Beaver County Times Covers Ambridge Reservoir Public Meeting

Marcellus committee launches ‘rapid response’ effort

Event Chair Bob Schmetzer and panelists Dan Bain, Jill Kriesky, Emily Collins, and Erika Staaf. Photo by Bill Allen.

The Service Creek Reservoir draws from a 17.7-square-mile area and serves more than 35,000 customers in Beaver and Allegheny counties through the Ambridge Water Authority.

Link to Times article here.

Posted: Saturday, April 21, 2012 11:30 pm

By Bill Utterback butterback@timesonline.com

AMBRIDGE — As nearly 100 residents walked out of a three-hour water protection presentation Saturday, Marcia Lehman was one of several people collecting fistfuls of blue volunteer cards.

“We’re getting a ton of these,” she said after the meeting in the Ambridge Area High School auditorium.

The Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee is assembling a “rapid response” team to activate if any gas developer should apply for a drilling permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection for property inside the Service Creek watershed in Independence and Raccoon townships.

The Service Creek Reservoir, which draws from a 17.7-square-mile area, serves more than 35,000 customers in Beaver and Allegheny counties through the Ambridge Water Authority. No drillers have applied for DEP permits in the watershed, but firms hold leases for property inside the watershed’s perimeter.

“We expect that sooner or later, there will be an application,” Lehman, an Economy resident, said. “It’s important that we be ready.”

The rapid response team’s exact response to a permit application has not yet been determined, but it will ask the DEP to hold a public hearing before any permit in the watershed is granted.

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