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ALLEGHENY COUNTY COUNCIL MARCELLUS SHALE PUBLIC HEARING - - - BEFORE: James R. Burn, Jr. - President District 3 Charles J. Martoni - Vice President District 8 John P. DeFazio - Council-At-Large Matt Drozd - District 1 Jan Rea - District 2 Michael J. Finnerty - District 4 Vince Gastgeb - District 5 John Palmiere - District 6 Nick Futules - District 7 Robert Macey - District 9 Jim Ellenbogen - District 12 Amanda Green Hawkins - District 13 (via telephone) Allegheny County Courthouse Fourth Floor, Gold Room 436 Grant Street Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 5:00 p.m. SARGENT'S COURT REPORTING SERVICE, INC. 429 Forbes Avenue, Suite 1300 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 232-3882 FAX (412) 471-8733 IN ATTENDANCE: Joseph Catanese - Director of Constituent Services Jared Barker - Director, Legislative Services Jennifer Liptak - Budget Director ACTING CHAIR MARTONI: Would you all rise for the Pledge of Allegiance, led by John DeFazio? (Pledge of Allegiance.) ACTING CHAIR MARTONI: Please take your seats. Okay. We're going to begin the meeting. Our Chairman isn't here, but he's on the way. We're going to begin the meeting. Let me remind you that the purpose --- the primary purpose of this hearing is to allow the opportunity for public comment regarding Marcellus Shale- related natural gas drilling within Allegheny County. Okay. So we have an order of speakers. We appreciate you coming up. And we do have people waiting. We'd appreciate, if you're done, to leave the room for another person to come in that might be in a hallway. We'd appreciate that. Okay? Under the Fire Code, we're only allowed so many people in here. We can't just stack the place. We have to be careful we don't break the rules. Okay? So we're calling the meeting to order. Are we ready to call the speakers? MS. LIPTAK: Yes, sir. ACTING CHAIR MARTONI: Go ahead. Greg Wrightstone --- Wrightstone (changes pronunciation). Greg, are you here? Greg Wrightstone. Mel Packer. Following Mel will be Jeanne McMullen. Would Jeanne please come ---? MR. PACKER: Thank you. I'm Mel Packer. I live at 623 Kirtland Street, Pittsburgh, PA. There are rare times in our lives when we, as average citizens and local politicians, can honestly say our decisions will make a difference for our families, our children and future generations. But such a decision will enable our children to look back at our lives we led and the examples we set and say, I'm proud of my parents. In the not-so-distant past, parents helped build things, build cities, towns, to say to kids, I helped make that happen. Today there are too few material things we can point to, but they are still monumental decisions to be made that affect the lives of future generations. How we handle Marcellus Shale hydrofrack is, without a doubt, one of those decisions --- one of those moments that whatever decision we make will have dramatic lasting effects on our land and our water. But there's no doubt our children will someday say to us, what did you do, or why did you vote to let that happen? Over the last couple of weeks, we've been inundated by reports that speak danger and costs that should be heeded. These are not conjectures. Based on science and investigative reporting by responsible mainstream media outlets. For example, this morning's Post-Gazette, a Heinz Endowment study warns of local environmental damage, illness and death, concluding the southwest PA's air quality remains unacceptably poor. The Heinz Endowment gives a detailed report that gives the region a failing grade for air quality and is likely to get worse. And it goes on detailing a grim future for our air. From the Associated Press, by Mead Gruver 3/8/11, Wyoming air pollution now worse than Los Angeles due to gas drilling. Ozone levels last Wednesday in Wyoming got to 124 parts per billion, two-thirds higher than the EPA maximum and above the worst day in Los Angeles all of last year. The elderly, children and people with respiratory conditions were advised to stay indoors. One retired teacher said, they're trading off health for profit. It's outrageous. We are not a third- world country. This is in Wyoming, the land of clear vistas, blue skies and clean air. And finally, a plant biologist I know e-mailed me the following. We were just up in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield County. You can't imagine the damage that's done. There's trucks every five minutes on the forest roads that were formerly small and quiet. They've cleared huge patches of land for well pads. The lights and noise are constant when actively drilling. This used to be intact forest habitat. Now it's patches. As one driller said to us, these whole woods are going to be tore up by the time we're done here. It's not Commonwealth land anymore. The local people can't hike, hunt and fish when the forest is transformed in this way, and the wild resources ---. This should be the heritage for future generations. It's sabotaged for short-term profit. So we have to ask ourselves, is this the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren? Destroyed forests, increased water and air pollution at a time when global climate warming is already threatening us? How will we answer? Will we act on our morals, on our convictions or we simply tow the age-old line that whatever creates profit is good? Take the campaign contributions. Damn the consequences. I know I'll be able to face my kids and say I did the right thing and my children will agree with me. I hope that you, our elected reps on Allegheny County Council, whose job is to safeguard the public interest, will be able to say the same. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Jeanne McMullen. She's not here yet? Okay. I would invite Jessica McPherson to speak. Jessica McPherson? Is Jessica out in the hall? Jessica, are you here? We'll move to Bradley Wilson. Mr. Wilson? MR. MARTONI: We have a speaker out there, we believe. CHAIR BURN: Okay. If you're out in the hall, I'm going to read off the next five names. Jeanne McMullen, if you're out there, you're next. Jessica McPherson, if you're in the hall, please come in now. Bradley Wilson, Ken Zapinski. Jeanne McMullen, Jessica McPherson, Bradley Wilson, Ken Zapinski. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I know one of them is in the check-in downstairs. CHAIR BURN: Okay. We'll get back to them. Elizabeth Schneider? MR. ZAPINSKI: Ken Zapinski. CHAIR BURN: Oh, you're here? MR. ZAPINSKI: Yes. CHAIR BURN: Okay. Ken Zapinski, followed by Elizabeth Schneider. MR. ZAPINSKI: My name is Ken Zapinski. I'm senior vice-president for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Development of the Marcellus Shale can help address the energy needs of the United States for decades ahead. We live in an industrial age where affordable energy is the foundation for economic vitality, whether it be electricity that powers our laptops, the batteries in our cell phones or the power needed to produce the steel used to build our cities, our cars and our appliances. Since all energy production involves some environmental, economic and social costs, we need to make informed choices in balancing how we obtain our energy. We are already seeing the impact that the development of the Marcellus Shale can mean for jobs, investment and prosperity in the Pittsburgh region. No employment sector has grown faster over the past several years in this region than oil and gas extraction. Last year alone, there were more than 40 Marcellus Shale industry business expansion projects in the region, producing more than 2,000 jobs. And because of the nature of the industry, those benefits are touching people in rural communities where economic opportunities were previously limited, residents in the Mon Valley and points in between. It is essential, however, that Marcellus Shale development be done in an environmentally responsible way. We believe that is possible in Pennsylvania. Marcellus Shale drilling is an industrial process that, like all industrial processes, has the potential to impact the environment. It is essential that the industry and the state, in regulating shale drilling, work together to apply best practices and high standards, as is the case with any industry: public safety, noise, traffic, worker health and safety, and other issues. One of the characteristics unique to shale development is that its impacts and related economic benefits are not concentrated in a single factory but are spread over a broad geographic area. That is why it makes sense for the state, through the Department of Environmental Protection, to have primary oversight over the industry and its impacts. It is essential to have the proper processes and procedures in place to ensure minimal impact on the environment. An independent review of Pennsylvania's drilling regulations last year found that, quote, the Pennsylvania program is, overall, well managed, professional and meeting its program objectives, closed quote. And some of the improvements recommended by the group, the Non-profit State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations, Incorporated, are already under way. DEP must be properly staffed, financed and empowered to monitor industry performance. When problems arise, companies need to address the issue promptly and make things right. And DEP must be able to hold companies accountable to the law and regulations. This country and the world need affordable energy, and all energy production involves heavy industrial processes that touch the environment. Marcellus Shale development, if done in a responsible manner, can be part of the answer to our 21st century energy challenges and can continue to bring jobs, investment and economic vitality to the Greater Pittsburgh region. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Elizabeth Schneider, followed by Mark Schneider and then Bob Howard. MS. SCHNEIDER: Elizabeth Schneider, 5331 Cox Avenue, Lincoln Place, Pittsburgh. Good evening. Eight months ago, I stood before this same Council, along with some 40 or so other county residents, urging Council to educate themselves on issues related to Marcellus Shale and hydraulic fracturing. Some of you have chosen to educate yourselves. Yet it appears that more of you have closed your minds and only hear what the industry and the DEP want you to hear as you push for us to move forward with drilling without fear and without consequence. I believe this is wrong. The confidence that you have in our state regulators is misguided and ill-advised. The DEP has supposedly enacted new rules in regard to water withdrawal policies and the discharge of drilling wastewater into our rivers. And yes, they have increased the number of state employees that regulate the gas drilling. Yet it is obvious that the DEP cannot keep up with this reckless and out-of-control industry. DEP's approval of water management plans has overstepped its authority. Ex-secretary Hanger admitted that this approval, quote, does not, in fact, constitute an actual authorization to withdraw water from the Commonwealth's streams, lakes and rivers, end quote. Pennsylvania law gives the DEP no power to authorize such water withdrawal. In the last week, the DEP has made numerous statements regarding its ability to properly monitor and protect our drinking water supply from radioactivity associated with drilling wastewater. They claim that testing done by their department in 2010 showed that radioactivities are at or below state levels in rivers where wastewater is being dumped. These results mean nothing, as we have come to discover that this testing was done upstream from the treatment plants permitted to accept drilling wastewater. The EPA has requested a compliance review of all permits issued by the state to water treatment plants handling wastewater. It appears that the EPA also questions the DEP's ability to protect us. In 2010, the DEP reports that there were 1,454 wells drilled, 1,500 inspections and 271 violations, violations ranging from the discharge of industrial waste to rivers and streams without permit, improper impoundments to unreported defective, insufficient or improperly cemented well cases. These violations are public record. My concern is what the DEP is not documenting. For whatever reason, what are they not seeing? I have no faith in the current oversight of this dangerous and humanly irresponsible drilling industry. We, the residents of this Commonwealth, are not being protected. You, as our elected officials, need to step up and be courageous. Take a stand and make a demand for a higher level of accountability and protection from this industry. Thank you. (Applause.) MR. SCHNEIDER: Mark M. Schneider, 5331 Cox Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15207. I'd like to start off by saying I'm very opposed to the process of hydraulic fracturing. It may be clearer burning, but there's no such thing as clean burning natural gas. Emergency crews in Pittsburgh alone responded to hundreds of asphyxiation and carbon monoxide alarm calls this year. The large demand for natural gas only exists because of a lack of an alternative fuel source. The lack of an alternative fuel source is caused by profit over people. For over 32 years, I've been paying increasing taxes, while listening to the government complain that they don't have enough money. In Pittsburgh I've listened to government say that higher taxes would fix the problem. Renaissance II would fix the problem. A new one-percent entertainment tax. New stadiums. Rivers Casino. Now I'm hearing that gas extraction is going to fix the problem. I'm hearing this from a government that has a city under Act 47. What we need is a government that plans for the future instead of micromanaging the present. What we need is renewable fuel. Learning about the gas extraction process and exactly how it destroys an environment and poisons people makes me almost as sick as watching industry lie about it. The only thing that upsets me more than that is watching our government support it. I don't care how many pretty white fences they build or the fact that they're so nice that you can invite them into your home. They're poisoning people to make money. To deny that fact is simply ignorant. Because of what we learned over the last year, my family and I have replaced all of our appliances with electric. We switched electric providers to a renewable energy company. To a renewable energy company. During this fight, I've heard to many people say that we need natural gas. We need air. We need water. We do not need natural gas, and I'm here to prove it. We had the gas meter removed from our home on February 4th, 2011. Later on tonight when you have nothing else to do, close your eyes for a minute and imagine the wind blowing over a wheat field in Kansas. That's where my energy's coming from. Now imagine the two beautiful little children in Hickory that are crying with sores on their heads from showering in wastewater. That's where your energy's coming from. And open your eyes and do something about it. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Our number four speaker has arrived. Jessica McPherson, followed by Bob Howard. Mr. Howard, thank you for your indulgence. Jessica, thank you for being here. MS. MCPHERSON: Hi, folks. When people think of natural gas drilling pollution, they typically think of water, but I want to talk about air pollution, because it's just as serious. There are several kinds of air pollution created by the industry that should concern us. First of all, it creates a tremendous amount of diesel exhaust. Not only do the thousands of trucks for water and chemicals run on diesel, but so does all the equipment on a rig site. Throughout the industry, from well to pipeline, high levels of volatile organic compounds, nitrous oxides and methane are released. These form ozone and smog. There are now remote areas of Texas and Wyoming that have smog like Los Angeles entirely because of drilling. Our region cannot afford this. Perhaps some of you saw the excellent Post- Gazette series a month or so ago that described how we already have some of the worst air in the country because of outdated coal power plants and industrial plants. The Post-Gazette also said that this isn't just unsightly. It's unhealthy, causing higher rates of asthma and many cancers and more deaths from heart disease. Will it be my child who lives life in fear of not being able to breathe? Will it be your father who dies ten years too soon from a heart attack in the street on an especially smoggy day? This industrial onslaught at such a large scale doesn't come for free. This is going to touch us, people. But that's not all. I haven't talked about the toxic air pollutants: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene. These all come out of the earth at high volumes with the gas. And they are semi-volatile, meaning they evaporate, given the chance. And does the industry ever give them a chance. Not only are there leaky valves all over the well equipment, but they're often deliberately vented in the air, especially from condensate tanks. You can't see these vapors, but they are very bad for you. They cause cancer and liver system damage. Unlike the regional air quality issues, these impacts will be felt most acutely by those who live nearby. Studies conducted in drilling regions in the west show that residents living near wells, compressor stations and other drilling infrastructure quickly develop many symptoms of poisoning from these compounds, sometimes resulting in disabling illnesses. Water treatment plants proposed to clean frack water through distillation are especially concerning from an air pollution standpoint, because all the chemicals that volatize out of the water are often released into the air. But wouldn't the DEP do something about this if it was really a problem? They just did a study and didn't find any problems. Unfortunately, that's because they didn't look. Their instruments couldn't detect pollutants until they were at least levels of 2 to 16 times greater than the health standards. And air pollution impacts are only considered for individual installations. The cumulative impact of many well sites placed together, as well as condensate tanks and other infrastructure, is never considered. Basically, the DEP asks the industry, does your new well create over 50 tons of air pollution? And they say, no, it only emits five. Never mind that we're installing a hundred of them. So now you have 500 tons of pollutants in the air. That's not considered. The industry tells us we have to switch from coal to natural gas because natural gas burns cleaner. Well, when we add up all the impacts of the process, we find that the difference isn't the case. There are other ways for economic development that aren't so deadly. They may not make as much money for Range Resources or Chesapeake Energy, but they're a much better deal for us. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: If you would give them to our clerk, he'll make sure that they're distributed to all of us. Thank you very much. Bob Howard, followed by Paula Jean Tonsor, Stephanie Simmons, Philip Morath. Mr. Howard? MR. HOWARD: Good evening. I'm Bob Howard from Marshall Township in Allegheny County. Thank you for taking time to hear from citizens of Allegheny County and take into consideration our inputs. First, I'm not a member of the gas or petroleum industry. I am here to request a rational response based upon the facts. I'm here to ask this Council not to be bullied by zealots asking you to believe the worst that can happen will be the average. These zealots come from the same mold that told our great-grandfathers, the George Westinghouses, alternating power and light was much too dangerous and that people would be electrocuted daily in the streets. And on a daily basis, houses would blow up and burn to the ground. Who here would be crazy enough to put a moratorium on electricity? Who here would take electricity from the poor and return us to the candles that only the rich could afford? Who here would take electricity and have us breathe in candle soot? Yet that is exactly what zealots are asking you to do when it comes to natural gas from Marcellus Shale. They are asking you to ban cheap, inexpensive energy in favor of imported oil from a volatile Middle East. Because of natural gas from Marcellus Shale, gas prices have fallen and many of us heating our homes this winter in Allegheny County have saved hundreds of dollars. These zealots are asking you to increase the cost of heating our homes. Perhaps they live on trust funds, but many of us in Allegheny County live on fixed incomes. We cannot afford to have the heat turned off by zealots. Has anyone ever been electrocuted? Has a house ever caught on fire? Yes. But only a madman would suggest a moratorium on electricity in Allegheny County. These zealots would destroy thousands of jobs in Allegheny County and deprive thousands of trained apprentices and workers low on the totem pole a chance to earn a decent wage. These zealots would have you engage in the illegal taking of private property rights without compensation. These zealots would subject the county to class action suits by citizens deprived of their private property and unable to develop their Marcellus Shale rights. It's time for you to cease pandering to zealots and start listening to the citizens who realize that risk can be managed much as is done with George Westinghouse's alternating current to provide cheaper energy, more jobs and protection of property rights. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Paula Jean Tonsor, Stephanie Simmons, Philip Morath, Kenneth Weir. Paula, are you with us? Okay. Followed by Stephanie Simmons, Philip Morath, Kenneth Weir. Thank you. MS. TONSOR: I'm Paula Jean Tonsor. I live in Garfield. So it's interesting that that fellow was just talking about property rights, because another right that we have as Pennsylvanians is the right to clean water. And if you develop gas production in a county when the reserves in the Marcellus Shale are projected to least for 15 years of Americans' energy needs, where will we be when that's over? Let's gauge that by the industry's impact on human beings' most basic need, water. So before a drop of frack water ever hits the ground, we have a problem. Gas companies aren't required to disclose the chemicals they use. So as EPA Advisor Wilma Subra points out, accidents have happened and will happen, but responders can't appropriately address these public health disasters because no one knows what chemicals we're being exposed to. Of course, this nonsense has gone on long enough that we do have some pretty good ideas. The Endocrine Disruption Exchange Study, the sample of produced water from a 2006 spill, and their analysis of just the constituents identifiable against CIS members shows that 100 percent of these are associated with respiratory effects. Over 90 percent cause sensory organ damage. Seventy-seven (77) percent are associated with damage to the GI system and liver. Immune system damage is linked to 55 percent. And 59 percent have effects in the other category, which is an interesting title because the most often cited effect in that category is the chemicals' ability to cause death. None of these figures even consider effects of long-term, chronic exposure, such as what we face when living in a contaminated environment or on-the-job exposure. DEP and EPA studies have also shown that frack water contains proven neurotoxins, carcinogens and endocrine disrupters and radioactivity, often thousands of times over the federal limits for safe drinking water. And apparently, the industry can't clean up after itself without using our water supply for a trash can; right? So when wastewater isn't illegally dumped on fields and streams, it's often trucked to sewage treatment plants, where it's mixed with clean water and dumped wholesale into our rivers. Sometimes they just spill the water from the chemicals in an energy-intensive process that leaves behind highly toxic radioactive salt solids that municipalities now buy and spread on roads for de-icing so that the toxins enter our water system anyhow through run- offs. So there's no ignoring that gas production and clean water don't mix. The bottom line is that no technology exists to render these chemicals safe for human beings. In Allegheny County, hundreds of thousands of us depend on drinking water from the very rivers that receive the brunt of gas industry waste and contamination. Where would we ever obtain enough water to replace what we can choose now to protect? Long-term economic growth in shale country is not going to come from 15 years of gas revenues. Those jobs that you want are going to be in the medical industry, caring for our poisoned families and friends for generations after the gas is gone. Thank you. CHAIR BURN: Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Paula, before you speak, I have a public service announcement from outside. The guards have brought to my attention that many of your fellow speakers right now are not able to get up onto the fourth floor because of the large crowd that we have outside, either here to observe or to wait their turn to have a chance to speak, as well. So we respectfully ask that if there is anyone in the room who has already spoken or does not plan on speaking, to allow us an opportunity for the folks downstairs who want to speak to come up. If you wouldn't mind just swapping positions with them so that our folks outside and security can make sure that the people coming up onto the fourth floor have an opportunity to be heard as well. So if you could just give me 30 seconds. I see some folks here indulging that request. Thank you very much. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can we hear you outside? CHAIR BURN: Yes, ma'am. We have a speaker out there for you, absolutely. And that's why we put it out there. We knew we were getting a very large crowd. And we appreciate the involvement very much. Thanks, Paula. We'll be right with you. Let's shift a little bit here. Thanks. Paula Jean Tonsor? AUDIENCE MEMBER: She just spoke. CHAIR BURN: Paula, I'm sorry. Stephanie? That doesn't mean you get six minutes, though. Folks, give us just a second. We're going to shift some folks around. Thank you. Again, for the folks out in the hallway listening, some of the people in the room that were not signed up to speak or who have already spoken are offering their seats to people who, in fact, are signed up to speak. So if you are on the list to speak and you're out there, you are welcome to come in and find one of our seats here within the capacity that is allotted under the codes for this building. Having said all of that, Stephanie? Thank you. MS. SIMMONS: Thank you. Steph Simmons, Allegheny County, Forever Pittsburgh 21. Part of a sensible terra-based risk assessment analysis includes the evaluation of the collective geology of a given region and its existing assets or detriments to a given approach or technology. In the case of unconventional horizontal acquisition of natural gas in the Marcellus black shale, there is no evidence that real world environmental hazards and their history in the region, as well as legacy, were included in the initial assessment. Apparently, nor were migration problems, structural integrity or transfer and transport incidents. At a 4.5-percent accident rate, this particular form of gas acquisition has exceeded the mere 1.4 accident rate of coal mining over its entire historic existence. This does not include the number of accidents that may have had a gas migration or contamination component, but no one wants to talk about the implications of that. Even in the vacuum that was black shale gas acquisition assessment by the industry, the risk was labeled as high by those consultants paid to assess this approach. High risk to workers and even to the shale itself. Supporting documents are enclosed. Already aging infrastructure in the Commonwealth does not lend itself well to a geological approach that would, without a doubt, advance deterioration of said infrastructure by increasing instability of the sedimentary layer and strata, as well as filling substrate vacated by gas vapors with sand insufficient to support between 7,000 and 10,000 feet of low and high volatile bituminous coal, anthracite, various combinations of soil, limestone, quartz, presence of cadmium, cesium, lead, mercury, strontium, radon, methane, aquifers, underground streams, the Wisconsin Glacier and the proverbial partridge in a pear tree. The process of acquisition of natural gas within the shale along a pre-Jurassic fault line releases salts that are highly corrosive and acid pH so low that macroinvertebrates and macrophytes cannot thrive in it. Soil pH is impacted as well, creating a highly undesirable environment for any infrastructure that touches air, soil and water in this region. To exacerbate this already critical element, water treatment plants have been changing the preferred method of treatment away from chlorine to other water purifiers like chloramine. This is due to presence of bromides that come hand in hand with this industry. Some forms of treatment used in Allegheny County will dissolve rubber, leech old sediment, heavy metals, including lead and other hazards, out of those aging pipes and directly into businesses and households. Remediation equipment is cost prohibitive per household in a county with the largest population of elders on fixed income, and whose remaining population, thanks to a legacy of industrial revolution history, can expect to live 10.34 years less than our comparable neighbors. For infrastructure in our region, this is the perfect storm of stupid, as threats come from every angle originating from a single source, a proverbial pebble drop called black shale natural gas acquisition, whose concentric circles of impact could be so profound that they could impact the infrastructure of every community. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals used by this industry, along with AMD and future --- along with xenobiotics. I thank you very much for your time. CHAIR BURN: Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Thanks to those in the hall that are working with us on the traffic control. Thank you out there for your cooperation. Philip Morath, Kenneth Weir, Erika Staaf, Loretta Weir. Yes, sir. MR. MORATH: I was born, raised and educated in the State of Pennsylvania. My early career was in environmental consulting, which mainly included underground support shank removal, groundwater remediation and water well placement. I now work in the gas industry, so I'm acutely aware of arguments on both sides of the Marcellus Shale issue. To say the country has not seen the scope of resource extraction in a long time does not have the fond memories of when this type of industry was in the area. There will always be economic and environmental impacts that have to be weighed. That said, fracking is a safe process as long as the well is cemented properly, and there are procedures to make sure this is the case; for example, cement bond logs. Companies in the industry also test the water quality of drinking water sources surrounding the pad location before operations commence to establish a baseline. I'm here today to address the tangible concerns of increased traffic, which can decrease air quality and damage roads. It's in the best interest of the gas industry to drill long laterals, because the vertical portion of the well bore is the most expensive. The longer the lateral, the less surface disturbance. Many leases in southwestern PA are taking full horizontal drilling as a viable technology. Current regulations in PA do not allow wells to be drilled until all mineral owners agree to the well being drilled. This causes companies to drill wells as they can be permitted. Sometimes this means leaving and returning to the same pads multiple times; in other words, increased traffic. If the regulations were changed to allow for the development of minerals as long as the majority of mineral owners agreed, companies could streamline the well permitting, drilling and completion process so that local impact of truck traffic could be minimized. As long as companies are held to antiquated regulations, development of acres will occur in spurts. Ask the people of Allegheny County to encourage their state government officials to pass fair legislation. I also personally encourage a local extraction tax so that townships and counties that are impacted receive funds to ease the impact of resource extraction. I'd also like to address the accusations of out- of-staters coming to develop Marcellus Shale. Since I was young, I wanted to stay in the State of Pennsylvania. However, for a portion of my career, I left to work for Barnett Shale for a company in Texas. I did this because I wanted to work shales, and the company I worked for in Pennsylvania divested in Marcellus acreage. While I was in Texas, I was taught how to evaluate shale and exposed to optimized development plans. I would not have learned this if I had stayed in Pennsylvania. While I enjoyed my time in Texas, I missed friends and family at home. I was able to obtain employment of Marcellus here in the area and moved back to Pennsylvania as soon as I could. I now work, live, pay taxes and buy products in Allegheny County. Many of the people I work with have a similar story to mine. They left Pennsylvania to increase their professional skills, have since moved back to use what they have learned to develop a local resource in the proper fashion. When I moved back to Pennsylvania, I may have had a Texas plate on my car and a Texas driver's license, but I've always considered myself a Pennsylvanian. Thank you for your time. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Kenneth Weir, followed by Erika Staaf, followed by Loretta Weir. Sir? MR. WEIR: Prove it. That is an industry- favored line, prove it. They will say, let's stick to the scientific facts. I say, disprove this, the numbers. It's their numbers and the probabilities of environmental accident. Governments use probabilities in budget forecasting. The military use it when planning strategic deployment and arms spending. Banks use it. Life insurance, car insurance, health insurance, homeowners' insurance, all them use probabilities in some form. The reason is very simple. Over the years, these institutions discover a pattern; simply, two plus two equals four. It always has and it always will. But the biggest, most insidious, cunning, disgusting non-use of this proven practice of probabilities is being heaped upon us by our supposed leaders in government and the oil and gas industry. As of August 2010, the 26 drilling companies with the most violations, on average, have a 76- percent risk factor. That is, for every 100 wells that this group drills, we can predict with relative certainty that they will have an accident which puts our environment, our health and our safety at risk 76 times. Let me repeat that. 100 wells, 76 accidents. And there are big names on this list: Chesapeake, Range, EQT, Talisman, Atlas, Chief, Cabot and East Resources. These are factual, hardcore numbers compiled by the PA Land Trust and taken from the DEP website. In the information you are receiving is a documented paper written by Dr. Joe Evans, which will show in detail the types of violations and the percentage of each. It's their numbers. It's our problems. Just facts. Let's compare some facts. Remember the drilling accidents directly affecting our environment, health or safety, on average, by their numbers, three out of every four wells drilled. The risk of being in an airplane accident is 1 in 354,319; the drilling accidents, 3 out of 4. The odds of being audited by the IRS, 1 in 75; drilling accidents, 3 out of 4. The odds of a hole in one in golf, 1 in 5,000; drilling accidents, 3 out of 4. The odds of bowling a 300 game, 1 in 11,500; the drilling accidents, 3 out of 4. And any politician who has taken an oath, a verbal contract with the people they represent to protect the health, safety and welfare and to uphold the PA and U.S. Constitutions, who can look us in the eyes and say that this industry is average, or an environmental accident in three out of every four wells that they drill is a good risk, should be removed from office for violating his or her oath to the good people of this county, state and region. We are told by Washington, by Harrisburg, by the industry, by the media, that these decisions are and will be made by people who have had their pockets lined with gold from these fools and who have ignored this proven method for determining risk. This industry cannot be allowed to continue their assault on the health, safety and intelligence of the people. They have proven by their numbers that they are incapable of getting it right. Bad laws which allows this practice to continue must be challenged by a movement of all people. This corporate onslaught must be banned until ever if they can't prove it wrong. And after all, numbers don't lie. People do. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Erika Staaf, followed by Loretta Weir, Claudia Detwiler, Edith Wilson. MS. STAAF: Good evening. I'm Erika Staaf with PennEnvironment, and a resident of Pittsburgh. In Susquehanna County, Cabot Oil and Gas spilled more than 7,000 gallons of dangerous hydraulic fracturing fluid into Stevens Creek from their Marcellus Shale drill site, causing a fish kill. In Clearfield County, a Marcellus gas well owned by Enron Oil and Gas spewed gas and an estimated 1,000,000 gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluid 75 feet into the air, only to be contained 17 hours later. These are just two examples. Given the industry's track record elsewhere in Pennsylvania, I would caution the Council to carefully assess the effects that gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale would have on environmental heritage, public health and the quality of life of all county residents, before you go too far down the road in allowing drilling. We support a moratorium on drilling in the county until proper rules and regulations are in place to fully protect its residents and environment. Regulations we would support include better air quality regulations, banning drilling in county parks, and implementing setbacks from waterways and structures. I will focus my comments today on banning drilling in county parks. Allegheny County's parks are true gems and are special places that bring communities together. These parks are where people come to hike, run, boat, fish, swim, bird watch, ski, snowshoe and enjoy countless other recreational activities. They add an unquantifiable value to the county and to the region. They also serve as important habitats for wildlife species that would otherwise be absent so close to an urban environment. On the state level, as you might have heard, more than 40 percent of our state forests have been leased to gas drillers, and our state parks could be next. And I'll clarify that. Forty (40) percent of our state forests that lie on top of the Marcellus Shale region. With pristine areas and recreational opportunities expected to dwindle in these areas as Marcellus Shale drilling increases there, it would be the wrong decision for the county to follow the state's lead and lease county parks for gas drilling. Marcellus Shale gas drilling is an intensely industrial activity that uses millions of gallons of chemically treated water. It requires the clearing of land, construction of pipelines, water impoundment and access roads, along with hundreds of truck trips. Add to that the hundreds of incidents such as those I mentioned above that have already occurred in Pennsylvania, and it seems clear that our county parks should be off limits to any deep well hydraulic fracturing and associated activities. However, more broadly, I again want to underscore that we also support and encourage a moratorium on deep well drilling anywhere in the county until and unless the industry can demonstrate that drilling here will not negatively affect our environmental heritage, clean water, public health and quality of life for all county residents. The burden of proof should be on the gas drilling industry and not the public. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Loretta Weir, Claudia Detwiler, Edith Wilson, John Detwiler. MS. WEIR: Hi. My name is Loretta Weir. I would like to respectfully remind County Council of the oath that is taken when they're sworn in; to preserve, protect, defend and obey the Constitution of the United States and the constitutional laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states, the people have a right to clean air, pure water and the preservation of the natural scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are common property of all the people, including generations to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people. The Home Rule Charter further states, we, the people of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania believe that the Home Rule government will transfer substantial authority over our county government from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the people of Allegheny County. As far as I know, despite recent developments in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, democracy has not officially been cancelled. I have not received news that our Constitution has been null and void, although actions from powerful corporations, such as this gas industry, would hope otherwise. Let's use common sense. The Oil and Gas Act essentially hijacked the government and the people and the municipalities by stripping them of their rights. Just common sense. The Halliburton loophole exempted this industry from the following acts: Clean Air, Clean Water and the Superfund Cleanup Law. It's more than just a little suspect. It's just common sense. The overwhelming scientific evidence from experts like Theo Colborn, Dr. Ingraffea, Wilma Subra, Dr. Volz, Dr. Stolz and many others, including the experts we have here today, should be considered authorities. Their work should be studied with the utmost seriousness. It's just common sense. Unprecedented fish kills, state forests with contaminated water around areas of drilling and explosions, a coincidence? No. This is common sense. Reports of illnesses around compressor stations and drill sites. Do you think our people are making this up? No. This is common sense. To boom in our economy; are you kidding me? They've been drilling in our state for five or six years. We face huge deficits. Look at the recent budget cuts. It's just common sense. I just heard unemployment rate is up. The cuts to the EPA and the environmental agency is part of their best practices. Unbelievable. Our governor took $1,000,000 from this industry, and they courted other politicians as well. And these people are looking out for you? No. This is common sense. These people are pathological liars. They are not social deviates in their own strata, however. How many times can we be lied to before we believe a liar? What's the next lie? They're going to tell us that they're going to follow up the carcinogenic agents in our water by following it up with some radiation treatment for us, coming from the same water. That will be great. You're not sick. We didn't do it. A thousand birds died because they were scared of fireworks. Okay. A thousand. When I growing up, I didn't see fish die from fish kills. I didn't see this kind of stuff. I didn't get warnings about the water. So this is common sense. You don't need a Ph.D. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Claudia Detwiler, Edith Wilson, John Detwiler, Eve Goodman, Joni Rabinowitz. MS. DETWILER: Claudia Detwiler, 5723 Solway Street, Pittsburgh. I want to talk about deceptive job projections, and I'm going to make six points very quickly. The first is phony research. I hope by now we all know that the so-called Penn State Studies were funded by the drilling industry, and that the lead researcher was associated with an oil and gas consulting firm in Wyoming. But the problems go way beyond this compromise. The research itself is seriously flawed in the methodology behind those astounding job projections, but the strategy worked. The industry quotes those phony projections as credible academic research, and everybody is cowed by the numbers. Point number two is jobs does not mean jobs for Pennsylvanians. The industry needs people with strong oil and gas experience. This is not most Pennsylvanians who are looking for jobs. When challenged, industry reps will say how much they would like to hire Pennsylvanians. This is just silly. An industry with millions of dollars of equipment and a high-risk workplace is not going to hire inexperienced people when they can get plenty of experienced people who travel with them. Point number three is most drilling-related work is short term. Industry people like to cite a study showing that 410 individuals and 150 occupations are needed on a single well. This is very deceptive. They don't want us to know that 98 percent of those drilling- related jobs represent specific tasks that are required only for the short period while wells are being drilled, not in production mode. They also don't want us to know that their projections for the life of a well are suspect at best. They talk about being here for 40-plus years to imply security. But these projections are based on the first few years of activity for a well. Well activity drops almost 50 percent in the first year and continues a rapid decline after that. Again, phony numbers. So if you're a Pennsylvanian who gets an industry job, you had better be ready to take your family on the road like the workers now pouring into Pennsylvania. Industry jobs will not strengthen Pennsylvania communities. Number four. Those job projections are heavy on low-paying employment. They say jobs, and you are supposed to hear family-sustaining employment. This is also not true. Most of those projected jobs are the low- end sales clerk and service industry jobs. And remember, even those jobs are temporary. Once the drilling and fracking has occurred and the well is in production mode, most workers move on. Number five, some businesses will suffer. Tourism is the second most lucrative industry in Pennsylvania. Hunting and fishing are major tourist economies in many communities. Agriculture provides employment to one in five Pennsylvanians. These businesses stand to lose. Number six, individuals at risk. I am starting to see articles about under-reported accident rates in this industry and also ads by law firms for workers injured on drilling sites. Is this really the best we can do for Pennsylvania's workers? Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Edith Wilson, John Detwiler, Eve Goodman, Joni Rabinowitz, Dr. Sharon Brown. MS. WILSON: Edith Wilson. I live at 223 Elm Street, Pittsburgh, 15218. And I am thanking Greg Coleridge, a resident of Ohio, and Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, for much of the context of my remarks. I am providing two documents for you to read. What Does it Mean to Get Fracked by Ben Price and Greg Coleridge's op ed, Fracking Democracy. The Pennsylvania Constitution guarantees our right to clean air and clean water. To protect and preserve these rights, it's time we demand a ban on fracking. Fracking is a threat, not only to our physical and environmental well-being. The way gas drilling corporations are escaping local democratic control is a real political threat, as well. Greg Coleridge, in Fracking Democracy, mentions the growing number of communities passing legally binding outright bans against the risky practice of fracking. He also comments on the bizarre legal notion that corporations possess Bill of Rights and other constitutional protections that were intended solely for human beings. He concludes that we are called, as socially concerned humans, to protect our communities and work to put people, not corporations, in charge of their own futures. In a press release yesterday, Ben Price said, state law preempts municipalities from regulating the industry to protect the community. But it's just not true that residents don't have the right to decide whether or not they get fracked. We don't have a gas drilling problem. We have a democracy problem. Its symptoms are the state's refusal to recognize the right to local community self-government and the issuance of permits to drilling corporations that empower them to violate the rights of the human and natural communities. In other words, we are getting fracked. And what does it mean to get fracked? He concludes that getting fracked isn't inevitable unless we are willing to lose our fundamental rights without a fight. People in Pittsburgh, several other communities and soon more, have decided to act on the premise that their right to community self-government, to water and a healthy environment are a higher law than state preemptions and federal exemptions for corporations licensed and chartered in the name of the people. These communities have taken steps to enact local laws establishing a community Bill of Rights and prohibiting corporate fracking. These are people who will not surrender their rights. They won't voluntarily get fracked. I urge Council to do the same. Ban fracking in Allegheny County. We don't want to get fracked. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Mr. Detwiler, followed by Eve Goodman, Joni Rabinowitz, Dr. Sharon Brown, David Meieran --- Meieran (changes pronunciation). MR. DETWILER: Thank you, members of Council. My name is John Detwiler. I live in the City of Pittsburgh. You've heard a lot about the downside of Marcellus Shale drilling. Now I'm going to talk about the upside. For Allegheny County, there isn't any. Some working folks and landowners will do all right, and some of them are here tonight. The multinationals will make a killing. Haven't you been reminded, you're here to represent the best interests of the county? And I hope that you will do the same with the whole issue, as you've done with the courtesy you've shown to all the speakers tonight, which is very much appreciated. There are a lot of industry talking points, and they're recited over and over again by Tom Ridge and the other corporate pitchmen. And you could decide to just parrot some of those talking points as your reasons for going along with the industry's program. But if you really want to understand what this hearing is about, spend some time doing your own research. Pay attention to what's been happening in Texas, Wyoming, Colorado. You'll find the upside of drilling is like a mirage in the desert. It shifts and it shimmers as you try to get it into focus. And if you catch up to it, it disappears altogether. I am not a zealot. (Applause.) MR. DETWILER: But I ask you to try to pick one of the so-called benefits and try to pin it down. You've heard about jobs, green fuel. Although natural gas does contain less carbon than coal, the total impact of Marcellus gas over an entire lifecycle is at least as bad as coal. And when we push the external costs onto our local government, the artificially low price of natural gas is a disincentive to developing renewable resources, which is our only real future. Energy independence. Marcellus gas is not a replacement for imported oil. There is simply no technical means to substitute natural gas for petroleum in any more than infinitesimal quantities. On the contrary. Multinational corporations are already gearing up to build huge liquid fracturing plants along our coasts, planning to export natural gas to Asia, where they can sell it more profitably. Finally, take a hard look at the economics of this business. The wellhead price of gas is at a historic low and will stay there for years, so what's the rush? Analysts say that the shale exploration looks like the dot com bubble just before it burst. They say the companies are frothing up their balance sheets, burning through cash, telling pretty 50-year production forecasts for a geology that has less than five years' experience. And they have leases held by production where the value of the gas doesn't even pay to run the compressors. It's all being sold on the dime. Companies are leaving mature fields in Texas to buy acreage in Pennsylvania, when nobody can challenge their forecasts. And now even before the Marcellus plague has reached production, they're spinning up the Utica shale as the next best thing. Tom Corbett says he wants to turn Pennsylvania into Texas. Well, I don't want to live in Texas. If he does or you do, wouldn't our communities be better off if you just moved there? (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Eve Goodman, followed by Joni Rabinowitz, Dr. Sharon Brown, David Meieran, Ted Popovich. MS. GOODMAN: My name is Eve Goodman. I live at 324 Pitt Street in Wilkinsburg. I am frustrated that I have to be here to raise the concerns that many of us share as homeowners. I am here tonight to urge County Council to ban fracking in Allegheny. I've heard a lot of conflicting rhetoric regarding natural gas and Marcellus Shale fracking. On the one hand, those representing big business emphasize the money that they will make and the jobs they insist they will create for the region. On the other hand, scientists warn of increased air pollution, destruction of the region's watersheds and decreased property values. Even the gas industry now claims that fracking is safe, a claim based on the industry's exemptions from the EPA's Clean Air and Water Act. The more I read in the paper, hear on the radio and see on the television, the more I can't help but feel that we're in the midst of a huge environmental Ponzi scheme. Politicians, tax-phobic citizens, business people seem to think natural gas will be the saving grace of Pennsylvania's energy needs in the economic crisis. And yet the environmental degradation I hear about points to a very near future of increased serious health issues due to tainted water supplies and poor air quality. Apparently, a natural gas industry group has created a $100,000 fund to support heightened water testing. Forgive me if I am not impressed. In an industry that can afford a $75,000,000 bonus to a CEO, I think they could afford to give much more money to support stringent and frequent water testing. (Applause.) MS. GOODMAN: Instead, what we have is the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reporting that radium levels were low and not dangerous in their 2010 November and December water tests, which apparently does happen when you sample water upstream from the plants you're testing, and thus get a false reading, as reported in The New York Times on March 7th. If you question the veracity of claims that hydrofracking will result in decreased property values, I suggest you investigate policies held by FHA and HUD. Both organizations deny mortgages for properties that are located near fracking facilities because of the environmental degradation of the land. So as with the popping of the Wall Street bubble of 2008, when the common people like myself and my neighbors got stuck paying the bill of the deregulated schemes of billionaire investment bankers, if you do not ban fracking, you will be stuck with a much bigger bill to pay: our personal health and our children's health. Finally, I'd like to question why the word tax has become an anathema in the United States political arena. Let's not forget that taxes are meant to pay for public services such as waste management, road repair, public health and public safety, as in police and fire personnel. If you do not have the courage to ban fracking, then I hope you have it to levy taxes on these oil and gas companies, taxes high enough to cover Allegheny residents for the higher rate of health problems caused by fracking, the needed environmental cleanup the process will create, and compensate homeowners whose land values will deplete because of it. If these levies seem prohibitive to gas and oil companies who wish to drill, so be it. After all, as I said before, they seem to have no problem giving multimillion-dollar yearly bonuses to their CEOs and funding lavish Super Bowl trips for politicians whose concern seem to be more with gas companies' profits than the health and well-being of their constituents. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Joni Rabinowitz, followed by Dr. Sharon Brown, Dave Meieran, Ted Popovich, Dave Spigelmyer. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm an Orthodox Jew, and I know you're all Christians, and it's against the Bible to kill people. And this is ---. MS. RABINOWITZ: Thank you. I'm a regular Jew, and I agree. (Applause.) MS. RABINOWITZ: My name is Joni Rabinowitz, and I live in Pittsburgh. My demand is work for a statewide moratorium until we can know more about the long-term effects of this process and how it will affect our future generations. Here are two recent experiences I've had. Last month I went to a farming conference, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, PASA, in State College. I've been going to this conference for about eight years, and 2,000 people come to it. Small farmers and people who care about farmers and about how our food is produced come to this conference. In this group, there's a growing opposition to Marcellus Shale drilling across the whole state, based primarily on their experiences and as people who grow the food we eat and keep our streams clean. Here's a description of the early part of the process from a PASA newsletter. The gas well itself creates at least a five- acre footprint, but also the roads needed to move tons of equipment to a site, the increase in truck traffic, the width of the pipeline easements, the water needed for the fracking process, the bulldozers and earthmovers driving over your pastures and croplands, the noise of the compressors, the dust, to name just a few. And this doesn't even address the long-term effects, which we don't know about because, despite whatever the companies say, this process, high volume, horizontal, hydraulic fracturing to this depth and this distance has only been around about a decade. So people are organizing around the state for a moratorium. My second experience recently was during a pre- endorsement period preparing for the Democratic Party endorsement. The candidates for countywide office were peppered with questions and concerns about this drilling at many board meetings across the county. I'm sure the same type of concerns are expressed in the Republican Party, also. In addition to voting in the endorsement on Sunday, I was excited to get the chance to meet hundreds of people and talk about drilling in the Marcellus Shale. I had many thumbs up as people walked by. People were eager to take our literature, and lots of people approached me with their individual situations. Almost everybody I talked to expressed the opinion that we don't know enough about the long-term effects. Several people told me they had land out in the state, and rapacious land men have been harassing them about signing leases. I was shocked to learn that some of the leases now demand that the landowner give the gas company a Power of Attorney. I was shocked. And finally, there have been 800 earthquakes in central Arkansas since drilling started there. The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission was concerned enough about the possible links with gas drilling that they closed down the wells in the immediate area. Again, I urge you to prohibit drilling in the county and work for a statewide moratorium. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Dr. Sharon Brown, followed by David Meieran, Ted Popovich, Dave Spigelmyer, Katherine Luke. DR. BROWN: Thank you, Chairman Burn and Council. Thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight. I have some notes here I'm going to refer to. But most of what I'm going to say is from personal experience and personal experience as a researcher with a background in environmental health policy. What I do for a living is working with numbers and what they mean and working with what we refer to as the real data, the real facts. For example, I know Allegheny County wants to make the best assessment as to the unknown mysteries of Marcellus Shale in order to make the right decisions based on the facts, based on the right data and following the mission statement of Allegheny County Council to protect the public from harm. Let's do a brief review of what we've learned so far. Some of the facts and myths presented at the last public hearing in July were those industry people that left the room before the public was able to speak and let them know what we wanted to say to them. The number of jobs created by Marcellus Shale has already been mentioned in terms of the Pennsylvania State Study, which was funded by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which was not previously declared, but under pressure, they decided to repent and do so. The taxes paid by Marcellus Shale industries. One industry representative --- actually, several threatened that they would leave Pennsylvania if they had to pay a tax on top of the corporate taxes they were already paying. Well, guess what? They don't pay the corporate tax. Unless you're incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania, you do not pay that. At most --- and I checked my facts with several state representatives that night and since then --- they might pay the personal income tax, which is one of the lowest Tuesday taxes in the United States. In terms of radioactivity of the water testing, someone has already pointed out, to test the water radioactivity, you need to test below the point source, not above it. Just some other facts, some numbers, in particular. We hope that we would be protected by our local government. My local town council in McCandless voted unanimously several months ago to allow Marcellus Shale drilling in North Park and on the North Allegheny School District properties. The budget. Let's look at the budget that Governor Corbett came up with. Sadly, the DEP has had significant deductions in terms of the numbers of people as well as funding. This is a time when the number of permits and well sites are escalating. One wonders exactly what that contribution total of $8,335,720 --- I'm sorry --- $835,720.18. It just aggravated me so much to read that number. What does that really mean in terms of how we can be protected by our state powers that be? Please, Allegheny County, do what's right for the citizens of Allegheny County. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: David Meieran --- I'm sorry if I mispronounced your last name, sir. David Meieran, Ted Popovich, Dave Spigelmyer, Katherine Luke, Barbara Grover. Thank you, sir. MR. MEIERAN: Yeah. I'm David Meieran, and I'm from Squirrel Hill. Before I go to my presentation, I feel compelled to respond to one of the myths that was put forward by Bob Howard earlier. I may be a zealot, but I don't have a trust fund and I dare him to point out anyone who's trying to work against Marcellus Shale that has even one-tenth the amount of money that Aubrey McClendon or any one of the other CEOs have. (Applause.) MR. MEIERAN: You know, I also ask him, who would be crazy enough to worry about something like DDT? Who would be crazy? Well, let's see. There's someone named Rachel Carson they used to call a zealot. Now there's a whole institute named after her. Who would be crazy to worry about something like radiation? And when you're worried about radiation, you can't even see it. Who would be crazy to worry about dioxin? Well, the Lucknow residents sure were. They were called zealots. And now we have a superfund law --- well, had, I guess I should say. It doesn't really apply in the case of what we're talking about. Who would worry about hexavalent chromium? Bob Howard, have you ever seen the movie Erin Brockovich? You know, she and her family and residents in California, they were called zealots. Who would worry about offshore drilling in the Gulf? You know, what's wrong with that? Or Bob, why don't you take them to the dead zone down there? It's about the size of New Jersey. I could go on and on. There's asbestos, benzene. But now in the last minute and a half, I want to turn to my presentation, as planned. A. Acetic acid hydroxyl reaction products with triethanolamine. Acetic anhydride, acetone, acrylamide. As you know, Michael Pollan said, you shouldn't eat anything that you can't pronounce. And I'm wondering if --- probably the same applies to drinking, too. Acrylamide/sodium, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonate copolymer, acrylamide/sodium copolymer or any other copolymer. Acrylamide polymer with NNN trimethylene-oxyhexa --- I don't know. We'll skip that one. Acrylamide/sodium acrylate copolymer, alcohol C12-C16 ethoxylate, aliphatic hydrocarbon, alkenes, alkalines, alkyl olefin sulfonate, sodium --- okay. That one I recognize. Alpha propylene ethyl sulphate surfactants, aluminum chloride, amine C12- 14-tert-alkyl ethoxylated --- ethoxylated. Okay. alkylide. Skip that one. Never mind. Tallow alkyl ethoxylate acetates, ammonia, ammonium acetate, ammonium acryloyl dimethltaurate, ammonium bisulfate, ammonium chloride, ammonium citrate, ammonium cumene sulfonate, ammonium ---. Oh, I haven't even finished the O's yet. Do you want to read some more of these chemicals and find out what some of the toxic effects are? Visit marcellusprotest.org/resources. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Our court reporter may want to see you for some of those spellings. Ted Popovich, followed by David Spigelmyer, Katherine Luke, Barbara Grover, MaryAnne Rahn. MR. POPOVICH: I'm Ted Popovich. I live in Ben Avon. I used to work for Westinghouse Electric, and I trusted the AC Motors, by the way. But I have now become a very concerned citizen about our environment. My topic is global over local. In May 2010, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to buy East Resources, located in Warrendale, for $4.7 billion in cash, obtaining new holdings in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford gas deposits. In October of 2010, CNOOC, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation, paid $1.1 billion for a third interest in leases owned by Chesapeake Energy Corp in the Eagle Ford play in South Texas. And I'll give you one more. I have a whole list of these things. In April 2010, India's Reliance Industries, one of the largest commercial ventures in India, bought a 40-percent interest in the Marcellus acreage of Atlas Energy in Moon Township. Okay. Global over local. So an interagency committee of the U.S. government, sometimes called CFIUS, is charged with the responsibility of reviewing foreign investments that could affect national security. This Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has authority over energy assets and extractive energy --- industry issues. In 2005, in fact, CFIUS ruled against Chinese CNOOC's $18.5 billion bid for Unocal. Today, CFIUS is strangely silent on the issue of foreign investment in natural gas shale plays. Why is this? Well, in November 2009, Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao jointly announced the launch of a U.S.-China Shale Gas Resource Initiative. In April 2010, the U.S. Department of State launched the Global Shale Gas Initiative to help countries identify and develop their unconventional gas resources. The first multilateral meeting of that organization happened in Washington in August. Where are the Departments of Commerce and Energy or the EPA, for that matter? It's a matter of state, a high stakes energy chess game between national governments. We are the pawns and appear to be disposable. Now it's up to you, our local leadership, to do the right thing by us. Protect us from being stripped of our assets, the furnishings of our mortgaged houses. Our federal and state leaders have been lacking. What do we want from you? We want you to establish a moratorium until we can gather our wits about us and understand the pluses and minuses of this new technology. And if we do do this, we want the cash to stay here for us citizens. That's what we want. Thank you very much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Dave Spigelmyer, followed by Katherine Luke, Barbara Grover, MaryAnne Rahn, Kate St. John. MR. FORDE: Dave Spigelmyer, Vice-Chairman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, is out of town due to an unexpected meeting. But he's asked me to provide testimony in his absence. I'm Steve Forde, Policy and Communications Director for the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Our coalition is nearly 170 member organizations strong, each with the same focus, promoting the safe production of clean-burning natural gas. Our coalition understands that this generation and generations to come in southwestern Pennsylvania have been presented a historic opportunity to contribute to America's energy independence, national security and drive toward cleaner, more reliable and less costly fuel. We recognize that with this opportunity comes great responsibility, responsibility to ensure safe workplaces, responsibility to promote civil and open dialogue and transparency in our operations, responsibility to encourage shared economic growth, and most important, responsibility to protect our air, water and land on behalf of our children and grandchildren. This point is especially important to me. A native of this region, I returned nearly two years ago with my wife and two young daughters to raise our family in a part of the country that we're proud to call home. The culture, education and healthcare infrastructure and community spirit in this region are second to none. The same holds true for our future, and the responsible development of the Marcellus Shale is a vital part of it. The cascading positive impact the shale gas production has had on the Commonwealth and multistate region is impressive and well documented, and this is just the start. Knowing that our daughters are blessed to grow up at this time in this place is exciting and the reason I'm before you today. It's also the reason why I'm proud to work with like-minded men and women who share a commitment to promoting the values important to my family: economic freedom and opportunity and respect for the resources that we've inherited. Like everyone in this room, I believe above all else, that we have a moral responsibility to protect the interests of our children and grandchildren. And nowhere is that responsibility greater than in the Marcellus Shale. Our coalition and our members are employing state- of-the-art technologies and forward-thinking strategies to ensure that economic and environmental interests can move forward together. We're doing all this with unprecedented transparency and unprecedented regulation. The Marcellus Shale Coalition is getting this opportunity right for your children, my children and their children so they can look back on this moment and be just as proud as I am to call this region their home. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Katherine Luke, followed by Barbara Grover, MaryAnne Rahn, Kate St. John, Fiorillo Benard. Katherine, you're our 25th speaker. Are you here? Katherine Luke? AUDIENCE MEMBER: She didn't make it. CHAIR BURN: Okay. All right. Then we'll go to Barbara Grover. Barbara, you're 26th. When we get to number 30, that will be around 6:30, we'll take a five- minute recess for some folks if you want to get up and stretch. Our court reporter will need to change her tape. And then we'll start again at 6:35 or thereabouts. Once we get through 30, a five-minute break. Barbara, you're number 26. Thank you. MS. GROVER: Thank you. My name is Barbara Grover, and I live in Squirrel Hill. I'm here this evening representing the Global Warming Action Team of the Sierra Club. We have grave concerns about Marcellus Shale drilling. I'm going to concentrate my remarks on water issues. Without an adequate, sustainable supply of clean, drinkable water, the residents of Allegheny County cannot survive. The first critical concern is the source of fresh water needed for drilling. A well requires, on average, 5,000,000 gallons of water. What would be the source of this water? The Allegheny? The Monongahela? Their tributaries? These rivers are the people's source of safe drinkable water. On average, a U.S. citizen uses about 110 gallons of water per day. For the 1.2 million citizens living in Allegheny County, that's a daily need of 132,000,000 gallons of clean, safe water. Will 10 wells needing 50,000,000 gallons of water or more create a problem in meeting our citizens' daily needs? What about 34 wells, which is the number of wells drilled in Washington County in just January alone of this year? That's 170,000,000 gallons. Would that be a problem? What if a drought occurs? You may recall in late 2008, drilling and coal mine waste released during a drought so overwhelmed the Monongahela that officials advised Pittsburgh area residents to drink bottled water. I'm sure this Council does not want to have a recurrence of that situation. Our second concern is the wastewater returned to the surface. As you've already heard this evening, the wastewater contains toxic chemicals, metals, some unknown chemicals and perhaps radioactive particles. Water and sewage treatment plants are designed to deal with normal suspended solids and organic matter. Treatment of used drilling water requires very different chemical processing. What would be required to create or update our water treatment facilities so these wastewaters can be returned to the rivers without damaging the people's water source? Who will pay for it? Our third concern is the wastewater not returned to the surface recycling --- for recycling. This situation is a much bigger mystery. Thirty (30) percent or more of the water remains underground. At this point in time, scientists do not know whether that will return to the surface, get into our aquifers, or it might remain deeply underground. We need scientifically-based studies to understand the consequences of contaminated water that remains underground. In conclusion, the Global Warming Action Team of the Sierra Club urges you to not allow hydraulic fracturing in the county until these risks to our health and well-being can be eliminated. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: MaryAnne Rahn, followed by Kate St. John, Fiorillo Benard and Jamin Bogi. MS. RAHN: MaryAnne Rahn, Pittsburgh, 15241. In the fall of '08, we kept talking about --- our glasses are cloudy as they come out of the dishwasher. Cloudy glasses. In early December, I developed sepsis. Sepsis is a bacteria in your blood. In mid-December, we finally decided to call the dishwasher repairman, and he said, call your water company. Early January, an announcement was made at a luncheon that a member had been taken to the hospital with rigors and died shortly. In February, a couple was hospitalized. He recovered. She had many hospitalizations. No treatable illness was diagnosed. Labor Day weekend, she died. The autopsy said she had sepsis and multiple organ failures. Three women with sepsis within the three-month period living within a mile radius of each other; a pure coincidence? I don't think so. Plus there were two other friends who had blood events at the same time, and I don't even know the health issues of that many people. The recent article in The New York Times reported on an internal memorandum of the EPA. It described the late 2008 event incident as one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public. The incident was releasing drilling waste during the drought. The Monongahela was so overwhelmed that officials advised people in the Pittsburgh area to drink bottled water. Sepsis, for me, was a very fast illness. Within 30 minutes, my entire digestive system was cleared out and rigor started, uncontrollable shaking. There's no mistaking something is going on. In short, I was unconscious for about two hours in the hospital. And if you ever find yourself in this situation, pray you're in a hospital with an aggressive doctor and hospital policy for treating you. My primary care says that my life is a tribute to this care. When drilling chemicals come back up through the water table and find their way downstream, it's not realistic to believe that this is healthy. Using toxic chemicals for drilling is a fifth grade level of skills. Go back to the board. And until skills are developed better compatible with the environment we live in, then you can drill. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Kate St. John, followed by Fiorillo Benard, Jamin Bogi. And then we'll take the recess. MS. ST. JOHN: Hello. My name is Kate St. John, 731 McCashin Street, Pittsburgh. You've heard from all these speakers about the dangers of shale gas drilling, but I'm going to point out one of its unintended consequences, namely, that the negative impacts of this industry cause a drop in the property values that spread beyond the drilling zone and last for generations. Let me tell you a similar story from my neighborhood. I live in Greenfield, one mile from the site of the former Hazelwood Coke Plant. When that plant was built in 1918, the workers lived in Hazelwood. But as transportation improved, they moved far away, far from the plant's noise, airborne grit and stench. Hazelwood hit the skids. Most days you could smell the sulfur in Greenfield, Squirrel Hill and Oakland. Pittsburgh was unable to convince potential businesses and residents that our area was green because their noses told them we were not. During those years, Greenfield's population aged and property values sagged because few people were willing to live with the stench. When the plant closed in 1998, the noise and pollution ceased abruptly. Greenfield's convenient location was rediscovered by first-time home buyers. Our property values rose, and we now have young residents who contribute their time to make Greenfield an even better place to live. This did not happen when the Hazelwood Coke Plant was operating, even though it was regulated by many laws and run by an industry that claimed to use best practices. Greenfield's property values were low because of the coke plant's noise, air pollution and eternal flare. Ask any municipality that's already been drilled, and they'll tell you that slickwater hydraulic fracturing is a high-impact industrial process that changed the character of their community. Noise, air pollution, compressor stations, condenser tanks, pipelines and truck traffic permanently degraded their way of life. Once the drilling began, their property values dropped. The residents want to move away, but they can't sell their homes. Even when they find a willing buyer, banks refuse to finance a loan because it's a bad risk. Federal appraisal rules prohibit issuing FHA loans for homes within 300 feet of an active or planned gas drilling site boundary. Not the well head. The boundary. But Pennsylvania law permits well heads much closer, within 200 feet of a home. In areas where leases have been signed but not yet drilled, prospective home buyers are wary. Property values are not an engineering problem that can be solved by industry best practices or state regulations. Property values are based on people's eyes and ears and the public's confidence that a neighborhood is safe and pleasant and will remain so. Allegheny County depends on property values for its revenue. If you allow drilling in or near residential neighborhoods, property values will fall, and so will your tax revenue. If you drill the airport, what will happen in Findlay? Look at property trends in drilled communities and you'll have the answer. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Fiorillo Benard? Fiorillo Benard? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ben Fiorillo? CHAIR BURN: That's not how it's written. Is there a Ben Fiorillo here tonight? It's the way it's written on the sheet. All right. Jamin Bogi? Did I pronounce your name right? MR. BOGI: Jamin (changes pronunciation). CHAIR BURN: Jamin (corrects pronunciation)? What about the last name? MR. BOGI: Bogi, yes. CHAIR BURN: All right. Sir, after you, we're going to take a five-minute recess. Thank you. MR. BOGI: Jamin Bogi, 2702 Burham Street, 15203. Good evening. Thanks for this opportunity. I work for Group Against Smog and Pollution, or GASP, which fights for cleaner air here in southwestern Pennsylvania. Our region, in the center of the Marcellus play, is right now the focus of global attention. We've learned a lot, and we've had to learn it quickly. Yet each week brings something new to the discussion. Recently, we've read about radioactive wastewater here and earthquakes in Arkansas, potentially being caused by deep injection of wastewater. Our knowledge of what's safe and prudent is evolving, and we'd be wise to incorporate some precautionary protections for ourselves. GASP supports stronger regulations currently being considered by Council, such as larger buffer areas. I can't keep straight anymore the reports of explosions and fires at local drilling sites. No one here wants a fireball that burns for hours or days anywhere near a school or a hospital or anywhere at all near people. Former Governor Rendell and former DEP Secretary Hanger have recently defended their actions in regulating drilling during their administrations but admit we need to test immediately for radioactivity. Translation? We think we're doing well, but we're also learning as we go. And the county shouldn't wait for DEP or EPA for protection. It should take whatever actions it can to keep its citizens safe. The county can and should take action on the air quality issues associated with this industry. Our region is consistently given poor marks for high levels of ground-level ozone. While progress has been made in reducing this pollutant, much work remains. And the deep shale extraction industry, be it in the Marcellus, Devonian or Utica shale, has the potential to wipe these gains out. A recent study in Colorado concluded that smog-forming emissions from the oil and gas industries exceed emissions from motor vehicles for the entire state. Similar problems are also found in Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, where oil and gas extraction is prevalent. And since our air pollution burden is already so high, the county must be a leader in requiring stronger air control technologies for this industry. Though only a few wells are active now in the county, 35,000 acres are leased. There are many simple cost-effective air pollution control measures that the county could require as a condition in their leases, should drilling continue. These would include using vapor recovery units, low or no- bleed pneumatic valves and leak detection programs. We recommend the Council ask the County Air Quality Program to identify and adopt these requirements now, before the pollution from this industry becomes an additional burden on our county. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Before we take a five-minute recess, I would like to say hello and acknowledge two of our colleagues who recently left the body here, our former president, Rich Fitzgerald --- it's great to see you, Fitz --- and Chuck McCullough. Chuck, it's great to see you, too. Both of you, thank you so much for coming and being part of this very important discussion. We'll take a five-minute recess. We'll resume at 6:40 on the clock. Thank you. (Short break taken.) CHAIR BURN: Okay. We're going to resume. Thank you all very much. One of the speakers who had been signed up earlier, one of our --- I think our third speaker, was it? MR. BARKER: Yes. CHAIR BURN: Has arrived. So Ed, we're going to let her jump on, and then we'll come to you. Is that okay? MR. VALENTAS: Perfect. CHAIR BURN: Thank you, sir. Jeanne McMullen? MS. MCMULLEN: Thank you. CHAIR BURN: You're welcome. MS. MCMULLEN: My name is Jeanne McMullen, and I live in Lincoln Place, a quiet residential community, home to a neighborhood K to eight public school, but now surrounded by natural gas surface leases. I cannot put a Walmart or a strip club on my property without zoning ordinances and public impact studies. But you're going to allow Harrisburg to railroad the good people of Allegheny County in exchange for funding your campaigns. I read you excerpts of an e-mail from a resident in Hickory. I need a doctor. We're getting ready to leave tonight. Called the DEP emergency line. Trucks from both companies are rushing back to the compressor on the plant. It smells like kerosene and chemicals. We'll see how many days it takes for the DEP to respond. It looks like tomorrow will be another ugly, legal day. I hate this freaking frackers. They're all out of here now. Did they evacuate us on their way out? Hell, no. It's going to be another long night at ground zero. Since drilling began in their formerly quiet rural community, the family, including their two young children, all suffer from constant headaches, sore throats and dizziness, frequent nosebleeds and more. They complain to their lawmakers and the media, but no one will listen. The closest wells are about 1,000 feet from their home. Do you think another couple hundred feet is going to make a difference in the health and quality of their life? The bills before you, whether it's 200 feet, whether it's 500 feet, whether it's 1,000 feet, you're going to kill the residents of Allegheny County. And that is the legacy you will leave to the people that follow. A resident of Bedford County wrote, during this month, I had four trips to the ER. Each time, high levels of gas were found in my bloodstream. The doctors told me not to return home because the environment was killing me. The DEP responded by saying the gas readings they took in her home were so high, they couldn't have been accurate. So they did nothing. And her property is not near a well. Columbia Gas used eminent domain to take her property to use for a natural gas storage facility. So for $250 a year, she has to wear a gas mask to watch TV and to sleep. The media has labeled me an environmental extremist. I am not fighting for clean air or clean water, but for the health and safety of my family and the property value of my home. That is everything I have worked for and everything I cherish that stands before you now. I have started a petition calling for a ban of fracking in Allegheny County, after collecting 2,000 signatures for the City of Pittsburgh. My first day collecting for the county, I single-handedly collected over 500 signatures. Each of these individuals is watching how you have voted or will vote on leasing our county parks, our airport and on the local regulations. And we will watch how we vote in the next election. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Let the record also reflect that Council Members Rea and Gastgeb have joined us as well. Good evening. Ed Valentas, followed by Ken Gulick, Herman Edwards, Mary Beth Sweeney, Dan Bagley. MR. VALENTAS: I'm Ed Valentas. I grew up in the city. Inner-city kid. I own multiple properties throughout the county, and I'm involved in developing numerous hundreds of other acres. That sounded like a threat to me. I'm not going to threaten you. I believe you can make a sound decision based on logic and science. I respect my neighbors and I respect their choices to develop or not develop. I respect these people for giving their opinions, and it's a great country that we're able to do that. A lot of places you couldn't. I may disagree with them vehemently, but I do respect them. I ask that they respect my right, likewise, to develop. I ask them to either respect it, or if you're going to take something away from me, be prepared collectively to compensate me for that taking. And I think you've got an inkling what's coming. Now, I've been employed in the energy industry since 1980. I've drilled and fracked, operated about 1,000 wells in six states. And some of these were twice as deep as the Marcellus Shale, and some were horizontal. Some were upper Devonian. But they were all done, all fracked, and without incident. People are acting like this fracking is new, and to a lot of these people, it is. It's like a UFO coming into their neighborhood. But this has been done for over 60 years. Worldwide, there's over 1,000,000 wells that have been fracked. In all of the U.S. to date, and the DEP will bear this out, there's never been one frack job connected with loss of water in a water well. Don't believe me. Call the DEP. Now, to get back in to a little bit about Allegheny County and growing up here, my bride of 29 years worked for Dollar Bank for 17 years, got into distribution. She was laid off and took a lot of temp jobs for a year and a half, and about eight months ago, interviewed and became an executive administrator for one of the E&P Companies. Excellent paying job. My son's 20. Like a lot of kids, he quit college, didn't finish. I put him through an eight-week program for basics, just to get you in the door of one of these companies. He was hired, started his first job today. While I was at the school interviewing for it, there were two calls for 26 additional positions that day. They didn't have enough people to fill them. These are good-paying jobs with benefits. I tell my friends that are laid off to go pursue this. This is an opportunity, a real opportunity. They're begging for help and they're saying the 100,000 is real. It's real. I'm living it. I'm telling it. Now the economic impact of oil lease, bonus monies in Washington and Butler Counties, you go down there, there's buildings coming up. There's restaurants. There's contractors. There's sales. It's vibrant. We need that in Allegheny County. It needs to be monitored. It needs to be done well. But we've done this for so many years. It's safe. It's growing quick. We need to monitor it and we will monitor it. I trust the DEP. I trust you. I trust the government. We're lucky to have the Marcellus Shale here. God bless it and may we all embrace it. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Ken Gulick, followed by Herman Edwards, Mary Beth Sweeney, Dan Bagley, Elizabeth Morris. MR. GULICK: Hello. I'm a resident of Frazer Township, which is primarily a rural township located in the northeastern corner of Allegheny County. Recently, Frazer Township was the site for the first horizontal Marcellus Shale well to be located within Allegheny County. This well was drilled by Range Resources, which recently completed the well. Because I live very close to the well site, I have seen firsthand the site development phase, along with the drilling and completion operations. I can tell you that Range Resources was very attuned to resident concerns and has demonstrated that responsible Marcellus Shale development is possible. From a personal standpoint, I've had exposure to the drilling industry through the installation of four shallow wells that have been constructed over the last several years. Because my family is heavily involved in the dairy industry, we were very concerned with the environmental impact of the drilling process. Our gas company addressed our concerns, and the result was a series of access roads, well sites and associated pipelines which had essentially zero impact to our crop and pasture ground. In fact, our reclaimed pasture areas have become more productive from a grazing standpoint through the process of well site reclamation, which was performed after the drilling process. Another added benefit is the added revenue derived from the wells. This has greatly helped to lessen the harsh reality and heavy burden of our ever-increasing school taxes. In today's economy, everybody is looking for added sources of revenue, whether you're the state, county, township or the individual taxpayer. Responsible shale gas development not only benefits drilling companies and landowners. It represents the creation of tens of thousands of well-paying, family-sustaining jobs that we desperately need. In closing, I would like to thank County Council for the opportunity to speak, and I would ask that you consider the positive aspects of responsible Marcellus Shale development. I have seen these aspects firsthand, and I'm excited about a tremendous opportunity that can benefit Pennsylvania and Allegheny County for a long time into the future. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Herman Edwards, followed by Mary Beth Sweeney, Dan Bagley, Elizabeth Morris, Lisa Graves- Marcucci. MR. EDWARDS: Hello. I'm a resident and a homeowner of Allegheny County, and my comments are also being made for the benefit and on behalf of my children and grandchildren, who also live in Allegheny County. I want to see them, along with other county families, continue to enjoy the facilities and the services that the county has to offer. As an example, the county has thousands of acres of parks. I take it we've all taken a drive through them recently and utilized them. I think you will concur to see that the parks need significant funding for improvements and ongoing maintenance. There's many other county facilities that are in the same need. When it comes to county service, I think we're all aware of the Port Authority revenue needs. We can't continue to ignore these needs and pass them on to the next generation. Leasing and drilling royalties can provide funds to help improve and maintain county facilities and services. Another organization within the county is the Airport Authority. It has large acreage ownership. Due to the debt payments and operating costs, it is unable to compete with other facilities. The high charges to the airlines have caused many of these --- many of the airlines to either leave or cut back their operations. The county's population is aging, and for various reasons, is decreasing. We can't continue to keep increasing taxes. This will only cause more residents to flee to surrounding counties. I'm sure we all love our neighboring counties. However, in particular, Washington and Butler Counties are attracting the wealth and benefits from businesses involved in the gas industry. Take a drive down 79 to the Washington area and go north on 79 to Cranberry, and you will see the benefits from it. I encourage Allegheny County to become more aggressive in helping developing facilities and provide reasons for industry in the business to locate in the county, which will provide revenue to the county. Just like each of us, we go to places and spend our money where it is welcome and where we perceive receiving a good exchange value. The individuals that make up the business are no different. We need energy to provide the basic necessities in life, and natural gas is a significant economical source, which is a good alternative source until alternative sources can be developed economically without being subsidized. The industry's here, and it will stay. Yes, the industry needs to be regulated. And those against drilling will help cause this to happen. Bad drillers and operators will not exist. They will be gone for not complying with regulations or fail financially. The resulting benefits will be enjoyed by all, and more specifically, for the next generation. The increased use of gas will be good for our economy, our environment and our national security. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Mary Beth Sweeney, followed by Dan Bagley, Elizabeth Morris, Lisa Graves-Marcucci, Robert M. Burger. MS. SWEENEY: Good evening. I'm Mary Beth Sweeney from Wexford, and I am Chair of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters Marcellus Shale Study Committee. I thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight on behalf of the Greater Pittsburgh League of Women Voters. The league recognizes that the development of the Marcellus Shale is a boon to Pennsylvania's economy, particularly in this area. However, wide-scale consequences come with the growth of drilling and fracking operations. Are we at risk from frack wastes contaminating our water supplies? Do we need more monitoring of our air and water? Will blasting during seismic testing and potential hydraulic hydrofracturing damage buildings and vintage pipelines? Could the $130,000,000 that we lost by failure to pass a severance tax in Harrisburg help monitor some of the public health issues and prevent costs, such as road repairs, from being passed on to you and me, the taxpayer in Pennsylvania? How can you protect the well-being of our citizens? Ask questions and seek objective answers. For example, where should gas processing facilities be located? Should some areas be exempt from operations? Should buffer zones be established between gas-related areas and homes, schools, hospitals, churches, water supplies, flood plains, waterways and wetlands? Once you determine the need for limitations on drilling facilities that will protect our health and safety, compare it with what currently exists in the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. Some attorneys believe that the Act already mandates distance restrictions, such as 200 feet from a building. Others believe that the new --- that new local zoning ordinances should be enacted. Given the ever-increasing horizontal underground reach of high- tech drilling, limiting gas production to industrial areas may be a viable option. Consideration also needs to be given not only in the day-to-day operations of the natural gas industry, but also to unintended consequences that arise when accidents happen. Cooperative dialogue between local and state officials is needed to update and/or amend the existing Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act to ensure the highest standards of safety and best practices. The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania supports the maximum protection of public health and the environment by promoting comprehensive regulation and adequate staffing across government agencies in all aspects of Marcellus Shale drilling, site restoration and delivery to the customer. Allegheny County Council has the opportunity and responsibility to enact ordinances. We applaud you for taking this first step through this public hearing to do so. CHAIR BURN: Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Dan Bagley, Elizabeth Morris, Lisa Graves-Marcucci, Robert Burger, Bridget Shields. MR. BAGLEY: Thank you. My name is Dan Bagley. I live with my family here in Pittsburgh, 15238. I speak today as chief operating officer of Center Rock, Incorporated, a Berlin, Pennsylvania drilling technology company you may recognize for our recent publicity surrounding our involvement in the Chilean mine rescue. My comments are made on behalf of the employees, four of whom are sitting in the room with me this evening. We speak in support of natural gas industry. I have lived in this area now for almost ten years, raising my family, working within the metals and industrial sector. I have personally worked in more than 70 countries and have seldom seen the economic engine that natural gas can create if controlled well in this state, this county, this city. Prosperous communities in Texas, California, Arkansas and Colorado are growing. They have found ways to commercialize their natural gas resources in safe balance with the earth, and we are currently doing so across Pennsylvania. About half our business is centered around energy exploration. It has grown from a one-man shop, where a man mortgaged his home to get us started, to a little global business that supports 70 families, and we're still increasing. I'm an outdoorsman. I cherish the waters and the lands of this state. Our families are avid fishermen, as you can tell from the camouflage CRI caps that we wear. I was raised in Arkansas amid oil wells and gas wells in the natural state, where energy revenues and land management were a boon to wildlife and waterway cleanliness. We demand clean water for our children, too. Many of us are well-water-fed. We do not fear natural gas development because we understand it, and we know the people who perform the work, some of whom are with us at this meeting. So safety is important to us, too. Sensationalism is not a good way to make decisions. No doubt, how the work is done matters, and we all need to follow the rules. But why wouldn't we all welcome another industry, like steel, auto or aircraft manufacturing or another economic engine? Well, that's what natural gas represents for this area. In fact, frack water treatment is an industry which is growing. We intend to participate to pursue water cleanliness at local levels. Now, like any industrial construction, the beginnings of a well can be busy, clanking and dirty, soil dirty, earth dirty. But waking up --- but walking up grouse in Somerset and Mercer and other counties, I have seen that after drilling, gas wells blend with the land, and then they make money for years. Center Rock and I support natural gas development for Allegheny County and in our communities. We wanted to go on record and explain why. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Elizabeth Morris, Lisa Graves- Marcucci, Robert Burger, Bridget Shields, Steven Hvozdovich. MS. MORRIS: Hi. My name is Elizabeth Morris. And for all 21 years of my life, I've lived in Pennsylvania. I grew up in Penn Hills and I graduated from Penn Hills High School. I currently live in Friendship, and I attend Chatham University. And I also vote. I'm not going to talk about all these disasters and all the risks, because I feel like those have been made pretty clear, but what I do want to talk about is regulation and how we've seen regulation fail in the coal fields in Appalachia and we've seen it fail out west because people are getting sick and people are hurt. So why are you still trying to regulate, I guess, is what I want to ask. Like, why does it matter if a well is 2,000 feet or 500 feet from somebody's residence? Because I don't think that it matters, and I don't think that regulation is going to help Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the fine proposed in this ordinance, Number 6179-11, is $500 a day for a violation. So in a week, that's $3,500 that company has to pay for a well. But the profit, the net profit, grossed from one well per week is well above $3,500. So if we're not providing good regulation and if we're not providing prohibitive fines, we're not going to do anything to save ourselves. Like I said before, regulation is not going to save Pennsylvania. It's not going keep our water clean. And I don't want Pennsylvania, which is my home and where I want to spend the rest of my life, to suffer exploitation of an extraction industry. And I really want to be heard, because I live here and I don't want to leave. And I think I speak on behalf of a lot of college students. Currently, if Pennsylvania becomes the coal fields or becomes like the coal fields, we will leave, and a lot of college-educated people will be leaving Pennsylvania. And I don't want to leave, so I'd ask that you hear me and hear other students and other people my age and not let this happen to Pennsylvania. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Lisa Graves-Marcucci, Robert Burger, Bridget Shields, Steve Hvozdovich, Gregory Boulos. Is Lisa not here? Robert Burger? MR. BURGER: Hi. I'm Robert Burger, and I live in McCandless Township. And I've been involved in a job --- I've been involved with the environmental industry for many years and I've recently moved into the oil and gas industry. I now work with a company that does seismic data processing for the industry. And I want to thank you very much. One of the things that's really got me going on here is everybody talking about fracking and how fracking is going to affect groundwater. One of the things I don't think many folks really understand is the scale of what's going on here. When you have a well --- and Marcellus is about 6,000 feet below ground surface. And a well goes from --- you know, down to the Marcellus. And about, oh, maybe, anywhere from maybe 1,000,000 to 20,000,000 gallons of water is pumped down into this --- into the ground down there. Well, if you look at the scale --- let's figure. I'm about six feet tall. So figure, the top of my head is where the well is, and down at the bottom of my feel is where the Marcellus is. So that's 6,000 feet. So for every foot of mine is, like, 1,000 feet. Groundwater. The depth of groundwater in Allegheny County comes to about 400 feet, usable groundwater below ground surface. So that's about the deepest reasonable potable groundwater we get. That's about the level of my eyes and the top of my head. The water that --- the Marcellus, where we're fracking, is down at 6,000 feet. If we put 20,000,000 gallons down there, and if you take that 1 to 1,000 scale, you come up with about two and a half ounces, 2.56 ounces, of water, which is about a third of a cup. So you take about this third of a cup of water here and take it down to 6,000 feet, go out 5 feet this way, 5,000 feet this way, and put that third of a cup of water into the ground, at 10,000 PSI or whatever, it's only going to come up to about the top of my shoe. It's not going to get anywhere near the surface. So I think any fears that people have about fracking are just totally unfounded. It's senseless. So I'm out here with my colleagues in the industry and --- you know, trying to provide affordable energy for all of us in the industry. And I just can't understand why people are so against fracking. CHAIR BURN: Thank you, sir. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Bridget Shields? Bridget Shields, followed by Steve Hvozdovich, Gregory Boulos, Robert McHale, Eric Vaccarello. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you, Council, for letting me speak for Bridget Shields, who had to attend with her husband, Councilman Doug Shields, to give testimony in Canton, Ohio. So thank you. And before I actually read Bridget's talk, I just want to mention something in response to the gentleman who just spoke before me, that gas companies say that frack fluid is 99 percent water, but that equates to 7,500 gallons of chemicals used for every well. So I'm not a scientist, and I'm not sure about that cup that you were talking about. 7,500 gallons seems substantial to me. Okay. Bridget's talk. Infrastructure in the Commonwealth is aging and in serious need of repair. Structures ranging from bridges to sewers are compromised with insufficient funding to repair them. Wear and tear are already a challenge. But when other threats to infrastructure exacerbate their fragility, public safety is threatened beyond normal calculations done by agencies and municipal authorities. In a mere two and a half years, violations accrued by the Marcellus Shale drillers number near 1,500. Over 950 can harm the environment, but the most crucial statistic to those of us concerned with underground infrastructure is that 49 percent of these violations were in areas concerning erosion and sediment as well as improper wastewater impoundment. Those are startling figures coming out of an unconventional technique to acquisition black shale that is already, by its very nature, taxing to the infrastructures. Industry disregarding violations put excessive risks on our infrastructure and create unnecessary environmental hazards. Water quality has been compromised by the presence of bromides that have not been present in regional water testing ever. This challenge places water treatment facilities in the extraordinary position of having to adopt treatment chemicals that many with certain health conditions and diseases cannot be exposed to. The talk that I'll give you copies of, since I'm going to be out of time here soon, will elucidate that further. Let me just jump to her conclusion. Migration and contamination are the nature of the proverbial beast when drilling deep and then wide through porous sedimentary soil and strata in a topographically-challenged region with storm water runoff and flooding issues already. The freeze and thaw cycle can crack cement casings that are not reinforced nor monitored. Adding a technology that clearly did not include such obvious risk into their assessment and whose violations and accident rates are excessive by any measure and means tells us we can't afford this type of drilling in our region, whose accident rate already exceeds the rate of coal's accidents historically by nearly three times. Water is the currency of the 21st century, with enormous economic implications of its own. How sad to see the Mon River, recently listed as one of America's ten most endangered rivers, directly a result of Marcellus Shale drilling water. CHAIR BURN: Thank you, ma'am. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Far better would it be to rapidly move towards an economy based on renewable fuels. Recent studies indicate that --- CHAIR BURN: Ma'am, you're past six. AUDIENCE MEMBER: --- your world could rely 100 percent on such green energy ---. CHAIR BURN: Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Steve Hvozdovich, Greg Boulos, Robert McHale, Eric Vaccarello, Sasha Shyduroff. MR. HVOZDOVICH: Good evening. I would like to thank Council for holding this follow-up meeting to obtain input from the most important stakeholders in this issue, the residents of Allegheny County. My name is Steve Hvozdovich. I work for Clean Water Action. We are a national, non-profit environmental organization with over 15,000 members just here in Allegheny County. The negative impacts of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale have been articulated well by others here tonight and during previous meetings. Just as alarming is the lack of action taken by our state government to better protect us. Our state government's ineffectiveness has shifted the burden of protecting our health, safety and environment to local governments. Proposals to increase setbacks from structures introduced by Councilman Finnerty and former Councilman Fitzgerald has started the discussion at the county level. The blowout last year in Clearfield County and the recent Marcellus-related fire and explosion in Washington County are disasters that could have been even more tragic had they occurred in more populated areas. These incidents are a window into why the state's designation of 200 feet and the 500-foot county proposal are insufficient. This sentiment is already being echoed at the state level, where a proposal to increase setbacks to 2,500 feet is being supported by local leaders like Representatives Kortz, Costa and Wagner. However, we can't wait for someone else to act when we have the ability to control our own fate. When considering appropriate distances from a home, from heavily traveled areas and from schools, far is never too far. I would encourage you, at minimum, to support Councilman Finnerty's proposal and to consider pursuing setbacks beyond this distance. Clean Water Action joins GASP, PennEnvironment and Three Rivers Waterkeeper in calling for not just the implementation of setbacks from structures, but also the enactment of better air quality regulations, the banning of drilling in county parks and the implementation of setbacks from waterways. It is essential that we have a moratorium in Allegheny County until these provisions and the considerations expressed by others are addressed. Municipalities all across Allegheny County, like South Fayette and the City of Pittsburgh, have answered the call to protect our health, safety and the environment. This is now the time for county government to display the same kind of leadership and serve as the next example. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Gregory Boulos? MR. BOULOS: Thank you, Council, for listening to the group today. I live in Fawn Township here in Allegheny County. My wife and I have a mortgage on 85 acres, which we bought as a farm three years ago. It took us 18 months to get the mortgage for the farm because the banks didn't understand our method of farming. I'm 33 --- I was 33 years old at the time, which was about 40 years younger than most of the farmers that we knew, and about 30 years younger than the average farmer in the U.S., which is around 60 years old. So the methods that we use for farming are an organic farm. We are a community-based farm. We grow 12 acres of vegetable crops. We produce $10,000 worth of crops per acre on our farm, and this is not our granddaddy's farm. It's a totally different operation. So working in the industry, meeting a lot of other young farmers, younger farmers that are looking for clean land to grow organically, because they believe, as I do, that that's the future, and that's the future of agriculture. A lot of my friends, dairy farmers in 2008 saw record lows in milk prices and had to, for the first time in 100 years, take mortgages out on their farms in order to stay afloat in the dairy industry. We don't have any young farmers that are trying to become dairy farmers in an industrial way. They're all looking to become organic farmers or sell directly to consumers. When we were buying our farm, our consumers, our customers were incredible. Most of them had come to us and thanked us for purchasing the farmland. Some of them had offered to help us pay the down payment on the farm to keep going. And we found, over the years of growing, incredible support from the community. And I'm here today to say that when we found out that within a mile of our farm was a permit for a well, we don't know if there's going to be pollution on our farm. All we know is that our business is based on growing clean and healthy food. And if there's a risk of that happening, then we would urge the Council to investigate and to put a moratorium on fracking and on drilling exploration until more information can be gained about it. We know that for hundreds of thousands of years, there's been gas under the surface in the Marcellus play. It's going to be there for a while longer. We can take the time to thoroughly investigate this matter. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Robert McHale? MR. MCHALE: My name is Robert McHale, and I live in McCandless Township. I, like many speakers here tonight, feel an obligation and a right to ensure that the world I leave to my children is one with clean air and clean water. I also feel obliged to pass them a world in which their children are not beholden to foreign governments for vital energy. I believe that all Americans have a right to these things. As our population increases, our demand for energy must increase. Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal, will undoubtedly make an increasing contribution in satiating that demand. However, those energy sources are not without their limitations and objectives. Few townships in Allegheny County permit every landowner to erect a 50-foot-tall windmill on their property, even if it meant emissions --- fewer emissions of pollutants in the air, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, all organic compounds. Given the climate in western Pennsylvania --- I think we know that from today --- solar panels aren't really a viable solution for that, either. When we take a historical perspective of what made this region what it is today, it's incongruous to me to not recognize that our abundant energy resources were critical to our development. Without the coal to burn for power and heat or to make coke for steel, Pittsburgh and the surrounding region would not be where we are today. However, coal is not the only abundant energy source we have under our feet. For more than 100 years, oil and natural gas have been produced in Allegheny County. Currently, the Department of Environmental Protection lists more than 1,200 oil and gas wells in Allegheny County. When I think of the increasing price of gas at the pump and the impact it has on my family's budget, I wonder just how many --- or how few barrels of crude come from local wells. When I adjust the thermostat up in the winter to keep my children warm, I wonder just how many of those BTUs come from local wells. I would be ashamed of myself if I thought I could expect no demand, fuel for my car and furnace and turn around and say I wouldn't want it to come from a local well. Natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is no different than natural gas produced in Allegheny County from shallow wells for the past 100 years. Yes, the drilling technology has changed to allow economic recovery of gas within the shale. Yes, the rigs are bigger. The volumes of water used are greater. But let's not forget that environmental controls have improved as well. There are many regulations that govern the industry, and they control air, water and waste, erosion prevention. Many people think that the regulations are antiquated, but I'm here to say that they are --- keep evolving constantly. And in conclusion, I will say that I am in favor of drilling and Marcellus. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Eric Vaccarello. I'm sorry if I mispronounced your name, sir. MR. VACCARELLO: No. That's good. Close enough. CHAIR BURN: Thank you. MR. VACCARELLO: I'm Eric Vaccarello. I was born and raised in Allegheny County. I'm raising a family here. I have two businesses, two small businesses in Allegheny County. We do commercial land clearing and have a recycling company also. And in 2009, because of the economy, we were on the verge of going bankrupt. And because of the gas play here, we have grown our company from 20 employees to 70 employees, and they are Pennsylvania employees. We have two out-of-state employees from West Virginia, but like I said, 68 of our employees are from Pennsylvania. So the economic benefits are enormous, obvious. You know, people have talked --- spoke about it. The environmental issues are apparent also. Being a recycler, being somebody in the industry, I'm telling you from my experience that gas people that we work for --- gas companies that we work for in developing this shale play go above and beyond, above and beyond the environmental protection that they do on these sites. I see it every day. You know, we've worked to develop schools, churches, office complex, golf courses, housing development, malls, highways in Pennsylvania. And I can tell you that these operators in this area and the areas that I've worked in are --- talking about it from my personal experience, all do it safely, safely, and environmentally conscious. So in closing, I'd just like to say that I think both sides can live together. I think, if it's properly regulated and it's safe for the environment, I think that you can know that both sides can live together. So I say we regulate it, make it safe and let it happen. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Please mark the record to reflect that Council Member Amanda Green Hawkins is in attendance by phone. Good evening, Councilwoman. Thanks for joining us. MS. GREEN HAWKINS: Good evening. CHAIR BURN: Sasha Shyduroff, followed by Mark Sommer, Janice Margowitz, Patrick Imbrogno. MS. SHYDUROFF: Hello. My name is Sasha Shyduroff, and I'm a resident of Pittsburgh and live in Squirrel Hill. I'm here representing the Sierra Student Coalition and the Pittsburgh Student Coalition. First off, I'd like to thank the Council for holding this hearing. Young people all across the region are concerned about what deep shale hydraulic fracturing is doing to our water. Studies done by the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Healthy Environments and Communities show that extremely high levels of bromide, chloride, strontium and barium, known carcinogens, are being discharged into our surface waters. We also know that frack fluid waste is being sent to municipal treatment plants, where they do not have the capacity or the technology to properly treat the polluted water. These dangerous chemicals are entering our watershed where the city obtains its drinking water. Young people, especially those like me in their mid-20s, who are thinking of settling down, buying homes and starting families, are wary of the threat fracking poses to our health. Not only do we have concerns for our public health, but also for volatile property values and the real estate market. In the past week, I have heard several young people voice concerns of staying in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County due to fracking. My generation has the privilege of making this choice to leave. It's not necessarily a choice that we want to make, but we know that many families in the county do not have the ability to leave if their water is polluted or if their land value is lost. The Pittsburgh Student Environmental Coalition, a network of over 150 students and young people in the area, urge the committee to pass an ordinance that would require all gas wells to be kept at a minimum 2,000 feet from any residence or school. To reduce this distance would threaten public health and safety. PSEC also urges Council to increase the fines for violation of these terms. The current fine is only $500 per day and is a negligible cost to a large gas company. Furthermore, we urge the City --- the County Council to go further and place a countywide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and deep shale drilling until necessary research is completed and the strictest regulations are in place to protect both our public health and safety. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Mark Sommer, followed by Janice Margowitz, Patrick Imbrogno and Eric Cesaratto. MR. SOMMER: My name is Mark Sommer, and I'm a lifelong resident of southwestern Pennsylvania. I thank you for the opportunity to address the Allegheny County Council regarding Marcellus Shale development. I support the responsible development of Marcellus Shale. And I am employed in the field of water resource management specific to natural gas production. In addition, I am a father and an outdoorsman who enjoys and utilizes Pennsylvania's forests and waters recreationally. I deeply value and appreciate Pennsylvania's vast natural resources and natural beauty. The legacy that I leave for my children and future generations will be that of environmental stewardship and energy independence. Water and energy are essential to our everyday lives. Natural gas is a clean energy source produced in Pennsylvania since 1878, beginning with the Haymaker well in Murrysville. We all rely on natural gas in our homes for heating, cooking and other household uses. Responsible development of the Marcellus Shale presents Pennsylvania and Allegheny County with an opportunity to advance towards energy independence with both the state and nation. Properly managed water resources are a key to development of the Marcellus or any other gas-producing shale. The quantities of water required for shale gas production may seem large when not put into context. In reality, fresh water used by Marcellus Shale producers is less than one percent of Pennsylvania's total water usage. For comparison, the state's golf courses use twice as much. Flowback water from the hydraulic fracturing process, which has been proven to be safe in over 60 years of practice, is now almost 100 recycled for use in future wells. Water recycling is reducing the consumption of fresh water and greatly reducing the amount of disposed water. Produced water from active wells is being managed with the ultimate goal of zero liquid discharge. In my 11 years of field experience in Pennsylvania's natural gas industry, I have witnessed nothing but conscientious, responsible management of water. We, as a region, have the proud heritage as the home of great innovators in science, engineering and technology. Let's not stifle innovation because of misconception and fear. Rather, let's draw on the hardworking heritage that laid the foundation for our region and meet the challenges of today head-on. U.S. and leaders of Allegheny County have the opportunity to be part of the solution in our country's quest for clean energy and energy independence. In addition, the prosperity resulting from the responsible development will help balance the county budget fund and repair the county's infrastructure and parks and improve county services. Lastly, one day I would like to see the Port Authority powered by clean- burning Marcellus gas produced in Allegheny County, not imported diesel fuel. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the public debate on this matter, and I would like to be part of the discussion moving forward. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Janice Margowitz. Janice? Patrick Imbrogno. I'm sorry, sir, if I mispronounced your last name. MR. IMBROGNO: No. Actually it was very good. CHAIR BURN: Thank you, sir. Followed by Eric Cesaratto. Thank you, sir. MR. IMBROGNO: Thank you for the opportunity. I've lived in Allegheny County over 30 years. There was about a three-year hiatus when I lived in central Pennsylvania, but most of my professional career I lived here. Three kids were born in Magee Hospital. I live in Moon Township, very rural living. It's a lot different from where a lot of you people are talking about living. But there are a lot of rural areas here, and there's a lot of areas --- I think if people just relax, calm down, work with your local governments, with your state and federal governments, you can make this happen safely and ecologically safe also. I don't have a prepared speech. I'm not a talker. I don’t have T-shirts. I'm a citizen of the state. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Do you want one? MR. IMBROGNO: No. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'll sell you one cheap. CHAIR BURN: Let him talk. Let him talk. MR. IMBROGNO: But the discussion I'm having here is, people just seem to want to back away on this. You can try to get along and try to work with the industries. You don't try to tax them out of existence. You work --- you make proper fees. There are fines. You talk about $500 a day. Well, I've seen $50,000 fines in places. There are other things. I've been involved with over 1,000 wells. How many have you drilled? None. CHAIR BURN: Sir, the direction is here. Direction is up here, please. MR. IMBROGNO: I was involved with drilling over 1,000 wells, and there's been a very minor amount of what you would call violations. One of them I can remember, the sign fell off. Another one, a silt fence fell down. That's considered a pollution event in some of these. I'm not saying that all your statistics are wrong. I’m not saying any of that. But all I'm saying is be reasonable on how you use these statistics. There are whole courses on how you bias statistics one way or the other. I'm not saying either side is doing it here. But it can be done. Just be reasonable and objective when you look at this. Most of the guys that I've been involved with, and women in this business are very environmentally conscious. I'm a hunter. I grew up in the middle of a national forest, probably one of the most environmentally- sensitive areas there are in the state. Native brook trout. I've seen them co-exist with a lot of these ---. Just be reasonable. Work with the people. Come up with a solution, you know, some kind of joint effort with the industry to make this happen, because I think it will help everyone. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Eric Cesaratto, followed by Giles Howard. MR. CESARATTO: Hi. I'm Eric Cesaratto, and I live in Washington Township and I have property in Allegheny County. I work with the state. I'm a quality assurance inspector, so I deal with the DEP and OSHA almost daily. So my job is to make sure the contractor does their job correctly. And we're into the streams and we get permits from the DEP, and they regulate us. And they make sure that whenever a contractor goes into those streams, that they're there to protect the fish and all the wildlife out there. So if you go --- you can't do anything without them really being on top of you, make sure you're doing everything correctly. So a lot of people think that the gas companies can come in and do whatever they want to do as far as drilling without any regulations, and that's not true. A lot of people think that there's too many regulations on jobsites that we have. And sometimes it is. There are too many. But we have to live with what we have. So if they're going to regulate us, we do it the way they tell us. And it's the same way with the natural gas and drilling company. They're going to listen to what DEP says. They're not going to do anything other than what they say. I have four gas wells, and I have a gas well at my house in Washington Township, and I have well water there. So my well is down about maybe 30 feet. My shallow well is down about 3,000, 3,300 feet. I've been living off of my well water for a little over 13 years. Everybody around my area --- we have several shallow wells around our area. Everybody's water is fine. It was tested before. It's tested afterwards. And the water's perfectly fine. The companies that come in and they prepare the area to drill --- they even made my property more valuable. And I know a lot of you people might think that that's not true. But after they cleared the area, they prepared it perfectly. It was better than whenever --- before they came in there. So they do a lot of good, and they're under a lot of scrutiny as far as the DEP goes and OSHA goes. So I would really like to try to be a little bit more self-sufficient with America instead of always having to worry about --- with oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries. Let's try to develop this gas here in America and try to keep the jobs here and not worry about how much money we're giving to Saudi Arabia for their oil. Let's try to develop the natural gas here and heat our homes. My home is heated by natural gas. I don't have a gas bill, okay, because I have a well at my house, which is safely run. And my children drink that water, and we heat our house from natural gas wells. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Giles Howard. Mr. Howard? Bob Heim. MR. HEIM: Yes. I'm a petroleum geologist with a very small natural gas exploration company. And I went into the field of geology because of my fondness for the natural world. So I can appreciate those of you who have expressed environmental concerns today. Also in my career, I've worked in the environmental field for a number of years on soil and groundwater projects. And as a result, I feel I have an appreciation for the economic benefits of the Marcellus play and a realistic prospective on the commonly expressed environmental concerns. I want to share that earlier this week, I was in New York discussing geology with the leaders of a coalition that represents at least 80 percent of the landowners in an entire township. Because they understand the issues and the long-term economic benefit to their community and to their families, they understand what's going on in Pennsylvania. They eagerly await their state's permission to begin Marcellus drilling. They live on this land. They get their water from private wells. They're smart people who work very hard to educate themselves about the Marcellus play. I wish you could have been there for the perspective from that meeting. Two years ago, a family of a boy from my son's youth organization was challenged to come up with just $500 for summer camp. Now that family receives approximately $20,000 a month from Marcellus production royalties. The ripple effects of this new income are profound that many local municipalities have had meetings to ban or limit Marcellus drilling, either due to fear or in order to send a message. I'm afraid a lot of misconceptions have contributed to the decisions being made. And the consequence will be the long-term financial shortchanging of the citizens of the communities. The biggest misconception is the idea that it would be possible for hydraulic fracturing fluids injected in over a mile deep in Marcellus Shale to be transmitted up into the shallow fresh water zones. For perspective, fresh water zones are in the uppermost few hundred feet. Well, this concept scores a great big emotional response from the environmental activists. There's very tangible reasons why this is not plausible. First, you couldn't assemble an array of pump trucks with enough horsepower to --- up to the task of generating that horsepower and inducing fractures filled with fluid under pressure over this vertical distance, across many barriers in the geological strata. Even if this could be done, operators wouldn't want to spend millions of extra dollars for the extra water and additives they would need to spend and the extra days it would take to do this for no financial benefit. And then there's the fact that an induced fracture, even if it could be propagated upward over such a vertical distance, would turn horizontal below 2,000 feet for reasons that relate to the reduced weight of the overburden at shallowing depths. And this would occur far below the depth of the water wells. In my opinion, this misconception is very important to get over so we can focus on more tangible and pressing issues. Thank you for the opportunity to speak. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Rebecca Loughney. Rebecca, are you still with us? MS. LOUGHNEY: Hello. Rebecca Loughney. I am from Forest Hills, PA, and I just want to point out my shirt. It does say --- my fancy shirt --- it says, my house shall not be compromised by your well. I'm first going to speak to you as a parent. That's my first and foremost here. I live in Forest Hills. My home was built in 1950. I have a young daughter, so my first concern when she was born was ---. Obviously, we have lead paint in our house. So I'd make sure that our cracks in our plaster over the wintertime were taken care of. My second concern was, apparently, we had asbestos in our ductwork down in our basement, another concern. We had a big company come in, tape off the area, remove the asbestos. She was out of the house for about a week because, as you know, babies have developing immune systems, nervous systems. Brains don't develop until they're about three years old, fully. And then we also had a radon test, again, because we were out of that two- year mark. Anyhow, my point is that with the natural gas drilling here in Pennsylvania, now I have two other concerns: obviously, clean water and clean air, like everyone else in here. What I have done at times to protect her is I started our own water filtration system. I just had somebody come in and install probably about $3,000 worth of water filtration in my home. All my cleaning products are eco-friendly, biodegradable. But I just don't understand this way of thinking. I guess, for me, anything that creates waste is wrong. And it doesn't matter if a waste is below surface a couple miles, right here on my doorstep. I just don't understand it. And I understand, even going to the Range Resources website --- I got the pie chart and I saw that most of it is water and some of it's sand. And then there's a tiny little sliver of extra additives or whatever, .02, blah, blah, blah. But I just want to get the point across that any type of waste is wrong, and I wish that there were more options here. I wish that geothermal technology was a little bit cheaper, that we could afford that, because I really --- I have natural gas. It's cheap. I've got to heat my home. That makes sense. But I wish that, you know, I could afford solar. I wish that I could afford maybe wind power. But I feel as though we don't have those options and I feel like this is the only option and I think it's sad. And I can tell you that in Germany, the government actually pays for their citizens in that country for solar technology. So if they put solar panels on their roof, the government will pay for that. There's also a man in Seven Springs, and he completely uses solar power to heat his home, and he has a grid. And there's a new buzz about this grid, and I don't know too much about it, but I know a little bit. And apparently, this grid or this solar panel sends electricity to his home. It recycles itself. And he has so much extra power from the sun, it actually helps give electricity to the neighbor next door. So I guess --- I know this is the easy way. Natural gas is --- you know, that it's a big thing and it's below the surface. You know, it's there. We've got to use it. But I just --- you know, being a mother, I don't understand why there aren't other options for people like me that actually want them, And in closing, I will just say that being a good ancestor is preserving what we have today for the future. And my daughter will not be living here or going to school here if this is what's going to happen. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Christopher Fromme? Has he shown up? MR. FROMME: That's me. CHAIR BURN: Hello, sir. MR. FROMME: Hello, there. It's been a long time since I've been in this room. Good evening. My name's Chris, and I'm coming at it first from a consumer standpoint. I'm one of the millions of people that heats their homes with natural gas. I pay a gas bill for three row houses and my own home, about $7,000 a year. If it had not been for the market influence of the increased production of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, my gas bill would have been well over $10,000 last year. And it would have probably put me out of business, or my gas would have been shut off. A typical decreased cost of gas because of local availability is about $1,500 per year for every household in Pennsylvania because of Marcellus Shale being used in your homes. I personally do not own land at this time that could be used for drilling. But if the county enacts ordinances that prohibit drilling or make it effectively off limits to drill, that would take a great --- that takes a great value away from land and any property that is currently owned by others. Sorry. I'm going to start that over. I personally do not own any land at this time, but I am looking for land that could have a well drilled on it because I'm always looking for good investments. But if the county enacts ordinances that prohibit the drilling or makes it effectively off limits to drill, that takes a great value away from the land. And any property that is currently owned by a current county taxpayer, I would consider joining a class action suit against the county to preserve the taxpayers' private property rights. Exclusion of drilling would be an illegal taking without condemnation under the constitutional taking clause. There are many direct benefits for drilling in Allegheny property rights, Allegheny County property. Marcellus would yield approximately $4,000,000 per well drilled to the general market. The Port Authority buses, police cars and other county vehicles, if you convert to natural gas, compared for --- $1 a gallon, is typical. And also a boom to the area, hundreds of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania. Allegheny County needs to be part of that job boom. And I'll stop there because my time's up. Thank you. AUDIENCE MEMBER: You can buy my house because ---. MR. FROMME: Well, your house can't have a well drilled ---. CHAIR BURN: I would invite you --- if you two want to have a conversation, go out in the hall. MR. FROMME: I'm done. CHAIR BURN: All right. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Dana Dolney, yes, come up, thank you, followed by Kevin Loughrey. MS. DOLNEY: Hi. My name's Dana Dolney. I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I'm very proud that we've banned fracking here. I had all this stuff written down, and I was going to read it, but my friends have done such an amazing job of hitting facts --- not opinion, but facts, real facts backed by research. Yes, you can shake your head as much as you want, but I didn't hear you present a single fact to me. (Applause.) MS. DOLNEY: So I need to repeat this, though, because you keep saying the same thing over and over again. And what I feel compelled to share is that you keep saying what a wonderful job this industry is doing, how safe they are, how fantastic. This is the standard that we should accept here in Pennsylvania. This is safety at its best. So again, let's repeat, in August of 2010, a report from the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association found that natural gas companies in Pennsylvania violated the law 1,435 times. That's the best you can do? Over two and a half years, including 952 violations that had or were likely to have an impact on the environment. Kudos. This is well managed? This is safe? The most common violation was improper construction of pits that contained waste, toxic waste. This is with 2,000 wells drilled in the Marcellus. 2,000. And we're hoping --- we're really hoping on the industry side to take that to 40,000. So let's do some math. This does not include almost 1,500 citations and warnings for trucks hauling wastewater. Again, possible contaminations. Other violations included improper discharge of waste, which is cheaper to just dump most of the times, improper well casing. So those people talking about how it can't get into your aquifer, if that well casing isn't constructed properly and you're already having violations, that's how it gets into your aquifer. We're not saying that it's going to jump 7,000 feet from down below. We're not stupid idiots here. We know what we're talking about. (Applause.) MS. DOLNEY: Numbers from the state, from your DEP, not from me, not made up, so ---. Improper blowout prevention. What's that? That doesn't really matter, I suppose. Faulty pollution prevention practices. These are very serious violations that can endanger life, safety, drinking water and clean air. So if industry has its way, we're likely to see 20 times these amount of violations, because this is industry doing it right; right? That's what we keep hearing all day today. We are doing this responsibly. We have the environment and your health and safety at the heart of this matter. This is the best that they are doing, and no one in the state is challenging them, no one. I beg you, I beg you, because this is me. I have a reason to be standing here today, because I don't have a choice. I can't fight cancer. I can't have it in my water. I can't have it in my air. And I'll be damned if I'm going to sit back and watch. Jobs are not worth it if your life isn't there. You can't work if you can't live. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Thank you very much. Kevin Loughrey. Kevin Loughrey, followed by Carl Carlson. MR. LOUGHREY: I guess we not only have the facts on our side, but we have the passion as well. Thank you very much for presenting that this evening. First off, I'm not receiving any more OTs, nor am I on the clock. I don't have my clean coveralls on or anything like that. I am a ten-year homeowner in Morningside, and I've lived in Allegheny County for most of my life. I'd just like to say that Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are no stranger to being on the vanguard of invention, resources, industry. And it's nothing new in Pittsburgh in particular. It is a source of pride and a place for many of the residents. I understand that. That being said, I truly believe we must set the same precedents when it comes to safety and to the extraction of our, our Marcellus gas. It's not yours. It's not anybody else's. It belongs to the people in this state. Okay? So far, we haven't properly discussed or went into the safety of this drilling. Do we really want to export this technology and the experience that is not first done here in Allegheny County and not done right? We have an excess of questions and not nearly enough answers on the safety and the legacy that this drilling will have. Haste seldom meets success for health and happiness, for that matter. I'm rational. I am not a zealot. I realize our energy needs as a country. I heat my home and I cook my food with natural gas. But my heart, my body and my mind are fed from the land, whether it be water or soil or air. These are all precious resources, not to be squandered, just as the gas is. But water can't wait. Drilling can. More regulation is needed in Allegheny County and beyond to absolutely scientifically prove that our most basic safety is assured. We have in this beautiful state and county second and third generation forests, just now recovering from clear cuts of the '20s, streams and rivers that run orange from acid mine drainage. What next, I ask? I and my girlfriend work every day, securing money aside to the day we can buy a few acres, maybe, with a cabin on it somewhere in Pennsylvania. I call it our light at the end of the tunnel. It gets me through every day. I feel like, because of drilling, that light is dimming. The many camping trips I take to state parks and forests all over the state had us bear witness to the broad and negative effects of drilling. My brother works in the drilling industry. I seriously worry about his health and safety every day. He took me to jobsites and I saw the proximity of these wells, the containment tanks, the homes and streams and the carving of the land, the destruction of fertile farm soil. The sheer magnitude of the operation was stunning. And I really encourage you, if you get a chance to go out and see one of these drills happening in the process --- the sound, the traffic, it is overwhelming. The frack that I saw was aided by tanker after tanker of liquid nitrogen. They said it was a small well and that it was cleaner than using more fracking fluid. Liquid nitrogen into our ground, directly into our ground. I was awed, sickened and sad to see these things going on in highly populated areas, state lands and our forests. Please hold these companies to task, for me and the average Pittsburgher and county resident depend on it. Don't take their money --- CHAIR BURN: Okay. MR. LOUGHREY: --- without first being sure this is what you want in our backyards. CHAIR BURN: Thank you, sir. MR. LOUGHREY: It's your chance ---. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Carl Carlson? Is Mr. Carlson here? AUDIENCE MEMBER: He just left. My name is Bill Hicks. CHAIR BURN: Are you speaking ---? MR. HICKS: I'd like to speak in his place, sir. CHAIR BURN: He would not be the first person on either side of the issue tonight that's made that request and has been granted. So in fairness, please proceed. MR. HICKS: Thank you, sir. Mr. Chairman, members of the Council, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Bill Hicks. I am General Counsel for a company by the name of Frac Tech Services. We provide hydraulic fracturing services, including some of which are provided in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On behalf of the men and women of Frac Tech, over 150 of whom live and work in and around Allegheny County, thank you for this opportunity to address you concerning hydraulic fracturing. Over 200 years ago, a declaration of freedom and independence issued forth from this great Commonwealth that continues to reign strongly throughout the world today and remains the goal to which so many have and continue to sacrifice so much to achieve. Americans are again faced with a genuine threat to our freedom and independence. We need only look at the price at the fuel pump to know the danger to our way of life from relying so heavily on foreign sources for the essential resources we need to fuel our economy and heat our homes. Like our forefathers before us, we must act now to not only declare but, like them, also achieve our independence. Recent technological advances have allowed us to utilize a 60-year-old process to reach deep underground and bring forth those very natural resources necessary for our country to achieve its energy independence for ourselves and those generations to come. This process, hydraulic fracturing, has been repeatedly proven to be environmentally safe through rigorous scientific testing and analysis. The executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission, where much of the hydraulic fracturing has occurred, recently stated that more than 400 wells where there were complaints have been tested to determine if there was contamination from hydraulic fracturing, and none could be tied to any contamination from the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling performed. Frac Tech is a company that is not international in scope and is not multinational. It was founded by two men from a small town who left high school, began working hard, pursued the American dream, and has built the company known as Frac Tech today. We are proud to not only play a part in achieving America's energy independence, but also to partner with the people of Pennsylvania in developing your natural resources in an environmentally safe and responsible manner. We are firmly committed to environmental stewardship, and we hope to be able to work with you in achieving energy independence. Thank you, sir. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: A.J. Danny. A.J. Danny? Matthew Mehalik. MR. DANNY: I'm here. CHAIR BURN: Mr. Danny, come on up, sir. Thank you. Go ahead. MR. DANNY: Thank you. I'm A.J. Danny, Plum Borough, 1671 Old Leechburg Road. I've been a resident of Allegheny County for 30 years. I'm a little nervous and I will say I prepared two speeches tonight. I thought I would go with the side I believed in. After hearing Mr. Hicks, my decision has been made on which speech I was going to give. Our county and our country has been built on individuals that have taken risks. When you take risks, there are consequences that accompany each. I'm a sixth grade teacher in a nearby district. I was amazed on a recent classroom discussion about industry and legacy in my social studies class. My students talked about how their grandparents worked in various industries around this county. One talked about his grandfather who had worked in a coal mine in Renton, Pennsylvania. The other student talked about his grandfather who worked at Allegheny Ludlum. Another student chimed in and asked where all his grandparents went to college. Our society, and especially our youngsters, associate success with the level of education they receive. When the four students stood up, they said, my grandfather quit school to work in the mill to help support his family. The students started to understand and have an appreciation for the sacrifices that their family members took to take care of their own. Please do not misunderstand what I'm telling you here. I'm not saying education is not important. I teach our children. What I'm saying is, with the proper regulation, with the proper council in front of us, we can achieve a lot of different things. We live in uncertain times. In my opinion, we need to seize the opportunities that are in front of us. There's inherent risk associated with everything, with every opportunity. In my hometown of Renton, Pennsylvania in Allegheny County, PA, I'm proud that my family members had enough courage to not run from those risks, much like I'm proud of my city that is built on a work ethic of individuals who took chances and overcame the risks to build its legacy. For the first time in my life, I feel fortunate and proud to know that my generation has an opportunity to build its own legacy. We allowed Carnegie, we allowed Sir Walter Renton in the 19th and 20th centuries, to create their legacies. I can only hope you allow the exploration and drilling of Marcellus Shale in our county so we can be part of a new legacy of the 21st century. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Matthew Mehalik. Ginette Walker Vinski. MS. VINSKI: Good evening, and thank you for this opportunity. And thank you very much for your attention tonight. My name is Ginette Walker Vinski. I work for Sustainable Pittsburgh. While the recent national press --- national negative press the Commonwealth and our region have been receiving may well communicate that we are open for business for drillers, it is eroding years of hard-earned, positive perception of our green progress and commitment to sustainable development. The rush to develop Marcellus Shale natural gas is straining existing systems and requires new regional capacities. Allegheny County and our region must use its government's leverage to ensure application of best practices, best technologies and extraordinary regulatory oversight, monitoring and testing to safeguard the public interest. In particular, Sustainable Pittsburgh, a non- profit working to accelerate sustainable development policies and practices in southwestern Pennsylvania, recommends against Marcellus Shale development in Allegheny County parks at this time. The best practices and regulatory framework are evolving but are presently insufficient to safeguard the public interest in our public park spaces. Further, the impact of drilling surely would not be combined --- confined to just the parks, and rather, would likely bring multi-municipal ramifications. County governmental leadership at a broader scale is imperative. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Connie Jump. Connie? Connie Jump? Aaron Booz. Aaron? Claudia Kirkpatrick. MS. KIRKPATRICK: Coming. CHAIR BURN: Claudia Kirkpatrick. Yes, ma'am. MS. KIRKPATRICK: Thank you very much. My name is Claudia Kirkpatrick. I'm a resident of Pittsburgh. I'm a volunteer with the Sierra Club's Allegheny Group and currently its Chair. And I'm here to request that Allegheny County institute a moratorium on shale drilling in Allegheny County until all the necessary research has been completed and monitoring procedures have been instituted to absolutely prevent damage. Among the many concerns about allowing shale gas drilling in Allegheny County are the serious kinds of damages to individual homeowners and to municipalities that could occur, both of which could pay heavy penalties. Municipalities could sustain serious damage to their roads, and as it now stands, state level, the municipalities will have to shoulder the burden of the repair at taxpayers' cost. Homeowners will see severe loss in the value of their homes, among other reasons, because buyers may not be able to obtain mortgages. In addition, in any area of the county in which there is nearby drilling, our citizens could suffer significant loss of quality of life. They may no longer be able to enjoy the stars, obliterated as those will be by the blatant lighting of the drilling's industrial sites. They could lose the joy of watching the birds or walking in rural areas. Although, as folks have mentioned, the census data showed that Allegheny County and Pittsburgh have lost population over the last ten years, in recent years, there has been population growth. According to The Post-Gazette on Tuesday, Allegheny County has seen a small but significant increase in population from mid 2009 to mid 2010, of 1,204. According to The Post-Gazette, county officials cite a lot of accolades from the national and international media for quality of life, jobs, trails and green space. There are important attractions, bringing new kinds of companies and jobs to Allegheny County. All the reports we've received over recent months, especially thanks to The Post-Gazette's David Templeton and Don Hopey, show that we need to continue to improve, especially in air quality, if we want future growth. Shale drilling will take us backward, not forward. Thank you very much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Michael Alexander. MR. ALEXANDER: Good evening. My name's Michael Alexander. I live in Squirrel Hill, and I'm speaking as an individual citizen. Thank you for the opportunity to express my point of view. I believe that Allegheny County should do everything that it legally can to delay all drilling in municipalities for Marcellus Shale gas for as long as it takes to do a thorough study of its benefits and costs. There's nothing to be lost from delay since the gas we could tap this year will still be here in two or three or four years. Natural gas does not rot or disintegrate, and the demand for it will not disappear. The economic benefits, such as jobs, that we forego by delay this year will still be there next year. The cost of hasty and uninformed drilling, however, could last for generations. The short-term risks are obvious, as we've seen the explosion that occurred on February 23rd in nearby Washington County, injuring three employees. The long-term risks are only now being assessed. The hazards of hydrofracking, the effectiveness of recycling of fluid, the effects on air quality and the recently-revealed hazard of bringing naturally-occurring radiation up from the earth and releasing it into the water we drink are all good reasons for careful study. The federal EPA has asked for further tests. The PWSA and the Pennsylvania-American Water Company have just announced they will begin testing for radioactivity. And the gas industry's Marcellus Shale Coalition itself is contributing $100,000 to support more testing. The testing itself does not remove the problem. It just tells us whether we have a problem, and if so, how bad it is. And we need to wait for the results of these tests before we decide whether we want Marcellus drilling in Allegheny County and what regulations need to be placed upon it. The unbalanced pro-drilling stance of the administration in Harrisburg is another reason for delay. The state government is clearly not going to be an effective watchdog, as we can see in the proposed budget released on Tuesday that cut 69 employees and $7,000,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection. The state is also not going to raise any revenue from Marcellus activity and not even enough to mitigate the damage that we can now predict in normal operations, such as wear and tear of roads, much less cleanup after accidents. There's no reason to let ourselves be pressured into hasty and irrevocable decisions. If a salesperson pitches a product at us, telling us we must act now on an offer available for a limited time only, we know we are being hustled and we respond, no, thank you. Let's say no to high-pressure salesmanship, and let's take our time making decisions on Marcellus drilling. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Ron Slabe? MR. SLABE: Ron Slabe, Citizens Against Marcellus Pollution. Marcellus deep well drilling is a destructive industrial process which threatens the well- being of Pennsylvania residents. Its use of hydraulic fracturing pumps toxic carcinogens into the ground that, when later retrieved, are stored in unguarded, unfenced and leaking holding ponds that become a major source of soil and water contamination. This retrieved or flowback water contains additional toxins, such as radium, strontium, barium, uranium and additional heavy metals. The latest reports tell us of such toxins now reaching the very waters we rely on for drinking. This is why it is incumbent upon local government leaders, such as yourselves, to implement ordinances to protect the public and lobby the state to fulfill its constitutional obligations to properly look after the welfare of its citizens, something it currently is not doing. Every other week or so, we hear of another Marcellus-related explosion, be it a well, a compressor unit or other Marcellus apparatus. TV reports now tell us of families living near condensate tanks, flaring wells or compressor stations, breathing contaminated air, air containing tons of formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, carbon dioxide and God only knows what else. How on earth can we continue to allow condensate and compressor units to operate, drilling to occur and fracking ponds to exist a mere 200 feet or closer to our homes? How long will we allow ourselves to flirt with disaster? How long will we allow this industry to poison us? In our Judeo-Christian background, we are taught that we are all obliged to be good stewards of the earth. In the book of Genesis, we are tasked by God to extend proper stewardship over creation and to use stewardship to benefit creation as a whole. Further, Christian teaching tells us, quote, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment, end quote. The inherent consequences of Marcellus drilling are, in my opinion, a disordered use of God's creation and are, indeed, bringing about disastrous consequences. I ask the members of this Council to look deep within their souls and answer their call to be good stewards of the earth. Protect the people from the abuses of Marcellus drilling, and God willing, be the people's advocate in protecting the environment, not destroying it. For to do otherwise could, indeed, place this body in contempt of the Creator. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Patrick Grenter. MR. GRENTER: My name is Patrick Grenter. I am a resident of Mt. Lebanon, and I'm also legal director of Three Rivers Waterkeeper. Three Rivers Waterkeeper is a non-profit organization that serves as a voice for the waterways throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Our mission is to protect the water quality of the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, along with their respective watersheds, by water sampling, discharge and use permit review, community engagement and active investigation of all potential threats to water quality in the Three Rivers region. The focus here today should not be on the health of an industry, but rather, on the health of the public and our water. No region can ever thrive or prosper without clean and abundant water. We all have reason to be proud of the progress that we've made in this region when we've seen our region's rivers --- excuse me --- we've seen our region's rivers restore themselves to the point we're at now, with fishing tournaments, and we have seen fish species that have long since disappeared return to the local ecosystems. Additionally, the residents of Allegheny County should be concerned because most of us get our drinking water from these surface water sources, the same surface water sources that are regressing daily due to Marcellus Shale drilling wastewater dumping. Environmental laws and regulations are, by their very nature, about protecting human health and should be precautionary. The little we know about the chemicals and byproducts of shale wastewater provide ample reason for concern. Water sampling that we have participated in have revealed elevated levels of total dissolved solids, chlorides, bromides, barium and strontium. In recent summers, people have noticed foul odors and tastes in their drinking water, due, in part, to the contaminants. And nearly everyone predicts that the future holds higher rates of drilling than what we've seen in the past. Results that may occur from this are very frightening. If highly toxic flowback or reused water make it directly into a river or stream as a result of a spill or an accident, without any dilution or any treatment at all, the result would be disastrous. We're concerned about what impacts will result without appropriate controls. So far, the federal government's signatories have proven themselves unwilling or unable to be effective regulators of this industry. We all know that the county has some legal restraints on how to protect our waterways. But one important step that it can take is to create mandatory setbacks for all drilling activities on the Marcellus contracts. The standard of at least 2,500 feet will be an important step in protecting the health, safety and welfare of county residents and our drinking water supply and should be enacted immediately. Three Rivers Waterkeeper joins with other organizations and individuals who call for an immediate moratorium until these regulations and protections are put into place. Allegheny County has a chance to set the tone in favor of public health across the region by handling this issue seriously and appropriately, and should not pass in that opportunity. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: We're coming up on speaker number 65. When we get to speaker number 70, we'll be right at about 8:30, which would be --- two hours was our last break. Our court reporter will be due to change the tape then. We'll take a ten-minute recess at that point. Judith Kaufmann. DR. KAUFMANN: Hello. My name is Dr. Judith Kaufmann. I live in Jefferson Borough and have been a resident of Allegheny County my entire life. I'm a nurse practitioner and I also hold a Doctorate in Public Health. In both roles, I need to ask questions that will protect the health of my individual patients and the health of the public. My first question is why there is such an inconsistency between patient rights and the rights to the public to health. I can't prescribe a medication in my practice, I can't recommend a procedure or a test without giving full disclosure to my patients as to the risks that may be associated with each procedure and provide certainty that the patients really have full understanding of the procedures and the risks before they sign any consents. Yet drilling companies can lure landowners with money and no disclosures as to the potential for exposure to neurotoxins, carcinogens and potential poisons of contaminated air, drinking water and soil, not to mention potential explosions and fracking fires near their homes. Pharmaceutical companies can't give me a pen with their name on it for the fear that may influence my prescribing patterns. Yet the industry is able to provide excessive campaign funds to our governor and state legislators and hundreds of local officials --- (Applause.) DR. KAUFMANN: --- and seduce them with trips to the Super Bowl in their private jets. And then suddenly they come back and embrace the rapid expansion of unregulated industry. Where's the protection of public health in this, and how can we expect unbiased legislation in this area? As far as I can see, the legislators are being wined and dined, but our environment and the residents of Pennsylvania are the ones being date raped. (Applause.) DR. KAUFMANN: Pharmaceutical advertisements on TV are required to specify every single side effect and adverse effect of a drug at the end of every commercial. I know you've all heard them. Yet the ads by the industry present this idyllic picture of the farmers and landowners who have nothing but love for their Range Resources but never show the actual fracking ponds, condensation tanks, ravaged access roads, 120-feet drilling rigs, flares and man camps that become the next-door neighbors. Where is the black box on these advertisements? Where is the truth in advertising? And when does public relations become public deception? Will we be able to file a class action suit, as we did with the tobacco industry, when they failed to alert the public as to the link between cancer and smoking, and then hid case studies until they became cancer statistics that couldn't be ignored? And will these settlements be enough to compensate us for the loss of our loved ones or their loss of us? And I'm sorry I can't finish. Thank you so much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Lisa Bolton. Lisa Bolton? MS. BOLTON: Hi. My name is Lisa Bolton. I work for T.P. Electric. We're a local electrical contractor and we are members of the IBEW, which is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Number 5, here in Pittsburgh. I do respect everyone for their passionate opinions, but I can only speak for what I have experienced. We've been working since 2004 with Range Resources. They have provided us an opportunity to keep many local electricians working at a time when not much work is available in our area. We have 3,000 members. Range has always been pleased with the level of trained, skilled craftsmen that we can provide them to get the work done. The IBEW is very safety-conscious. Through their apprenticeship, safety is their number one priority. It is preached daily. We can say that the safety practices on the well sites, compressor stations, et cetera are phenomenal. They're unlike anything we've ever seen in this industry. We've had to revamp our whole safety program to meet the demands of these companies. T.P. Electric's number one priority has always been safety, and Range Resources shares that commitment to safety. We are confident that the safety of all involved in the drilling process is everyone's top priority. This is a really great opportunity for much- needed jobs in our local area. And I can tell you with all our working experiences, we feel, without a doubt, we can get the work done in a safe manner. We've always seen them run a first-class operation. None of us live in man camps. We live in this area. We shop, we work in this area. We can all agree that we are concerned about the environment, but we have to listen to the facts and have an open mind. I can only speak on what I've experienced, and that was it. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Michael Hillebrand? MR. HILLEBRAND: Hi. My name is Mike Hillebrand. I'm a life-long resident of Pennsylvania and I've worked in Allegheny County for about 20 years. I'm also a petroleum and natural gas engineer. I've gained 25 years of experience in this industry right here in Pennsylvania, and I've personally fracked over 1,000 wells myself. I'm probably the only speaker in the room that can say that firsthand. I was the person in charge of 350 wells with three years' exposure of working with these dangerous carcinogenic chemicals. Twenty (20) years later, I'm a healthy, handsome guy and I have nine beautiful children. They're all very healthy as well. But the bigger issue, I'm here to talk about our energy independence. Currently, we're sending about $1.5 billion of our money every day to nations that hate us, for their oil. To protect these interests, thus far, over 6,000 young American men and women have died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Freedom Enduring. Nearly 300 of these men and women are Pennsylvanians. Yes, Pennsylvanians are dying and many more of them injured over our country's energy needs, and it's not because of our developing natural gas resources. This can all change. Marcellus is the second largest gas drill in the world, second only to Oman. And Marcellus is the game changer. It has the potential to lead America in energy independence. As such, if you don't believe that powerful manipulative forces are at work to stop this development, you're kidding yourself. Pennsylvanians are being manipulated by these forces. Through insightful media, Internet blogs and Oscar-nominated documentaries, there's very little factual basis in any of that. The benefits of natural gas are countless, and every person who is concerned about the environment should be pro-natural gas. One MCF of natural gas does the work of eight gallons of diesel. One MCF of natural gas does the work of 8.8 gallons of gasoline. One MCF of natural gas costs $4. That's $32 diesel. One MCF of natural gas is $4. One gallon at the pump right now is $4. If you would go to the pumps right now and use natural gas, it would be 41 cents an MCF. I assure you everybody in the room would have used 41 cents an MCF to come here if it was available. MR. LOTORTO: Gregory Bish died, 26 years old, when one truck exploded, and that's a fact. CHAIR BURN: All right. I'll tell you what. That was strike one and strike two combined. I'm not bluffing. Number three, you're out the door. Show some respect. That doesn't count against your time. I appreciate your passion, sir, and so does everyone else. Please let the man speak. I understand. Please. MR. HILLEBRAND: One horizontal Marcellus well has the smallest environmental footprint for amount of energy obtained than any other energy source out there, including wind, including solar. There's over 5 billion decatherms of energy recovered from one horizontal gas well. It's phenomenal. Hydrofracturing is not a new technology. It's been used for 50, 60 years. There's been over a million wells fracked around the world. In Pennsylvania, there's been 350,000 oil and gas wells drilled to date. Over 100,000 of those have been hydraulically fractured, and there's not one recorded incident with all this fracking going on where the frack waters have contaminated the groundwater table, be it the fracture procedure. With all these cases, Pennsylvania has regulations on the book to protect the ground --- sorry. CHAIR BURN: Go ahead. You've got 20 extra seconds. MR. HILLEBRAND: Thank you. Pennsylvanians have regulations on the book to protect our groundwater for years. Under Secretary Hanger, who was an old friend of the industry and the former president of PennFuture --- he oversaw this industry. He's represented your side prior to coming to the DEP industry, and Secretary Hanger has updated all these regulations to accommodate the Marcellus. The Marcellus is safe. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. Michael Mackin? MR. MARKOCIC: My name is Adrian Markocic, and I'll be speaking instead of Michael Mackin. CHAIR BURN: And for the record, both sides have requested surrogate speakers. And in the interest of fairness and being consistent, your request to speak on behalf of someone else is granted. MR. MARKOCIC: Thank you. My address is 2902 Highridge Drive, Baldwin Township. As a child of immigrants from a Communist Bloc country, I believe I have a keen appreciation of opportunities to act, as citizen participation is democracy in action. It's a wonderful opportunity, and it allows drilling to be done in a responsible manner. In no other country in the world do citizens have the right to actually tell companies what regulations they're going to follow. Everywhere else --- excuse me. Everywhere else in the world, citizens are obliged by the countries to do what they wish, and here it's the opposite. We tell our government what we want to do. I also want to make clear that I support and demand a clean environment, which is why I’m appalled at what I hear tonight. Selfishness, prevailing not-in-my- backyard attitude and ardent disregard for our fellow man. As a service member who has done year-long tours in both Iraq and Kuwait, I witnessed firsthand the destructive effects of unregulated oil and gas development and drilling on both the environment and people. It was a tragedy. With much of our energy coming from overseas and our refusal to allow drilling here, we're all complicit in the destruction of the environment. Every time you use your iPhone, you drive your Prius to Wholefoods or your farmer's market, you're contributing to the destruction of the Niger River Basin, the Amazon Delta and Middle East deserts. I don't want this to be a part of my legacy. We have a DEP and EPA, both of which regulate this industry and holds that standard unknown from the rest of the world. Responsible drillers demand, understand and support regulation which will guarantee safety to the environment. And concerned citizens like all of us here will hold the industry to that standard. If you want to protect the environment and your fellow man, you should support reasonable and regulated drilling in Pennsylvania. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Nick Lubecki, followed by Anita Barkin. Then we'll take a ten-minute recess. Nick, are you with us, sir? MR. LUBECKI: Hi. My name is Nick Lubecki. I live in the North Side of Pittsburgh. We need to put the interests of Allegheny County residents first when it comes to questions on gas drilling. If it's really just a question of our energy needs, then we face no problems. Pennsylvania has ample supplies of energy resources to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians. But it's not a question of our energy needs. The drilling question is really about the global economy. International companies need this gas more than we do. They don't care what they have to do in order to get at it. They've already bribed the politicians, undermined the media and covered up their missteps in mazes of lingo. And they have outright lied to landowners and to all of us at meetings like this. The government is supposed to protect us from foreign threats. The federal government has failed us. The state government was just bought off. And so we turn to you, county government, to protect us from these global interests that will treat our fine land like a third-world colony and our people like garbage. The real question is this. After they drill everywhere, where will we get our water? In light of Governor Corbett's corrupt favors to the gas industry, where will we get our air? Is it not my right and the right of every county resident to live a life without fear of our air and water giving us cancer? We need to realize that gas drilling is just the next level. Did you know that companies are losing money for every well they drill? Only a fool doesn't see disaster coming when that's the case. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that every boom has a bust. Where will the drilling companies be when the wells are tapped out? Who's going to be stuck with the bill for cleaning up their mess? That's right. You and me. So please, stand up for our rights. Stand up for our dignity. Protect our democracy and our property values, and put Allegheny County residents first. Please, a moratorium or ban fracking. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Anita Barkin. DR. BARKIN: Good evening. My name is Anita Barkin. I have a Doctoral Degree in Public Health, and I'm a nurse practitioner. I want to thank you for running this meeting so efficiently, and I want to thank you for your attention. I do want to say a few words to rebut some of the comments that have been made by some of the other speakers. Number one, gasoline and natural gas are not interchangeable fuels. So don't tell people that because we're drilling for natural gas, that they're going to be able to fuel up their vehicles, because we don't have gas- powered vehicles. Point of clarification. Second, the industry will not last forever. Economists have indicated this is a boom or bust industry and does not serve well for the long-term economic welfare of a region. Three, the current technology has not been in play for over 50 years. The current technology has been used since 1988. And there are improved technologies; however, the industry has failed to make the investment in the technologies that provide some of the protections. That said, I resent the implication that I am an uneducated zealot. I have the good fortune of working and studying in an academic environment where the people who I take advice from, the engineers, the geologists, the economists, are not owned by the industry and have not gained any profit from the industry. They are unbiased opinions. (Applause.) DR. BARKIN: That, sir, is where I base my judgment as a public health official. Here's my birds-eye view of the public health situation here. We do have a legacy and a history of lax regulation in our region. Numerous studies have shown that southwestern Pennsylvania has poor air quality and poor water quality. We are close to closing our reputation as a smoky city, only to take on another reputation for gas drilling. Our region ranks close to the top for having the worst air quality in the country. We have 25 times the rate of respiratory disease, including asthma, as other countries --- as other cities. I'm sorry. We have a higher rate of cancer. Seventy-five (75) percent of the states in this country have a lower cancer rate than us. These are the impacts of an unregulated industry that we have sustained as a result of coal and steel. Let's not make the same mistake again. You say to not drill would kill our local economy. According to a recent article in Business Times, the threat of declaring the Mon impaired was enough to make the business community so nervous that they begged that it not occur because it would affect our ability to attract new industry to the region. The Mon is impaired, and now we understand the Allegheny has problems. For the vast majority of us, health and safety is hanging in the balance so that a few large landowners, drill companies and our politicians can make a killing. No pun intended. Promoting this industry as it currently stands is a mistake. As leaders in our county, you have a responsibility to the residents to fight for our health and safety. Stand up and be counted. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Thank you. We will recess for approximately ten minutes. The court reporter will change the tape. We'll reconvene at approximately 8:45. Thank you. (Short break taken.) CHAIR BURN: Thank you all so much for working with us on this tonight. Bernie Eckley. Bernie, three minutes. Thank you, sir. MR. ECKLEY: My name's Bernie Eckley. I live in Jefferson Hills on a couple acres of land which butts up against a huge parcel of land owned by a lady who lives in Florida, who has already leased the property out to the gas drilling companies. They wanted to come to my house and offer me money. They wanted my land, but there's no amount that I'll take. I'm just telling that right now. Nothing's worth the health of my children and future generations. Our homes represent a major investment for most of us. Property values decline in neighborhoods that are drilled. The money offered and the royalties promised will not compensate for the depreciation of our property. My property will be devalued even if I don't have drilling on it, but my neighbor's property does. Even if someone wanted to buy my home, they may not be able to secure a loan or homeowner's insurance once drilling in my neighborhood ---. FHA, HUD, GMAC and most major banks and credit unions, like Wells Fargo, First Place, Fidelity, First Liberty and Bank of America, all consider financing mortgages in neighborhoods where fracking has occurred as excessively risky. No FHA financing is approved for gas lease or adjoining property. According to FHA guidelines, these properties are considered unacceptable locations. FHA guidelines require that a location be rejected if a property being appraised is subject to hazards, environmental contaminants, noxious odors, offensive sights or excessive noises to the point of endangering the physical improvements are affecting the livability of the property, its marketability or the health and safety of its occupants. Rejection may also be appropriate if the future economic life of the property is shortened by obvious and compelling pressure to a higher use make a long-term mortgage impractical. Guess what the FHA guidelines state? Operating and abandoned oil and gas wells pose potential hazards to housing, including potential fire, explosion, spray and other pollution. Recently, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have become known for affordable living, in part due to the availability of affordable housing and attractive neighborhoods. Drilling will undermine the reputation of the region, and all homeowners will lose. On another note, it amazes me how the United States government is up in arms about the animals that were killed and injured, you know, about the beach and fishing ruined by the BP oil spill, but when it comes to human beings and our children and our grandchildren being harmed by Marcellus Shale drilling, the companies are trying to keep the dangers of explosions and poisoned water under wraps. We don't need the natural gas. We do not need to endanger generations for money. That is what it's all about. People, animals, more jobs. None of that matters. Eventually, we are killing our children and causing disease and sickness. And I'd like to make a couple rebuts real quick with my time remaining. To Robert Burger, the geologist, what he failed to ---. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Angelique Polakovic. MS. POLAKOVIC: My name is Angelique Polakovic. I reside in Jefferson Hills, Allegheny County. I request a moratorium on the drilling in Allegheny County until we've ensured that safe and responsible drilling is a possibility by the oil industry. If we cannot be absolutely guaranteed safe air and water, then they should not be allowed in Allegheny County. Current regulations are inadequate. And unless this industry is taxed for what they get from the ground and get a severance tax for what damages they have caused a community, the majority of Allegheny County property owners get no benefit from their being here. In that case, why should we subject ourselves to the risk of drilling explosions, loss of drinking water, noise and air pollution, radiation exposure, hazardous waste dumping, destruction of our roads, increased sewage treatment costs and loss of property values? We in Allegheny County are facing the risk of re-assessment, which will result in increases in property taxes and school tax increases with the recent education cuts by Governor Corbett. We cannot afford to also deal with the costs associated with Marcellus Shale drilling. We have to protect our own interests in Allegheny County rather than sacrifice ourselves to supplying a global market. Furthermore, a large part of Allegheny County has already been heavily surface mined. We don't know if drilling can cause mine subsidence if drilled within 200 feet of homes, schools, nursing homes and businesses. We have to protect our families and the current businesses that do contribute to the tax base. Let's see. On Fox News on March 1st, 2011, they cite large increases in earthquake activity in Arkansas, Cleburne, Texas and West Virginia, where there was little or no earthquake activity before. I'll quote the article from Fox News. It heads, earthquakes in Arkansas may be manmade, experts warn. Some experts warn that pumping saltwater into the ground as part of the natural gas extraction could have caused these local seismic events. We just don't know for sure. Please consider a moratorium until all risks associated with this hazardous waste activity are investigated. We don't have a disaster plan in place in Allegheny County, and we don't have the resources to enact one in a densely populated area. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Nora Alden. MS. ALDEN: Thank you, Council, for allowing me to speak today. My name is Nora Alden. I'm from the North Side of Pittsburgh, and I am here speaking on behalf of myself. I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008. And I, along with a number of my friends, have struggled to find a good-paying job since graduation. I recognize the concerns people have about their safety and their drinking water. I am concerned, too, but I believe that a balance can be struck between protecting our environment and allowing the natural gas industry to drill and create jobs. Over-regulation of industry could endanger the good-paying jobs that will be created. Our county, our region and our state will benefit from the growth of the natural gas industry here. Development of the Marcellus Shale will create more than 200,000 jobs here in Pennsylvania. These are jobs that we need so that people like me do not have to leave the region and our families behind to find work. We've already begun to see the positive impacts of the growth of the industry right here. U.S. Steel signed a major contract to produce steel for the piping that the industry uses to drill, and many local construction companies have been hired to work on the sites. But there are many other industries that will benefit from the booming industry: for instance, legal, automotive, real estate, hospitality, among others. It is important to note that each mile of Marcellus pipeline represents nearly $1,000,000 investment into Pennsylvania's economy. And every $1 invested in the state by Marcellus producers is $1.90 in total economic benefit. By working with local community members, businesses and energy industry executives, I'm confident that the County Council will find a way to allow the industry to create much-needed jobs while protecting the environment. Whatever action you decide to take, it is important for the County Council to rely on studies and facts, not on fear or anything like that. This is a great opportunity we have been given, and please do not allow this opportunity to pass us up. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Dee Brown. Dee Brown? Tom Kawczynski. MR. KAWCZYNSKI: Thank you. I had a prepared speech for this evening, which became redundant about two and a half hours ago, so in the interest of entertaining the Council and the audience here, I'm just going to see what happens. Like I said, my name is Tom Kawczynski. I am a resident of Bellevue Borough. And basically, that means my only dealing with the gas company is probably when they give me a bill. I don't have a big plot of land. I don't think I'm going to have one any time soon. But I was thinking about the question, and this is what I wanted to know. Everyone in this room seems to agree on one basic premise. We want to have economic growth and have a safe environment. There's a lot of disagreement over how to get there. But starting from what we all want and what I think we all want for the county, is how you can ask the question. So when I look at the question, I ask ---. I think --- well, first, these are our resources. They are our minimal resources as a state. It's worth mentioning that when you lease these items or when the property owners lease their land, they're leasing to get to what's underneath. So we need to consider the wealth of everyone in the state, not just the property owners, but people who live in the cities and who are impacted by the pollution, the infrastructure, and also the economic benefits that are there. I have three questions that I ask myself when I try to understand this issue. The first question is the most important. Is it safe? Before I looked at this question, I had thought and I had heard a lot of publicity saying about the benefits of natural gas development. At this point, based on what you've heard here tonight and based upon a lot of research that's out there that is credible, compelling and growing, there are questions. There are serious risks. And if you have any doubts about them, you owe it to yourself to check and not act until you know those risks are solved. I have every confidence that we can overcome them with technology an ingenuity, but we are not doing that now. We are not doing that because we do have the regulatory regime in place that is serious, because it has been compromised by various factors. The second question I ask is, who benefits? We all understand that the natural gas in Pennsylvania is worth trillions of dollars. We also understand that we have state, county and municipal governments that are in serious trouble. Here in Allegheny County, the Port Authority is a perfect example. Why are we allowing development of this to happen, provided it is safe, not getting the resources out from these companies that are required to take care of our basic needs? The buses, the transportation, the road, the sewers, the pipes. I'm all for pipelines, the ones that carry water. That's what we need to work on. The third thing I have is, who decides? And this is important. At the end of the day, it should be the residents who decide for themselves, that we make sure that all the residents of Allegheny County can say in their municipalities that they had the opportunity to make those decisions. I've asked myself these questions. And considering we live in a county that's primarily urban and suburban, densely populated and susceptible to risk, I ask that you consider imposing a moratorium until you have the answers you want to these questions, because it's too important to get it wrong. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Bernie Ulincy, followed by Mary Ruth Aull. MR. ULINCY: Good evening. I'm here this evening as a resident and taxpayer of Allegheny County. I live in South Fayette Township. I'm also an employee in the oil and gas industry. As a 31-year employee in this industry and as the current president of the Northern Appalachian Landman's Association, I take my responsibility to my neighbors seriously, and my employer and the environment. And I'm a Pennsylvania native. Thirty-one (31) years in the oil and gas industry, and I've only been out of work five months in the 31 years that I've been involved in this industry. My son is a landman. I have my daughter studying in a Master's Degree program in petroleum geology, because I believe in it passionately. And we have done things the right way. We have done it safely. We have a chance now to have a constructive dialogue. We obviously have our differences. We've heard a lot of that tonight. But we're also at a crossroads where it's very important that the county balances and weighs all of the positives and negatives. There are a lot of rural areas in Allegheny County that can be developed and be developed safely and efficiently with technology that is not new. It's been around for a long time. So my message today is simple. This industry has worked within the Commonwealth for over 150 years. This technology has been proven safe, effective. It's clean. It's been used throughout the world. We have very strong safeguards and guidelines under which we operate in the development of this resource. If regulation is policed rigidly, and as corporate stewards of our resources and environment, we must follow those regulations strictly. As a result, you can rest assured that your energy resource is developed safely, efficiently and effectively and is in safe hands. And contrary to popular belief, there are natural gas vehicles that are running safely to this day. There are natural gas filling stations. There are fleets of cars that are run on natural gas. The whole fleet in State College, buses, is run on natural gas. The Commonwealth has in place strong statewide regulations. And some other counties, most notably Lycoming and Washington, have taken additional steps to minimize the inconveniences at a local level while allowing for the safe and reasonable development of the oil and gas resource. And one of the jobs I have as an oil and gas landman is to know and understand what lands are under lease in the counties in which I operate. The number 35,000 acres has been thrown around in Allegheny County, but the reality is that there's closer to over 90,000 acres of oil and gas leases in this county. And think for a moment how that will impact those people if they're told that they cannot get their resource developed in this county. There is some recourse that could possibly happen because of that. So please support responsible natural gas development in Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania for yourself, your children and for generations to come. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Mary Ruth Aull, followed by Jonathan Brady. MS. AULL: Good evening. My name is Mary Ruth Aull. I live in Penn Hills, and I'm a retired registered nurse, and it's past my bedtime. There was a time when man took no more than he needed. That time is gone. There was a time when he gave something back. That time is gone. There was a time when he worshipped the Creator and honored creation. That time is gone. And now the waters are polluted, our natural resources are all but gone, and creation is dying. It is time to find our way back to earth. That's a quote by Kevin Thunderhorse Wright. I am Mother Earth, a living being, your home, your only planet you have to live on. I have nurtured and nourished you for thousands of years. I am pleading with you to break out of your industrial trance and stop your assault on me. You are turning a wonderland into a wasteland by blowing off my mountaintops, polluting my streams, rivers, lakes, oceans, destroying my ecosystems and injecting me with carcinogenic fracking fluid, all for a dead-end fossil fuel. There are sustainable methods to provide energy, and one solution comes up every day, not drill, baby drill. Shine, baby, shine. Listen, I am speaking. I am speaking through these caring people here tonight, through the earthquakes in Arkansas, through the fires and explosions which have occurred at the Marcellus drilling sites, the sickness in humans and animals, the extinction of other species. Please stop this madness. Someone must take a stand. You are the ones I have been waiting for. Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will you realize that you cannot eat money. Please ban Marcellus Shale drilling in Allegheny County. Thank you very much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Jonathan Brady, followed by Mark Windle. MR. BRADY: Good evening. My name is Jonathan Brady. I'm a resident of Ross Township. I'm a petroleum geologist, and I'm here as a representative and an officer of the Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists. We're a professional, non-profit organization that supports the advancement of the petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally-friendly way. We have no political affiliation and we do not give money to political candidates. We are made up of geologists, both petroleum geologists and environmental geologists, engineers, consultants, landmen, lawyers, among many others. Not every member of our society will completely, 100 percent, agree on how to extract the Marcellus Shale. However, there are several other groups in the Pittsburgh area, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Geoscientists Society of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Geologic Society. We're all professional geologists, and we're here to serve the Council and any other member who may have questions and concerns. We're willing to start an open dialogue. However, it must stay civil. And different minds can agree. Now, what we would like is to work together and we are ---. In the end, reasonable minds can disagree. We're all here because we want what is best for the city, the county, the state and the country. And I think we can all agree on that, regardless of how we get there. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Mark Windle, followed by Richard Dillion. Mark, are you here? Mr. Windle? Richard Dillion. MR. DILLON: Yes. CHAIR BURN: After Richard Dillion is Gabe Morgan. Gabe? No? All right. Then Kevin May after Gabe Morgan. Thank you. MR. DILLON: Good evening, my fellow citizens. Just for the record, it's Dillon, D-I-L-L-O-N. French is Dillion. CHAIR BURN: I'm sorry, sir. There was an I in here. My apologies. MR. DILLON: That's okay. It happens all the time. Anyway, Honda markets the Civic gas-powered vehicle. The professor, Anita Barkin, misspoke with utter disregard to the truth. I hear such utter disregard for the truth continuously in the radical liberal presentations up here. Sorry. That's what I hear. Now I'd like to bring your attention to the coat of arms of our esteemed county. You see a sailing vessel. I hope it's a clipper ship. If we were to listen to the Luddites in this room, that ship would never have sailed because the earth, according to them, was flat. Let's go down and let's take a look at the implement that they used to carve the land and destroy it. That particular implement did, in fact, harm the topsoil. Technology, my friends, advances. In 50 years, the technology that we have today will be gone. In 100 years, it will be gone. But the Luddites will not be gone. They remain with us, demanding that we go back to a Garden of Eden that never existed. They quote the Lord. The Lord said, if you can't find the fish on one side of the bowl, go to the other. He said, be resourceful. And he said, don't drone and don't be arrogant. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Gabe Morgan. Kevin May. MR. MAY: Hello there, and thank you for being here. My name is Kevin May. I have been a citizen of Allegheny County for my entire life. And once again, I thank you all for being here. So it seems that we have somewhat of a Venn diagram happening today, so we've got these two circles which are overlapping. And I believe that there is a lot of common ground between these overlapping circles. And I think that all of us probably, as far as I know, survive off drinking water and also eating foods. So that would be in the center of the circle in between the two overlapping circles. We also all breathe the air, and we want our children and future generations to be able to do that. I think that everyone in this entire room agrees that those are valuable things. I think we also want our future generations to not have to suffer from the risk of cancer in our water, in our food and in the air. And I think that there are many things today that are putting these air, water and food at risk, and all of us in these overlapping circles are concerned with these risks. I think some of us may think other things are riskier than others, but we all fit in this center circle. And I believe that fracking fits in the center of that circle because it puts all those things at risk. So if you want your future generations to have clean air and clean food and clean water, then I think we should ban fracking in Allegheny County, because otherwise --- just got beeped at --- Happy Thursday --- because otherwise, we're going to be leaving a planet for our future generations that does not have healthy air, healthy water and healthy food. I know that we're beating ourselves, but these are critical things. And after all, we can't eat money and we can't drink money and we can't breathe money, as much as we may want to do those things. This is the middleman. We need to protect the actual natural resources. So please ban fracking in Allegheny County. If you want them to check the air, the water and the food, thank you and Happy Thursday. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Bill Hicks. Is Bill Hicks here? AUDIENCE MEMBER: He spoke earlier. CHAIR BURN: Okay. Keith Valentine. Brian Sayre. Josh Wander. Hallie Pritts. MS. PRITTS: Hi. My name is Hallie Pritts. I live in 15212. A lot of people here tonight have spoken about water contamination and people talked about air pollution. And I'd just like to point out that Harrisburg is not protecting us. Governor Corbett has axed protections for Pennsylvania air. Former Governor Rendell created a guideline that evaluated air quality around wells and compressor stations by area rather than individual well. That means that if you have ten gas wells next to each other, the air quality around those wells has to meet state guidelines for clean air. Governor Corbett axed this guideline. Now those are evaluated individually. That means that if you have ten wells right next to each other, and each well is producing air pollution just a hair under the standard, it passes, even though that means that the air in the area around those wells may be almost ten times beyond the legal limits for air pollution. There's no violation. And unfortunately, they are examples of what our future will be if it keeps at the current rate. Dish, Texas is a small town that is surrounded by shale wells and compressor stations. The air in Dish now has extremely high levels of benzene, which causes cancer. The residents of Dish have experienced serious health problems and breathing problems and nosebleeds. The mayor of Dish has decided to move away. His children were getting nosebleeds over and over again. The mayor of Dish decided that he could no longer keep his family in a town he is mayor of, because of health problems associated with gas wells. This is not just a Texas problem. Just last week, there were two days in the area of rural Wyoming with heavy gas drilling activity, where the levels of smog were higher than the worst day recorded in Los Angeles last year. Smog in rural Wyoming worse than Los Angeles. There are other dangers from natural gas rigs, not only from compressor stations and well sites, but also from natural gas pipelines, which will be multiplying exponentially in our state if this continues. To close out, I'd like to read a list of fires and explosions at gas sites in our area between February 9th and March 1st of this year. That's about three weeks. February 9th, Allentown, Pennsylvania, natural gas pipeline explosion. Six people dead, two homes leveled. Six homes damaged beyond repair. Forty-seven (47) properties impacted. February 10th, Hanoverton, Ohio, natural gas pipeline explosion. One home damaged. February 23rd, Avella, Pennsylvania, explosion and fire at Marcellus well site. Three people injured. March 1st, Hickory, Pennsylvania, fire at Marcellus Shale compressor station. 911 dispatcher's office received a call about an explosion that shook nearby houses. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Elissa Weiss. Elissa Weiss, followed by Heather Kropf. After Ms. Weiss, Heather Kropf. MS. WEISS: Hello. My name's Elissa Weiss, and I reside in Glenshaw. I appreciate the sincerity and passion of people who have spoken both for and against deep well natural gas drilling. I feel that I have to echo Dr. Judith Kaufmann's position that consideration of economics is very important but is not radically liberal or arrogant. Judith says that the primary focus and the highest priority must be public health and a clean environment. When considering the facts, let's include the following; that groundwater contamination may be rust be related to, in this instance, above or just below ground vents, from leaking pits to inadequate well casings, to illegal dumping, to wildlife dispersal. Air contamination from multiple, multiple point sources all along the way. Transfer points and non-secured pipelines and valves. Processing in compression plants and stations, storage tanks, if unmeasured, is unknown. We also have to consider that the individuals here addressing the issue may be functioning in a very careful, responsible fashion. Does that include every company, every worker, every trucker? Do all devised systems for containment and safety work perfectly? Not in this real world. We're exposed indirectly and directly to toxins, which accumulate in the water, which disperse in the air, which accumulate in our food. They bio-accumulate. As we're at the top of the food chain, we get the most. We get the worst. These can cause cancer and spread disease, but they can contribute to many other severe diseases based in neurological dysfunction and endocrine disruption and also causing genetic disruption. Having said this, there are major gaps in our knowledge. For example, of the reported 350 to 550-plus chemicals used in the fracking process, most are propriety, meaning the names are secretive. Some --- I don't know how many --- 36 released in June, many are carcinogens. Consider this in light of what has been frequently insisted on by individuals who work in and head the industry, that some million wells have been drilled over decades with no evidence of water contamination. Now, as Ms. Hall, Assistant Executive Director for TestAmerica, and an associated chemist, indicated at the EPA meeting in, I believe it was August, there are no commercially available means for testing for many of these compounds. How, therefore, can it be insisted that there are no cases of proven contamination if you cannot test those substances? (Applause.) MS. WEISS: Testing as comprehensively as possible costs thousands of dollars, far beyond the reach of the vast majority of citizens. No evidence of ill effect is not the same as evidence of no ill effect. This and other significant questions should give us cause to begin a moratorium on drilling until they are clarified. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Heather Kropf, followed by Ronald Orr. MS. KROPF: Good evening. Thanks for being here and listening to us. My name is Heather Kropf. I live in Pittsburgh at Highland Park. And I would be repeating --- I wrote this whole thing down on sort of brief notice. I would be repeating a lot of what people said. So the main thing I wanted to ask you is to preserve public health. I'm curious to know. How many people in this room have suffered an environmental illness? Okay. A few of you. I have, too. It's devastating. I lost work. I've lost my social life. I can keep my home because my parents give me money every month. This is what a lot of people will face if even one bad scenario happens. Western-trained doctors and hospitals aren't designed --- they're not well equipped to help you diagnose this problem because they don't think in terms of systems. I spent three years of my life trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. And it wasn't until last summer that I found a medical doctor who's also trained as a nutritionist and a naturopath who was able to say, you need a certain test. And it showed I had elevated levels of heavy metals. The previous doctor gave me a blood test for heavy metals that showed nothing. Blood tests don't tell you what you have. You need the right test. You need to know what you're looking for. If we don't know what the chemicals are and the toxins are, doctors aren't going to be able to help us. I got lucky. I have modestly elevated levels. I've done radical changes to my lifestyle. I'm still in the middle of it. I don't want to live here if I'm going to be assaulted daily with continued and increased toxins. I won't survive. I don't have a body that can survive that. I'm probably going to sell my house and move away. I don't want to do that for this reason. I ask that you know what we're dealing with before you bring it to my backyard. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Ronald Orr. Is Ronald Orr here? Emil LeDonne. MR. LEDONNE: Hi. Emil LeDonne, Allison Park, Pennsylvania. I'll try not to be redundant. It's going to be awful hard to do. I'll at least try to hit on some of the things I find important. I've been involved in the outdoors all my life. I'm a rock climber, a mountaineer, avid kayaker, fly fisherman, mountain biker. I'm in the woods constantly. I've been involved in the environment for quite some time. I'm an active member of the American Whitewater Association, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, American Rivers. I've worked on cleaning up crap on the roads. I've worked in the salvage yards, heavily regulated. What I've also witnessed over the 20 years I've been involved in this stuff is that we aren't allowed to do anything in society anymore, and a lot of it because of these groups. We can't burn coal. We can't build dams for on the rivers. We're running out of energy, and we're not allowed to do anything because it's all going to kill us. Well, it hasn't all killed us. We are running out of energy and we need to do something. I don't think there's anybody in this room that isn't all for solar energy or any of the renewable resources. The fact of the matter is they're not here. They're not ready to take over yet. We need something to get in between now and then. Natural gas is a great alternative for that. And those of you that think you're heating your house with windmills in the plains, you're nuts. It gets lost in the transmission before it gets here, and you can't transmit electricity that far. To heat Allegheny County with windmills, it would take up half the state. So we need all these things. We need windmills. We need solar. We need natural gas. We need to get what we can out of the ground and take advantage of it. This is a great opportunity for Pennsylvania to do this right. Are there dangers involved in this? Sure, there's dangers involved in all energy. And we have learned to deal with them in the past. We have advanced technology. Some of the other points that I'd like to make. I could go on and on, but I wanted to point out, Council, that Allegheny County is large. Most of these people here are from the city, as they speak. There's a lot of rural areas in Allegheny County where this is fine. There's a lot of city areas where this is not fine. You don't want to be drilling in Highland Park or downtown Pittsburgh, but West Deer Township or Robinson, some of these other areas are vast rural areas. This isn't really a one size fits all. This isn't really a county decision. This is more of a municipal decision that needs to be made here. The county is --- one size just doesn't fit all here. So let the local municipalities deal with this, is the way that I believe it should be handled. Again, everybody's for clean water. I certainly don't want to be drinking poisoned water. I guess that's about it. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Krista Staley. Krista Staley. Leagha Courtney. MS. COURTNEY: Hi. My name is Leagha Courtney, and I've been a resident of Allegheny County for almost four years. I have worked in the natural gas industry for 19 years, and I have lived near industry operations for the better part of 41 years. I work for a company that, in 2010 alone, employed 250 Pennsylvanians. My husband is employed by a Marcellus Shale service company that employs 340 Pennsylvanians and intends to double that number in the near future. For every drilling rig, 150 additional jobs are created, with an average income of $75,000 per year. The environment, clean air and clean water are all very important to me. And I have three children, and my family lives here, too. And I know that the Marcellus Shale can be developed in a responsible manner, not compromising health, safety or environmental integrity. I am confident that the Pennsylvania DEP regulations will ensure the proper development of the Marcellus Shale. And with the Marcellus Shale development, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh will benefit from jobs, revenues while providing energy for our country in a clean, healthy environment. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Cory Wilbanks. Cory Wilbanks? Peter Wray. Abhijeet Joshi. MR. WRAY: Peter Wray. CHAIR BURN: Peter Wray? MR. WRAY: Yep. CHAIR BURN: Yes, sir. MR. WRAY: Thank you. Good evening. My name is Peter Wray, and I'm Chair of the Conservation Committee of the local Sierra Club, and I've lived in Allegheny County since 1956. First, let me thank the Council members for their patient attention during this long hearing. Many citizens have been able to express their concerns about shale gas drilling. And we hope that you will now agree that the long-term risks outweigh the short-term benefits and you will not approve drilling on any county property. Clearly, the shale gas industry has moved far too quickly for government agencies to fully recognize, understand and account for the environmental risks. Will we always know the composition of fracking fluids, the relative amounts and the interactive effects? How serious is the possibility of wastewater being radioactive? How will wastewater be treated? Recycling only concentrates the pollutants and radionuclides. How will air pollution be controlled around the well sites, storage tanks and compressor stations? What impact will new pipelines have on neighborhoods and the environment? There has been talk of the county leasing a tract of undeveloped land near the airport. What is the risk of that valuable area becoming a contaminated brownfield? Don't we want high-tech, high-paying companies building on that site instead of an industrial field of gas wells, pumps, ponds, compressors and pipelines? Just how safe is shale gas drilling? In a 20- month period, the DEP recorded 950 serious violations. Can we really expect DEP's inspectors to inspect and enforce regulations at the rate of 300 wells per inspector, per week? As for accidents and spills, they are almost a weekly occurrence. How can the risks of shale gas drilling be reduced? Self-regulation by the gas industry is not reliable --- think BP in the Gulf or Cabot in Dimock, PA --- nor can we realistically expect the new industry- friendly administration in Harrisburg to develop and enforce meaningful regulations. But the county can look to the federal EPA for help. EPA is currently studying the potential impact of shale gas drilling on water quality, including the problem of radioactivity. We sincerely urge Council to ban shale drilling on all land owned by the county, including all undeveloped lands and county parks. We further urge Council to follow the lead of New York State and place a county-wide moratorium on all new drilling until the risks of shale gas drilling have been fully understood and appropriate safeguards are firmly in place. This is an important opportunity for Council to exert leadership. The choice is yours. Make sure this is a most livable county --- not city, but county. Move now before we realize and understand the public health impact of deep shale gas drilling. Thank you very much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Abhijeet Joshi? MR. JOSHI: Abhijeet Joshi, 3047 Willowbrook Drive, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, 15017. I actually have a prepared speech, which is like many prepared speeches before now. But thank you for your public service. We appreciate it. Thank you, law enforcement. Thank you for staying around. Thank you, everybody, for coming here and listening to everybody else. My speech had all the usual what you would call liberal crap with a military industrial congressional complex. Poisoning people is a bigger crime than having sex and twice as risky, but I will not go there. One of my favorite movies in India --- I'm a legal immigrant. One of my favorite movies, there's a character who is the meter reader of Commissioner of Mumbai. And he goes to the U.S. Everybody goes to the U.S. just to have fun, but they go on official visits. I'm more used to correction than you people are, of course. So he comes back from the U.S. and says, the U.S. has much more advanced technology than India has, because in the U.S., the sewage worker is totally different and separated from drinking water. Unlike India. He comes back. I saw that movie one night. When I read about antibiotics in my drinking water, I started researching it and I realized, oh, is this how antibiotics are getting into my drinking water? So maybe I was wrong about some of the expectations from this country. I love this country. It's a great country. I'm here, obviously. I think this is not the America I came to. This is not the U.S. I came to. I came here because I thought corruption was not as prevalent as it was where I came from. Out there, my mom, who suffers from tinnitus, could do nothing about the noise that kept bothering her because of badly zoned development. I could do nothing about the noise created by neighbors, students who were rowdy. And my sick father could do nothing about it. I thought I came to a place where I can sleep peacefully and my kids can live a healthy life. But that's not what I'm seeing right now. This is very disappointing. On my Yahoo page I have three cities whose weather I track: Pittsburgh, Mumbai and Pundai City. Pittsburgh is always covered. Pundai City is always sunny. Mumbai is smoky. It's always smoky. And I'm thinking of moving to Mumbai. That's how bad it is. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Deborah Caruso. Deborah Caruso? Abby Samuels. After Abby Samuels, Alexander Lotorto. MS. SAMUELS: Hello. CHAIR BURN: Hello. MS. SAMUELS: 15208. I've been here a long time, lived in PA all my life. I'm here on behalf of myself, and I'd like to speak for myself and possibly many more. Part of the problem is that we might assume about talking to the person next to us or our children, and we go ahead and we let our ego-driven selves think it's right. When we look into our selfish future, we see what we can do to make it happen. We, as biological beings made out of matter and energy, need energy to transform the natural resources into energy for ourselves and others as a service to each other. And we're here to serve each other, not, you know, hurt each other. That's not the goal. At least, I don't think so. What happens when --- the energy we are making poisons the air? I mean, while we are transforming it and transporting it, it is possible while we're transporting it, based on whatever, that it can get into, you know, the air and the water. It is possible. You know, this hydraulic fracking, I mean, it does happen. There's tons of data on it and many people have spoken about it here. Anyway, it's, you know, a chance for the city to get money, but, I mean, like, what is money? Is it clean air? Can it help us get clean water? Can it help us cultivate the earth for food and shelter? I mean, is there enough money and education for the antidote? I mean, don't take a potion unless you have an antidote. Don't start a project unless you can clean it up. Money is just a means for our selfish egos, satisfaction to serve each other and our past. I mean, we can't drink money. We can't eat money. I mean, when the water gets polluted and the land gets polluted, we get sick. They don't want to tell us about the 592 chemicals that are placed in fluid. I mean, how are the doctors supposed to know how to fix it? We die. They die. I mean, do you have a super water filter for every house and schools and all the public water fountains? We all bathe and shower in it. I mean, maybe our research in nanotechnology and environmental and electrical engineers have a backup plan. I mean, we need to listen to them. I mean, why is industry not highly motivated to do the research, that doesn't have money backing it up, you know? I mean, I take my free time to research and communicate. I'm not getting paid to be here. I mean, you and me, we're the same. You know, we're made of the same stuff, most of the time. I mean, we all came out of our momma's womb. I mean, our lives are different, but fundamentally, we are the same. The idea that there is even a risk in evidence showing up as such a potential harm is a reason to say no. We don't need your money. Your protection plan a lie. Your plan to build our economy is not true. And we don't want your false resources. Open your eyes and open your hearts, please. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Alexander Lotorto? MR. LOTORTO: First, I want to apologize for my outburst. I grew up running my mouth, and it is a large part of my sports culture thing. And I'm also a big football fan, and sometimes we shout out at the TV, sports games sometimes. Looking at these hearings, so ---. I submitted to you two things. One is a brief cover letter, I guess, on my opinion on this. Second is a report by Ph.D. Economist Jannette Barth. It's titled, Response to Industry Claims. Jannette Barth is a resident of rural New York. She has been an economist for New York MTA, a consultant and account manager for Chase Econometrics/Interactive Data Corporation. And as a teaser, it's a report very well cited about the impacts of the industry on local economies and is relevant to this discussion for all --- my hometown, county by county. And I'll just give you --- the one thing that came up today is in the second paragraph. Marcellus Shale Coalition lobbying firm asserts that 88,000 jobs were created by the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania in 2010. The Department of Labor and Industry in Pennsylvania says the number of non-farm jobs created in Pennsylvania in 2010 was only 65,600, and almost half of those jobs were in education and health and leisure and hospitality industries. So there's your teaser. I think you should read it. It will dispute a lot of the claims made by the industry today. And in addition, in Dr. Barth's report, I'd like to emphasize the impact that major land-intensive industrial development of any kind has on all of Allegheny County residents' property and home values. My father and I have worked on our house since I was, you know, like, old enough. But my family built our house. And we bought our land. We built it. My grandfather was a bricklayer. My cousin was a roofer. And my dad had machines. And I take a lot of prestige in the value of my house and the amount of work I put into it. If the gas company comes in anywhere near a home, that housing value decreases, and the most hard- working families --- my dad's a landscaper and my mom ---. I'm not a trust fund baby. My dad's a landscaper, and my mom's a shop owner, a flower shop. And that is taking away their lifetime earnings. And it's just as bad as when, you know, Henry Clay Frick wouldn't give them a raise, you know what I mean, or somebody like that. You take money from working people who've already been courageous enough to stay in Allegheny County after the mill closures. You know, you're taxing the people indirectly by allowing an industry that --- 10 to 15-acre well pads and 40-acre spacings of --- you know, whether it's a giant windmill or whatever it is, that's going to decrease the value of homes. And like I said, we're making a choice to spend a trillion dollars on this industry as a society. And it's our choice to spend that trillion dollars elsewhere as well. And Allegheny County should ban drilling. We know it's not going to be good for the county, regardless of the environmental implications, economically --- read the report --- and the last is the ban of Pittsburgh. Read that, too. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Paul Heckbert, followed by Daniel Beeton. MR. HECKBERT: Hello. I'm Paul Heckbert from Edgewood. Thanks for giving me a few minutes to review the talking points. Okay. First, about the word fracking. Don't call it fracking. Call it hydraulic fracturing. Sounds better. Remind people that the Marcellus Shale is one mile down. It's under the aquifers. And the waste, you know, don't call it frack water. We call it produced water. We call it brine. You've got to use the right phrases. And tell people that we recycle most of our frack water. You don't have to mention that the rest is pumped into wells or sprayed on roads or whatever. Just don't go there. And stay away from the word benzene. Bad news. Okay. Here's the line. The chemicals in hydraulic fracturing can be found under the kitchen sink. Memorize that. We call it clean natural gas; remember? It's cleaner than coal. Okay. Go on the offensive. Talk about jobs. Pennsylvanians need jobs. Don't mention these are Walmart jobs. Don't mention they might be fixing crumbling roads or that we might move on to another state in a few years. Second, stress energy independence. Talk about the rising price of oil. Talk about unrest in Libya. Do not mention that the gas that we're pumping out of the ground is often sold to Norway. Third, talk about getting rich. Pennsylvanians love this. Tell them, this is your resource. This is your pot of gold. Remember that study we paid for that concluded that the Marcellus is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas? People love that phrase. Use it. It works. Talk about the millions that each landowner can make. Remember, the Marcellus is a gold rush. When talking to the media about environmentalists, here are the phrases to use. They're fear mongering, they're spreading hype, and all their stories are anecdotal. Use those. There was that unfortunate story in The New York Times a week or two ago, scaring people about radioactivity. Remind people that radioactivity is naturally occurring, and that 40 percent of wells were contaminated by methane before drilling began. Things were a lot easier when we had the vice- president from Halliburton. Of course, getting that critical exemption from the Clean Water Act was real helpful. Okay. When negotiating a lease, make sure the contract limits your liability. If their water goes bad, the kid gets neuropathy, their pony dies or whatever, you don't want to lose everything. Stall. Pay them off if you have to. Make sure you've got that silence clause in there. It's critical. We don't need any more bad press. Hopefully we can all be out of state by the time any problems show up. So let's review the talking points. It's clean natural gas. The Marcellus is your natural resource. It means jobs and it means energy independence. So we can all get rich. I know I will. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Daniel Beeton. Daniel Beeton? Thomas Bartos. Thomas Bartos? Gerald Schiller. Gerald Schiller? Anne Lynch. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Anne Lynch asked me to hand in her statement. She had to go home due to child care problems. CHAIR BURN: So just submit the statement then? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just submit it. I don't need to read it. CHAIR BURN: Okay. Thank you. We will review it. Craig Eckert. MR. ECKERT: Thank you very much, members of the Board. I really appreciate having the opportunity to come out tonight and talk with you about our industry. I'd like to start off by just telling you a little bit about myself. I'm a professional geologist. I work in the Pittsburgh area. And I'm here representing myself as a resident of Allegheny County. I live up north in Bradford Woods. And I'd just like to talk to everybody tonight about a couple of really simple issues. What I'd really like to do is just appeal to your sense of reason and common sense. I'd like to put a couple of things into their proper prospective. And I know some of us attempted to do this already this evening, and I hope not to be too redundant. And lastly, I'd like to urge all of you to take time to learn for yourselves and to do the research that's really required to understand the issues, because there is good information out there, besides a lot of the hype that you hear. And you know --- and that is the truth. So like most of you, I've got a family in this area. I spent most of my adult life here, most of the last 25 years or so. And I love to fish, bike, hike, all those great things in county parks. I go to North Park all the time. I love the rest of the state. It's a beautiful state, and of course, we all want to keep it that way. As a young person, it was this lovely outdoors that really got me involved and interested in becoming a geologist. I mean, I had a really intense desire to understand how the earth works and what processes are involved in that that geologists love to learn about. I love all of our lakes and streams and forests, just like everyone else here does. So it shouldn't surprise you to know that, you know, when I start hearing about things that are happening with drilling in the Marcellus, it doesn't get me upset and it doesn't come to surprise me. It's really nothing new. I mean, this is something that's been going on in this part of the state, this part of the country for, you know, well over 100 years. And as time progresses, technology increases. Regulations become more stringent. And the whole industry, as a whole, becomes much safer. And that really is the truth. So professional voices in these types of boardrooms are rarely heard because, you know, most of us are busy, you know, doing our jobs and other things. And for most of us, our forte, you know, is not doing things like making films and artistic production, et cetera. And we don't get paid to drive around the country, you know, looking for people that have beefs with our industry. But anyway, I just want to say that natural gas really is a great industry. And there are all kinds of other alternatives out there that, you know, we have to also work towards. But in the meantime --- I mean, this is what we have under our feet. It's a tremendous economic opportunity. It's being done responsibly and environmentally safely. And I would just like you to understand that there is a lot of us here that depend ---. CHAIR BURN: All right. Thank you very much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Charles Clark. MR. CLARK: Good evening. My name's Charles Clark. I live in Pittsburgh. I'm a retired firefighter. And I don’t have any statistics. I don't have any fears. I just have a little bit of common sense. I grew up in Pittsburgh. When I was young, the community street lights were on. Every morning when you'd wake up, there'd be a half an inch of chemical dust on your car. We got over that. I had asthma as a child. I don't have asthma anymore. The air in Pittsburgh is good. The water is good. I can bass fish at the Point. I couldn't do that 40 years ago. The laws that we have in this state protect the environment, and they're being enforced. They will take care of this industry, but we need the energy now. So as far as I'm concerned, it's drill, baby, drill. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Let the record reflect that our colleague from across the street, City Councilman and former City Council President, the Honorable Doug Shields has joined us. Councilman. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Francine Michaels. Francine Michaels? Michael Yilit. MR. YILIT: Thank you. My name is Mike Yilit. I'm from Charleroi, Pennsylvania. I work for Frac Tech, but I am not speaking for them, nor as a representative of them. My days start at 5:00 in the morning. I also own a farm that is our family farm, along with some of my cousins and uncles. We also have our farm ground leased for Marcellus Shale. The well pad is about 400 feet from our family home. It belongs to my sister now. It will be handed down to my kids. There will always be a farm. There's about 20 farms in this area that we live that all have been drilled and fracked. The fracking process on one well takes about two days. I handle the chemicals. Everybody talks about --- there's no regulations. The chemicals that I handle, if there's an incident on the road, I can be in prison. If you're on the Turnpike and a semi upsets, that water goes --- that fuel goes into the storm drain, that's a hazard. Every time you folks use salt on these roads, you create brine water. We have 20 farms in this area. Our water comes from two wells and a spring. If you have somewhat of a sharp solicitor, you could regulate a lot of these things yourself. If you have concerns that these people have, put them in writing. The big print giveth, the small print taketh away. If you want to test lands, if you want to test this fracking --- I've been working for a year. I love my job. My job makes six figures. I work with 18-year-olds that make $50,000 a year. It's a blessing. These college students, they come right out of --- these guys come right out of high school, work in the oil and gas field. I've worked all through Pennsylvania. I do high-pressure fracking. I've sat on the iron when they fire the gun to frack pits. You don't know these things. I work with three chemicals. I work with things equivalent to what's under your sink, which is true, castor oil and things that you folks purify your water with in the city pools. I love my job. It is a blessing. You guys, with the right solicitor, could probably help your PAT transit with a conversion. Take this opportunity. Use these concerns that they have. Put it down in writing and then go with it. If you have a problem, address it. You have infrastructure problems. You need roads. On my father's farm, Range Resources came in and they built three-quarters of a mile of roads. The company that did that had $5,000,000 worth of contracts with Range. I don't have a problem. I'm regulated. Everything that we use is contained. There's containments down on the ground. It's all lined. Everything is taken care of. If you have trouble doing the Range job, they fire you. That's it. Zero tolerance. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Jim Barr. MR. BARR: First of all, I want to thank the Council members that made themselves available, the ones that are still here listening to people, including Council Member Green if she's still on the conference call. MS. GREEN HAWKINS: I am. MR. BARR: Thanks. This meeting --- it's great that we have so much talk about the Constitution. The other thing is --- the important thing is this drilling issue is not about taxes. It's not about the environment or it's not about corporate profits. But this drilling issue is about, we, the people's God-given rights, property ownership rights. Remember, your property is your responsibility. You have to watch your contracts. William Penn, he sounded before the British House of Commons a statement that was so powerful that we, the Americans, have adopted that, about property ownership, home ownership. I'll share that with you. The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, his cottage. Its roof may shake. The wind may blow through it. The storm may enter. The rain may enter. But the King of England may not. All his force dare not cross the threshold of this ruined tenement. The Allegheny County sheriff can protect your God-given rights if he so desires. He is our elected peace officer. He's the people's peace officer. Abraham Lincoln once said, study the Constitution. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in the legislatures and enforced in the courts of justice. We have not been doing that. What we have to do is to solve this problem, and we've all had our problems here. We need to demand that Sheriff Mullen and his fine deputies protect our God-given common law rights. And if politicians or even the judges disagree with the power of the county sheriff, the sheriff can have his deputies escort them down to visit with the warden. CHAIR BURN: That's it, Mr. Barr. MR. BARR: Okay. Thank you. CHAIR BURN: Thank you, sir. Donna Fisher. Donna Fisher? Dale McCoy. Dale McCoy? Mr. Piper. Mr. Piper? Chris Zurawsky, our final speaker. MR. ZURAWSKY: Thanks very much, President Burn, for allowing me to speak. I missed the deadline, like a couple others. You know, I grew up in Brentwood. I'm a resident of Pittsburgh and I'm a candidate now for City Council, to carry on Doug Shields' great work on this issue. I hope Doug gets to speak after me. But he's truly inspiring, and I hope you all take the example that Doug ---. CHAIR BURN: Chris, are you going to talk about the issue or are you going to campaign? MR. ZURAWSKY: My parents own some property, 25 acres up in West Deer Township, and they've been offered --- it's my mom's mom's property. They've been offered money by some drillers and they rejected it. And it was rejected because they're afraid of the --- that it will impact the value of the property, a negative impact when they try to sell it. Coincidentally, the Business Times last week had a great article about how realtors are having trouble selling properties where leases have been made to the drillers. So I think maybe you better hurry up with those reassessments before all the property values change. People are worried about that. My dad is a petroleum engineer. He's a lawyer. He happened to sit through a four-hour continuing legal education class today on Marcellus drilling, and a couple of things that caught his attention ---. He's primarily an environmentalist who's paying attention to the issue because of those offers on the property, because of my involvement. One thing that caught his attention was that nobody at the seminar, not Range --- not the Range Resources representative, not the DEP representative, not the Corps of Engineers representative, none of them could determine or report all of the dangerous components that are recovered with produced fluids, how they should be treated or exposed, or any other practical information regarding them. So a lawyer is aware that this information is being withheld. The other thing that he brought out at the meeting is, while it would be very tough for the City of Pittsburgh, perhaps, to defend their ban --- it may be unconstitutional --- there are plenty of things the city can do to regulate the industry. And I hope you consider these things as well. The city can determine where geographically the wells are placed and what districts, control the noise levels, use of the roads and the obligation of the drillers to secure bonds to maintain the roads, the obligation for them to repair damages to the roads and other uses. Finally, I'd ask Council to kind of work along with the city and help protect all of our very densely populated areas; right? You can certainly do that by passing the widest possible or widest proposed buffer zone around residences to prevent drilling in those areas. So I hope the city and county work together. Sorry about the campaigning. It means a lot to me, though. And I really appreciate your time. Thank you very much. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: As a point of privilege, can we move the city councilman here ---? Sir, you're not on the list, but I know how passionate this issue is to you. And unless there's an objection by any of my colleagues, if my colleague from across the street wants to say a few words, you're certainly welcome in this chamber. MR. SHIELDS: Council President Burn, I really appreciate that. I just came back from Canton, Ohio for a support gathering and I offered testimony to the council there. I'll be very brief. It's now two minutes. First of all, Allegheny County Council has no zoning authority whatsoever, as you all know. What the county can do, though, is this. You are the social service provider. You protect our health. You do have a responsibility for the health, welfare and well-being and the public safety of the people of this county. So any regulatory authority is well reserved to the municipalities, all 130. They can do whatever they want, and they're struggling. And you know that if you talk to Buffalo Township, if you've been out to Harrison, if you've been to Upper Burrell, as I have been, and Jefferson, and so on and so on. And right now, local elected officials have been thrown to the wolves because we have no idea how to contend with the impact of Marcellus. To suggest that this is without a problem, without --- you know, everything's resolved, that's simply not true. The Oil and Gas Act was written March 1985, you know, and that was not anticipating hydrofracking, not at all. I was an environmental paralegal. I worked with a law firm that --- we did work for a large oil company and gas operations up in Allegheny National Forest. I know about the regulatory authority. I’m not going to give you the slip up. There's some scholarship required and there's attention that needs to be paid to the things that the county can pay attention to, namely, health. And you're talking about volatile organic compounds coming back in flowback water and ending up in our rivers and streams. And as I have talked to scientists from Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere, we're now getting bromides in the river, in the Allegheny River where the City of Pittsburgh intakes are. Go talk to Penn-American water chemists. Go talk to water treatment experts. Don't talk to me. I just iterate what I know. But I prefer that you, as the policymakers for the Allegheny County, take your time and educate yourself to the facts. There's a lot of emotion on both sides that needs to be dealt with. But this is a fact-based decision you have to make. And it's about our health and it's about our air quality, our water quality, land impacts and so forth. And if we're not going to do that, then we will have issues to contend with, as we are dealing with the issues left over from the Industrial Age, the coal mining age. You know, those rivers run red, and there's a reason for it. And we're the great-grandchildren cleaning up from the messes that were made then. And what are we going to do looking down the road for others? Very serious issue on that. And as a public health steward, which is what your primary function is, I would hope that you begin to look to the science of these matters and not suggest a ban or whatever you want to do. But I need you to understand the dimensions of what we're contending with here. Thank you. (Applause.) CHAIR BURN: Thank you, Councilman. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your time, and thank you for your attention. I'd like to thank my colleagues who attended the meeting with us here tonight as well on this very important issue. Thank you so much for a very well- discussed and well-informed debate. Thank you very much. Have a good evening. Meeting adjourned. HEARING ADJOURNED AT 10:50 P.M. CERTIFICATE I hereby certify, as the stenographic reporter, that the foregoing proceedings were taken stenographically by me, and thereafter reduced to typewriting by me or under my direction; and that this transcript is a true and accurate record to the best of my ability.
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