Families Being Denied Property Rights in the DRBC
Steering Committee Member, Northern Wayne Property Owners Association
Landowner in the Delaware River Basin
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett wrote to me on January 12, 2012, and said the following regarding the proposed DRBC regulations in response to a letter I sent to him:
I believe this regulatory package ensures that natural gas is developed in a manner that protects our water resources and holds operators to the highest standards in the nation. This decision will further delay the creation of much needed jobs, delay securing our energy independence and infringes upon the property right of thousands of Pennsylvanians. Please be assured I will continue my efforts to bring this process to a resolution.
I am a Steering Committee member of the NWPOA and I am also one of those thousands of property owners who are being infringed upon.
The whole issue holding everything up is about the water. If politics is at play here, I hope each voting member of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) realizes American families are being affected by this and their property rights are being infringed upon. These families make up some 4,000 people in Pennsylvania and thousands more in New York. Some of these families have been on the land for generations.
Is there enough water in the Delaware River basin? We all know that there is, although maybe not during a drought.
Will the process of hydraulic fracturing affect our water? History has shown the technology to be safe and the new standards with respect to casing will not allow the hydraulic fracturing process to affect our underground water. Can there be an accident? Yes, of course. There are accidents that can happen with your car, accidents that can happen with planes, etc. Accidents can always happen, but the natural gas industry has proved to be one of the safest industries producing energy.
We all make decisions to take risks every day in our own lives to have benefits such as driving our cars. It’s just common sense and reasonable people take reasonable precautions but don’t paralyze themselves with fear either.
So the real issue is what do we do with the water that is used in the hydraulic fracturing process, both pre and post fracturing. There is technology today, already proven and in use, that is capable of pre-treating water to eliminate the use of biocides and scale inhibitors reducing the use of additives in the fracturing fluid. This technology has been used by Newfield and Southwestern Energy, for example, since 2009. So, biocides and scale inhibitors are no longer necessary. Following this link will take you to an example of this technology.
The real issue is what do we do with the flowback and produced water. The same technology used to treat the pre-fracturing water is also capable of recycling the flow back and produced water which can then be used again in additional fracturing jobs. This can be done on the well site and is capable of processing the water at whatever flow rate is coming back up the hole.
Hydrozonics has been licensed by Ecosphere for the entire on shore processing of water on both oil and natural gas wells. Since the end of September 2011 they have processed over 6 million barrels of water and, that is 252,000,000 gallons of water. They currently have 6 machines in operation and are buying 2 new machines each quarter, so their processing capabilities will increase dramatically. Please check out these links for additional information.
This technology demonstrates concerns with water pollution from fracturing are simply no longer relevant (not to mention there has never been a single case of it occurring in 60 years). It is time we deal with the only issue preventing 4,000 people in Pennsylvania and thousands more in New York from securing the benefits of natural gas development.
The voting members of the DRBC need to educate themselves regarding this technology and do the right thing for the 4,000 American families being denied their property rights. I do hope they will and they put their differences aside to end this nightmare of indecision that bedevils us while our livelihoods fade away.