January 27, 2011

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Pike Shale Task Force has first meeting

MILFORD - the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas task Force held its first official meeting Wednesday. Those present represented all municipalities of Pike County, major industries of Pike County, plus the Pike County Road Task Force and the Local Emergency Planning Committee. The main purpose of the meeting was to get members together and give them basic information and have a question and answer time.

The county commissioners first answered the basic question of why have a task force. Commissioner Chairman Rich Caridi noted that Pike County has a high quality of water and exceptional waterways that need to be protected.

“We also need to be sensitive to economic and private development while keeping our water in pristine condition,” Caridi said.    “We need to find out what we can do at the local level to make sure this happens if gas drilling ever happens in the county.”  

Sally Corrigan, Pike County Planning Office Director,  Explained that 3,314, Marcellus Shale permits were issued in 2010 in Pennsylvania, and that 1,386wells were drilled. It was noted that Pike County has a total of 28 shale permits to date. She explained that 9 other counties have Marcellus Shale task forces and that Pike County will be able to gain valuable knowledge from them.    

Other questions from task force members covered such topics as conflict of interest between elected officials and gas companies, why the former governor would not consider a severance tax when all other gas drilling states have one, the new governor accepted campaign contributions from gas companies, and the proposed loop of the Tennessee pipeline around National  Park Service land in Pike County. It was noted that Tennessee wants to put a new pipeline next to the old one and that they would need to take 60 ft. more of property on either side of the new line from all property owners whose land would be involved in that project.  

Other meetings have been scheduled for April 27,July 27, and October26 at 10:30AM in the commissioners meeting room at the County Administration Building.                                     


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