Marcellus a Focus of the PA Progressive Summit

January 22-23, 2011 marked the weekend for the PA Progressive Summit hosted in Pittsburgh, PA. Of the many speakers and topics, discussing the potential impacts of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale was of high importance. In case you missed the conference, below are the various Marcellus presentations:

Conrad Volz |  Erika Staaf |  Steve Hvozdovich |  Jannette Barth

FracTracker Tutorial 1 Now Available!

Interested in knowing more about how this FracTracker system works? If so, here is a great introductory tutorial by Drew about FracTracker’s blog and maps.

This comes at a great time, since the DataTool just logged over 1,500 registered users!

For a read-only version of how FracTracker works, click here. And be sure to check back soon for more tutorials and to find out when the new FracTracker webinar training series will begin!

DRBC Announces Public Hearings on Draft Natural Gas Regulations


This post has been archived.

WEST TRENTON, N.J. (Jan. 24) – Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Executive Director Carol R. Collier today announced the public hearing schedule to receive oral testimony on the proposed natural gas development rulemaking.

The public hearings will be held 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Feb. 22 – Honesdale High School Auditorium, 459 Terrace Street, Honesdale, Pa.
  • Feb. 22 – Liberty High School Auditorium, 125 Buckley Street, Liberty, N.Y.
  • Feb. 24 – Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, N.J.

Registration for those who wish to testify will begin one hour prior to the beginning of each hearing session (12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.). Please note that the registration process will be on a first-come basis and it is estimated that approximately 75 persons will have the opportunity to present oral testimony within the allotted time period for each hearing session. Oral testimony will be limited to two minutes per person, but can be supplemented with written comments submitted at the hearing or prior to the written comments deadline. Oral testimony and written comments will receive the same consideration by the Commissioners prior to any action on the proposed regulations. Elected government officials will be afforded the opportunity to present their two-minute oral testimony at the beginning of the hearing if they contact Paula Schmitt at (609) 883-9500 x224 prior to the date of the hearing.

The DRBC will strictly adhere to the maximum capacity numbers established by local officials for each hearing location (990 Honesdale H.S., 750 Liberty H.S., and 1,833 Patriots Theater).

Written comments will be accepted through the close of business March 16, 2011 by two methods only:

  1. Electronic submission using a web-based form available on the DRBC web site (preferred method); or
  2. Paper submission mailed or delivered to: Commission Secretary, DRBC, P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360. Please include the name, address, and affiliation (if any) of the commenter. As previously noted, paper submissions also will be accepted at the public hearings.

Due to the expected volume, comments that are faxed, telephoned, or emailed to individual DRBC Commissioners and staff will not be accepted for the rulemaking record.

All written comments submitted via the two methods described above that are received prior to 5 p.m. on March 16, 2011 along with the transcript of the oral testimony presented at the hearings will become a part of the rulemaking record and be considered by the Commissioners prior to any action on the proposed regulations. Such action will be taken at a duly noticed public meeting of the Commission at a future date.

The purpose of the proposed regulations is to protect the water resources of the Delaware River Basin during the construction and operation of natural gas development projects. The draft regulations establish requirements to prevent, reduce, or mitigate depletion and degradation of surface and groundwater resources and to promote sound practices of watershed management.

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin. The five Commission members are the Governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

Additional information, including a fact sheet and the text of the proposed regulations, can be found on the Commission’s web site at

Clarke Rupert, (609) 883-9500 x260
Kate O’Hara, (609) 883-9500 x205

Save the Date: Dr. Ingraffea to speak in Pittsburgh on March 18th


Dr. Tony Ingraffea

Unconventional Gas Development from Shale Plays: Myths and Realities
A. R. Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E.
Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering
Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow
Cornell University

Friday, March 18, 2011 — 3:00 PM
Swanson School of Engineering, Benedum Hall, Room 921,
University of Pittsburgh


We will explore some myths and realities concerning large-scale development of the unconventional natural gas resource in Marcellus and other shale deposits in the Northeast. On a local scale, these concern geological aspects of the plays, and the resulting development and use of directional drilling, high-volume, slickwater, hydraulic fracturing, multi-well pad arrangements, and the impacts of these technologies on waste production and disposal. On a global scale, we will also explore the cumulative impact of unconventional gas development on greenhouse gas loading of the atmosphere.


Dr. Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering and a Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University. He did R&D for the oil and gas industry for 25 years, specializing in hydraulic fracture simulation and pipeline safety, and twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics. He became a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1991, became Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005, won ASTM’s George Irwin Award for outstanding research in fracture mechanics in 2006, and in 2009 was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture. Recently, he has been deeply engaged in informal education regarding the topic of this lecture with over 50 public presentations over the last year.

Faculty Host

Jorge D. Abad, Ph.D.,, 412-624-4399

PennEnvironment Update: Marcellus Shale Organizer Trainings

Last week PennEnvironment held two organizer trainings to provide citizens to empower to organize around Marcellus Shale issues in their own communities in Southwest PA.

The two events, one in Pittsburgh and the other in Connellsville, attracted about 60 people who wanted to learn more about the impacts of gas drilling in their area, how to protect their local communities from the public health impacts of drilling, and learn new skills to use as they organize their communities. The Connellsville event was even covered by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The trainings taught citizens – both through overviews and small group practice sessions – how to recruit volunteers to their cause, build power through coalitions, and get their issue covered by the media. Thursday’s training also included an introduction to FracTracker, which is an online system for citizens to connect, work together, and report local problems from drilling.

The events were cosponsored by a host of other organizations including Earthworks, CHEC, GASP, 3 Rivers Waterkeeper, Mountain Watershed Association and others.

We now plan to expand these trainings across the Commonwealth including trainings in Philadelphia, Scranton and Washington County this spring.

Please let me know if you have any questions about these trainings, are interested in helping host them or have questions about other work PennEnvironment is doing.

Adam Garber
PennEnvironment Field Director
1420 Walnut St, Suite 650
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 732-5897

Upcoming Event: “Fracking” Our Food: A New Threat to Sustainable Farming


Speaker: Sandra Steingraber

Speaker: Sandra Steingraber – “Morgan Lecturer”
World Renowned Ecologist, Author and Cancer Survivor
A reception and book signing will follow.

New Date! February 3, 2011 — 7pm
Dickinson College, Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, Carlisle, PA

In this lecture, Steingraber will explore the tangled relationship between petrochemicals and farming, with a special focus on how the extraction of natural gas from shale bedrock threatens the ecological conditions of our food system.

The event is co-sponsored by the Women’s Center, the Office of Institutional and Diversity Initiatives, and the Departments of Biology, American Studies and Environmental Studies.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

A world renowned ecologist, Sandra Steingraber is an expert on the links between cancer and the environment; reforming chemical policy and contamination without consent.

Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and human health. Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries. Read more.

The Clarke Forum’s Annual Theme

Each year The Clarke Forum devotes a major portion of its resources to activities organized around an annual theme. All members of the Dickinson community, including students, are invited to propose topics for annual themes. Annual themes have included: Democratization, Race & Ethnicity, The Politics of Identity, Environmental Sustainability, Citizenship, Corporations & Globalization, War, Crossing Borders, For Richer or for Poorer: Globalization under Attack, Religion and Political Power, Energy, A Gendered World and Human Rights. The theme for 2010-11 is Thought for Food.

Click here for more information.


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