DuBOIS — Over the weekend, Highland Street Extension Neighbors — those against an underground injection well being located just outside DuBois — discussed their next steps in appealing the process.
“We will be working with our neighbors and the community to do what we can during this ‘last step’ of the process,” said Darlene Marshall, a representative of the group. “It is the final step in the ‘entire’ process for an appeal and to have our voice heard about our concerns.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved an underground injection control well for disposal of wastewater associated with oil and natural gas production last week.
Windfall Oil & Gas Inc.’s Frank & Susan Zelman #1 is located on Highland Street Extension, just outside the City of DuBois near Sandy Township, in Brady Township, Clearfield County, near a residential area with many homes. The proposed location is a water recharging zone for private water wells and springs on a hill above homes. It is also only two to three miles from the city wells for DuBois and the surrounding area, according to a previously published Courier Express article.
Marshall said the following next steps were discussed at Saturday’s meeting held by the neighbors:
- Publicize certified water well testing being done.
- Find another water source for the area and initiate plans. The group is cognizant that prior research showed this could cost a million dollars.
- Request Brady Township run a water line pipe at the same time the sewage line is run to the area.
- DEP permit expires after one year if no drilling happens.
- It is believed Windfall doesn’t have the money needed to do the work, so a large company will need to foot the bill. It is hoped such a company would want to avoid resulting negative publicity. If Windfall sells the permit it is believed the purchasing company could be relieved of cost of damages when contamination happens, which is a concern.
- Question whether the City of DuBois Source Water Protection Plan might be utilized to help with the appeal.
- Attending Brady Water Authority meeting and all municipality meetings
- Discussion of the need for a million dollar bond.
- Property value discussion and some expressed desire to consider class action lawsuits for loss on property values.
- No one now probably has homeowner’s earthquake insurance.
- Annulus testing, should be a Pennsylvania regulation on wells similar to that in Texas.
- When water contamination occurs the well operator must restore or replace water with alternate source.