CitizenShaleWATCH November 2012 Newsletter



November 2012


Orgs call for Gas Industry

to Report to TRI

Environmental Integrity Project Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) petition

Demands Oil and Gas Industry report to Toxic Release Inventory : According to Earthworks, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), along with 16 other local, regional and national organizations petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to require the oil and gas extraction industry—including companies engaged in fracking—to report to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The oil and gas extraction industry has long used and released large amounts of TRI-listed toxic chemicals, and this has dramatically increased in the last decade with the rapid spread of horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

“Western Maryland currently has the highest targeted amount of shale gas within the state, and development activities will likely be centered in rural communities like Garrett County. Unfortunately, the county does not have the information or ability to address the storage of large volumes of chemicals, which may appeal to companies looking to stage drilling and processing activities within Maryland,” said Eric Robison, CitizenShale president and resident of Garrett County, Maryland. “The reporting provided by the TRI would allow a community like Garrett County to, first, be informed and, second, be prepared.”

Just Water

Well water studies being conducted in Maryland: The Youghiogheny River Watershed Association is helping connect citizens in Maryland with a Maryland Department of Natural Resources study of existing methane levels in well water.  If you would like to participate in the study visit the YRWA website

Educational Events:


CitizenShale Presents:  Geology and the Marcellus Shale: My Fracking Concerns

By Dr. Phillip Allen, Assistant Professor, Frostburg State University

Saturday December 1, 10 am at Garrett College Auditorium, McHenry, Maryland, FREE

Dr. Allen has a PhD in Quaternary Science.  “I am interested in many aspects of Earth Science, particularly the Quaternary period. My main interest is geomorphic evolution of landscapes, especially in cold climate regions. Specifically I attempt to understand the factors that condition, initiate and drive landscape change.  My recent work has examined the roles of climate change and human impact in modifying the landscape over the mid – Late Holocene.” -Phillip Allen

This presentation will discuss basic geology and how extraction technologies interact with geology in natural gas drilling. If time allows, at the end of the program  there will questions and answers.


Fracking Risks and Political Action
Join CCAN on Dec 8, 2012

Maryland has an opportunity to permanently protect its citizens from the dangers of fracking. In the last few months, thousands of people like you have taken action on the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) campaign for a fracking moratorium in Maryland, and more than 20 statewide and local groups, including CitizenShale, have signed a resolution in favor of the bill. According to Mike Tidwell, CCAN’s Executive Director, “together, we’ve started to build a statewide movement.”

What can you do to ensure this momentum translates into strong protections for our water, our health, and our climate?

Here’s what: Take out your calendar and make a huge, bright red circle around Saturday, December 8. That’s the day you can join hundreds of concerned Marylanders, activists, legislators, and fracking experts in Baltimore for “Drilling Down: A conference on fracking risks and action in Maryland.” It’s the first-ever statewide conference on fracking in Maryland.

Please register now at: Registration is $15 in advance, or $10 for students.

You’ll meet inspiring activists who’ve been on the front lines of the fracking threat in PA, NY, and right here in Maryland. 

You’ll hear from health and climate experts about the latest studies on fracking risks. 

You’ll get to rub elbows with the likes of climate author/blogger Joe Romm, Pittsburgh statesman and activist Doug Shields, award-winning environmental visionary and author Lester Brown, and several Maryland legislators who are taking the lead on addressing this issue in our state General Assembly. 

And, most importantly, you’ll learn what you can do to make sure Maryland doesn’t make the same mistakes as our neighbors. 

Register here for Drilling Down: A conference on fracking risks and action in Maryland. Be a part of this historic event.


Exporting of LNG

LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) has not been imported to Maryalnd’s only natual gas import facility for a long time now.  Last year Dominion, which owns the Cove Point station located in the Chesapeake Bay, revealed plans to alter the facility to export natural gas, provided by the Marcellus shale extraction, to countires with free trade agreement with the United States.  The Sierra Club was sued by Dominion earlier this year when the Club tried to enforce a 2004 agreement between the two entities which prevents Dominion from further expansion of the facility.  (see article and article)

Gas companies and exporters are looking to foreign markets as gas prices are low in the US and higher overseas.  But the US Department of Energy will not release its analysis of natural gas exports until the end of 2012.  (see WSJ article) (see Reuters article) (see Businessweek article)

Despite the lack of analysis and despite criticism from lawmakers and citizens who want to see natural gas extracted from this country stay in this country, Cheniere Energy voted in August of this year to proceed with its plan to convert a Louisiana facility.  Cheiere already has agreements to provide 2 billion cubic feet of LNG per day for the next 20 years to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States.  (See Wall Street Journal article outlining the Cheniere plan.)

If we don’t sell LNG overseas, can our infrastructure handle it?

Pipelines and other facilities that will be vital to transport of natural gas are old and failing, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report.  An explosion in 2009 at a Prince George’s County, MD strip mall should be warning enough that our state’s facilities may not be up to the task, according to a CNN article.  NTSB has investiagated a number of gas facility explosions, including a fatal accident in San Bruno, CA, and attributed them to poor maintenance and aging, according to Dr Henry Cole.

Following the accident in San Bruno, the NTSB made a series of recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation and to the Pipeline and HAZMAT Safety Administration, including an assessment of the effectiveness of the Pipeline and HAZMAT Administration’s safety programs and a review of the administration’s ability to enforce safety measures.

Public Meetings:

Tuesday Nov 27, Garrett County Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee, 4:30pm, Garrett County Health Dept, 1st Floor, Memorial Drive, Oakland

Friday Nov 30, Maryland Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission public meeting, time and place TBD, check MDE website for details

For General Information about industrial gas development in Maryland, visit

Other Resources:

Maryland Department of Environment  and Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling InitiativeMaryland Geological SurveyGarrett County (MD) Marcellus Advisory

Copyright © 2012, All rights reserved.
 This post was taken directly from CitizenShale. This is simply a republication of the email newsletter. Please visit CitizenShale at for more information.