Unregulated Shale Gas Drilling Will Destroy Pennsylvania Native Brook Trout Habitat – Trout Unlimited Calls for Moratorium

Brook Trout Fishing in North Central Pennsylvania - A Unique Pennsylvania Resource

Trout Unlimited opposes gas drilling in the Monongahela National Forest

Marcellus Shale drilling would destroy native Eastern brook trout habitat

February 24, 2010
Huntington News

Arlington, VA (HNN) — In a unanimous vote, Trout Unlimited’s (TU) West Virginia Council voted in favor of a moratorium on natural gas leasing in the Monongahela National Forest.
The vote, which occurred at the council’s general membership meeting on February 20, was the first decision made by the state council regarding drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation, a region that is rich in natural gas resources and includes portions of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio.
The hydro-fracturing process used to release gas from the Marcellus Shale formation requires up to 8 million gallons of water per well to extract the gas from deep underground. In addition, an undisclosed blend of chemicals is used in hydro-fracturing. Water withdrawal from streams and rivers, and particularly the treatment of the chemically-laden wastewater from drilling sites, has proven to be of significant concern in several areas in Pennsylvania where Marcellus drilling has occurred.

“TU’s West Virginia state council and its individual members should be commended for taking this critically important position regarding the protection of native brook trout populations on the Monongahela National Forest,” said Bryan Moore, TU’s Vice President for Volunteer Operations and Watersheds.
“The Monongahela is not only a treasured resource for the residents of the state and the mid-Atlantic region, but also contains 85% of West Virginia’s remaining brook trout populations,” Moore continued. “We simply cannot afford to use these sensitive public lands as an experimental testing ground for a drilling process which has resulted in irreparable resource damage in neighboring states.”
“TU is committed to working with the U.S. Forest Service to protect these last remaining brook trout, recognizing that once they are lost, they are lost forever. That is a risk TU is simply unwilling to take,” Moore said.
TU’s West Virginia council voted in favor of a moratorium on natural gas leasing in the national forest because of the potential for irreparable habitat destruction to rivers, streams and other fish and wildlife habitat. TU’s West Virginia council represents TU’s 1,500 members in the state. TU, as a national organization, has opposed drilling in the Monongahela and supports the West Virginia council position.
The Monongahela National Forest encompasses over 900,000 acres and is located in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia.
Trout Unlimited is North America’s leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization, with more than 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.




7 thoughts on “Unregulated Shale Gas Drilling Will Destroy Pennsylvania Native Brook Trout Habitat – Trout Unlimited Calls for Moratorium”

  1. In Pennsylvania’s more remote areas, the drilling will be harder to monitor. This already has produced illegal dumping of waste water in the Allegheny National Forrest. The driller had been caught dumping into old wells,has been convicted and awaiting sentencing.Also the millions of gallons of water that it takes for each well will dry up small streams thereby killing all fish and their food sources.All the wildlife will suffer.The fish and wildlife are protected under pa law through licensing and limits. The cleaning of waste water is uncertain because of the remote areas not having facilities qualified to process.After the state laid off so many DEP personnel with the budget cuts, it will be impossible to monitor every truck with waste water and soil. The state has given permission to put waste on gravel and dirt roads. Which in turn ends up in the nearest stream or injested by wildlife.This is wreckless behavior. What is flushed back out of the wells is not always what went in.Only through enforcement of real protective laws will this situation be whole again.Pa is not prepared for this onslaught.

  2. As I read it and re-read it once, the statement was voted on by a West Virginia chapter or branch of a North American organization, and the Monongahela National Forest is located entirely in West Virginia. Thus there would seem to be no direct coverage yet for Pennsylvania.

    Separately it isn’t just water that is an issue. Reports about West Virginia on West Virginia Public radio discuss heavy equipment associated with drilling tearing up or otherwise wearing down roadways. Depletion of resources and chemical contamination are not the only costs here. We in Pennsylvania as well as in West Virginia need drillers and Shale explorers to pay their way in exploration and production.

  3. The people of this area [Marcellus gas territory] need to be educated and quickly about what is happening in regards to this drilling. Perhaps this drilling is not a danger and perhaps strip-mining was not a danger to streams, but why does the information always come after the damage. Are there not tax-payer paid government agencies entrusted to tell us the facts. Perhaps there is some collusion between the upper levels of government and the media which prvents honest employees of said government from getting the message out.
    I have seen exactly that in regards to windmill farms here in Cambria County ,Pa., which were rammed thru with only reporting after the fact.

  4. My point was that the population needs educated about the facts as to what a huge amount of water is say 5 million gallons. A 5000 gallon tank truck needs to take 1000 trips to satisfy that need. No head-water streams can cope with that demand,not in the slightest. And it is that head-water streams is often where the drilling takes place.
    Further more,just guessing,that 4 million gallons need treated after expullsion from the well,who does so.

  5. Furthermore few sewage treatment plants are qualified to handle ‘frac waste’ and if they are,how do they ‘handle’ frac waste which is of a ‘propriatory’ nature. Which also brings up the question of how it can be legal for an entity to pump unknown substances into the ground in Pa. or any state. How can this be?
    Perhaps the agencies involved know
    what these ‘propriatory’ substances are

  6. Perhaps they know what the ‘propriatory’ substances are and are forbidden by law from divulging said substances. But where exactly does that leave the citizens?
    It is a strange world indeed ,whereby a for profit company has the right to pump unknown chemicals deep underground, and then says to the citizens, deal with it!

  7. Anyway glad to see that you are involved in protecting our heritage. Wish you all the best. I will help as much as possible.
    I would like to hear from all those who have a critical understanding of Acid mine drainage and their ideas for remediation no matter how far fetched. Feel free to contact dave3001@hotmail.com Thanks again.

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