Active Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing Operations near Unplugged Wells.
Dear Save Our Streams Pa Members and Supporters,
We are writing to ask you to take a few minutes to consider the hazards and risks associated with unplugged oil and gas wells. To obtain more information, please visit the links provided here. More importantly, I hope this letter will inspire you to take a few minutes to write to your state representatives(1), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection(2) (PADEP), the Technical Advisory Board(2b) ,your local municipal and county officials.
Tell them that unplugged, abandoned wells near new drilling operations need to be plugged.
I am asking you to do this on behalf of all citizens who currently live in areas that have unplugged, abandoned wells,(3) located throughout the historic oil and gas regions (3b)of Pennsylvania.
Where active drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations takes place in the vicinity of abandoned and unplugged wells(4), the natural protections assumed to be provided by underground geology no longer exist because abandoned wells may act as direct pathways for methane to travel to the aquifer and surface. The presence of abandoned wells significantly heightens the risk of methane migration and contamination.
Lives have been lost(5), homes have exploded(6), geysers have occurred(7), and water sources have been contaminated(8). These events have been well documented by the PADEP(9) and the news media.
We should not tolerate this.
We need our elected officials to work diligently to address this problem.
This is not about stopping shale gas exploration.
This is not about politics.
This is about replacing the current plan, which allows oil and gas operators to plug nearby unplugged wells on a voluntary basis(10), with a plan that requires operators to plug the abandoned and unplugged wells (11) that are located near new drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.
This is about being responsible.
This is about protecting the health and safety of citizens, public and private water sources, and the environment.
The Technical Advsory Board (TAB) recently proposed changes to: § 78.15 Application Requirements In the:Summary of Proposed Conceptual Changes Office of Oil and Gas Management (OOGM) Title 25 Pa. Code.(12)
It is imperative that citizens call for mandatory plugging of abandoned wells located near new drilling operations. Please, share this request with others, and write today! Tell Pennsylvania officials that these risks are not acceptable and that now is the time to take action to minimize the risks associated with abandoned wells.
Save Our Streams PA
2: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
2b: TAB member list: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/subject/advcoun/oil_gas/tabmem.htm
11:Page 7; 2. Baseline Surveys: The review team also noted that DEP has not required operators to identify potential conduits for fluid migration (such as active and abandoned wells) in the area of hydraulic fracturing. The review team recommends that DEP consider whether there are areas or situations in which wells (active and abandoned) in the vicinity of hydraulic fracturing operations provide pathways for fluid movement into groundwater. In such areas or situations, DEP should require operators to identify and eliminate these potential pathways for fluid movement into groundwater before conducting hydraulic fracturing operations. http://www.strongerinc.org/sites/all/themes/stronger02/downloads/PA%20HF%20Review%20Print%20Version.pdf
Technical Advisory Board member list: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/subject/advcoun/oil_gas/tabmem.htm
Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission
Office of the Governor
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120