Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Opponents pack hearing on fracking in Pa state forest

Attendees express opposition to drilling - StateImpact photo
All of the more than 300 people who attended last at last night's public meeting at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa. spoke in opposition to a proposal, under review by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), for natural gas exploratory drilling in Loyalsock State Forest.
DNCR Secretary Rick Allan and other officials addressed issues surrounding the Clarence Moore Lands in northern Lycoming County where Anadarko Petroleum Corp. owns half of the subsurface oil and gas interests on the 25,000-acre tract and Southwestern Energy Corp. is believed to hold the lease for the other half of the property.
The industry's plan reportedly calls for the installation of  26 well pads, and four compressor stations over a 25,000 acre swath known as the Clarence Moore lands.

Many who spoke expressed concerns about drilling near Rock Run, an exceptional value stream and trout fishery running through the state forest.

Gary Metzger, of the Lycoming Audubon Society, said drilling is simply not compatible to the wild land. "It's industrialization of rural Pennsylvania," he said. "You can't safely drill in Pennsylvania. Exercise your control on those 18,000 acres."
Jeff Schmidt, director of the state Sierra Club, said DCNR should consider tapping the state's oil and gas fund to purchase the mineral rights.

Allan stressed that Anadarko’s plans are still preliminary and have not been approved. But he also said there are no plans for additional public meetings.
Related environmental news stories:
Many at public hearing plead to keep state forest drill-free-Sun Gazette 
Drilling Opponents Pack DCNR Meeting On Loyalsock State Forest - StateImpact  
Hundreds turn out in opposition to Pa. drilling - Observer-Reporter

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