April 4, 2012 —
Explosion at PA compressor station under investigation
Emergency personnel from three counties responded to an explosion at the Lathrop gas compressor station in Springville Township, PA that shook homes a half-mile away.
The blast occurred on March 29 at approximately 11 a.m. and produced dark clouds, which spilled from a hole blown in the roof of a building. According to Williams Partners LP, which owns the station, no one was injured. Williams spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said that local authorities were notified and personnel were evacuated. The cause of the blast and extent of the damage is being investigated. The station was sold to Williams by Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. in 2010. The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was notified of the explosion at approximately 11:30 a.m. and began monitoring air quality around the site. A full-scale investigation is planned by DEP, which has permitted seven compressor engines for the site.
Lawsuit targets PA Marcellus Shale drilling law
Seven municipalities, Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Dr. Mehernosh Khan filed a legal pleading in Commonwealth Court challenging the new Marcellus Shale drilling law, Act 13, as reported by PA Environment Digest. Act 13 amends the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act, preempts municipal zoning of oil and gas development and establishes an impact fee on natural gas. The plaintiffs are challenging the new law on the grounds it violates the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions and endangers public health, natural resources, communities and the environment. “The Petition for Review in the Nature of a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief” was filed in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, docket number 284-MD-2012.
PEC publishes overview of Act 13
The PA Environmental Council (PEC) has published a comprehensive overview of the provisions included and not included in the new Marcellus Shale drilling law. The report also summarizes the recommendations not yet acted on from the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Commission report. The PEC analysis can be seen at http://marcellus.pecpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/PEC-Act-13-Compara... .
Citizen Stream Monitoring Workshop set in Narrowsburg, NY
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) will provide free hands-on training in stream-testing protocols to citizens willing to become part of a corps of volunteers in the Delaware River Watershed collecting field data for streams threatened by natural gas drilling, pipelines and other threats associated with these industrial practices. Data collected is used to testify and comment about the conditions of Delaware River tributaries to petition for stronger protections of streams in the region. No prior experience is necessary. Trained volunteers who adopt a stream location to monitor will be able to borrow DRN monitoring equipment for free. The workshop is scheduled for April 21 at the Tusten Town Hall, 210 Bridge Street in Narrowsburg, NY, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monitoring equipment and space is limited. Volunteers should live in the Upper or Middle Delaware River region (areas north of the Delaware Water Gap). Sign up by contacting Faith Zerbe at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 215/369-1188 x110.