Posted: March 13, 2011
(From Penn State Ag Science News)
The boom in natural-gas drilling into the Marcellus shale formation has presented some Pennsylvania counties with public-safety concerns, and an online seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on March. 17 will highlight them.
In his presentation, “Natural Gas Well Development and Emergency Response and Management,” Lycoming County official Craig Konkle will discuss the precautions his county — in the heart of the Marcellus gas play — has taken.
Konkle, operations and training supervisor for the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety and chairman of the Lycoming County Gas Task Force Safety Committee, is on the front line in dealing with the challenges the sudden drilling expansion is presenting to municipalities where Marcellus natural gas is most accessible.
The webinar will cover the creation of a county taskforce and safety subcommittee, and the development of a training and safety consortium, comprised of representatives from the gas industry and emergency responders.
“I will discuss the short-, mid- and long-term goals of the safety sub-committee,” Konkle said, “And we’ll talk about the mission of the consortium, which is to develop a practical, reliable and competent community emergency-response capacity.
“We want to create an industry-wide perspective of needed training that is a common good for all,” he added. “So we explored industry expectations for the responder community, and then looked for gaps and determined how to fill them in a manner that is supported by the responders and the industry.”
The webinar will also address training for responders, things to help responders and industry personnel remain safe in the field, and past incidents, Konkle noted.
The “Natural Gas Well Development and Emergency Response and Management” webinar is the last in a series of workshops and events addressing circumstances related to the state’s Marcellus Shale gas boom. Information about how to register for the webinar is available on the webinar page of Penn State Extension’s natural gas impacts website athttp://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas/webinars.
Previous webinars, publications and information on topics such as water use and quality, zoning, gas-leasing considerations for landowners and implications for local communities also are available on the Extension natural-gas impacts website (http://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas).
For more information, contact John Turack, extension educator in Westmoreland County, at (724) 837-1402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.