today we have the endangered Allegheny woodrat–otherwise known as a packrat. Please…try not to laugh! Although the Allegheny woodrat is not on the federal endangered species list, it is on the PA “threatened and protected” list–and therein lies the connection to Marcellus drilling…
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PA DEP Fines PGE for Spills, Discharges in Lycoming County

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined Pennsylvania General Energy Co. $125,500 for two different sets of violations in Lycoming County, PA that occurred in 2011 and 2012. The fines were for three spills and for excessive sediment discharges into a local creek.

The details from the DEP:
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PA Game Commission Gets Big Royalties on New State Land Leases

The Pennsylvania Game Commission voted on Wednesday to approve oil and gas drilling agreements on state land in five PA counties—some of the deals are new and some are extensions/renewals of existing deals. That’s newsworthy in and of itself (and sure to drive anti-drillers bonkers).

The news for landowners in this story, however, is the royalty percentages for the new land deals. Some impressive numbers:

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