BARBOURS - State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, discussed issues pertaining to Marcellus Shale to about 70 people during a town hall meeting at the Plunketts Creek Volunteer Fire Co. Tuesday night.
Issues raised by those at the meeting were where Marcellus Shale money from drilling should go, the severance tax and water quality.
Everett said although there are two thoughts on Marcellus Shale - those who think it is the best thing for the state and others who think it is horrible for the state - most people fall in the middle.
"I want to find a way to balance it in the middle so my children and their children may enjoy the creek together," Everett said.
The first chunk of money made from the gas industry should be distributed in areas where the drilling is taking place because those are the areas that are impacted by Marcellus Shale, according to Everett.
In areas where Marcellus Shale development is taking place, there are housing issues and people are being displaced from rental properties because those working with Marcellus can afford higher rents, according to Everett.
Everett also said he wants the state Department of Transportation to apply to a Marcellus Impact Fund because the roads are not equipped for the increased truck traffic.
"I think the local impact money needs to flow to where the troubles (from drilling) are," Everett said.
Barbara Jarmoska, of Gamble Township, asked why no severance tax is better than a small severance tax. Everett said he wants a severance tax, but wants it to be done right and was not going to vote for a bad one, especially when there is plenty of time to do it right.
Jarmoska also raised the issue of water quality. Everett said water quality in areas of the state already is in question and may have low levels of methane gas prior to the gas industry coming into the area.
Gas companies need to do a triple casing procedure when drilling in order to better protect water, according to Everett.
"What concerns me most is what comes back up with the formation. It's stuff like barium and heavy metals that concern me. Before the water can be returned into the water system, those things need to be removed.
"It is my understanding that they are removed before they are put back into the system," Everett added.
Everett also said water may be tested locally.
The oil and gas section of the Department of Environmental Protection changed its permit fee formula and based it on how difficult the drilling may be. Originally a permit was $250. With the new formula, it may go as high as $20,000.
The money is used to hire more DEP employees to help regulate the industry, according to Everett.