Leading industry group announces $100k fund to heighten water monitoring, establishment of Energy Research Collaborative
Canonsburg, PA – As the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled a sweeping set of water quality monitoring results from November through December of 2010 associated with Marcellus Shale development across the Commonwealth, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) today announced a number of steps it is taking to further safeguard the environment as responsible energy production continues in the region. According to DEP, “All samples showed levels at or below the normal naturally occurring background levels of radioactivity.” Of the results, acting DEP secretary Michael Krancer says: “Here are the facts: all samples were at or below background levels of radioactivity; and all samples showed levels below the federal drinking water standard for Radium 226 and 228.”
“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. 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,” said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the MSC.
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.”