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Saturday, April 30, 2011

HydroFracturing minus Water = Moratorium

I recently read the minutes of the SRBC's December 2010 quarterly meeting. As I've been to a few of them over the past three years, I know they normally will include any public comments in the minutes, albeit a much abridged rendition of the testimony offered.  In December's minutes, I could find no public comments. None.

The minutes are 80 pages long, so it'll take some time to read them if you're interested. For those that aren't, here are a few snippets from one of the many water withdrawal projects approved at the meeting:

Project Features
The project sponsor has requested approval of a withdrawal of up to 1.170 million gallons per day (mgd) (peak day) from Pine Creek in Pike Township at a maximum instantaneous rate of withdrawal of 810 gpm. Supplemental submissions received on November 15, 2010, requested a reduced withdrawal of up to 0.936 mgd (peak day) from Pine Creek in Pike Township at a maximum instantaneous rate of withdrawal of 650 gpm. The water withdrawn will be used for well drilling, hydrofracturing, and completion to support natural gas development in the Susquehanna River Basin.

A little further:

Pine Creek, at the point of taking, is classified as a Class C, Exceptional Value, Cold Water Fishery (EV-CWF) (Title 25, Chapter 93, Pennsylvania Code).

And the "rubber stamp" approval of water being taken from an exceptional value coldwater fishery:


I, Stephanie L. Richardson, Secretary to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, do hereby certify that the foregoing project docket was approved by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission on December 16, 2010.

With a few "ayes" and the stroke of a pen, the SRBC approves the sale of our exceptional value water time and time again at these meetings. And who is there to speak for our waters?

Here's their schedule for the rest of the year. Hope to see you there.


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