Sunday, July 27, 2014

Some Fracking news in my emails

Thanks so much to Therese Vick and all others that keep me informed ! 
I was a few days behind on my emails and my G-sons are coming today ... So I am trying to multitask . Read my emails while waiting and compile all the great links shared . 

1. Oil drilling in North Dakota raises concerns about radioactive waste - LA Times

2. Federal Report Details Chemicals Used At Drilling Site - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)
 http://www.nbc4i.com/story/26085529/federal-report-details-chemicals-used-at-drilling-site

NC's rules are similar. Who will police this?
3. Joel Freedman: Special interests are the only winners in hydrofracking - Opinion - Brighton-Pittsford Post - Brighton, NY http://www.brightonpittsfordpost.com/article/20140726/OPINION/140729736/2011/OPINION 

4.Is There Any Scientific Study - Not Sponsored by Industry - that Asserts Fracking is Safe? | NationofChange http://www.nationofchange.org/there-any-scientific-study-not-sponsored-industry-asserts-fracking-safe-1406212082 

5.Highlands, NC | The Highlander Newspaper | Highlands, North Carolina - Fracking raises public health concerns 
http://www.highlandsnews.com/view/full_story_free/25482557/article-Fracking-raises-public-health-concerns?instance=lead_story

6. Speak Out Against Fracking at the Public Hearing, Monday, August 25th, 5-9PM , Rockingham County High School ,180 High School Rd., Reidsville, NC For more information: Go to WWW.FRACKFREENC.ORG Or contact Rosalyn Fielding at rosalynsfielding@gmail.com or Kathy Rigsbee at kmrigsbee@gmail.com 

7. This is a short but REALLY smart video ! Thanks Ed Harris for sharing it everywhere !





Fracking 101 from Dear Governor Hickenlooper on Vimeo.


8. Penn. company illegally trying to purchase mineral rights in NC - WNCN: News, Weather , 
With few rules, or none at all, this is the kind of activity we can expect/ http://www.wncn.com/story/26108348/wncn-investigates-pa-company-illegally-trying-to-purchase-mineral-rights-for-gas-exploration

9. This was awesome Solidarity here !
 Harnett Co. neighbors sound off on fracking - WNCN: News, Weather 
http://www.wncn.com/story/26109383/harnett-co-neighbors-sound-off-on-fracking

10. http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=news/committee-democrats-release-new-report-detailing-hydraulic-fracturing-products

11. Go here and find out LOTS of updates on fracking ... news events and more ... Sign up for them too . Clean Water for NC keeps it filled with information 
http://eepurl.com/ZFbtX  Like ... the BIG MEC MEETINGS 
  • Aug 20, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Raleigh Public Hearing on MEC's Oil & Gas Rules, NCSU McKimmon Center (1101 Gorman St, Raleigh)
  • Aug 22, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Sanford Public Hearing on MEC's Oil and Gas Rules, 1801 Nash St, Sanford
  • Aug 25, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Reidsville Public Hearing on MEC's Oil and Gas Rules, Rockingham Co High School, 180 High School Rd 
  • Another pending in WNC 
12. Pennsylvania Auditor: State Department of Environmental Protection Was Unprepared For Shale Industry’s Growth | EcoWatch http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/22/pennsylvania-auditor-shale-industry/ 

13.Couple of boo-boos in the article- the company is wanting to lease not buy as far as I know, Therese Vick.
 http://www.indyweek.com/triangulator/archives/2014/07/22/fracking-company-makes-offers-in-durham

14. Observer-Reporter | Air monitors provided to residents near Marcellus sites
http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20140719/NEWS080101/140719418#.U8wxhfldWm2


Mickey Gniadek remembers the exact day when he stepped outside his Finleyville home and felt like a fish out of water. It was Dec. 4, 2013.
Gniadek, who had no pre-existing conditions, gasped for air and nearly collapsed from what he believes was a suffocating mix of gases in the atmosphere.
“When I came out the door I noticed there was a heavy white cloud that just hung across (the property). … It smelled very acidic,” said Gniadek, who lives on Cardox Road.
Gniadek never learned what caused the incident, but he hopes to glean new findings from an air-quality monitor placed inside his home. More than 100 people in Washington County have received an air monitor, free of cost, from a public health and research group called the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project.

Okay as you can see I get a LOT of great stuff sent to me . 

SEND Now questions on Fracking STORMWATER

Dear Friends there are many ways Fracking can Endanger Us , our land and future . Storm-waters are a topic most do not think about . 

We need to Speak out on proposed stormwater fracking rules!
The NC Environmental Management Commission is seeking public comment on five fracking rules, including one that sets standards for management of stormwater on fracking sites. (This is different from the package of 120+ rules proposed by the Mining & Energy Commission for public comment in August 2014). 

A public hearing was held on the package on July 1, at the Dennis Wicker Center. It had a pretty good turn out .
But we still need to write in too!
The EMC will accept written comments through August 1, 2014 at evan.kane@ncdenr.gov, or mailed to Evan Kane, Division of Water Resources, 
1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1611.

Keely Wood gave me permission to share Her letter she sent in to the address above ....

STORMWATER questions and comments

Thank you for trying to write rules for the NC residents who are in the shale region, including my family.
I don’t think the rules are detailed enough for limited liability gas and oil companies who will be drilling in North Carolina. The large companies have no interest in this small shale region, we will be experiencing Wildcatters, especially since the bonds are so low. Hazardous wastes are much more likely to contaminate storm water during drilling and production exploration. Specific rules detailing all industrial machinery used during this time should be listed.
 Self-reporting and self-inspection are an insult to the NC residents. Like a fox watching the hen house as they say. We deserve state inspections and the strictest enforcement. Where are the fines listed for being non-compliant on storm water? Will a tax be levied to create a storm water management office for this dirty industry?
 Thousands of miles of pipe lines will impact water and land with hard surfaces, which increases storm water runoff. Will storm water regulations oversee gathering lines and pipelines? Does storm water management rules include soil stock piles, access roads, borrowing pits, air compressor stations that grow from 1 engine to 5?
 Will access roads with heavy diesel truck traffic, be required to be seeded, limed, and fertilized to help storm water?
 Imagine another hurricane hitting Lee County or another tornado? Can gas and oil companies declare acts of GOD and pass their mitigation and costs onto landowners, state and federal governments?
Stop protecting the industry and start protecting the residents of NC

Keely Wood
Hide Away farm
Sanford NC

Here is part of a fact-sheet put together by Grady McCallie to briefly summarizes the proposed EMC rules and shares points we think are worth raising . 

Summary of the proposed rulesThe EMC’s package includes five rules:

Rule 15A NCAC 02H .1030 requires control of stormwater at sites related to shale gas extraction. This is the most high profile of the five and is described in more detail below.

Rule 15A NCAC 02T .0113 amends an existing rule to clarify that drilling muds and cuttings from fracking cannot be disposed of by spreading them around on-site (in contrast to muds and cuttings from directionally-drilled utility lines, for example). 
This is a good change, because fracking produces much greater volumes of drilling waste, and the waste is more likely to include corrosive minerals.

Rule 15A NCAC 02T .1001 amends an existing rule to clarify that fracking operations that reuse fracking fluid are not “closed-loop recycle systems,” in the same sense as, say, recirculating systems for industrial cooling water. This is a good change, since the rule was not written for fracking operations. 

Rule 15A NCAC 02T .1501 amends an existing rule to clarify that rock cuttings and muds from fracking operations are not “petroleum contaminated soil” and may not be disposed of at sites permitted for disposal or remediation of petroleum contaminated soils. Instead, fracking wastes will be managed under rules being proposed by the NC Mining & Energy Commission. This is good.

Rule 15A NCAC 02U .0113 amends an existing rule to clarify that reuse of fracking fluids must comply with a waste management plan approved under Mining & Energy Commission rules, not under conventional beneficial reuse rules for reclaimed wastewater. This is good.

Comments on the proposed stormwater rule, 15A NCAC 02H .1030
Good: North Carolina is right to regulate stormwater from fracking operations. Not only is this mandated by S.L.2012-143 (S820), but it is also essential, since federal rules in this area are extremely weak. Thanks to industry lobbying, the only time an operator must obtain a federal stormwater permit is if it discharges a ‘reportable quantity’ of pollutants, or if the stormwater violates a water quality standard. With no one checking, the chance of triggering that 
requirement is low. For practical purposes, the proposed state rule will be the only control on stormwater.
Good stormwater management is important to protect water quality everywhere, but it is particularly important in the area where fracking seems most likely to happen – Lee County in the Deep River watershed – because public water systems have intakes not far downstream from where stormwater will enter the river system. 
Good: The proposed rule wisely requires that, during construction of a wellpad, operators keep toxic chemicals and other pollutants where they will not get mixed with stormwater, .1030(c)(1). 
That is important, because once pollutants are mixed with stormwater, it is virtually impossible to separate them out again. 
Bad: The proposed rule does not, but should, impose the same requirement during drilling of the well, operation, production, and closure. Hazardous chemicals are much more likely to contaminate stormwater during drilling and production operations than during wellpad construction, but the proposed rule does not address this threat. 
(This concern may be partly addressed by a rule proposed by the Mining & Energy Commission, 15A NCAC 05H .1403, which requires that wellpads be designed not to discharge, but a solution or cross-reference should be 
built into this rule, too).
 Bad: The proposed rule requires operators to control runoff from a one inch rainfall, .1030(c)(4)(A). That standard means it is legal for larger storms to overwhelm the stormwater capture and treatment system and discharge directly to streams. To allow discharges of stormwater from a chemically-intensive drilling operation during large storms presents unacceptable risk to public health and the environment downstream. 
 Inadequate: The proposed rule appears to require that any discharges from a stormwater pond on a fracking site must draw from well under the surface, to avoid taking along any hydrocarbons floating on top, .1030(c)(4)(E). That’s a start, but it does not require skimming of hydrocarbons from the pond, so they may eventually escape when the water level drops. Also, this provision does not address pollutants that are water soluble. 
 Inadequate: The proposed rule states that state regulators shall establish ‘self-reporting’ and ‘self –inspection’ requirements to ensure that the other standards are met, .1030(c)(5). The rule provides no details about these, and there is little reason to believe that self-regulation will deliver meaningful compliance with the rule. Neighbors and the general public deserve direct state inspections and enforcement to assure compliance with the terms of the rule.

For more information, please contact:
Grady McCallie, NC Conservation Network, 919-857-4699 x101
Michelle Allen, NC Conservation Network, 919-857-4699 x110

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Open Letter to NC Senator R Rabin

I found this letter at our facebook page and asked Tomas if I could post it here . It makes some fabuous points and even if Rabin does not read it maybe we can learn something from it.

Open Letter to Senator Rabin-
Dear Senator Rabin,
First; the Vietnam War wasn't about protecting American Families. It was about continuing French colonialism. In 1945, Vietnam sought independence before China was communist and quoted the American Declaration of Independence - France wouldn't have it.
Second; May 27, 2014 – A Bloomberg News analysis of 61 shale drilling companies found that the economic picture of shale oil and gas is unstable. Shale debt has almost doubled over the last four years while revenue has gained just 5.6 percent. For the 61 companies in their analysis, Bloomberg News reported: “In a measure of the shale industry’s financial burden, debt hit $163.6 billion in the first quarter.” Further, Bloomberg News noted that drillers are caught in a bind because they must keep borrowing to pay for exploration needed to “offset steep production declines typical of shale wells…. For companies that can’t afford to keep drilling, less oil coming out means less money coming in, accelerating the financial tailspin.”
Third; November 21, 2013 – The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative released a six-state collaborative report demonstrating that the oil and gas industry has greatly exaggerated the number of jobs created by drilling and fracking in shale formations. The report found that far from the industry’s claims of 31 direct jobs created per well, only four jobs are created for each well. It also demonstrated that almost all of the hundreds of thousands of ‘ancillary’ jobs that the drilling industry claims are related to shale drilling existed before such drilling occurred. As Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute put it, “Industry supporters have exaggerated the jobs impact in order to minimize or avoid altogether taxation, regulation, and even careful examination of shale drilling.”
Fourth; Now sir, are you sure of your situation - "outgunned by this deep-pocketed environmentalist super-PAC"?
Fifth; May 29, 2014 - In New York State, more than 250 medical organizations and health professionals released a letter detailing emerging trends in the data on fracking that show significant risk to public health, air quality, water, as well as other impacts. With signatories including the American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, the American Lung Association in New York, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and many leading researchers examining the impacts of fracking, they wrote, “The totality of the science which now encompasses hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and hundreds of additional reports and case examples, shows that permitting fracking poses significant threats to the air, water, health and safety....”
Finally; Are you aware sir, that communist China owns half the oil and gas leases from Alberta to Texas, inclusive of the Midwest? Asset Sales To Close Cash Shortfalls And Reduce Debt – SOLD... to China. China owns nearly half the Midwest now. That's right, your US ass-ets are owned by China, Communist China. It never was about America's Resources For America.
Items 2,3,4, from "Scientific, Medical And Journalistic Findings Demonstrating Risks And Harms Of Fracking" published just this month, July 2014: 70 pages - Concerned Health Professionals of NY; Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms Of Fracking (Unconventional Gas And Oil Extraction)
From a Vietnam era veteran born in North Carolina.
Tomas DiFiore
DOWNLOAD THE COMPENDIUM and please read it sir.
Concerned Health Professionals Of New York
http://concernedhealthny.org/Compendium/ 



Monday, July 14, 2014

Sen Rabin Promotes Fracking in letter

I am continually being told write your leaders and lawmakers . I have to say it seems a BIG waste of time when their answers if any don't have a damn thing to do with my letter ? 
Here is the letter I sent to Rep. Faircloth of Guildford Co and Senator Rabin for Lee Co. about an very good interview with Faircloth and Jackson Ross a landowner in Guilford county .  http://dontfrackwithafarmer.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/fracking-interview-with-john-faircloth/

My name is Terica Luxton and I am a landowner in Lee County NC . I have been studying daily for nearly 3 years to learn more about fracking and it's safety and lack of ? I am not a woman of fancy words , I am a concerned mother and grandmother asking you to find time to do more research of your own. 
I just listened to the interview with Jackson Ross and you Rep. Faircloth . You said in the interview You were willing to listen to people about this , so I am writing to you and adding Sen. Ron Rabin for county of Lee county which He also voted for fracking to be fast tracked before the rules have been made. 
Here is the link to the interview .

​Mr.
  Faircloth 
​, you ​
say
 ​ ​over
 & 
​o​
ver … there is NO way they will frack if it cant be done safe ?
  Can we count on that ?
​I think not ! 
 ​Since​
 
​You all have
 
 already g
​iven
 the okay to frack 
​NC ​
?  

25 minutes in
​You go
  as far as saying ” There is No way we are going to let people come in here and Rape our Land !”
 ​ 
Rape , as an activist I do not even use such a Strong and offensive word as ​rape . Rape is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable
 ​ ​
mostly done by men . 
​Even though they tend to use that word now of Spoiled , Defiled ,Destroyed Land , because it should be a 
 Crime 
​! ​W
e as landowners/people can not ​
​stop this violation from happening to us from a Corporation.  Because of You and our government have given Our Landowners rights to say no to this violation through forced pooling laws to the gas and oil companies  !

28 minutes in Mr Faircloth ,
​You ​
 use Lee county as an example …
saying ‘Let’s say I’m a landowner of Lee county having a 100 acre tobacco farm
​ and​
 I can’t grow on
​ it​
 anymore & i want to let them do this …

​Mr.​
 Faircloth , I say to You as a Lee County resident and landowner , I should have the Right to say No to fracking 
​too​

31:30 in Forced Pooling is discussed …
​Mr. ​
 Faircloth brings up migration of gas as a reason they should allow it ? That is so wrong !
WE in NC have TIGHT GAS ! What is tight gas?
While shale gas is trapped in rock, tight gas describes natural gas that is dispersed within low-porosity silt or sand areas that create a tight-fitting environment for the gas. How tight? Tight gas is defined (in the U.S.) as having less than 10 percent porosity and less than 0.1 millidarcy permeability.
Porosity is the proportion of void space to the total volume of rock. For example, fresh beach sand has around 50 percent porosity. Tight gas is held in pores up to 20,000 times narrower than a human hair.

http://youtu.be/-6Hlb0XygS0 this video gives a good comparison
​of tight gas verses migration gas ​
 for 
​you ​
Mr Faircloth and all the others to learn from .


​I do not believe fracking can truly be done safely , I have not seen proof of that in any state fracking ​has visited . To possibly risk the
  future generation's water and the environment, 
 ​for a few to get rich , I do not think it is worth the risk . 


I ask you to stand up for the landowners of NC ​and ask for ban on forced / compulsory pooling . Let us have the right to decide if we want to jeopardize our land . 


Thank You for reading this and I look forward to a response from you both .


Respectfully , Terica Luxton , Lee County NC 

Ron Rabin had Sheri Hood send me this reply ... NOTHING to do with forced pooling. Only gossip about NC Enviromental Partnership and other advertisement for fracking NC. 
I am highlighting certain things that Really  made me a little Peaced off . .
there is a snapshot of his original reply to prove what he said. 

Ms. Luxton,
Thank you for reaching out to our office. Senator Rabin asked that I send the below message to you.

FACTS NOT FRICTION

It is my responsibility as a public servant to keep you informed on issues important to our District and State. An entity known as the North Carolina Environmental Partnership, which is said to be receiving funds from sources in California, possibly one with ties to the People’s Republic of China, has been flooding local TV markets with disinformation about the way in which the North Carolina General Assembly is preparing legislation to control the exploration of our energy resources. I believe I am obligated by the trust you have placed in me to give you the other side of the energy issue, a positive side that leads to energy independence, so that you can decide what is best for you and your family.
In my opinion, despite North Carolina’s recent surge in reduced unemployment to below the national average, jobs and the economy remain our number one issue. Safely exploring our energy resources while protecting our environment is closely linked to economic growth and job creation.  Senate Bill 786 (Energy Modernization Act, Session Law 2014-4) was passed by a bi-partisan vote in both the House and the Senate.  In other words, the majority of the NCGA representing the majority of the people of North Carolina, Democrat and Republican alike, favor continuing to explore the potential of our natural gas and other energy resources. So, let’s look at a few facts:
The use of natural gas exploration technology to extract clean-burning natural gas from shale is a U.S. technology that has been developing for about 50 years. Over one-million wells have been drilled from Texas to Louisiana to Pennsylvania to Ohio to N. Dakota (none of which have suffered the depression and unemployment problems we have). The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) have researched the lessons learned during those 50 years and made them the basis for the initial 120 MEC rules to ensure that our energy exploration is done safely.  These rules can be found on the MEC website and they cover virtually every aspect of the mining operation, to include; remediation, protecting air and water quality, bonding of oil and gas companies to ensure they are responsible should an incident occur and wear and tear on the infrastructure.
For over four years, the NCGA and the MEC have been working on ways to exploit the economic potential of our energy resources in ways safe for our people, environment and water supply.  The best practices of other states and the industry have been incorporated into this work. Four years, over 50 years of baseline knowledge, and one-million wells are not a “fast track”. There have not been any attempts to accelerate the process of rulemaking or issuing drilling permits. 
The current bill requires a full disclosure of all industrial processes used in extracting natural gas from shale –including chemicals used. There is no way that any prudent person would want to do away with the patent codes of the U.S.  It protects the creative and entrepreneurial citizens who drive the development of the innovative technologies that so enhance our quality of life. Under this bill, chemicals will be disclosed (as they are now) but exact formulas will remain patented trade secrets. The public will be kept well informed of the chemicals being used in NC through the “FracFocus” website. However, DENR and the MEC (both of which work for you) will hold the formulas for use in cases of emergency. In addition, improving technology has seen one company produce a “green” fluid for use in the mining process. No substances banned by the EPA or OSHA will be allowed to be used in the state.
In conclusion, current milestones, including drilling permit issuance beginning in the Spring of 2015, will likely stay in place. The same is true for the 120 rules except that I believe more will be added to further increase safety margins. Some of the current bill will undoubtedly be revised in the next long session as we continue to improve SB 729.
Hopefully, this letter will help you see this issue with more clarity.  If you have any questions, please contact me ASAP.

_____________________
Sheri Hood
Legislative Aide to
Senator Ronald Rabin

300 N. Salisbury Street
Room 526, LOB
Raleigh, NC 27603
Office: (919) 733-5748 


Okay should I reply back and say you did not answer my letter or just except he does not give a crap about my FRICTION ? 
next chance to talk to him coming the 24th ....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What is in 2014 Fracking Law: S786 Energy Modernization Act by D.H.

I am so thankful for folks like Diana Hales for taking the time to break these rules down into common sense . 

Session Law 2014-4 (formerly S786; ratified May 29 and signed by Governor McCrory June 4, 2014). 
Here is summary of important changes/additions in this 26-page bill. 
 
TRADE SECRETS
1. State Geologist to hold Trade Secrets for fracking chemicals, which can be disclosed to other agencies for Emergency Response, Fire Chiefs, and “treating” emergency health providers (not medical investigators), who must sign a confidentiality agreement.  Penalties for “knowingly and willfully” disclosing is a Class I misdemeanor.  Burden is on the “owner” of the info to show why it is entitled to confidentiality protection; and State Geologist must ensure compliance with state/fed law on prohibited chemicals, and certify compliance. [The State Geologist physically holding Trade Secret documents is an improvement...DENR did not want to possess any actual document, just rely on people’s memories]. 
2.  Authorizes the State Geologist to consult with State Health Director if “local health departments” should be advised of confidential hydraulic fracturing fluid info relating to “testing” parameters for private drinking water wells. 
3.  Appeals procedure is through the Business Court within 30 days for the release/withhold of info.
 
ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES
1. Extend rule adoption deadline to January 1, 2015. There is a procedure for any Leg member to introduce a bill to disapprove any rule within 30 calendar days of the beginning of the 2015 Legislative session.  If no action, the rules are effective on the 31st calendar day after session begins, sometime mid-February 2015.
 
2. Repealed the requirement for Legislature to vote before first drilling permit is issued.  New law says permits can be issued on 61st calendar day after rules adopted:  MARCH 1, 2015 if rules adopted by Jan 1.
 
3. GS 113-391 Jurisdiction and Authority is amended to allow entry of rules into the NC Administrative Code and “create a rebuttable presumption” that rules are sufficient to meet the requirements for development of a modern regulatory program.  Also gives Commission authority to develop rules and requirements for permits, permit transfers, permit durations, suspensions, revocations, and release.
 
4.  MEC rules are exempt from new state law that says regulations cannot exceed minimal federal environmental standards [§150B-19.3. Limitation on certain environmental rules.]
 
COMPULSORY POOLING and SEVERED MINERAL RIGHTS, AGAIN
1.  The Mining and Energy Commission delivered a Compulsory Pooling study report to DENR by January 1, 2013.  DENR did not agree with the report and submitted their own recommendations to the Legislature, specifically wanting to complete the rules (which were not written) relating to drilling units, spacing requirements, setbacks. 
2.  DENR also wanted to amend the current dormant mineral statutes regarding extinguishment of old mineral claims, and other consumer protection issues, PRIOR to making any recommendations.  [Note, this is a political hot potato in an election year, if the Leg says the gas industry can TAKE your property].  This new study by DENR, Mining & Energy Commission (MEC), Attorney General’s Office, due October 1, 2014.
 
ENTRY TO PROPERTY
1.  For operations [such as measurements, inspections, surveys] that do NOT disturb surface the gas operator must provide written notice to Surface Owner 14 days before entering property. Surface owner has no rights to deny access if another party owns the sub-surface mineral rights.
2.  For operations [such as roads, pipelines, drill pads] that WILL disturb surface, the gas operator must provide written notice to Surface Owner 30 days before entering property; Surface owner must be consulted, but can’t say no if someone else owns the mineral rights.  If notice is NOT given, Surface owner can seek relief in county Superior Court for damages.  People entering land must carry identification that identifies their employer, BUT surface owner is responsible to protect those people against “personal injury or property damage” while they are on the land.
3.  Seismic/geophysical data collection:  Operator can undershoot from off-site location without physical entry to private land, OR, if enter onto private land, must have landowner’s written consent. Gas operators are civilly liable for any physical or property damage that is a “direct result” of seismic or geophysical data collection.
 
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE and BAD ACTORS
1.  Environmental compliance “history” will be reviewed for each permit applicant (and joint ventures), going back 5 years.  The review will include information from each facility owned and/or operated.  The review will consider compliance with federal, other state laws, NC laws to see if there is history of repeated violations of statutes, rules, orders, or permit terms.
2.  NC DENR can deny a permit application if it determines the owner/operator did not protect the environment OR conserve natural resources.
3.  If a permit holder changes the identity of owner, or operator for purposes of environmental review, DENR can modify, or revoke permit.
[Per PA property owner who spoke at June MEC Meeting...all operators have numerous violations, therefore everyone is a “bad actor”]
 
INJECTION OF WASTEWATER PRODUCTS INTO SUBSURFACE IS PROHIBITED
 
LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOSES CONTROL
1.  Towns/counties cannot use ordinances (even those regulating land use), resolutions, property restrictions, zoning regulations to prohibit siting of wells and production facilities; cannot prohibit use of horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration; NOR place ANY restriction or conditionon the exploration, development and production of oil and gas. 
 
2.  If county or town ordinance does prevent construction thru zoning or land-use ordinances establishing setbacks, buffers, storm water requirements, the operator can petition the Mining & Energy Commission to hold a hearing to decide whether to “preempt” a local ordinance based on findings that (a) the ordinance would prohibit oil and gas exploration, (b) all State and federal permits conditions have been satisfied; (c) that local citizens and officials had adequate opportunity to participate in the permitting process; and (d) that the operation will NOT pose an unreasonable health or environmental risk to the surrounding locality and the operator will take reasonable measures to avoid risks. The Commission makes the decision, which can be appealed in Administrative Court.
 
3.  Prohibits collecting local taxes:  Counties/towns cannot apply franchise, privilege license, income, or excise tax on any elements of this industry, including ownership/maintenance of facilities, machinery, pipelines, gathering lines.    
 
PERMITS, FEES and BONDS
1.  Permit application fee:  $3,000 for first well, $1,500 for each additional well on a well pad [expect multiples].
2.  Abandoned wells and dry holes to be plugged with cement:  $450 fee.
3.  Bond to State of NC:  To “register” a drilling operation:  $5,000, plus $1.00 per linear foot to be drilled [G.S. 113-278]
4.  Bond to State of NC:  Sufficient to cover potential environmental damage:  $1,000,000; and more if in “environmentally sensitive” area.
 
RECLAMATION OF SURFACE
1.  Reclaim within TWO YEARS following completion of drilling operations.
2.  Mining and Energy Commission sets the bond amount to the surface owner on case-by-case basis, based on number of wells, amount of acreage, condition of surface before drilling. [G.S. 113-378-421 (a3)].  Operator or surface owner may appeal this decision to modify bond.
 
TAXES
Severance tax is imposed on all energy minerals severed from State when sold in market. One expectation is to provide enough money to staff and run this gas program in DENR. Many pages on what is included:  rate calculations, 2% for oil and condensates, if marginal gas well, 4/10s of one percent; cost to deliver gas to market; record keeping; exemption for on-site use of gas; returns and quarterly payment of tax to State.  Royalty owner’s records must also be provided to DENR.  NO local taxes can be collected[see LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOSES CONTROL]
 
WATER CONTAMINATION
1.  Reduced the distance for “presumptive liability” of water contamination by fracking activities, from5,000-ft. of a wellhead to just a one-half mile radius (2.640-ft.). Water wells within this radius will be tested before drilling, and at 5 subsequent intervals as specified in the rules.  The operator will pay for all testing, and results are public record.    If contamination is the operator’s fault, they must provide replacement water supply for each person’s use [forever??].
2.  Operators can share water well test results with other operators that overlap the same wells in the radius of a second operation.
3.  Actions brought for recovery of clean-up costs, damages, or civil penalties may be brought against the operator or anyone having control over the activities that contributed to the contamination.
 
MORE STUDIES, report to Legislature by January 1, 2015, or March 1, 2015
1. Dept of Revenue to study how other states “value” energy minerals for purpose of property taxation
2. The Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy to study how development of oil and gas industry would affect property tax revenues of local government...in present-use value system...and limit growth of property tax revenues resulting from increased property valuations because of oil and gas industry extraction.
3.  Dept of Commerce: Desirability and feasibility of siting, construction, operating a liquefied natural gas export terminal in NC.
4.  Dept. of Transportation: Study statutory authority for energy-related traffic, fees; performance bonding; separate permits to industry; road-use agreements; size/weight proposed vehicles and number of trips.
5.  Board of Community Colleges: Study preparation for employment opportunities.
6.  MEC, DENR, and UNC: Study midstream infrastructure needed to facilitate exploration, pipelines, gathering lines, compressor stations to attract this industry.
7.  DENR: Make legislative recommendations on comprehensive long-range State energy policy (even renewables and alternate energy)
8.  Dept of Administration and Dept of Public Instruction:  Include LNG as fuel option for school buses, and fueling stations.  Note:  It takes 5.66 pounds of compressed natural gas to equal the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline.
 
 
RESTRUCTURE and RENAME MINING & ENERGY COMMISSION
1. New Oil and Gas Commission created within NC DENR to regulate spacing of wells, establish drilling units and classify wells for taxing purposes.  Also gives them authority to develop rules.  All current MEC member terms will expire July 31, 2015. 
 
2. Oil and Gas Commission, (9 members), will serve 3-year terms, beginning August 1, 2015:
One elected official from Municipal government from “gas potential” area
One elected official from County government from “gas potential” area
Two non-governmental environmental interests
One gas engineer
One publically traded gas company 
One licensed attorney experienced in gas exploration and development
One public health
One geologist from gas exploration industry  
Chair and vice chair will be selected from among the members.
Will meet quarterly, and can hold special meetings.
 
3.  Civil Penalty Remission Committee created from 5 Oil and Gas Commission members to assess DENR’s penalties for violations when operator petitions for relief (you can bet on that!)
 
4.  NC Mining Commission re-established within NC DENR with 8 members; meets twice a year, and is advisory to Governor, hears permit appeals and conducts hearings, can modify/overrule permit decisions made by the Department; can make rules. They handle all mining, EXCEPT gas/oil.
 
  
Diana Hales, retired