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Nature_and_Environment.109

Gasland

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{Nature_and_Environment.109.3}: Colleen Nelson {cole2u} Sat, 25 Sep 2010 23:09:39 CDT (96 lines)
{HTML source}

How it's playing out in my neck of the planet...

"http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localnews/01-29-2010-Water-
Quality-Forum"



Observer-Reporter

Friday, January 29, 2010

1/29/2010 3:32 AM

Forum on water to examine coal, gas production

The Upper Monongahela River Association will hold a water quality
forum
in February focusing on the impact of coal and natural gas production
on
water resources and the investigation into the Dunkard Creek fish
kill.

The forum will be the 13th sponsored by the organization dealing with
water quality issues in the Monongahela River basin.

The 12th forum, which was sponsored jointly by the association and
Greene
County Conservation District and focused on the September fish kill,
was
held Dec. 3 in Mt. Morris and drew more than 200 people.

Barry Pallay, forum program director, said one of the issues for next
month's meeting again will be Dunkard Creek. State and federal
agencies
have been invited to attend to share with the public any new data they
have obtained since the last meeting, he said.

The discussion also is expected to include an update on the status of
other streams with high levels of total dissolved solids. Total
dissolved
solids have been considered a contributing factor to the growth of the
golden algae that is believed to have killed fish and other aquatic
life
in Dunkard Creek.

The other focus of the forum will be to address the impacts of coal
mining and the expected increase in natural gas production on the
area's
water resources, Pallay said.

"We want to begin examining coal and gas production and the water and
waste disposal needs related to it," he said, adding that, if the
watershed is going to see an increase in Marcellus gas drilling, it's
important to consider what impacts it may have on water resources.

The association began sponsoring its water quality forums in October
2008
in response to reports of problems caused by high levels of total
dissolved solids in the Monongahela River, Pallay said.

The forums have helped inform the public on issues surrounding water
quality in the Mon River basin and brought together the various state
and
federal agencies involved in enforcing water quality regulations.

At next month's forum, a speaker is scheduled to attend from the Ohio
River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, an organization that works
to
improve water quality in a large portion of the Ohio River basin.

The representative is expected to explain what his organization has
done
to improve water quality in the Ohio River and the lessons it has
learned
that could apply to the association's efforts.

"We really need to look at the watershed as an entire system," Pallay
said.

This upcoming water quality forum will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at
the
Granville, W.Va., Volunteer Fire Department events center, about a
mile
west of the Star City interchange of Interstate 79.

Agencies invited to attend include the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection, West Virginia Department of Environmental
Protection, Greene County Department of Economic Development, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, RAIN
Network, W.Va. Water Research Institute and W.Va. Geologic and
Economic
Survey.

In another matter, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel will
visit the Mt. Morris Community Center at 1 p.m. Saturday to discuss
issues related to the Dunkard Creek fish kill.

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