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Drilling in an Abandoned Field: Hydrofracking in the Absence of Federal Regulation

Sponsored by the American Bar Association. 

This panel will consider the legal landscape and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing ("hydrofracking"), the use of horizontal drilling and high-volume fluid injection to free up natural gas found in shale and other deposits. The process makes drilling in places such as the Marcellus shale region feasible but introduces a number of regulatory challenges. For the process to work, millions of gallons of water must be piped or transported to well sites. Similar amounts of wastewater, containing hydrocarbons and proprietary chemicals, must be handled. Much of the wastewater remains below the surface where it can migrate into aquifers. Residents must endure noise, vibrations, lower property values, and air pollution from gas leaks, flaring, and truck exhaust. Hydrofracking is largely exempt from federal environmental laws, leaving the states to fend for themselves. This panel, composed of experts with many years of experience regulating and litigating hydrofracking-related issues, will discuss the New York and Pennsylvania experiences with this form of natural gas extraction. We will draw lessons from their struggles with environmental review, zoning, preemption, enforcement, and other practices. Their experience will be of use to environmental attorneys working in any of a growing number of states that has decided to consider or approve the use of hydrofracking in local communities. Speakers include:

THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2011
2:00 P.M. Eastern

** To join the 90 minute call please dial 1-877-317-0419 and reference the "Hydraulic Fracturing Call" or "Conference ID 80530313" **

Riverfront Press Conference

Join us for one of these simultaneous press conferences demanding regulation of the "runaway train" that the WV gas boom is becoming!

MEDIA ADVISORY                                            AUGUST 22, 2011

Groups demand protection for landowners, environment
Threats posed by gas drilling require comprehensive legislation

Who: A coalition of environmental and public interest groups

What: Two press conferences on the need for stronger regulation of natural gas drilling. 

When: Monday, August 22, 2011 at 2:00 P.M.

Where: Riverfront Park, Morgantown, West Virginia
             Governor's Press Room, State Capitol, Charleston, West Virginia

Why: West Virginia citizens need strong protection from a range of effects of Marcellus shale and other natural gas drilling and production. Representatives from participating organizations will address such issues as air, land, and water pollution from drilling operations; water usage and waste disposal; light and noise pollution; lack of surface owners' rights; and lack of sufficient DEP inspectors to enforce the law and ensure safety. Participants are critical of the measures proposed in Governor Tomblin's Executive Order as being insufficient to provide the protections citizens are demanding and are calling on the legislature to act swiftly.

The Charleston event will also include testimony from the Hagy family. A recent scientific study featured in the New York Times asserted that EQT fracking destroyed the groundwater supply serving the family's farm in Jackson County and made their son very sick.

Participating organizations:

Morgantown:
West Virginia Sierra Club
West Virginians for a Moratorium on Marcellus (WV4MoM)
Mon Valley Clean Air Coalition
Friends of the Cheat
Cheat Lake Environment and Recreation Association (CLEAR)
WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact


Charleston:
West Virginia Environmental Council
West Virginia Citizen Action Group
West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
West Virginia Sierra Club

For more information contact:

Charleston - Julie Archer, WV Surface Owners' Rights Organization, (304) 346-5891
Morgantown - Jim Sconyers, WV Sierra Club, (304) 698-9628

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Dead Fish Rising (Play About the Dunkard Creek Fish Kill)

HERE IT IS! THE PLAY, DEAD FISH RISING--THE ONE YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!

WHEN: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 or SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9 at 4 PM. Rain date, OCTOBER 16 at 4 PM.

WHERE: RISING CREEK BAKERY, MT. MORRIS, PA. RIGHT IN FRONT OF DUNKARD CREEK. 

If you can, please park in the town of Mt. Morris and walk to the Rising Creek Bakery since parking at the bakery will be limited. You can buy tickets at the door or from one of the animals who is in the play. You can also purchase tickets online through PayPal: http://www.deadfishrising.com/

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Marcellus Action Monday in Charleston/Public Hearing

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has taken the the bill proposed by the Joint Select Committee on Marcellus and "tweaked" it (in other words, gutted it) and we need to let him know that this is unacceptable

WV4MOM and other concerned citizens' groups are asking folks to come to the Capitol this Monday, December 12, for a day of CITIZEN LOBBYING (beginning at 11:30 AM) and a PUBLIC HEARING (4:30 PM).

This is the time to come forward and demand that our state government honor our right to clean water and air. Be assured, industry representatives will be out in full force on Monday, and we need a strong showing.

Please come out and fight for West Virginia!

Further details, including information on the governor's bill, are posted below in this announcement from Sierra Club WV. 

 

QUICK OVERVIEW:

SUNDAY: The House and Senate will convene Sunday at 5pm to begin the special session on Marcellus shale drilling regulation.

MONDAY:    THIS IS WHEN WE NEED THE NUMBERS!!!  YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO OR SAY ANYTHING – JUST SHOW UP

 12 noon, we will hold a press conference in the Lower Rotunda

 4:30pm House of Delegates will hold a public hearing in the House Chamber

 

THE GAS INDUSTRY IS HOLDING A RALLY AND THERE WILL BE PRO-DRILLING  “CITIZENS” THERE IN MATCHING T-SHIRTS.

 

TUESDAY: The bill will be taken up by House Judiciary. 

 

DETAILS AND DIRECTIONS:

A few things about our capitol for newcomers……….

Directions: The Capitol is in the East End of Charleston, off of I-64, take the Airport/Capitol/Greenbrier St. exit 99.

Parking: Rarely available on capitol grounds, fair luck on side streets, but there is a public parking lot next to nearby Laidley Field with a shuttle bus to the capitol building.

Ground level entrances to the capitol will lead you to our meeting area under the dome at the Information Desk.  With few exceptions, all areas of the capitol building are freely open to the public.

We can guide you to offices of your officials and provide with talking points.

Dressing appropriately and being courteous and friendly goes a long way toward overcoming indifference and resistance from the lawmakers

 

Here are contact numbers for you if needed.

Chuck Wyrostok – Sierra Club 304 545 6325

Carol Warren – Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition OVEC 304 539 2240

Julie Archer – WV Surface Owners Right Organization SORO 304 610 9094

Denise Poole WV Environmental Council 304 617 7073

 

BACKGROUND:

Following three years of deliberation and after months of labor by the Joint Select Committee, Governor Tomblin took a knife to their “agreed upon” bill, hacking out vital parts like an apprentice butcher.  Here’s what we know so far:

Some of the things the governor’s bill would do:

        Allow pits to be buried on site

        Eliminate the provision that allowed for DEP to call a public hearing on a drilling permit  

                application.  It looks like they also eliminated the public (publication) notice and

                comment. 

        Reduce the distance from a water well for required testing 2,500' to 1,500 feet

        Make the landowner go to court to get water replacement and there is a now definition of  

               "water purveyor" that may limit who gets notice.   
        
Eliminate the legal notice to adjacent landowners

        Reduce some of the buffer zones for rivers, streams, wetlands, etc.

        Eliminate the "special conditions" amendment

        Remove the amendment regulating air quality

        Remove the traditional power of local government to regulate zoning and land

              development of gas activities as well as other aspects, such as the time and the 

              place of operations to protect health, safety and welfare of the general public

              through local ordinances and enactments.

 

SUNDAY: The House and Senate will initially convene a Special Session Sunday at 5:00 PM.

                The bill will be read a first time and then referred to committees. 

                Environmental lobbyists will be there to monitor this.  No voting on this can take place

                until it’s in the committee rooms and then back out into the Senate and House.

 

MONDAY: 12 noon, we will hold a press conference in the Lower Rotunda (ground floor

                  under the dome).  Citizen groups and landowners who know from personal

                 experience about their own small private hell will speak. If you have

                 experienced drilling travesties and can be there, please contact me at

                 outreach@marcellus-wv.com and plan to arrive by 11:30am.  Earlier arrivals

                 can meet us there to plan action for the day.  Environmental lobbyists from

                 several organizations will be there to meet, greet and guide you. 

 

MONDAY 4:30pm House of Delegates will hold a public hearing in the House Chamber. 

          Anyone can sign up to speak. Get there early to sign up. The gas industry will

          rally their people at a nearby church between 2:30 & 3pm.  They will show up

                    at the public hearing all wearing the same color t-shirts. Their message 

                    will be to support the industry -- no particular position on the bill.

 

TUESDAY: The bill will be taken up by House Judiciary.

It will be crucial to have a large presence there to make our needs known to our Delegates and Senators and press them to pass strong rules in spite of the Governor’s betrayal of the people. If you only do one thing against this blatant industrialization of our hills, please make this the one. This is a pivotal point in this campaign and we need to throw everything we've got at preventing them from passing an empty bill and calling it "fixed".  They are all accountable and we will call for a moratorium on further permits unless we get the elements into law that are nothing more than our human rights.

If you cannot be there, you can play a powerful role by calling or emailing your Delegate and Senators. Tell them you are a constituent in their district.  They must thoroughly understand our determination to secure our rights for a safe supply of water and air and for preservation of our rights as landowners. How forcefully citizens make their legislators carry out their sworn constitutional duties will determine what kind of future we will have here in West Virginia.

The bill and a bill summary are posted online:

10 page summary of bill at:

http://www.governor.wv.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/Documents/Governor%27s%20Summary_Horizontal%20Well%20Act.pdf

 Complete 99 page bill at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bulletin_Board/Proclamation/2011/Governor%27s_Marcellus_Shale_Bill.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

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Conference Webcast - The Health Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction

This workshop will focus on shale gas extraction to explore the health impacts of emerging energy technologies and the use of health impact assessments to assess and identify ways to mitigate potential health impacts. Through presentations and discussions, it is expected that Roundtable members, scientists, decision makers, and other participants will become better informed on the potential health impacts of hydrofracking, be updated on the learn lessons from ongoing health impacts assessments, and be better positioned to consider safeguards to protect the public's health from emerging energy and other technologies.

 
This workshop is one in a series of workshops sponsored by the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. The Roundtable was established in 1998 to provide a mechanism for parties from the academic, industrial, and federal research perspectives to meet and discuss sensitive and difficult environmental health issues in a neutral scientific setting. The purpose is to foster dialogue and is not intended to provide recommendations.
 
Can't attend in person? Register for the live webcast.

Complete story here.

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Governor Candidate Bob Baber at Dorsey's Knob this Wednesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
August 19, 2011
 
Contact:
Ronda Gregory
Baber4Governor Campaign Communications
Cell: 304.685.3557
 
MOUNTAIN PARTY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE BOB HENRY BABER TO HOST CAMPAIGN SOIREE IN MORGANTOWN WEDNESDAY, AUG. 24
 
Bob Henry Baber, Mountain Party candidate for governor, will host a West Virginia-style potluck soiree from 5:30 p.m. to dusk, Wednesday, Aug. 24 at the Skyrock Shelter at Dorsey's Knob Park in Morgantown. The park is located off Grafton Road.
 
Baber, a published poet, author and established mosaic artist, said the Mountain Party party is to bring folks together who "love West Virginia, its land, extraordinary people and rich heritage."
 
"The soiree will be short on speeches," Baber said. "In fact -- no speeches...just a few words about the campaign. So we'll have a little politicking, some poetry, potluck and a bounty of phenomenal entertainment from my good friend Dave Morris and his son Jack."
 
Well-known Appalachian musical artist, David Morris, and Jack Ballengee Morris, will perform acoustic musical selections reflecting West Virginia's unique Mountain culture. The senior Morris, a native of Ivydale, W.Va., is a decades-renowned singer, song writer, recording artist, show producer and artist-in-residence. His music parallels the oral culture of the mountains.
 
"Dave has shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Ralph Stanley and Bill Munroe," Baber said, "so I am privileged and humbled he is willing to come out for our get-together and share a mich with me."
 
The soiree culminates a day of Baber's campaign stops in Morgantown -- including a daycare center, a senior center and a visit to the WVU campus.
 
Baber has worked on several in-state and national projects to reduce mountain-top removal. He annually attends the Appalachia Rising initiative that marches in Washington, D.C. each year. He also created and implemented the Yeager Airport Project that planted thousands of trees at the Charleston-based airport to reclaim the land ravaged by the airport expansion. Lately, he has been attending rallies about and staying abreast of the fracking issues in our region.
 
Baber grew up in New York City but his father's family is from Richwood, W.Va., where he spent most  of his summers. Baber owns his family's farm in Richwood and was also the town's mayor. Today his day job is major gifts officer at Glenville State College. 
 
Go to Baber4Governor.com for more information about the candidate.
 
The Mountain Party is an affiliate of the national Green Party. Party members and friends are encouraged to attend the soiree but all are welcome to the free event. People attending are requested to bring a covered dish. Non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.
 
Bob Henry Baber (Mountain Party Gubernatorial Candidate) Itinerary
Campaign Day in Morgantown
Wednesday, August 24
 
9 a.m. : Little Tikes Child Care Facility
428 Mississippi Street
 
Bob Henry will read poems to children at a local daycare. Appalachian music artist David Morris and his son, Jack Ballengee Morris, will perform acoustic musical selections.
 
10 a.m.: Sundale Nursing Home
800 J.D. Anderson Drive (near Mon General Hospital)
 
Bob Henry will tell Appalachian old-time stories and read his poems about West Virginia and talk to the residents about the campaign and Mountain Party platform issues. The Morrises will again provide musical entertainment.
 
Noon -- about 4 p.m.: WVU Downtown Campus Visit
In front of the Mountainlair in the "Free Speech Zone"
304.293.0111 for WVU information
 
Bob Henry will hand out campaign material and meet students stopping by his information table. The Morrises will also perform. (No campaigning is allowed inside the Mountainlair, but there will be a ton of student traffic, as a Student Organizations Fair will be taking place inside.) There may be a couple of opportunities for student media interviews by The Daily Athenauem and U-92, but they have not yet confirmed. They said they'd try, but have time/staffing issues that day.
 
5:30 p.m. -- Dusk : Baber for Governor Soiree
Dorsey's Knob Park
Skyrock Shelter (end of lane on top of hill)
Off of Grafton Road, Morgantown
 
Bob Henry will host a potluck soiree with poetry and Mountain Party politics at the highest geographical point in Morgantown. The Morrises will be the featured entertainment. Folks are asked to bring a covered dish. Non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. 
 
If enough Mountain Party execs attend, there will be a brief strategy meeting at 5:30 p.m., while folks are arriving.
 

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Rally TODAY to protest TODAY's Fracking!!

RALLY ON TODAY, SEPTEMBER 27, THE DAY FRACKING BEGINS!  LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD AT MORGANTOWN INDUSTRIAL PARK!

HYDRO-FRACKING WILL BEGIN ON THE MARCELLUS WELLS IN MORGANTOWN INDUSTRIAL PARK ON TODAY TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27.  BE THERE!  

LET PEOPLE IN MORGANTOWN AND THROUGHOUT WV KNOW THAT WV4MOM AND OTHER CITIZENS ARE WATCHING AND MONITORING GAS COMPANY ACTIVITIES. WE ARE NOT GOING TO GO AWAY. WE ARE NOT GIVING UP THE FIGHT TO PROTECT OUR AIR AND OUR WATER AND THE QUALITY OF OUR ENVIRONMENT.  LET PEOPLE KNOW WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE CHILDREN GOING TO SCHOOL IN THE VICINITY OF MORGANTOWN INDUSTRIAL PARK.

COME TO A RALLY AT THE ENTRANCE TO MORGANTOWN INDUSTRIAL PARK!  LET'S RALLY AGAINST MARCELLUS DRILLING AND HYDRO-FRACKING!

FRACKING WILL BEGIN TODAY, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27.

WEAR A GAS MASK.  YOU CAN PURCHASE ONE AT LOWES.  WHERE:  At the entrance to Morgantown Industrial Park.  We have chosen a safe zone that is public space.  We are allowed to rally 100 ft. from the intersection before entrance into the Park.  We will demarcate the area.   See the map below.

WHEN:  TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 11:00 AM TO 1:00 PM AND 3:00 PM TO 5:00 PM

WHY:  WV4MOM would like everyone to know that we have not gone away and that we will be watching the activities of the gas companies as they begin horizontal hydro-fracking.  We also want our City Council to know that we want an appeal to Judge Tucker’s ruling.  WE ALSO WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND GIVE SUPPORT TO THE MANY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN THE VICINITY OF THE MORGANTOWN INDUSTRIAL PARK THAT ARE AT EXTREME, IMMEDIATE RISK FROM THE AIR CONTAMINATION WHICH WILL BE CAUSED BY FRACKING.  

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Come to the rally.  Stay part of the time or all of the time.

Please make signs that say things that same something about the safety of our children or signs that say things like:  Don't frack with our water/We can't drink money/We are watching you/Fracking is not appealing--is Morgantown? Regulate fracking now.  (Get creative, stay g-rated.)

Please tell your friends or others to join us. 

For parking:  Westover Park is 1/3 mile from the intersection.  If you turn right at the intersection when you are on River Road, Westover Park is about 1/3 of a mile on the left.  For people who cannot walk this distance, we will work together to shuttle everyone from the Westover Park to the Rally.

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Important City Council meeting December 20--Council considering removing fracking ban from the books

 

HELP KEEP THE MORGANTOWN FRACKING BAN ON THE BOOKS--Come to the City Council meeting at 7:30 pm Tuesday, December 20, and SPEAK UP FOR THE BAN.
 
We worked hard for this ban, and although it was overturned by Judge Susan Tucker, it remains on the books--for now. On Tuesday, the City Council will consider its removal.
 
One question we have: Why the rush to remove the ban from the books? What is the motivation here? We deserve to know.
 
Many issues are still up in the air with the approved industry-compliant Governor's Bill, and several legislators are planning to work to amend that action during the regular session (beginning in January). The governor gutted the Joint Select Committee bill, compromising or removing important passages addressing air quality, well-water restrictions, water withdrawals, and siting.
 

Not only that, but there is still a question regarding local authority to make zoning or regulatory decisions about fracking. 

 
Keeping the municipal fracking ban on the books is a strong statement of support for amendments to protect our water and our air, and sends a message to our government that we refuse to cave to industry pressure and put our health and safety--and our children's future--at risk.
 
And by standing strong for our right to clean air and water, Morgantown can set a positive example for other cities and counties throughout West Virginia that are dealing with the harsh realities of horizontal drilling and fracking.
 
Together we can make an impact on our media, our government, and the progress of Marcellus regulation in the upcoming legislative session
 
The City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Please attend, and be prepared to speak up for the ban. 
 
 
 
 
 

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Concerned Citizens Announce Date for the Largest Fracking Rally in Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 2, 2012

Contact: 
Calvin Tillman: 940-453-3640
Kari Matsko: 440-579-5314
John Fenton: 307 856-7098 or 307-709-2540
Don Morrison: 701-224-8587
Jason Pitt, Sierra Club: 202-675-6272
Lauren Pagel, Earthworks: 202-887-1872 x107

Concerned Citizens Announce Date for the Largest Fracking Rally in Washington, DC

National Day of Action will bring thousands to Washington, DC to put the public interest before drilling industry profits

Washington, D.C—Today citizens from affected communities, together with environmental organizations and community groups, announced a call to action to demand an end to putting oil and gas drilling profits ahead of public health, clean water and air and the safety of our communities.  This event will be the largest of its kind and will take place in on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol, Washington, DC from 10am to 2pm on July 28th, 2012.

Labeled “Stop the Frack Attack,” the rally will bring thousands to the nation’s capitol to demand greater government responsibility and corporate accountability for harm that existing oil and gas development causes.

Community groups and organizations from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Maryland, Texas, Wyoming, Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Idaho, Virginia and North Dakota have signed on in support of the event.  For more information and list of endorsing organizations and members of the citizen-based advisory council, please visit www.stopthefrackattack.org

In support of this National Day of Action, concerned citizens from across the country issued the below statements.

Read more on “Concerned Citizens Announce Date for the Largest Fracking Rally in Washington, DC” »

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