Filming Releasing Methane!

Follow our journey across the US to document the environmental impacts of onshore and offshore abandoned wells, with a crew which includes environmental advocates and experienced abandoned oil & gas well hunters.

We will meet with legislators, academics, environmentalists and industry workers in order to create the documentary “Releasing Methane” a comprehensive picture of the environmental and regulatory issues surrounding abandoned oil and gas wells and emerging solutions.

 

Filming Releasing Methane!

Public Comment Hearings June 23-25 For Proposed Rulemaking to Reduce Methane Emissions

 

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced a 66-day public comment period, including three virtual public hearings, for a proposed rule to reduce emissions of methane and other harmful air pollution, such as smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), from existing oil and gas operations.

 

The virtual hearings will be on June 23 (6 p.m.), June 24 (2 p.m.), and June 25 (6 p.m.).

 

Proposed Rulemaking – Control of VOC Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Sources

 

In accordance with Governor Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration and based on advice from the Department of Health regarding the mitigation of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the EQB will hold three virtual public hearings for the purpose of accepting comments on this proposed rulemaking. The hearings will be held as follows:

 

June 23, 2020, at 6 p.m. June 24, 2020, at 2 p.m. June 25, 2020, at 6 p.m.

 

 Persons wishing to present testimony at a hearing must contact Jennifer Swan for the Department and the Board, (717) 783-8727 or RA-EPEQB@pa.gov at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing to reserve a time to present testimony. Addresses and phone numbers for all persons wishing to provide virtual testimony is required.

 

             Witnesses must be a resident of this Commonwealth to provide testimony.

 

             Organizations are limited to designating one witness to present testimony on their behalf at only one hearing.

 

             Verbal testimony is limited to 5 minutes for each witness.

 

             Video demonstrations and screen sharing by witnesses will not be permitted.

 

Witnesses are requested to submit written copy of their verbal testimony by e-mail to RegComments@pa.gov after providing testimony at the hearing.

 

Any members of the public wishing to observe the public hearing without providing testimony can also access the hearings using the links provided above. Those who have not registered in advance as described previously will remain muted for the duration of the public hearing. For additional information regarding the Department’s hosting of virtual public hearings, please click here.

 

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Allegany, NY Resident Health, Safety & Environmental Survey

survey

Dear Allegany, NY Resident, We are conduction a health, safety and environmental survey to gather information about issues in your community. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions. Your answers may help us as we work to bring these issues to local and state level officials and legislators to be addressed. Please feel free to respond to the survey anonymously.

Visit thiis link to take the survey:

https://forms.gle/1iwFFnysC6MBKa1i9

A White Paper Summarizing the Stray Gas Incidence & Response Forum

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC), with funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy, held the Stray Gas Incidence & Response Forum (the Forum) from July 24-26, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Forum focused on stray gas in areas where shale gas or other unconventional natural gas is being developed....http://www.kdheks.gov/geo/download/WhitePaperSummaryStrayGasIncidenceAndResponseForum.pdf

Methane Testing For Allegany, NY Private Water Wells

water testing1

Well on Old Map Found Releasing Methane Along Four Mile Road road, Allegany, NY

Visit this link to learn more: https://www.cardcreek.com/Allegany-NY-Photos/i-495nJmw/A

See it on the map here: https://goo.gl/maps/m9NDw53oY2Eosmj19

allegany NY well on map

 

What's in Your Water?

 

water testing links

 

Allegany residents drink bottled water, still seek answers after house explosion

This is a recent view of the former West Branch Road home of Ron and Betty Jo Volz in Allegany which exploded in November from unknown causes that are suspected by some residents to be linked to recent oil well drilling in the area.

 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on oil well drilling in the Allegany area. The second installment will be published next week in the Era.

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — During the Christmas holidays, one of Gail Hammond’s gifts from her daughter was a methane gas detector to hang in her home.

Hammond, who lives across from a home that exploded on West Branch Road in November, as well as other neighbors in the valley, are not only hanging up detectors to test air quality in their homes, but have also had their water wells tested for chemicals that may have leached into the aquifer from nearby oil well drilling by Dimes Energy of Canada and Dallas Morris Drilling of Bradford, Pa. Read more:http://www.bradfordera.com/news/allegany-residents-drink-bottled-water-still-seek-answers-after-house/article_c7c68144-78fa-56c0-ab9c-c20fb147bfa7.html

 

Allegany NY, Home Demolished by Gas Explosion

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Surrounded by new and old oil and gas wells a home was instantaneously demolished by a gas explosion December 10, 2019. The explosion rattled windows and shook the nerves of residents of the neighborhood near St. Bonaventure University in Allegheny Township, Cattaraugus County, New York State.

Allegheny NY

The owner of the leveled home, Ronald Volz attended the Allegheny Town Council meeting held on December 10, 2019 and explained that just before his home was leveled his water started turning milky and black. Three days earlier it was fine. Volts said “from my understanding ten minutes before my house blew, they fracked oil across the street.” 

By a stroke of luck Ronald and Betty Volts were not home when their house exploded. The Volts home was located in New York just north of the Pennsylvania border and only 11.5 miles from 832 Interstate Parkway, Bradford, PA where 9 years earlier Robert and Beverly Butler were not as lucky. The Butlers were home and both were injured when their home exploded.

 

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Above: 10 Helen Lane, Bradford, PA 2011

The commonality of the three home explosions in the region where the modern oil and gas industry has its roots is difficult to ignore.

No determination has been made regarding the source of the gas that destroyed the Volts home, and the investigation is continuing. Methane migration occurs naturally in some areas but it is also associated with oil and gas exploration, faulty well casings, fracking, unplugged wells and ineffectively plugged wells.

Many wells are in the immediate area, drilling began in 1865 in the “Four Mile” oil field. And according to historic records 175 wells were located in the town of Allegany, 1000’ to 1200’ deep by 1889. According to Department of Environmental Conservation database, many of the Dime Energy wells are drilled around the same depth as the pre-existing, legacy wells. An unknown number of wells in the region were drilled long before regulatory oversight existed so maps and records identifying the location of pre-regulation wells may be limited.

Plugged and unplugged wells may and often do become pathways for methane and other fluids to the aquifer or surface. And well plugs have a life span, they are not a permanent; they age and as the age they deteriorate, shrink and fail over time. There are many factors that influence the effectiveness of a well plug including workmanship, pressure, temperature and more. 

It’s important to note, the homes in this neighborhood are situated in a historic oil field known as ‘Four Mile Oil and Gas Field’ where hundreds of wells were drilled long before the existence of a regulatory framework

While many independent oil producers face bankruptcy due to current low oil prices, Dime Energy Inc., told residents the company plans to drill up to 400 wells.

During a recent meeting residents expressed concerns over their safety, real estate values due to the observed risk related with the gas explosion and air quality due to the long-drawn-out flaring (burning off) of natural gas coming from the oil wells which is impacting the air quality. Since the explosion residents have heard strange noises and they have felt their homes shake.

While the investigation into the cause of the explosion continues residents questions surrounding their safety are lingering. The cause has not been determined, and DEC has turned down requests from citizens to meet with the public to answer questions about the incident and explain what steps if any will be taken to reduce the risks.

Check out our blog and visit Releasing Methane for updates as we follow organizations, regulators, local, state and other official’s in their response to the Allegheny Explosion.

 

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Above: 832 Interstate Parkway, Bradford, PA, 2010

The Butler’s were both home and injured when their home at 832 Interstate Parkway exploded in 2010.

After the Butler’s home was destroyed by the gas explosion on December 2010, Thomas Federspiel stepped outside to shovel snow from his driveway at 10 Helen Lane, Bradford, PA on February 28, 2011 and his home exploded.

After an extensive investigation into the cause of the explosion that destroyed Federspiel’s home the Department of Environmental Protection determined the cause which was gas migration associated with nearby oil and gas wells. Federspiel’s home was only 12 miles away from the recent home explosion in Allegheny, Twp. NY.

 This link goes to the Images and information from the Allegany, NY presentation on Jan. 16, 2020

Dimes Energy speaks during the Allegany Town Board Metting 12-10-2019. Video: https://youtu.be/EbttcMIqICs?t=674

Where it all began!

Drilled in 1859 releasing  methane in 2019!20190615_174655

Day 3

Today we visited an oil field drilled in 1860. And checked to see of they were releasing methane. Here's the video!

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