Murrysville group wants to test air quality before and after Marcellus shale drilling
By Amanda Dolasinski
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A group of environmentally conscious Murrysville residents plan to start monitoring air quality to gauge changes should Marcellus shale drilling occur in the municipality.
The Murrysville Stream Monitoring Group is considering expanding its mission to track the quality of air, in addition to stream water. The expansion could include a partnership with the municipality.
“We're interested in the water and air and land around us,” said Joe Guthrie, the group's organizer. “A lot of people won't get interested until they get affected.”
The group would collect data to determine a baseline for air quality in the municipality before drilling, then continue collecting data to determine how drilling affects it.
Because air monitors are expensive — some models cost $3,000 — Guthrie suggested forming a partnership with the municipality. Ideally, he said, the group would obtain three monitors.
“We're willing to explore those options,” said Jim Morrison, chief administrator for the municipality. “I think it needs some research and discussion before we can even comment on it.”
The municipality has an ordinance that designates an overlay district where unconventional oil drilling, including drilling for Marcellus shale, can occur.
Morrison said, however, that no permits have been issued for unconventional oil drilling.
Several citizen groups across the state are collecting air data, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. That data is not considered official because the state must use its own collection methodology to sign off on results.
“We certainly want people to be vigilant and to take an interest in clean air and clean water,” said John Poister, a spokesman for the southwestern region of the DEP.
“We would welcome them to give us any information they collect,” he said. “If we saw something we'd want to investigate further, we'd go out and do our own testing.”
The DEP has begun collecting data in Washington County.
After three short-term studies completed in 2010, the agency began a long-term study last summer to track air-quality changes there.The study is focused on characterizing air pollutants from permanent facilities related to the Marcellus shale gas industry, such as compressor stations and gas processing plants.
The DEP will collect samples from four monitoring sites to assess potential emissions. The study will continue through July.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 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.
- Psychic to murder victim’s family: “You will get closure”
- 2 field hockey players sue Seton Hill, coaches, claiming abuse
- WCCC hires Missouri community college official as next president
- Westmoreland County officials push for more 911 funding
- Derry Township child porn suspect now accused of rape, child endangerment
- Lieutenant governor boosts his boss at Greensburg dinner
- Kids Stitch making blankets for children in need
- Husband to stand trial in Derry middle school teacher’s murder
- Latrobe couple charged with shoving guard, stealing from Wal-Mart
- Youngwood woman charged with selling heroin in Greensburg hospital
- Failed inspection could make Jeannette flood-control project more costly