Supervisors give 5 gas wells green light

MORRIS – Pine Township remains host of a natural gas drilling company.

Three supervisors Thursday night granted Anadarko, which has a field office in Williamsport, with the conditional use it needs in order to soon develop five gas wells on the property of Texas Blockhouse Fish & Game Club on Route 284.

Before granting the request, Roberta Heyler-Johnston, chairwoman of the township supervisors; Shelly Johnston, vice-chairwoman; and Albert Person, roadmaster, wanted to be sure the pad was elevated above the floodplain.

“We’re going to elevate the pad so it’s out of the floodplain,” said Jared Rall, of the company’s regulatory group. To raise the pad by 1 1/2 foot requires adding rock, he said. The wells will be constructed on an existing pad that had a well that has been operational and monitored. The pad has secondary containment to prevent spills, Rall said. The drilling area also will have security 24 hours a day. No permanent odors are expected with the operation of the wells, he said.

Mary B. Wolf, government relations adviser for the Anadarko field office, revisited the history of the pad site that was completed in 2010 and briefly drilled on. She noted the most recent application had received the necessary recommendation from the township planning commission. The pad site is checked and assessed routinely to ensure regulatory and environmental compliance, she added.

For fire protection, Morris Township Fire Department is the department to be notified of any emergencies that may occur at the site.

“No public safety issues are created by this project,” Rall said.

A lease holder at the meeting complimented the company for its operation on another pad near Bonnell Run and said he appreciated working with the company, calling it an asset to the township.

No protesters of the process of fracking were at the scene or standing outside the building along Oregon Hill Road, but deer dodged across Route 284 near the club.

Fracking is the process of using water, sometimes mixed with chemicals, that is shot down at a high pressure to fracture the Marcellus Shale rock formation thousands of feet below to release the trapped gas.