Monday, March 7, 2011

Marcellus Shale Coalition Welcomes DEP Test Results, Establishes $100K Testing Fund, Energy Research Collaborative

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, representing the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania, issued this statement in response to test results by the Department of Environmental Protection showing water samples at or below normal amounts of background radiation near public water supply intakes.
“These fact-based results are not only encouraging, but they also underscore how closely and aggressively state regulators monitor water use and management associated with the development of clean-burning natural gas from the Marcellus Shale," said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the MSC. "As acting DEP secretary Krancer reinforced, it’s imperative that facts serve as the foundation of these ongoing conversations. These findings also address a host of recently raised claims in a series of intellectually dishonest news reports.”
Klaber noted that Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry is recycling more produced water each month, significantly reducing disposal to DEP permitted treatment plants and the Commonwealth’s waterways. As in other industries, water that is not recycled is treated in accordance with strict regulations to remove solids prior to permitted discharge. The landfills to which these solids are transported are also highly regulated and monitored for radioactivity.
Following today’s DEP notice, the MSC announced its own plans to further ensure that Pennsylvania’s drinking water supplies and natural resources are protected, while underscoring the importance of transparency during the ongoing development of the Marcellus Shale.
-- The MSC announced the creation of a $100,000 fund to help support heightened water testing associated with ongoing Marcellus natural gas development and water treatment.
-- The MSC also will facilitate an Energy Research Collaborative, including representatives from academia, government, industry, and other key stakeholders, to advance the science across the many disciplines associated with responsible shale gas development. This collaborative will focus on areas in need of more fact-based investigation, beginning with the important considerations around naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM).
“The MSC’s Guiding Principles emphasize our commitment to state-of-the-art environmental protections, as well as continuously improving our practices in ways that increase transparency,” continued Klaber. “With these common sense obligations in mind, we’re pleased to announce the creation of a $100,000 industry-funded account aimed at heightening water testing and monitoring efforts at municipal authorities and other water treatment facilities. Coupled with our establishment of a diverse, multi-discipline Energy Research Collaborative, we remain as committed as ever to protecting our environment for our children and grandchildren and getting this historic opportunity right in the Marcellus.”

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