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- Gas Industry
Marcellus Shale Gas Industry Company Wants To Buy Route 44 Site
By David Ira Kagan
April 13, 2011
This past Friday, April 8, at the Watson Township Zoning Board Hearing, a standing-room-only crowd witnessed a presentation by Attorney William Carlucci promoting Pennsylvania General Energy Company’s request for special zoning exceptions or variances. If approved, this would allow PGE to purchase and use (for Marcellus shale gas development) what had been for years the Trading Post at the intersection of Routes 44 and 973 in Lycoming County, up Pine Creek Valley about six miles north of Jersey Shore.
More specifically, PGE wants to use the property as a site to off-load water from tanker trucks into the three 6000-gallon tanks previously used for what had been the store’s gasoline supplies. Two pumps would then be installed to send the water through pipes to a transfer station up in the adjacent mountain.
The mostly hostile, yet civil, audience at the meeting peppered Attorney Carlucci and his five witnesses with questions addressing numerous environmental and safety issue concerns: for examples, that there is a trailer park just behind the Trading Post, which park’s entrance is essentially shared with the Trading Post; that Routes 973 and 44 intersect at the site; that the property is less than an acre in size; that there are residential homes (one directly across Route 44) nearby; that there are curves on Route 44 both south and north of the site; that there is a school bus stop there; that there is no safe area for any potential backup of trucks to wait while others are being unloaded.
If the project were allowed, a steady stream of tanker trucks (just for this endeavor) would be going up Route 44 to the site, 24-hours a day, adding to the already intolerable flow of gas industry-related trucking (my estimate is 500-1,000 a day right now). Since testimony indicated that it would take only about six minutes to unload each truck, that would, in my understanding, translate theoretically into 30 trucks every hour (for the three underground tanks), or 720 every 24 hours.
This proposal of PGE would result in yet one more degradation of Pine Creek Valley, of what has been touted as well-nigh a paradise for fishermen, hunters, hikers, boaters, bicyclists, sightseers and campers.
I can’t fathom how anyone who is a moral, caring, humane being—someone who believes even just the least bit that the good life consists of more than money and greed—someone who professes to love this very special valley (as I have for over 40 years)—could possibly consider supporting and voting in favor of PGE’s proposal.
It’s time to say “NO!” for once—enough! It would be nice to salvage a bit of the PA Wilds, not allow it to be totally transformed into the PA wells!
Hopefully, when the Watson Township Zoning Hearing Board reconvenes to conclude this issue, an even larger standing-room-only crowd will appear to show their opposition.