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Index > United States of America > Pennsylvania > Bradford Township Gas Migration/Water Supply Problems

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


05/4/2009 MEADVILLE – The Department of Environmental Protection has determined that Schreiner Oil and Gas Company has affected at least seven water supplies along Hedgehog Lane in Bradford Township, McKean County, and has notified the company of its responsibilities to those residents.

Two of the water supplies were affected by methane and five supplies have iron and manganese above established drinking water standards.

Schreiner has been actively drilling combination oil and gas wells in the area since last fall and did not establish background water quality in the area prior to drilling.

Therefore, Schreiner is presumed responsible for restoring water supplies within 1,000 feet of the drill sites.

Last week DEP also issued a notice of violation to Schreiner for failure to submit well records in a timely manner, the second notice of violation that the company has received regarding this issue.

“On Thursday, we notified the affected residents that Schreiner will be taking measures to restore or replace their water supplies,” said DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch.

“It is our intention that this action will resolve the water issue for residents who have been living with major inconvenience and disruption.”

At this time, the operator is providing bottle water to many of the residents in the affected area.

On April 30, DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch met with about 30 neighborhood residents to discuss their worries about water quality, concerns associated with a natural gas stripper plant installed behind some of the homes, and accelerated erosion and sedimentation associated with the drilling activity.

Previous to last week’s notice of violation, DEP had issued three notices of violation to Schreiner pertaining to drilling on Hedgehog Lane. On November 13, DEP cited Schreiner for over-pressured wells.

On February 19, DEP issued a notice of violation for pit violations and failure to post a well permit. On March 20, DEP cited Schreiner for new over-pressured wells and failure to submit well records.

All of the violations were corrected except for the submission of well records.

The department assessed 17 water supplies during the investigation.

One water well still has methane present and the resident currently is staying at a motel provided by Schreiner as a precaution. DEP continues to monitor the water well that was affected by this gas migration on a daily basis and has observed a decrease in the amount of natural gas evident in the water well.

The department suspects the stray gas occurrence is a result of 26 recently drilled wells, four of which had excessive pressure at the surface casing seat and others that had no cement returns.

In an effort to eliminate the source of methane, Schreiner has installed packers on all hydraulically fractured wells and has vented all of the wells that have been drilled but have not been fractured to stimulate production.

Until the gas migration issue is resolved, Schreiner will not be drilling any new wells.

To address another neighborhood concern, the company has added stone to stabilize the access roads to reduce sedimentation on Hedgehog Lane.

Schreiner also is seeding and mulching disturbed areas to stabilize the drilling sites and access roads to further reduce sedimentation and accelerated erosion.

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