Weekly Shale Drilling Permits for PA, OH, WV: Oct. 19-23

For a second week in a row, all three M-U states issued new shale drilling permits last week. Pennsylvania issued 6 new permits, Ohio issued 5 new permits, and West Virginia issued 3 new permits.
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Has the Shale Drilling Boom in Northcentral PA Gone Bust?

By any measure, it’s obvious to see that shale *drilling* activity in northcentral Pennsylvania counties–including Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, and Tioga–is on the “bust” side over the past five-plus years. 2016 was the low point. However, is there any hope of seeing another boom in shale drilling in the region?
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Dominion Compressor Leak in PA Contaminates Local Water Supply

Potter County, PA

The Public Herald, an “independent” news organization, is reporting a leak of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) used as a coolant in Dominion Energy’s Stateline Compressor Station in Genesee (Potter County), PA has contaminated the water supplies for several nearby neighbors. The leak led to a small fish kill in a nearby pond. Dominion is aggressively investigating the situation, along with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP).
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Earthworks Accuses PA DEP of Ignoring Complaints Due to COVID-19

The radical organization Earthworks has been exposed for making a false accusation against the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), claiming the DEP ignored complaints of potential environmental violations in the shale patch due to distractions over the coronavirus pandemic. Earthworks claimed a frack wastewater treatment plant in Potter County is leaking onto the ground. DEP said it did investigate and no, there is no leak.
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NFG FM100 Pipe Project in NW PA to Feed Marcellus Gas to Transco

We’ve just caught wind of a “new” pipeline project coming from National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) in northwestern Pennsylvania that will beef up and extend an existing pipeline network to flow an extra 330 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of Marcellus gas to Williams’ mighty Transco Pipeline. It’s called the FM100 Project. Kind of sources like a radio station, no?
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JKLM Drilling 14 Utica Wells in Potter County, PA This Year

Potter County, PA

JKLM Energy, a Pennsylvania gas drilling company founded by Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula, recently hosted a tour of their active operations in Potter County, PA–the only county they drill in. The tour included “county and local government leaders, representatives of conservation organizations and other guests.” Drillers conduct such tours from time to time (go on one if you get the chance!). It wasn’t so much the tour, but a tidbit of information revealed on the tour that caught our attention: That JKLM is on track to drill 14 new Utica Shale wells in Potter County this year.
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Another Look at Aborted Coudersport Wastewater Treatment Plant

MDN previously reported on a promising brine wastewater treatment plant planned for Coudersport, PA by Epiphany Water Solutions. After JKLM Energy walked away from the project, in pretty short order the Coundersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) voted to revoke agreements it had with the project, which recently led us to declare the project dead (see Planned Potter County Frack Wastewater Treatment Facility is Dead). A local newspaper editor penned what is one of the most thoughtful, reasoned editorials we’ve seen in the fracking debate–about the Epiphany project’s demise. The editor says when you clear away the inflammatory verbal clutter surrounding the project, if the technology is sound and produces water from wastewater that is “clean enough to drink,” that’s laudable and “still worth pursuing.” The editor encourages Epiphany to find another location in PA for this much-needed project. Here’s an common sense editorial worth reading…
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Planned Potter County Frack Wastewater Treatment Facility is Dead

Those who once supported a cutting-edge technology wastewater treatment plant, proposed by Epiphany Water Solutions for Coudersport, PA, are now running away from the project as fast as they can. First was JKLM, the primary (only) customer for the project–the main reason for the project. As we told you on Monday, JKLM, which was rumored to also be the main financial backer, said they are no longer interested (see JKLM Pulls Support of Planned Potter County Wastewater Facility). Now comes the news that the Coundersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA), which operates the local sewage treatment plant that was going to take the distilled water from the proposed Epiphany plant (clean enough to drink) and discharge it into the Allegheny River, has just voted to rescind the permits and contract they had with Epiphany. With friends like these…
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JKLM Pulls Support of Planned Potter County Wastewater Facility

It’s always disappointing when our side backs down from a fight–especially when the other side is demonstrably lying. On Friday afternoon JKLM, the drilling company founded by Terry Pegula (owner of the Buffalo “Marcellus” Bills), announced it is no longer interested in processing brine (wastewater) from shale wells the company drills in Potter County at a proposed shale wastewater treatment plant in Coudersport, PA (see Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA). The cutting-edge technology plant, proposed by Epiphany Water Solutions, was opposed by folks who, frankly, lied about it. The lies got so bad that lawyers for Epiphany (and JKLM) recently warned them to stop their lying (see Opponents Slandering Potter Co. Wastewater Facility Legally Warned). JKLM would have been the primary customer for the facility. On Friday, JKLM issued a short statement (below) to say they are no longer interested. We’re guessing they’ve pulled out because of the negative publicity, which is too bad, because it teaches antis that if they make enough noise and enlist lying media to aid them, they can shut down important projects like this one. Is this the end of the Epiphany project–at least in Potter County? JKLM was the primary customer AND financial backer. You do the math…
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Opponents Slandering Potter Co. Wastewater Facility Legally Warned

Is it free speech to make “false, destructive and defamatory statements” about a company and the project it proposes to build? Is it OK to pretend to be a news organization when you’re really just a shill for Big Green groups, and is your “speech” protected–when it’s false? Members of the Seneca Indian tribe and faux news outlet Public Herald have been put on notice, legally, by lawyers representing the proposed Epiphany shale wastewater recycling facility in Coudersport (Potter County, PA) and driller JKLM to “cease and desist” from their slandering, smearing false statements about the Epiphany project–statements that are misleading the public. Those served the legal notice say it’s an attempt to silence their free speech rights. What do you think?…
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Coudersport Council Votes to Oppose Frack Wastewater Facility

In January MDN told you that a new shale wastewater treatment facility that works in tandem with a local sewage treatment plant is on the way in Coudersport (Potter County), PA (see Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA). Epiphany Water Solutions, via a subsidiary company called Epiphany Allegheny, plans to build a centralized water treatment facility in Coudersport to process brine coming from shale wells drilled by JKLM. That has brought out the antis who make all sorts of wild accusations. The main accusation is that brine contains radioactivity and that even processed water will contain some radioactivity and will, over time, affect the stream or river where it is released (in this case the Allegheny River). A Seneca Indian tribe that lives 65 miles downstream opposes the project claiming radioactivity will pollute them. Epiphany has pushed back against false claims of radioactivity in their processed water (see Spirited Defense of Proposed Potter County Shale Wastewater Plant). However, real science and facts have fallen on deaf ears. Coudersport Borough Council, which has NO jurisdiction over the facility nor over the Coudersport Area Municipal Authority’s sewage treatment plant that plans to dispose of the processed wastewater, voted last week to go on record opposing Epiphany’s plan. Epiphany says the vote is meaningless and the plant will get built, with or without Coudersport Council’s so-called approval…
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Spirited Defense of Proposed Potter County Shale Wastewater Plant

In January MDN told you that a new shale wastewater treatment facility that works in tandem with a local sewage treatment plant may be on the way in Coudersport (Potter County), PA (see Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA). Epiphany Water Solutions, via a subsidiary company called Epiphany Allegheny, plans to build a centralized water treatment facility in Coudersport. That brought out the antis who made all sorts of wild accusations, including the Seneca Indians which live 65 miles down the Allegheny River from the proposed site (see Seneca Indians Fighting Proposed Potter County Wastewater Facility). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published an update on the controversy. It is an extensive article written by anti-fossil fuel “reporter” Don Hopey. The way it’s spun: shale wastewater has high levels of radioactivity (a false assertion, but it’s made nonetheless), and over time even treated wastewater with radioactivity will “degrade” the Allegheny River–a river that provides drinking water for “millions of people downstream, including Pittsburgh.” That’s the anti argument against this project, in a nutshell. Scare millions of people that their drinking water supply will be threatened by this nasty, filthy, vile recycling plant. However, the article uncharacteristically presents the Epiphany side of the argument, the counterargument to these false claims…
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Seneca Indians Fighting Proposed Potter County Wastewater Facility

Earlier this month MDN told you about a new shale wastewater treatment facility planned for Coudersport, in Potter County, PA (see Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA). Epiphany Water Solutions, via a subsidiary company called Epiphany Allegheny, filed for a permit with the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to build a centralized water treatment facility in Coudersport back in July 2017. The DEP held a public hearing in Coudersport two weeks ago to gain local resident’s input on the facility. One of the groups objecting to the plant–a plant which produces water clean enough to drink–is the Seneca Nation (local Indian tribe). The Senecas, which live 65 miles down the Allegheny River from the proposed site, are making all sorts of wild accusations. Things like this plant will “permit poisonous contaminants” to flow down river to where the Senecas live. The Senecas, according to Epiphany, have been given “inaccurate information.” Epiphany vigorously denies the wild claims made by the Indians. What’s really kind of funny (for us) is that Epiphany and the Seneca Nation are really both on the same “green” side. As we explained in our previous article, Epiphany started life as a company with a mission to pioneer the use of solar technology to desalinate water so people in poor countries have safe drinking water. Laudable goal. However, Epiphany found they actually need to turn a profit and pay bills first. They found that their technology works equally well for the oil and gas industry. The very same technology used to desalinate/decontaminate dirty ocean water and make it drinkable can (and does) desalinate/decontaminate brine (salty water coming out of the ground long after drilling is over and done). Same tech! There is no “poisonous contaminates” in the cleaned-up water from Epiphany–but try telling that to the Senecas…
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Shale Wastewater Treatment Plant Planned for Potter County, PA

A new shale wastewater treatment facility that works in tandem with a local sewage treatment plant may be on the way in Coudersport (Potter County), PA. Epiphany Water Solutions, via a subsidiary company called Epiphany Allegheny, filed for a permit to build a centralized water treatment facility in Coudersport in July 2017. The initial application with the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) was deemed “incomplete”–so Epiphany filed again and this time the application was complete. The DEP will hold a Jan. 16 public hearing in Coudersport to gain local resident’s input on the facility. This is not the first we’ve heard of Epiphany. They were one of four winners of the Ben Franklin Institute’s Fifth Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest in 2016 (see 4 Winners Bag $80K at 5th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest). Epiphany started life as a company with a mission to pioneer the use of solar technology to desalinate water so people in poor countries have safe drinking water. Laudable goal. However, Epiphany found they actually need to turn a profit and pay bills first–and their technology works equally well for the oil and gas industry. CONSOL Energy (now CNX Resources) was an early backer and user of their technology. JKLM Energy, owned by Buffalo “Marcellus” Bill’s owner Terry Pegula and with active drilling in Potter County, needs a better way to dispose of frack wastewater. So Pegula turned to Epiphany and Epiphany is working with the Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) to make it happen…
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Seneca Resources 100% PA Utica Focused by ‘End of Fiscal Year’

While Buffalo “Marcellus” Bills owner Terry Pegula’s JKLM Energy has been “steadily increasing activity” in Potter County, PA (northcentral PA) grabbing headlines, another company, National Fuel Gas (NFG) subsidiary Seneca Resources, is also active in Potter and several neighboring northcentral PA counties (Cameron, McKean, Elk, and Lycoming). We spotted a pair of stories in a local newspaper recounting Seneca’s activity to date, and outlining plans for the future. One statement in particular stood out for us: Seneca will be “shifting to 100-percent Utica development by the end of this fiscal year.” At first blush, you might think “end of fiscal year” means by Dec. 31, 2017. However, NFG and subsidiary Seneca operate on a strange fiscal year. Fourth quarter 2017 (Oct-Dec) is NFG/Seneca’s first quarter 2018 fiscal period. Since the quote about focusing 100% on PA Utica drilling came at the end of November, we interpret the quote to mean “Seneca will be 100% focused on the PA Utica by September 2018.” At any rate, let’s not get caught up in semantics and timing. The takeaways from the pair of articles below, which appeared about a week apart at end of November/beginning of December, are: (1) Seneca is shifting to 100% Utica drilling; (2) Seneca spent 60% more on drilling in 2017 than 2016; (3) Seneca is currently running either 1 or 2 rigs, depending on which quote from which story you read; and (4) between royalty payments, impact tax payments and money spent with local PA businesses, Seneca has now spent nearly $1 billion on shale drilling–all of it in northcentral PA…
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