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Index > United States of America > Pennsylvania > Vent Stray Methane Gas in Versailles Borough

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Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

DEP to Begin Next Phase of Work to Vent Stray Methane Gas in Versailles Borough

12 October 2007 PITTSBURGH - After successfully installing four stray gas mitigation systems on properties in Versailles Borough, Allegheny County, a contractor of the Department of Environmental Protection will begin work next week to vent gases—primarily methane—away from homes along Second Avenue in the municipality.

Starting Monday, Oct. 15, contractors plan to remove the casings from a deteriorated and clogged gas well—a process that involves erecting a 40-foot-high drill rig that will operate near an affected home.

As a precaution, DEP is providing temporary housing to the property’s residents. The residents have voluntarily agreed to leave their home while the work is being conducted.

“The Versailles residents, along with borough and county officials, have been true partners in our efforts to mitigate the stray gas problem while safeguarding the public’s well-being,” said DEP Regional Director Kenneth Bowman.

The stray gas mitigation systems were installed on properties along Second Avenue and Penn Way in the borough.

While continuing to address the stray methane gas issue, the department also will work to mitigate the hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) that has been detected in a localized section of the borough.

DEP and the Allegheny County Health Department have been monitoring residences near a well where H2S was found on Oct. 4 but, to date, the gas has not been detected in any homes.

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, H2S readings were taken in the confined space of the well vent where Monday’s work will take place.

Those readings measured 120 parts per million (ppm) inside the well, but dropped to only 2 ppm outside of the well vent where the gas is dispersed by the ambient air.

The open-air measurements are well within the safe range and are consistent with those recorded by the county health department on Oct. 4.

H2S was first confirmed at this same gas well vent by the National Energy Technology Laboratories in the course a federal study into Versailles Borough’s stray gas problem.

The source of the H2S has not been determined and the gas is not known to be present in the geologic formation of natural gas found in Versailles Borough.

The work scheduled to begin Monday is expected to take 3 to 5 days, but may take as long as three weeks.








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