Natural gas presentation focuses on both the positive and negative

NEW BERLIN – A presentation to discuss the impacts of natural gas development in Bradford County, Penn. was held Tuesday night at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church in New Berlin.

Approximately one hundred area residents turned out for the two-hour talk hosted by Michael W. Lovegreen, District Manager of Pennsylvania’s Bradford County Conservation District and Chair of the Bradford County Gas Exploration Advisory Committee.

Following his presentation, those in attendance were permitted to ask questions, which varied from leasing to drilling patterns; from the health impact to roads issues.

Residents were receptive to Lovegreen’s demonstration and regardless of their stance on the natural gas issue at hand asked informed questions in an attempt to compare the natural gas situation in Bradford County to the potential natural gas impacts in Chenango County.

One of the first questions to arise concerned the alleged leaking of methane in Bradford County, to which Lovegreen stated three to five houses were impacted by the leaks, and that they happened early on in the process. Stricter regulations are in place now, he said, adding he is not sure where things stand right now with those few homeowners that were impacted.

Following a question regarding the pattern of drilling, Lovegreen said companies drill down approximately half a mile and make a turn, and all drills work in the same direction.

“It might be skewed up here,” he added, noting that even in Bradford County different areas see varying production rates of natural gas, and he could not speak for the amounts here in Chenango County.

Air quality and the health impact of drilling was a concern for residents, to which Lovegreen stated studies have been conducted regarding air quality in Bradford County and Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has determined the air “meets standards.” He also attested to a study to be conducted in Penn. correlating natural gas drilling and health impacts.

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