Responsible Drilling Alliance

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Special Notice to the residents of South Williamsport and Armstrong Township – Mar. 28th 2011 Newsletter

Special Notice to the residents of South Williamsport and Armstrong Township

Carole Livorno, an RDA member from South Williamsport, requests that everyone in South Williamsport and Armstrong Township go to a Zoning Board meeting at South High School, Monday, March 28, 7:00 PM.  Carole founded Concerned Citizens of Armstrong Township and South Williamsport to organize against a developer’s plans for a water withdrawal and/or service center in Sylvan Dell for the natural gas industry. It is anticipated that this would bring major truck traffic 24-hours a day through South Williamsport.  Easy and relaxing driving through town will not be so easy anymore.  There will be safety issues, nuisance issues, and air-quality issues.  Thousands will be inconvenienced for one man’s profit.  No thanks!  Please pass this information along to your friends!

To Lease … or Not to Lease How do you decide?

The Fair Leasing Subcommittee of the RDA has introduced guidelines for people who are leasing, planning to lease, or considering re-leasing.  The information was produced after meeting with several lawyers who have experience drafting, reviewing, or challenging leases. Disclaimer: This page is provided for information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult a lawyer before signing any gas lease or other binding legal document. A lease is forever, like a diamond. A gas lease is a deed that is filed at the County Courthouse; it is a restriction on your title to your land. Once you sign, control over your land will in many ways be out of your hands. That is because a gas company may be able to extend its lease merely by “conducting operations” – which does not necessarily mean drilling a well or producing gas on which you will receive royalties. Depending on the terms of the lease, you may not be able to terminate the lease if the gas company wants to hold it and wait. In lawyer-speak, a gas “lease” is not really a lease at all. Technically, it is a fee simple determinable transfer—a transfer of title with an automatic condition attached, since the lease typically continues indefinitely provided certain conditions are met. To review all guidelines on leasing, go to the RDA website, Â

Water Well Contamination in Bradford County

Renee Taylor of The Morning Times reported that three families living on Paradise Road in Terry Township have filed lawsuits against Chesapeake Energy.  All three families have contaminated water wells.  DEP tests have confirmed their wells were contaminated with methane gas. Further DEP testing traced the methane to drilling conducted by Chesapeake Energy. The families have spent the last nine months using temporary water tanks containing heavily chlorinated water.  The water is so laden with chlorine that they cannot use it to bathe because it causes rashes.  They now live with constant concern for the health of their families.  Property values have decreased by as much as $300,000. The families believe Chesapeake Energy has provided an inadequate response and is denying fault for the contamination. (To read the article by Renee Taylor, The Morning Times, click here)

Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission Holds Its First Meeting

Commission members agree upon the need to find science-based solutions to environmental concerns.  However, business and industry representatives outnumber environmental groups on this commission by over three to one. Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s LeeAnn Murray, staff attorney and commission member, detailed a list of specific environmental concerns and emphasized the need to evaluate cumulative impacts. The citizens of Pennsylvania need this industry-leaning commission to seek and evaluate input from independent scientific research, environmental science, and the public.  Assistant Lieutenant Governor Cawley, said it’s about the information the commission gets.  This raises the importance of the sources of input and information to the commission.  Will this information be presented by industry representatives or independent scientific research bodies?

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