No hydrofracking waste on roads or in treatment plants in Onondaga County, legislators decide | syracuse.com
March 4, 2014
Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County
September 18, 2013
AVON — The Town of Avon passed a resolution Thursday evening to resume action on a 12-month moratorium on natural gas exploration and extraction, or hydrofracking. The development came after representatives from the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Department of Conservation office (DEC) approached local leaders with a proposal to shut down the brine processing plant currently operating in Leicester.The Leicester brine processing plant exists to treat brine that is being pumped from the Azko salt mine, which collapsed in 1994. According to officials, the plant operates at a cost of $200,000 per month, currently being paid by Azko’s insurance company, Zurich.A number of local Town Board officials were present at earlier meetings, including Supervisors from the Towns of Avon, Geneseo, Leicester, Mount Morris and York. At those meetings they were reportedly asked by Tim Hoffman, from the State Attorney General’s Office, and by other state officials, to keep the matter private. However, citing concerns for public safety, the issue was brought to the public’s attention this week in the Avon, Leicester and York Town Board meetings.According to Town of Avon Supervisor David LeFeber, the old salt mine is still producing 15 gallons of brine, or water with very high concentrations of salt, per minute. The plant treats the brine and releases the treated water into Little Beards Creek. Without the processing plant, brine may spill into natural water sources in the region, contaminating natural water sources and potentially impacting drinking water and agriculture.“Since we talked about this operation [hydrofracking], we thought the State was going to issue permits, the State was going to monitor things, the State was going to make sure that our resources are protected.” said Avon Town Supervisor David Lefeber. “Businesses come and go, but our ability to produce food and have fresh water is a huge thing and somebody’s got to protect that.”The Town of Avon passed a resolution 3-2 Thursday to have Town Lawyer James Campbell begin drafting a new moratorium on hydrofracking. Board members Dick Steen and Bob Ayers voted against the resolution; David LeFeber, Tom Maiers, and Jim Blye voted for the motion.A source with close knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, told theGeneseeSun.com that the DEC was recently involved in a temporary shut down of the brine processing plant, during which tests were conducted to process fracking fluid trucked up from Pennsylvania. According to the source, if successful, the plant could serve as a potential future site for processing fracking fluids.The plant was built in 2005 and cost $8.2 million, which was paid for by Zurich, presumably as part of Akzo’s mitigation requirements.At a Town of York Board meeting held later Thursday after the Avon meeting, the same concerns were raised. Board members expressed strong interest in obtaining independent geological and scientific surveys before even considering a shut down of the brine processing facility.“Our job is to protect our community,” said York Deputy Supervisor Lynn Parnell.“These towns are justifiably concerned that the State and the DEC are attempting to delay this information from being made available to the public,” said Attorney Jim Campbell, who represents the Towns of Avon, Leicester and York. “Our concern is that the ink might already be dry on a deal between the New York State Attorney General, the DEC, and Zurich. Such a deal could have profound impacts for Livingston County and should only be considered after adequate dissemination of the facts and an opportunity for public input.”
March 10, 2013
|Information Related to Pennsylvania Deep Gas Well Activity|
June 1, 2012
The Minard Run Oil Company, based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, claims to be the oldest family-owned and -operated independent oil producer in the United States. Founded in 1875 by Pennsylvania Senator Lewis Emery, Jr., the company today is run by four of his great-grandchildren and one of his great-great-grandchildren.
In mid-March, Minard purchased 415 natural gas wells in the Finger Lakes from Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas—at least for now. Chesapeake, formed in 1989, enjoys none of Minard’s stability: The company has been beleaguered by criticism of its corporate governance, the shenanigans of CEO Aubrey MacLendon (thoroughly documented by Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone), and a business plan that has left it severely short of cash—perhaps $10 billion short this year alone. The company’s stock price has fallen 50 percent in the last year. How bad is the company’s management? This week, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who heads that state’s pension fund, recommended that Chesapeake’s stockholders refuse to renew the terms of two incumbent board members, saying it was a “necessary first step toward reconstituting a board that is currently entrenched and unaccountable to shareholders.” Corporate raider Carl Icahn, who is circling around the company, has indicated that he thinks the company’s problems are largely the result of poor management at the top.
The sale of Chesapeake’s New York assets to Minard is no doubt part of an effort to meet the cash shortfall. Minard’s new real estate interests, meantime, have augmented the company’s interest in the future of gas well drilling in New York State, especially the future of horizontal, deep-well, hydraulic fracturing, which is the subject of a state review.
Which may help to explain why, in the first week in May, James J. Macfarlane, Minard’s vice president for exploration, acquisitions, and operations, met with Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti in Buffalo’s Donovan State Office Building. Also in the meeting were Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association on New York, or IOGA; Stephen W. Rhoads, manager of state government relations, Appalachia Region, for Shell Energy; and Daniel M. Krainin, an attorney in the New York office of the law firm Beveridge & Diamond, which specializes in environmental and land use law. Macfarlane and Rhoads are both board members of IOGA.
Grisanti, who is chair of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, has been in a crucible of pressure from both industry-funded proponents of horizontal fracking and environmental activists opposed to the practice. So far, he has declined to take a public position on whether the state ought to permit fracking, preferring to wait until the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation completes its review of the permitting and regulatory scheme it released last year.
May 5, 2012
Newsday – Group: Drilling wastewater not monitored http://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/group-drilling-wastewater-not-monitored-1.3699813
Chicago Tribune/Newsday – Group: drilling wastewater not monitored http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-mct-group-drilling-wastewater-not-monitored-20120505,0,5670637.story
TU – DEC clouds fate of drilling waste http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/DEC-shrouds-fate-of-drilling-waste-3536289.php
YNN – EANY releases fracking report http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/top_stories/583036/eany-releases-fracking-report/
YNN Capitol Tonight – Liz Benjamin interviews Katherine Nadeau about fracking report http://www.capitaltonight.com/2012/05/eanys-nadeau-on-wastewater-report/
Newspoint – DEC accused of failing to responsibly treat wastewater http://newspoint.co.za/story/412/2297-dec-a ccused-failing-responsibly-monitor-gas-well-waste-s-disposal
Capitol Pressroom – Eye-opening new study about wastewater http://blogs.wcny.org/the-capitol-pressroom-for-may-4-2012/
December 25, 2011
Cuomo-backed plan would dump “treated” frack water in Lake Ontario
by James Hufnagel