Fracking Damages Here and There — Lawsuits Continue

by Duane Nichols on January 28, 2016

Selected Frack Chemicals -- Wilma Subra

Two more lawsuits filed against Antero for fracking damages

From an Article by Kyla Asbury, WV Record, January 27, 2016

Charleston, WV — Two more lawsuits have been filed against Antero Resources Corporation for damages due to the company’s fracking practices.

Antero Resources Appalachian Corporation and Hall Drilling LLC were also named as defendants in the suits.

Slathial A. Simmons, Tracie D. Simmons and E.T.S., a minor; and Kenna Sue Adams filed motions to join already filed cases to an existing mass litigation, according to two complaints filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

James C. Peterson and Aaron L. Harrah of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; and Anthony J. Majestro and J.C. Powell of Powell & Majestro moved that the civil actions join in to the existing Marcellus Shale litigation currently pending in Ohio Circuit Court.

In support of the motion, the plaintiffs state that these firms already represented more than 200 plaintiffs in similar actions and the allegations in the plaintiffs’ complaints of nuisance and negligence are similar to those already alleged, according to the motions.

The plaintiffs claims are similar to previously filed lawsuits, which claim that the plaintiffs own property in close proximity to numerous well pads owned, operated, drilled, maintained and otherwise controlled by the defendants.

The defendants’ activities and instrumentalities frequently produce spills, emissions and discharges of hazardous gases and materials, chemicals and other industrial/hazardous wastes, according to previous suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants have frequently, repeatedly and substantially interfered with their use and enjoyment of their property.

The defendants have also repeatedly concealed the dangerous nature of their natural gas activities and the impact these activities have on nearby landowners and the environment, according to previous suits.

The cases are assigned to Circuit Judges Tod J. Kaufman and James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 15-C-1993, 15-C-1994

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Fracking’s road to ruin, in Butler County, PA, and elsewhere

Letter to Editor, Butler PA Eagle Online, January 23, 2016

In light of all the negative effects of the oil and gas industry lately, from earthquakes in the Midwest where the waste fluid is disposed of, to the massive methane leak in California, and contaminated drinking water, how can the evidence be ignored? This should be front page news every day.

All of these events are the product of the deceptive practices of the oil and gas industry.

They are exempt from some sections of environmental and conservation acts which means we have less protection. This has allowed this industry to prey on the ignorance of the American people.

So why does the Butler Eagle print editorials supporting the industry? Recent editorials on the topic suggest an extraction tax is a bad idea and that fracking is the answer to our energy independence, and has influenced the events in the Middle East.

A recent editorial speculated that half of the Marcellus Shale gas producers will go bankrupt. What they will leave behind in the wake of this boom is an environmental catastrophe. We will be the ones living in it.

No amount of money, regulations or government agency will be able to fix what we have allowed them to do. Our reliance on gas fracking is keeping us from moving to renewable energy sources.

>>> Laurel Colonello, Middlesex Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania

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Beaver Times January 29, 2016 at 1:01 am

Beaver County activists enlighten commissioners about the dangers of shale drilling

By Tom Davidson, Beaver Times, January 28, 2016

Beaver, PA — Two residents who are part of a group that aims to educate people about the potential risks associated with shale drilling came to the first night meeting of the new Beaver County Commissioners board Thursday to state their case against further oil and gas exploration and development in the county.

The Rev. Jim Hamilton of Ambridge and Bob Schmetzer of South Heights are both part of the Beaver County Marcellus Shale Awareness Committee, a group that’s been in place since 2010 and opposes further drilling in the county.

Hamilton presented commissioners with packets of information about the danger of releasing uranium and radon that some say can be associated with shale exploration, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking) natural gas wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale that’s been actively pursued in Pennsylvania since the group formed.

“What I’d like to have them (commissioners) do is move for a moratorium,” Hamilton said after the meeting. It’s something the Pennsylvania Council of Churches supports, he said. ”The churches can see it, the pope can see it (the dangers of drilling),” he said.

Hamilton worries about the dangers drilling poses to people, he said. Instead of the ethane cracker plant that’s proposed in Potter Township, he’d like Shell Chemicals to build a solar field there to lower electric bills.

Schmetzer, who is president of the group and who also serves on South Heights borough council and as its emergency management director, spoke about an issue that arose after a November 17th chemical fire in Leetsdale, which is just across the Ohio River from where he lives.

There was no warning given to people to stay inside until the dense, black smoke from the fire was already nearby, he said.

He talked to people at Beaver County’s 911 center and spoke with state Department of Environmental Protection agency officials about the danger associated with the smoke. “What we were alarmed about was what should we do as a community,” Schmetzer said, if something like the fire happens again.

Schmetzer believes there should be a way to alert people in some way other than the media. ”I think it’s reasonable,” he said.

Commissioners, including new Chairwoman Sandie Egley and Commissioner Daniel Camp, and incumbent Tony Amadio, thanked the men for coming to the meeting.

It was the first night meeting — and the first time Egley and Camp have faced a crowd (more than 25 people attended) — since they took office January 4th.


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