Gov. Tom Wolf announced the formation of a taskforce to help commonwealth agencies, the natural gas industry, and communities across the state collaborate more effectively as thousands of miles of pipelines are being proposed to transport natural gas and related byproducts to markets from gas wells throughout the commonwealth.
In Pennsylvania, natural gas drilling has outpaced the development of the infrastructure needed to get gas to market. Gov. Wolf created the Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce (PITF) in an effort to promote unprecedented collaboration of stakeholders to facilitate the development of a world-class pipeline infrastructure system.
Despite the recent precipitation events, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is maintaining a drought watch for 27 counties across Pennsylvania because parts of the state have below-average groundwater and in some areas surface water levels.
“We are still recovering from a very dry fall and below-normal precipitation this winter,” Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “These factors have contributed to low groundwater and surface water levels mostly in the northeast and central portions of the state.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a second public meeting regarding Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s permit application to expand its facility located in Dunmore and Throop Boroughs in Lackawanna County. The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Monday, June 15 at Mid-Valley High School, located at 52 Underwood Road, Throop. Representatives from both the department and Keystone will be on hand to answer questions from the public.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (DEP/BAMR) has announced work is set to begin next month to reclaim abandoned mine lands in Hazle Township, Luzerne County that are classified as a significant health and safety hazard under the federal Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program. The 65.5 acres of abandoned strip mind land is considered hazardous due to its proximity to homes and heavily travelled Route 309.
By John Beauge A Bucknell professor is undertaking a study on the effects sedimentation from Marcellus Shale natural gas activity is having on the ecosystem of the Susquehanna River watershed. Once sedimentation gets into a stream it can last a long time, says Matthew E. McTammany, an associate professor of biology and environmental studies. The project is part of a collaborative initiative that includes the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Bucknell, Lycoming College and Lock Haven University, he says.
The PennEast Pipeline Company LLC, recently announced awards of $70,000 through its Community Connector grant program, bringing the program’s investment in Pennsylvania and New Jersey communities to $120,000 to date.
Of local interest, grants went to:
■ Carbon Career and Technical Institute;
■ Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company;
■ Kidder Township Volunteer Fire Company #1;