Gas Exploration Industry Reps Tour Local Plants

By: Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been a tough run for the Marcellus Shale drilling industry, two accidents and allegations in the New York Times that local rivers have been contaminated by radioactivity; but the industry says it will be taking the allegations head on.

Industry representatives, led by former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, took a tour Thursday afternoon of something called a compressor station, where natural gas is separated before processing.

John Mollenkopt, of the company MarkWest, says they have taken steps to contain noise and air pollution.

“We want to try very hard to put the most environmentally sound facilities in,” Mollenkopt said. “We want to keep noise down, keep nuisance down.”

However, two accidents, including last week’s spectacular fire in Avella, have the industry trying to settle public doubts that the extraction of gas can be done safely.

On Wednesday, officials toured a Range Resources site where vapors have been eliminated, something that may be adopted by other drillers.

“Well, I think that vapor recovery is clearly a best practice,” said Katie Klaber, of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “We talked today about going above and beyond.”

At a round table discussion Thursday, there was still buzz about a report in the Times that the Monongahela River and other waterways have been contaminated by Marcellus drilling with radium and other radioactive materials.

Klaber says the industry favors a new round of testing even though it believes that radioactive materials are being removed to a safe level from drilling water before it’s discharged into the waterways.

“But absolutely we need to do additional work downstream to make sure that the water is tested and the industry is committed to being an important part of that process,” said Klaber.

So, the drilling industry has joined the calls for comprehensive testing of our rivers and streams for radioactivity in an effort to settle the concerns and questions in the public’s mind.

Marcellus Shale Coalition
Range Resources
NYT Article Prompts Calls To Test Pennsylvania Water
Other Marcellus Shale Stories
More Local News


One Comment

  1. mike hunt says:

    yeahhhhhhhh andy

  2. mary says:

    Pennsylvania is in a crisis situation–but oh, the world needs energy, india needs energy, china needs energy, we, the people have the right to clean air and water. Its high time we hold those responsible for the contamination of our air, water and land. It’s all about the money, isn’t it Mr. Ridge. My my what money can buy, even one’s soul.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Tom Ridge- Homeland Security disaster, is now being paid by the Texas Gas Cartel to ruin Pa. rivers and streams. Don’t these greedy political hacks ever retire.

  4. PJ says:

    go back and look at tom ridge’s environmental record as governor, kathleen. you’ll find that no administration in recent history has done more for the green movement then ridge. think and read before you speak… or just be ignorant of the facts and make a personal attack, shows lack of argument and intelligence.

  5. JD says:

    Until any of you can PROVE that this industry is damaging waterways and the environment, I suggest you refrain from spreading such propaganda. Do you really think a multi-billion dollar industry is going to be so careless to not follow safety regulations to ensure a sustained operating future in PA? I don’t think so. Also, lest we forget the thousands of jobs this has created for our neighbors, not to mention that this clean-burning fuel will put us much closer to energy independence as a nation. You SHOULD care about that, unless you don’t plan on using any electricity, heat for your home, or driving a car.

Comments are closed.

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