More Drilling May Jeopardize Drinking Water for 130,000

Since 2011, 52 wells have been drilled by CNX Resources Corporation, CONSOL’s gas division, within the immediate vicinity to Beaver Run Reservoir, the drinking water source for 130,000 people throughout northern Westmoreland County and small portions of neighboring Armstrong and Indiana counties. CNX is now proposing to add another well pad, called Mamont 10, with eight lateral wells stemming from the pad. In 10 years, CNX wells have had 13 accidents including spills of toxic produced water, a fire, and recently, in the Department of Environmental Protection’s terms, a “catastrophic loss of containment” on the Shaw well pad. The Shaw incident meant that dangerously high-pressured gas was forced into nine nearby shallow wells, requiring nearly a month of flaring. The incident also propelled methane and other gases into private water wells. More than seven months have lapsed since the Shaw incident, and DEP has yet to release the outcomes of their investigation or take an enforcement action against CNX.

As observed in the map below, the security of the Beaver Run Reservoir is already threatened and CNX has a disastrous safety record. The purple and red lines indicate lateral wells and each lateral well connects to one of eight well pads on the surface. The square on the map indicates the proposed site for Mamont 10, which rests on a steep slope above a tributary to the Reservoir.

There are two immediate actions that can be taken by area residents. First, a letter can be written to the DEP (see sample letter here) opposing any new wells at Beaver Run Reservoir. The sample letter can be used, however, the DEP gives greater consideration to individually composed letters. Letters can be sent to- Mr. Daniel Counahan, District Oil and Gas Manager, DEP Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15222.

Second, concerned residents can attend the Bell Township Supervisors meeting- Monday, August 12th at 7:30pm at 2324 PA-380, Saltsburg, PA 15681- to get recognition of their opposition to fracking the Beaver Run Reservoir. Recently, a lack of opposition at a recent meeting allowed CNX to develop more wells so it’s critical that the Township Supervisors hear from you. 

Lastly, to get up to date and learn more ways to get involved, concerned residents can attend a public informational meeting on the Beaver Run Reservoir on Tuesday, August 13th at 6:30pm at the Protect PT Office at 3344 Route 130, Suite D. Harrison City, PA 15636.

Let’s turn out and let CNX and decision makers know that we are watching!