Drilling questions lobbed in 2nd of 3 meetings regarding Deer Lakes Park
Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey wanted to know what would happen if he drank a cup of frack water, the liquid Range Resources uses to break natural gas from rock formations thousands of feet underground.
“You'd get the runs,” said John Applegath, senior vice president for Range Resources' Southern Marcellus Shale Division. “It's salt water.”
“But I'm not going to die,” replied Macey, D-West Mifflin.
Officials from Range Resources answered questions from council members on Wednesday about hydraulic fracturing and a proposal by the Cecil-based energy company and Huntley & Huntley to drill for natural gas under Deer Lakes Park in West Deer and Frazer. More than 99 percent of the solution used to frack wells is water and sand, Applegath said. The rest is additives, including a friction reducer, muriatic acid and other chemicals. Council members were skeptical, probing further about the chemicals used and produced.
Opponents of the proposal to drill have raised concerns about contamination from frack water and the impact drilling under the park would have on the environment. They have criticized the series of committee meetings scheduled to discuss the lease as one-sided and devoid of objective, experts said. Wednesday's Parks Committee meeting was the second of three scheduled on the proposal.
Applegath showed council members where five wells from a well pad about 800 feet from the park boundary on property owned by Ken and Christine Gulick would stretch across the northern half of the park. Three wells stretching away from the park are permitted, and Range Resources will drill them, Applegath said. He would not identify other sites for well pads that could drill under the park because the companies are negotiating leases.
“How can I consider the environmental impact if I don't know where the pad will be?” asked Councilwoman Sue Means, R-Bethel Park. Applegath said Range Resources could return to well pads years after the first wells are drilled and drill more wells under the park. Under a proposed lease for the 1,180-acre park, the county would receive $4.7 million in upfront payments, a $3 million donation to a park improvement fund and 18 percent royalties over the life of the wells. Applegath said the wells could produce for 40 to 50 years and could be worth $50 million to $70 million in royalties.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412- 320-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills fire displaces 10
- Port Authority’s plan for car-free communities slow to bear fruit
- Solarize Allegheny powers up with more communities
- Shaler man charged with homicide, abuse of corpse in McKeesport woman’s death
- 3 Brentwood council members submit resignation letters
- Wilkinsburg School District hires embattled Penn Hills business affairs director
- Newsmaker: Tamika Duck
- Flooded out of Big Easy, veterinarian builds new life in Lawrenceville
- Gunfire wounds man near Riverview Park
- Civil War vet gets 21-gun salute
- Allegheny County Airport gets FAA grant to trim trees under flight path