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More Gas “Plumes” Documented In Bradford County, PA

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Water filtration systemSome of the con­se­quences of stray methane leak­ing from nat­ural gas wells are eas­ier to spot than oth­ers. Over­flow­ing water wells and bub­bling methane pud­dles are easy to doc­u­ment. But methane plumes are odor­less and invis­i­ble, so you need some sophis­ti­cated equip­ment to track it.

Equip­ment like the “portable laser-based methane mea­sure­ment sys­tem and com­bustible gas indi­ca­tor” that Gas Safety, Incorporated’s Bob Ack­ley used to doc­u­ment methane plumes near Leroy Town­ship, Brad­ford County, on July 25.

Ack­ley was in Brad­ford County to track the methane migra­tion prob­lems StateIm­pact Penn­syl­va­nia has been report­ing on for sev­eral months.  On May 19th, nat­ural gas began seep­ing out of Chesa­peake Energy’s Morse well. The gas has been bub­bling into a nearby stream, and onto at least two fam­i­lies’ prop­erty, ever since.  Click on the arti­cles in the adjoin­ing box for details on how the leak hap­pened, and how it’s affected the peo­ple who live nearby.

When Ack­ley brought his equip­ment to Leroy Town­ship on July 25, he found two plumes of gas in the air – one stretch­ing more than 10 miles. He also doc­u­mented pock­ets of gas under the ground, and doc­u­mented ele­vated methane lev­els in one family’s home.

Accord­ing to the report – and it’s impor­tant to remem­ber this was funded by an envi­ron­men­tal group, and not an offi­cial state inves­ti­ga­tion – “the data and obser­va­tions clearly indi­cate nat­ural gas has per­vaded an exten­sive sub­sur­face area and …sur­face emis­sions and ground water methane con­t­a­m­i­na­tion prob­lems are likely to con­tinue for unfore­see­able times.” Read Ackley’s full report at the bot­tom of this post.

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