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Friday, January 18, 2013

The PA Allegheny County Executive Wants to Frack the Airports in Moon and West Mifflin


Tonight, KDKA’s TV 2 (CBS) Andy Sheehan is doing a story on fracking the Allegheny County Airports. 

Next week, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will introduce legislation to affirm a 30 year contract between the County Airport Authority and Consol Energy to begin Shale Gas Extraction Operations (“Fracking”) at Pittsburgh International in Moon Twp. and County Airports in West Mifflin Borough.   

It will be referred to Standing Committee and a public hearing held in February.  There is, at this time, only one hearing planned near the international Airport, most likely at the CCAC West Campus.  Dates and locations have yet to be announced.

There are no plans, as of yet, to have any hearings in West Mifflin or in nearby municipalities in the area of the Allegheny County Airport.   There is no cogent public information program so that the public would have the ability to comment in a meaningful way.  

A final vote could happen as early as one month from introduction of the legislation next week.  Now is the time, think, ask questions and to speak up.  It is our communities.  It is our County.  It is our water.  It is our air.  It is our future.  

The RFP has been issued, the Airport Authority has already indicated it would give the deal to Consol Energy.   

Lot’s of money - No public participation.  No Environmental (as built or natural) studies. No public health risk assessments.  


"The Allegheny County Airport Authority on Friday opted to negotiate a potential $250 million drilling deal with Consol Energy, which submitted what appeared to be the lower of two bids for the lucrative contract.

The Cecil-based company offered to pay $20.8 million upfront for the right to drill for natural gas on a combined 9,263 acres at Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay and the county airport in West Mifflin. The bid included a deposit check of $2.1 million.

EQT, a Downtown energy company, made a bid that it said would have netted the authority $44 million in upfront cash. It did not include a deposit check."

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/3137475-74/authority-consol-bid#ixzz2IGmcRdHs 



Shale Gas Drilling (“Fracking”) is not just the installation of a 6 acre-plus drilling pad and a temporary rig that does the drilling. There will be a need for attending permanent infrastructure, particularly pipeline construction and mid-stream infrastructure.  The local municipalities would be confronted with significant issues related to their present development plans and finding room for the new industrial uses coming to your neighborhoods in largely residential and commercial/retail zoned areas.   The character of your community will change.  

As you know, each municipality in PA is required by state law to have a comprehensive plan. If drilling occurs West Mifflin and other nearby municipalities  you would be required to significantly amend these plans.  Fracking impacts were never envisioned in the construction of these comprehensive plans.  

The fact is this is not just a matter of constructing well pad, a temporary drilling operation and then, it is over.  The attending permanent infrastructure requires significant permanent land use.  

Pipeline rights of way present many hurdles to municipalities due to the need to carve out rights of way up to 30 feet in width.  Permanent Compressor Stations and Distillation facilities which produce significant air pollution will dot your communities landscape. 
I encourage you to contact the Pipeline Safety Coalition’s  executive director, Lynda Farrell, who  is very knowledgeable on the subject pipeline so that you would be better equipped to deal with what is coming your way.    Last summer she did an excellent presentation at a Local Government Academy (“LGA”) workshop in Canonsburg.  They are at 101 east Street Road, Kennet Sq., PA 19348.  610 925 0041.  

Website:  http://www.papipelinesafety.org/




Aside from the inherent dangers posed by shale gas extraction, there are impacts to local and regional public safety planning.  I attended another LGA workshop on that matter in Murrysville last summer.  PA Homeland Security/PEMA was there represented by the former City and County 911 center’s Chief, Bob Full.  Bob acknowledged at that meeting that there is no PA state safety protocol, as of yet, for responding to events (well fires, spills and such) for first responders.  

Obviously, the host communities would be on the front line of such a response.  Are Skyview Volunter Firefighters prepared?  Are the surrounding boroughs municipal first responders prepared?  There would be significant costs associated with public safety equipment acquisition and training.  

The municipalities in the area of the County Airport would see a significant increase in heavy truck traffic The PA DEP estimates that one horizontal Marcellus well requires 1,000 water truck trips during drilling and fracking.  There is another estimated 1,200 truck trips for the silica sand.  Per well.   The pad may have up to 6-8 wells.  That’s a lot of  heavy truck traffic headed for Lebanon and Lebanon Church Roads.  

There will be noise 24/7, well flaring, open frack water ponds with millions of gallons of contaminated liquids that breath off Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s - benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene) which are know cancer causing and endocrine disrupter agents.  The return fluids also bring back barium, strontium and radionuclide and radioactive material.  

If Allegheny County Airport is to be fracked it would stand to reason to hold community meetings in West Mifflin and surrounding municipalities.  Yet, that is not enough.  How can a community comment if they have not been provided a full disclosure of the impacts associated with Fracking?   

We need to contact our County Council now!  Here are there phones and emails.   



John DeFazio
County Council At-Large

Phone:

Contact E-Mail



Heather S. Heidelbaugh
County Council At-Large

Phone:  
   



Contact E-Mail




Matt Drozd
 District 1

Phone:
Contact E-Mail
Phone: 
 



Jan Rea

Contact E-Mail
District 2

Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail



James Burn, Jr.


District 3
Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail




Michael J. Finnerty
District 4

Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail



Vince Gastgeb
District 5

Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail




John F. Palmiere
District 6

Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail



Nicholas Futules
District 7
Vice-President
Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail



Dr. Charles Martoni, 
  President
District 8

Phone:
 
Contact E-Mail


Robert J. Macey
District 9

Contact E-Mail

William Russell Robinson
District 10



Phone:  
 

Contact E-Mail



Barbara Daly Danko

District 11



Phone:  
 

Contact E-Mail

James Ellenbogen

District 12



Phone: 
 

Contact E-Mail


Amanda Green Hawkins
District 13
Phone: 
 
Contact E-Mail



(moontownshippa.blogspot.com)

(Moon Township Marcellus Shale Coalition's Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/moontownship.marcellusshale


1 comment:

  1. Repairing just ONE mile of road costs around $300,000. The number of heavy truck trips to & from frack wells destroys road. So how long will whatever $ the drillers pay last?

    Not to mention every surrounding municipality will have to train & equip their EMS & fire departments to handle frack well emergencies. Who is supposed to pay for that?

    Property values will also decrease. These airports are surrounded by various municipalities. Ask home owners how they'd like all of the risk/destruction/noise AND a drop in their homes' value.

    ReplyDelete