Thursday, October 24, 2013

I can't BEAR to see NC fracked !

Hello I am really wanting to fight fracking and try to make people realize how important the land is to us ! We need Clean Air and water for All us animals , even the human animals !
My human came up with a couple outfits for me . I like wearing bright colors !
But I need a name ?
What do you think would be good ?
Leave a name here for me or go to the page and find my picture there and give me a name !

Also I will need a sign too so if a cute  comment for me comes to your mind , Let me know ?
I do have the one we used for the title though , if no one comes up with a better one !

Thanks for stopping by and please share this blog with others . It's as easy as clicking a button or 2 :>)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

MEC meeting reports Sept 27/13

WOW Diane has out done herself this time what a fabulous report !
grab a cup of coffee and give it a read ...

Notes from Mining & Energy Commission meeting September 27, 2013)
Chair, James Womack (Lee County Commissioner); Members Absent:  Charlotte Mitchell, Charles Taylor
Why EPA grant to test surface waters was refused; Frack wastewater disposal complex; No way to establish efficient gas-oil ratios with fracking; Who defines drilling units, industry or state?; Wellhead requirements rule approved; Setbacks, a very hot potato; Baseline testing for every water well within 5,000-ft....or just 2,000-ft...of gas well; Using tracers to spot contamination; Local Government Study Group report sent to Legislature; Compulsory Pooling Study Group report “tabled” in DENR; Funding Levels Study Group report sent to Legislature 
DENR Update on $222,000 EPA Grant, Tom Reeder, Director, Div. of Water Resources
Several articles in Raleigh News & Observer put DENR on the defensive to justify why they returned EPA money.  Chair Womack invited Tim Reeder to give “official” DENR response to MEC.  Reeder claimed (a) that the two-year grant was non-specific about components it would be testing, (b) surface water data collected does not have “shelf life” and the industry won’t arrive for several years, (c) grant didn’t precisely target the “exact” drilling area [an unknown], and (d) did not include groundwater [the study focused on surface waters].  The grant application was completed in March  2013 by the Div. of Water Quality, which no longer exists; and the section that wrote the grant has been eliminated.  He said only “current” data counts [NOTE: DENR keeps historic surface water ambient testing data to monitor change overtime, but apparently not interested in the fracking area.]  He was clearly incensed about the audacity of these grants; his presentation misrepresented several things detailed in the actual grant application [available online].  Reeder said that MEC and Div. of Energy, Mining & Land Resources were missing as named partners in the grant application [so was the Easter Bunny], and the grant did propose a coordinated study with EPA and USGS.  He said there is enough money and staff available in DENR to do a more targeted study [without EPA and USGS meddling?] closer to when drilling actually begins.  And, he said DENR Secretary John Skvarla wants to save taxpayer dollars and doesn’t want to fund worthless studies that hire temporary workers.  Vik Rao said the proposal was well-intentioned, but should have involved MEC.  Amy Pickle said there are only a few surface water ambient monitoring stations in the Deep River area, which was a concern raised in the 2012 DENR study report on fracking.  Ray Covington said he agrees with Reeder’s reasoning. 
From Public Comment:  George Matthis: River Guardian Foundation, EPA is flexible, as long as you meet goals.  Why turn down this grant?  Sends strong signal to public that Legislature is going after a job.  Citizens deserve better environmental protection, not going backwards.  Said MEC should request an independent commission to look into DENR.
Terese Vick:  Issue about Reeder, lots has happened that we will not know…probably political motive rather than budgetary.   Never heard a DENR Div. Director say have “plenty of money;” DENR constantly saying they can’t afford public meetings.  Perception and reality of environmental regulation are two separate things under this Administration.  If DENR said grant was in conflict with MEC, why was not MEC contacted before DENR refusal? Why wouldn’t this testing be beneficial to MEC?  Don’t think you know the whole story, trace the emails and breadcrumbs. 
Committee Reports:
1.  Water and Waste Management Committee; Chair, Dr. Vikram RaoMore thoughtful discussion on water and waste disposal rules, and further work on a white paper that considers the ability of industry to comply with wastewater disposal.  The disposal issue might keep industry away, per Rao.  New UIC Class II wells (injection deep underground) are currently prohibited in NC and Rao feels injection wells are inappropriate for this industry.  Reuse of fracking water will probably be required in the rules, but at the end of the process, how will remainder be handled.  Rao said at the end of fracking water reuse cycle, each operation would need to dispose of about a million gallons of concentrated solution, or about 24,000 barrels.  Rao has investigated commercial Reverse Osmosis facilities that could handle, but then still have a concentrate after this treatment.  If final concentration is not injected underground, and if ocean discharge is an option for North Carolina operators, treatment at a permitted Centralized Waste Treatment (CWT) would still be required by law as a precursor step.  His view, wastewater from oil and gas operations in the Triassic Basin can be treated at reasonable costs. Womack said NC could end up with an NPDES discharge permit that would allow them to dump into public waters [is he referring to ocean?].
2.  Oil and Gas Administration Committee; Chair, Charles Holbrook.   News from PA: A new way to collect rainwater from drilling pad to use in on-site fracturing by installing a subterranean liner system with manholes going down into compartments to collect lots of rainwater from pad and also capture diesel fuel and spills.  No data collection as yet, but this is promising idea for rain capture and reuse.  One-inch of rain on a drilling pad of 160,000 sq. ft. can generate 1.2 million gallons of water and could be reused for fracking.  
Holbrook made the case in a white paper that the regulation contained in SL 2012-143 requiring the establishment of efficient gas-oil ratios should be removed from relevant state statutes.  Holbrook said this is not practicable for NC [antiquated statutory language relating to conventional oil deposits, not unconventional gas extraction] and impossible to fix a standard ratio.  He said that operators will preferentially develop any oilier zones found to exist in a basin for obvious economic reasons, but they have no control over the hydrocarbon mix that comes out of any particular zone that has been hydraulically fractured. Therefore, attempting to regulate efficient gas-oil ratios is not an option for fracking. Committee voted to ask Legislature to remove that language from SL 2012:143. 
The Committee heard presentations on how other states are establishing “drilling blocks” so staff can begin drafting rules.  Holbrook cautioned that the State can’t dictate “specifics” of surface areas...the geology will determine the drill-out area.  Per Holbrook, the length of horizontal run will determine the acreage of a unit.  He noted that states have modified their drilling layout over time as new technology evolves.  Terminology: Drilling unit or drilling block?  Ken Taylor said “Drilling unit” means the area that can be efficiently and economically drained by one well. Also, drilling unit is usually defined as the area being regulated by the permit.  Note:  Plats showing drilling area are not filed with County Register of Deeds, but they will be submitted to the permit regulator (DENR).
The Wellhead Requirements rule set was sent to Rules Committee, approved, and was an agenda item for MEC.  Holbrook discussed the three-page rule that includes wellhead assemblies, well maintenance and site security, including placement of workzone and cautionary signage, fencing, equipment storage, gates, and permittee contact information. 
MEC voted Sept. 27 to approve the Wellhead Requirements rule set, as modified.
3.  Environmental Standards Committee; chair, George Howard.  Set-backs major concern for several meetings, and trying to find objective criteria, plus looking at other states.  Seems that 500-ft. is preferred, but struggling with set-backs from private water wells; 1,000-ft. may be too much because it could prohibit this industry. Rules will cover setbacks from dwelling units, property boundary, property boundary outside the “leased” block, public roads, surface waters, tank batteries and reuse water pits, Other states measure distance from wellhead, not edge of well-pad.  Colorado has 500-ft. standard, but also has 1,000-ft. from high-occupancy buildings...few of these in Lee County drilling area.  Staff should have a draft next meeting.  Womack mentioned waivers (by consent) from landowners to reduce setbacks to a minimum standard for “safety,” perhaps 150-ft.  Question of whether should also “prohibit” drilling in areas of concern.  Stakeholders suggested that a owner-granted “waiver” should be registered with Registrar of Deeds.  Holbrook suggested using Lee County GIS to visualize the various setbacks, and see what area is left.  Womack said setbacks are only for “health and safety,” there should be a rationale either thru science or economy.   Marva Price asked if MEC can apply to EPA for grant to find the science behind setbacks, since none seem to exist?  Womack said good idea [even though DENR just returned two grants?] 
Baseline and Subsequent Testing Requirements rule discussion, led by George Howard. The Rules Committee raised several issues for MEC discussion: 
(a) Can the rule allow one regulated permittee to use baseline water well data collected by an earlier permittee who took samples within the specified timeframe and within the intersecting radii of 5,000-ft.?  Jennie, from Attorney General’s (AG) office said there is concern about the statutory provision that all operators within 5,000-ft. radius must test wells, therefore can law “allow” data sharing between different operators.  AG research showed there is a separation between lease agreement and 5,000-ft. baseline testing vs. MEC’s purview and authority for “regulatory program” on granting a permit.  Womack: MEC’s regulatory authority could allow use of other data, but won’t know where contamination comes from, and who is accountable.  He referenced water hauling in PA when private wells were contaminated. Vik Rao: There was no baseline testing in PA, that was the problem.  Rao suggested allowing the second company to access well data from first company (if they agree); this rule is for baseline testing...access to data does not absolve presumptive liability.  Amy Pickle:  Establishment of presumptive liability will be decided in courts, not by MEC.  If well data collected by Co. A is then used by Co. B and that well shows degradation, the teasing out of which company is liable will go to court.  Operators will decide if they want to collect own data, or share.  Womack:  Maybe better to have ALL operators complete baseline testing to protect own interests.  Rao: Backed off his position on allowing sharing of data.  Consensus to forget data sharing, and require all operators to test all wells within their area of operation. 
(b) Reducing current Presumptive Liability of 5,000-ft. for water contamination. Charles Holbrook prepared a white paper on 5,000-ft. baseline testing, when most states use 1,500-ft.  Holbrook said the 5,000-ft. statutory rule [SL 2012:143] makes him “uncomfortable” since it is not based on an established practice, or standard.  After two decades of fracking there is not one documented case where fluid has migrated to shallow freshwater zones, he said.  The only leaking possible is through a ruptured casing; virtually impossible to move fluid to surface.  In Holbrook’s explanation, companies model the zones of fracture and gallons of fluid, sand, water to prop fractures open and treat the rock and water to optimize that fracture.  If runs amuck...if fracture expands beyond the model zone, that dramatically increases volume of water required and the pressure drops; therefore, operator knows immediately there is problem.  Technical aspect, even if could pump water, he says it won’t reach freshwater zone. When pumping into fracking zone, operator stops pumping when reaches “nirvana” so can get gas flow back. Holbrook’s bottom line: the larger you make this [presumptive liability] distance the more potential for legal problems.  Rao: Reason to believe 5,000-ft. requirement came about because of 5,000-ft. expected distance from lateral wells?  Holbrook responded that a “sound science” testing regime, would be 3x the width of drilling block, therefore 1,500-ft. to allow wide buffers.  PA got in trouble because of no baseline testing.  Rao disagreed saying studies suggest 2,000-ft. for baseline testing, and largest distance is 2,500-ft. in other states.  Holbrook would like MEC to petition the Legislature to reduce the presumptive liability (and therefore baseline well testing) from 5,000-ft. to 2,000-ft.  Womack suggested using Lee County GIS data to show wells within 5,000-ft. and wells within 2,000-ft. of a sample area; but continue with assumption of 5,000-ft. for rule-making.  
(c) Tracers and Environmental Defense Fund.  The current draft rule allows for use of tracer technology (if approved by DENR) mixed in the hydraulic fracturing fluid at an individual gas well, that would act as a substitute for subsequent testing using the full suite of chemicals; except even if this case the operator must test for dissolved methane, ethane and propane.  This proposal for using tracers as a surrogate for full secondary testing, has raised concern by Environmental Defense Fund, which works closely with the industry.  David Kelly, EDF, said tracers are more generally defined for oil and gas; this rule would limit testing via tracers to fracking fluid, instead of surface uses that could be larger players in contamination.  Further, Kelly said don’t replace the proposed “canary” list for subsequent water tests with these tracers, since it is not a surrogate.  Womack said he felt tracers are only necessary to point out the guilty party, and NOT a replacement for a testing using a subset chemicals.  Womack says wants to “incentivize” [actually not a word] tracers, but not mandate; therefore staff should rewrite this portion of rule...use of tracer is encouraged.  Rao to work on “canary” list to test chemicals, not just at wellbore but consider spills around well pad from storage and other sources of contamination.  Pickle: Concern about having a “thorough” canary list for surface spills as well.  Ken Taylor: Read original list for baseline and second test (if stuff travels to water well within 12 months, by the second test, it will show up), based on Rao’s work.  Rao: Will add additional aromatics to canary list and meet with tracer people.
Back to staff, more discussion at next Environmental Standards Committee meeting, October 24.
4.  Rules Committee; chair, Amy Pickle.  Wellhead requirements were discussed and approved (see #2).  All rules will reference “permittee” instead of “operator.”  She clarified the use of “shall” instead of “will” in rules.  “Shall” implies actors and actual action that will be judged vs. “will” when there is no action.  Rules Committee will provide more rule language guidance.  Womack asked who is keeping the list of what statutory changes are needed.  Pickle said that is tied to individual rules and DENR staff assigned to the Rules Committee should keep this summary list. 
5.  Study Group Reports
(a) Local Government Study Group, Womack reporting for Charles Taylor.  No further updates and remanded to staff for sending to Legislature. 
MEC voted unanimously to approve release of report [but not to “approve” the content of the report, so individual members could dissent.  Who?] 
(b) Compulsory Pooling Study Group, Ray Covington.   Said the report achieved a number of positive land-owner protections that Legislature should consider.  This report is routed through DENR to write a cover letter and send to Legislature. 
Note #1:  Covington did NOT say out loud that their recommendation would allow an operator to seek a pooling order when 90% of drilling acreage is under a lease...because it could actually force a majority of affected landowners (think residential subdivisions, lots of owners) into the pool.
Note #2:  DENR knows this is a hot potato...a potential “taking” of property for gas industry is sure to rile up VOTERS.  They say they are waiting to move this to Legislature until “drilling unit” rules are established...probably after the Nov. ELECTIONS.
(c) Funding Levels and Sources Study Group, Jane Lewis Raymond.  Recommended a two-part impact fee for local government:  first, a $2,000 flat fee; second, a fee ($1,800) based on the “stage” of fracture...up to 30 stages per well, which could result in $50,000/per well.  This would be placed in a state “trust fund” and each local government would have to apply for funds.  Since local government will feel impacts immediately, the report suggests they could:  (1)  apply for damages through state “trust fund"; (2) Municipalities can create Local Excess Agreements to have gas industry pay for road maintenance; (3) Charge property tax on wellhead equipment through ad valorum taxation.  
To recover the estimated $3 million annually in state costs to run this permitting program, suggest establishing a 1.5% severance tax, which is in addition to existing state severance tax of 5% on the value of produced natural gas liquids.  Since there is no data to estimate North Carolina gas reserves/potential, the group used Arkansas as an example, which applies a 1.5% severance tax to recover costs to the state...they are not looking to generate revenue.  Womack said this report is for cost-recovery only, not as a vehicle to generate revenue for North Carolina.  The final section of report reviewed a bond structure to recover costs for abandonment and reclamation. Those bonds would include a surface owner bond, geophysical exploration bond, well plugging and abandonment bond, and a site reclamation bond.
MEC voted unanimously to approve release of report to Legislature.
(d) Chemical Disclosure and Trade Secrets, Jim Womack.  Says he will bring his “revised” rule and recommendations back to MEC for comment October 25.  
Diana Hales, retired

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Insults Fuel my Research !

Sticks and Stones may break my bones , but insults
Peace me off !

I posted a comment at an article months ago and never went back to see if anyone replied to it ?
Then I happened on it looking for other information .

When I saw I had left a comment before there , I also saw this reply to me...
from PParker "Terica, shut up, pack up and move away from this country. we are going to drill for oil until there is none left. then we are going to move to something else. Maybe in about 150 years we can have cars that are powered by dandelions or sail power. until then keep your tree hugging liberal(socialist) comment to yourself. Why aren't you working? Do you possibly work for the administration or are you violating your employers internet policies?"

Someone else replied to him " Dumbest response ever. Are you really accusing someone of breaking company policy by being on the internet at work, when you are on the internet at the exact same time? Try to be less attacking and use less name calling and people might actually take you seriously some time. "

After stewing on the insults I considered writing him back ,but decided to just reply back with Thanks to the commenter to him .

"Thanks Tommy2 for your comment . I will not bother to respond to PP's insults . I have found the ones that tend to through insults often work for the O&G themselves or just don't educate themselves about what is happening in the New World ! Insults like these tend to just make me curious . So for the fun of it I googled "Dandelion fuel " well there are 7 weeds they do use for biofuel but not Dandelions . But I did find out they do make tires from them ,lol. Then for the heck of it I searched for "wind powered cars" there were many ... now I think I will write a blog on it , maybe call it " Insults fuel my research !"

Seven Weeds That Could Power Your Car

tires made with Dandelions

this was very interesting too !
Fuel of the Future by Henry Ford
"There's enough alcohol in one year's yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for one hundred years." - Henry Ford

SO just remember if they are throwing out insults , it is probably because they are too stupid to do otherwise !


Friday, October 4, 2013

NC Refuses EPA grant $, Fracking smoke and mirrors

Wish they'd stand by this image !
Oct 1, 2013, Raleigh:  NC Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy heard unapologetic explanation from Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources on “why” [here comes the spin!] they turned down $500,000 in EPA research grants for a wetlands monitoring network in Piedmont and coastal plain, and a surface water study specifically in fracking area; “surprising” DENR decision on Compulsory Pooling; and progress report from Mining & Energy Commission (MEC) on rules, and studies [Funding Study puts a price-tag on costs of this industry]
1. The EPA awards $500,000 in grants to DENR, returned...because don’t need them?
(a) One of two grants being turned back is a $359,710 grant to establish a long-term wetlands monitoring network in the Piedmont and coastal plains regions. That's work that would greatly inform the state's analysis of requests to dredge and fill wetlands.  John Dorney, who two years ago retired as the long-time head of the state's wetlands regulatory unit within DENR, explained that his former unit relied on the grant funding to make its scientific analysis possible. That unit is being disbanded by this DENR administration when its current grant funding expires.  The current head of DENR's water resources division says the money is not needed to carry out the department's new priorities as defined by DENR Secretary John Skvarla.  Water Resources Division Director Tom Reeder said, "Quite simply the grants were not needed for the division to meet our core mission...We're simply slimming down."  (from NC League of Conservation Voters email)
(These two paragraphs from the grant application reveal why DENR top brass doesn’t want actual “data”)
This grant proposes to formally establish a long term wetland monitoring network in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont ecoregions of North Carolina (NC). By establishing such a wetland monitoring network, long term data can be used to track changes in wetland condition/function over time and models can be developed to predict wetland condition as long term data is collected. This project will establish monitoring stations that can begin to produce information for evaluating climate change implications by looking at consistent changes in long term data across wetland types. By collecting long term data for various wetland types and comparing that data to data collected on a shorter term basis, reference wetlands can be established. This data can be used by regulatory agencies to determine potential success criteria for restored wetlands.
By analyzing previously collected wetland data along with the long term wetland data collected by this project, informed management decisions can be made to improve water quality in NC.  Finally, analyzed monitoring data for informing regulatory programs, watershed plans, and guiding restoration efforts by developing a consistent method to tracking and sharing that data. Maps displaying monitored wetlands sites can be selected and all monitoring for that site can be displayed. A database of wetland profile data will be developed such that they represent reference wetlands by type and can be used to guide restoration projects.
(b) The other $222,595 grant being declined is for monitoring water quality in areas that could be impacted by potential fracking operations. It would establish surface water quality "baselines" against which to compare potential future contamination. Gathering such data is viewed by environmental resource professionals as an essential part of effectively regulating the potential impacts of fracking.  This baseline monitoring was a key recommendation in the state's own 2012 report on oil and gas exploration issues. Refusing to accept funding to carry out that monitoring is nearly inexplicable. (from NC League of Conservation Voters email) 
(These two paragraphs from the EPA grant application reveal why DENR doesn’t want this data, either): 
With regards to environmental impacts, the [DENR 2012] study found that in the Sanford sub-basin, there appears to be less separation between groundwater used for drinking and the gas-producing layer of shale than is present in most other gas producing states. The study also found that water quality problems associated with oil and gas operations in general are often traced to either the production phase of well operations or to waste management and disposal activities.  Unlike other construction projects, oil and gas exploration and production activities are exempt from federal Clean Water Act stormwater requirements.
Little data exists with regards to resource inventory or water quality in the area of interest.  Establishment of a monitoring network in the area of proposed hydraulic fracturing will provide much needed information that can be used to assess water quality conditions and to evaluate the existence of any sensitive resources that could be present. This grant would identify and characterize reference wetlands and streams in the Triassic Basins to be used as goals for remediation of wetlands and streams that may be impacted during the hydraulic fracturing.
(c)  And the spin from DENR Assistant Secretary, Mitch Gillespie (former NC House Representative, and a chief instigator of fracking legislation).  He said the April 2013 grant applications had no “focus;” DENR’s wetlands section has recently been moved [out of sight, probably will be gutted]; data collection begins too soon without “direction” on what specifics will be tested.  Said MEC’s baseline testing rules are under development, anyway, and thus data collected by these EPA grants might not be consistent, and would be “too old” to be useful when fracking actually starts after 2015, and...SAVES taxpayer dollars.  The Facts:  The EPA grant was for surface water sampling (streams, creeks, wetlands in this area) and NOT groundwater from private wells.  The MEC baseline testing only applies to private water wells...NOT surface waters.  Two very different pieces of the water puzzle.   Why would data be “too” old?  Real science relies on past data to measure change over time, to investigate and mitigate damage...formerly under DENR’s purview, but this is a McCrory crowd that wants to do “less” while permitting more.  Perhaps the real reason to give back EPA money is so they don’t actually do the “science” in the Triassic basin that has had limited surface water research.  Also, Fig. 2 in the application shows a Conceptual Model of Methane Transport from an underlying natural gas reservoir to groundwater and surface water.  The diagram shows rogue fractures into aquifer.  Hmm, this absolutely raises fracking concerns.  MEC and DENR want fracking: These studies might reveal facts; so don’t take the money!  Rep Mike Stone (Lee Co) wanted DENR to provide public assurances [Stone seeking 2014 re-election?] that “old data” is a sufficient reason not to do these studies.  Why not postpone the start of grant instead of refuse it?  Gillespie said that is what he should have bad [like a fox].
2.  DENR delays action on Compulsory Pooling recommendations...until after the Nov 2014 elections? Gillespie summarized some of the recommendations of the Study Group and how various states have handled compulsory pooling (PA does not allow; other states have various percentages of voluntary leased acreage, or owners—not the same thing).  The Study Group recommended a 90% voluntary leased acreage threshold before the gas operator could apply for a Compulsory Pooling order.  [That 90% leased acreage might actually force a majority of small land owners into a pool if the drilling unit encompasses a large subdivision, a likely scenario.]  Gillespie said DENR wants to see the MEC rules completed, including the drilling unit size, spacing requirements, and setbacks before taking any action to accept the recommendations and move it to the Legislature for drafting law.  The rules are scheduled for “completion and adoption” by MEC in October 2014, then 60-days public comment which would place this front-and-center before the November election. And, there is the other “controversial” provision that would force each compelled property owner to pay a portion [estimated at thousands of dollars] of production costs.  This issue is about the “taking” of property and, my guess, will remain “buried” until after the November 2014 elections.   Our job is to make this a central issue in the 2014 election.
3. Mining & Energy Commission Report, Jim Womack, chair.  Several MEC members attended and reported on their Committee rules and Study Group reports required by the Legislature.  Womack said rule writing should be completed by Sept 2014, out for public comment in Sept-Oct 2014 [just before elections]; and sent to Rules Review Commission by November 20, 2014.  There are 131 discrete rules to be written; of that 51 are currently being researched, 23 are out of committee, and 14 have been adopted, by consensus, at the MEC.  Womack mentioned some of the challenges: chemical disclosure/trade secrets, components for environmental testing, configuring a drilling unit, rules on leasing, best handling of wastewater (and use/or not of Class II injection wells), disposal of wastewater.  Ray Covington covered the Compulsory Pooling on DENR hold.  Charles Taylor reported for Local Government Study Group: setbacks should not STIFLE industry, zoning stays with local governments as long as county/town doesn’t exclude the industry; could authorize special permitting in zoned areas to accommodate this industry; need legislation on gathering lines [look for 100s of miles of these snaking across property, roadways, streams in Lee and Chatham].
Funding Levels Study Group, Jane Lewis-Raymond.  After research with NC DOT, Institute of Government, and others; expected costs to the state for “managing” this program is $3 million/year in personnel and equipment costs, primarily NC DOT and NC DENR.  How to recover those costs? Apply a severance tax on the gas pumped out of the ground.  Used the State of Arkansas experience since ZERO data on NC volume of gas.  Arkansas’ severance tax of 1.5% covers their state costs.  This rate would not generate extra revenue for State general fund.  As to local government impacts, the report suggests leaving it up to the locals.  Towns can work directly with the gas operators on Excess Maintenance Road permitting and bonding to pay for city road damages (counties do not have that option since State maintains all other roads).  Reports suggest that other local impact fees for hazmat training and emergency management costs can be collected based on charges per fracking stage ($1,800 initial fee, plus $2,000 per a length of frack, resulting in up to $50,000 per well.)  Where will the money go?  Either to a state fund that local governments apply to, or directly to the local government.  Probably the state will want to collect and distribute.  Some happy talk about McDonald’s workers earning higher wages (above fed minimum) in PA because can’t get enough cheap labor in the fracking area.  Womack:  Definitely some positive economic impact in the local communities.
4.  Bonus: Report from “new” Environmental Management Commission. As you recall, the Legislature “fired” all members of the Environmental Management Commission on June 30 so Governor McCrory could appoint his folks.  Atty. Benne Hutson, the new EMC chair said that 4 of the 15 members were re-appointed; 9 are new, 2 more to be appointed by Governor.  They met Sept 12 for first time.  Hutson will be an active voter (not just breaking ties) on this EMC.  Said two main issues:  stormwater control: current rules need revisions at the federal level.  Concerned about stormwater at fracking operations since there will be greater water volume than other operations.  The NPDES permit program for wastewater discharge into surface waters (rivers, streams, creeks) exempts gas operations.  [NOTE: the EPA granted NC authority in 1975 to issue NPDES permits].  Hutson o said current NC rules do not allow onsite disposal of drilling muds...another item MEC is considering.  Air Quality, no need to worry, we are good!  Additional state rules NOT required because Legislature passed Senate 781 that restricts state and local governments from adopting anything more stringent than federal standard. EPA will be issuing revised air quality rules in 2014. He mentioned the fact that truck trips and emissions from this industry should be monitored when fracking is active. 
Diana Hales, retired

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bill Huston's Blog (Binghamton NY): Bradford County PA, the place with the sweetest wa...

This blog is amazing how much information is there .
Bill Huston's Blog (Binghamton NY): Bradford County PA, the place with the sweetest wa...: Bradford County PA , the place with the sweetest water on Planet Earth is now a massive, toxic, INDUSTRIAL WASTE STORAGE DUMP.  

Our Lee county Commissioner ? /NC- MEC chairman Jim Womack is friends & Partners with the commissioner of Bradford Co PA , in a group called "America's Counties for Energy Independence "
They are Promoting fracking our counties with funding from Our counties through Dues .
They are not there for the people but the Business.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013