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Gas-drilling rules tighten
|Water just became a tad harder to get for the very thirsty industry tanking up to draw natural gas from under the Southern Tier.|
While water is still in abundant supply in the Susquehanna River Basin, regulators are adding a few more rules to make sure it stays that way.
Beginning Oct. 15, prior approval will become a requirement for withdrawals of any amount -- from rivers, streams, lakes or aquifers -- by companies using a water-intensive drilling process to tap natural gas reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale Formation.
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which oversees water resources in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, announced the regulatory changes Friday.
Until now, a drilling crew could draw up to 600,000 gallons of water without approval. That practice, multiplied by thousands of wells expected to be drilled in the region, raises the risk of "an adverse cumulative impact" on the region's water sources, commission Executive Director Paul Swartz said.
To develop the Marcellus formation, drillers will apply a process called hydro-fracturing to break apart bedrock and increase gas production. Each well will require 2 to 5 million gallons of water.
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 12:20 PM - permanent link
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