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Washington PA Commissioners 2-2-12 amending park gas lease with Range Resources

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Uploaded on Feb 2, 2012

The original 2003 lease for Cross Creek County Park in Washington County, Pennsylvania had a 'cap' of 16 wells above the Onondaga formation and was about to reach that limit. Today, the Washington County Commissioners approved (3-0) a new 8-year amendment to the lease that has no limit on the number of wells, instead setting a 'cap' on the number of active well pads at seven. (This could mean anywhere from 20 to 70 wells when compared to typical well pads in the area) Royalties were increased in the agreement from a paltry 14-1/2% to an undermarket 16% on old and new wells. There was no signing bonus.

Several people commented about this further drilling in the park during the comment segment early in the meeting, with one suggesting the commissioners table their decision until more public comment could be gathered. The commissioners instead decided to ramrod their vote through to approve the amendment with Range Resources. All three county commissioners have received political contributions from Range Resources, and one commissioner owns private property leased to Range. There were no recusals from the vote.

Each new well pad will consume 5 to 10 acres, require an access road, gathering pipeline, condensate tanks, will be 'No Trespassing' to hikers, hunters and fishermen during the development phase (with the closer-in well areas restricted even beyond that). These sites will create heavy and perpetual truck traffic. Exactly where you want to take your family for a picnic, fishing or some bird watching.

2009 fracking in the park led to a flowback spill and fish kill. An EPA study of Cross Creek Park 6H indicated super high levels of radiation. Some suspect on and off low water levels in the dam have been caused by water withdrawals for fracking, instead of a bad spillway gate. Some fishermen say fishing is 'off' from what it used to be since drilling began. During production activities, such as drilling and fracking, large areas of the park are marked "No Trespassing" closing them off for any sort of public use.

Would you allow drilling in your public park?

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