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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Connecting the Fracks

I have watched the number of new "anti-fracking" blogs grow over the past few months, and with equal satisfaction, witnessed the growing number of established bloggers jump into the Marcellus Shale fray. I hope it continues.

Yesterday was a very long day. I work at an international law firm in a senior management role, and part of my responsibility includes supporting offices from California to Hong Kong. As I was getting ready to leave last night, I received an e-mail from our London office ( sent at ~11 pm their time ) which I decided to address. That generated several additional e-mails, including one at 5:40 this morning my time. I'm sure I'll need to use the quiet room at some point during the day today to catch up on lost Zzzzz's...or guzzle a six-pack of those 5 hour energy shots.

Anyway, I just want to publicly thank my blogging brother at FRACKED for doing a boatload of research about the DEP Air Quality issue I raised in yesterday's "Back-Door" post. I didn't get home until 9, so his e-mail saved me some valuable time getting up to speed on this issue.

I have an 8:30 conference call this morning, so I have to limit this post. Here's the PA DEP news release on this topic, and here's a document containing the proposed exemptions. I'll do my best to summarize this issue as soon as I can.

I'm hearing a major news conference is being scheduled in the next few days in Luzerne County.

Stay tuned.


  1. Belay that previous. The statue is contained within the draft guidance. I'm looking at the category 38 section and the first question I have: do these requirements apply to a single source at a drill site, or the aggregate of all the sources at a drill site? I'm thinking specifically of the big compressors they run. A single one might meet the requirement, but what about four running at a time? Same question about the fugitive VOC emissions - just one leaky wellhead or all of the leaky wellheads on the pad?

    And the flares - what is a "drilling site". Is that an individual wellhead or a pad that has 4-6-8 wellheads? 14 days. 14 x 24 hrs x how much raw gas? That is a tremendous amount of crap going into the air. As a "source", it seems like a flare would exceed HAP standards laid out elsewhere in the document. Grr.

  2. The PA bulletin that is referenced in the press release is here and the "public notice" of this nonsense is here.

    Most importantly is the address to which written comments should be addressed:

    Virendra Trivedi,
    Environmental Engineer Manager,
    New Source Review Section, Division of Permits,
    Bureau of Air Quality,
    12th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building,
    P. O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8468

    (tho I don't know how all of that will fit on the front of an envelope...)