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Innovation & Startups

Shale Watch, permits, jobs and debate

Pop City's Shale Watch reports a soaring number of gas drilling permits reported last year by the DEP; Josh Fox's movie "Gasland" generates controversy as an Academy Award nominee; Rep. Jesse White (D-Cecil) has proposed the creation of a Marcellus Municipal Co-Operative to provide local oversight of natural gas drilling in his district; a new natural gas pipeline is planned through the region; and Peters Township is considering an ordinance that would address gas drilling.

The DEP has launched an Oil & Gas Reporting website in response to Act 15, which was signed into law by Gov. Rendell in March 2010. The site allows users to view historical oil and gas well production data, in addition to the waste generated by each well.  According to the data on Marcellus-only production, July 2009 to June 30 2010, the number of permits has nearly doubled in the last year. The five hotbed counties for gas drilling are Bradford, Washington, Tioga, Greene and Fayette.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, Energy In Depth and several others are taking moviemaker Josh Fox to task for perceived inaccuracies in the movie "Gasland" which received an Academy Award nomination this year for best documentary feature. 

Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, is asking municipalities in his district to assist him in the creation of a Marcellus Municipal Co-Operative Program to provide local oversight of natural gas drilling sites. The program would require participating municipalities to pool resources to hire a natural gas enforcement officer to oversee operations, enforce codes and respond to residents' concerns.

Equitrans, a subsidiary of EQT Corp. based in Pittsburgh, has filed plans for the construction of a natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  The Sunrise Project will span about 50 miles and include the construction of a new compressor station. The company is in the process of attaining easement land rights from the property owners affected.

Peters Township is considering an ordinance regulating gas drilling. During a meeting this month, residents concerns ranged from increasing setback requirements to an outright ban on drilling in the township.

And finally, looking for a job in the shale industry? Check out the Marcellus Shale Coalition's job portal.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: DEP, PittsburghToday, EQT, Peters Patch

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