Analyze water, not royalties
Regarding Rich Cholodofsky's news story “Westmoreland County authority hires drilling auditor to oversee shale royalties” : Instead of hiring an auditor, the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County should consider hiring a lab chemist and the appropriate analytical equipment to monitor and verify the quality of its water to assist in the prevention of a Charleston, W.Va., type of event here.
To read that it has 37 Marcellus shale gas wells on its Beaver Run Reservoir property — some located 300 feet from our reservoir — is alarming and should be a source of major concern to all 120,000 customers/households that are dependent on that source of water. Based upon the fact that a typical Marcellus well needs to be re-fracked (using many hazardous chemicals) every three to five years, the inevitable will occur.
I assume this fracking will eventually increase authority revenues by 10 percent, and if one assumes that $8 million input is divided among all 120,000 customers, that would result in a savings of $66 per year ($5.50 per month) per customer. As noted, this would not be reflected in a reduction of current bills but would slow down future increases.
This sounds great, but if one looks at the potential downside, the costs that would have to be borne by each customer would be significantly greater if we lose our water supply for any length of time. Be forewarned that this type of industrial production should not be tolerated in a watershed — even if it brings in a few extra bucks.
The writer is a retired chemist.
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 â 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.