Marcellus shale workshops to be held
September 04, 2013 10:45 AM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present “Engaging Shale Gas Community Partners: A Workshop to Understand the Marcellus Shale Industry,” on Oct. 7 and 8 at the IUP Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in White Township.

An interdisciplinary team of IUP faculty and industry specialists will present a program that includes general background information about the geology of the shale, safe extracting procedures, natural gas distribution, how natural gas is found and developed from deep below the surface, the municipal planning code and Act 13, and what people may need to know about participating in the shale gas industry.

The workshop is designed for municipal and county employees and elected officials who want a broader understanding of the Marcellus shale gas industry, planning commission and task force members, educators and attorneys.

Presenters include Thomas Moore, chief geoscientist, EXCO Resources Inc.; Timothy Evans, district land manager, CONSOL Energy; Richard C. Brown, regional EHS manager, Halcon Resources LLC; Craig Kunkle, Lycoming County Department of Public Safety; and IUP faculty members Dr. John Benhart, geography and regional planning; Dr. Steve Hovan, geoscience; and Dr. Laura Rhodes, safety sciences.

Workshops begin each day with registration at 7:30 a.m. The workshop ends at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 and at 5 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Certificates of attendance will be given to all participants at the end of the conference.

The registration deadline is Sept. 30. Registration is $325 per person (graduate student fee is $75) and fees include materials, meals and refreshments. A $200 stipend from the IUP Presidential Initiatives Funding to support municipal or county employees is available to the first 30 participants pending an employment verification email from a supervisor.

For more information regarding registration, contact the Conference Services department at IUP by calling (724) 357-2227 or email Programming questions should be directed to Hovan at (724) 357-5625.

Online registration and payment is available at

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FORD CITY — The Armstrong Conservation District will provide a series of free workshops on Marcellus shale gas drilling for rural homeowners at the Crooked Creek Environmental, 124 Kerr Road, Ford City.

The emphasis will be on private water wells and springs used for drinking water supplies.

Concerned citizens, county watershed associations and property owners considering leasing their gas rights are invited.

The workshops will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12, 19 and 26.

Sponsored by the DEP Environmental Education Grants Program, the workshops will be presented by Bryan Swistock, water resources extension specialist from Penn State University. Registration is free, but space is limited.

RSVP by Monday to Chelsea Walker by email at us or call (724) 545-3658 to sign up for one or all of the following workshops:

• “General Water Resources Issues Associated with Marcellus Gas Drilling” will be a general discussion of how shale gas wells are drilled, including the hydraulic fracturing process.

Water use and water withdrawals are explained along with state regulations governing water withdrawals. Particular attention is given to the various regulations and industry practices meant to protect surface and groundwater during the drilling process.

• “Protecting Private Groundwater Supplies from Natural Gas Drilling” will introduce the permit and drilling processes that are used to protect individual ground water supplies.

Detailed information will focus on water testing strategies near Marcellus drilling activity, including both pre-drilling testing conducted by drilling companies and voluntary testing by landowners.

• “Water Test Interpretation” will discuss basic management of private water supplies before focusing on water testing practices, drinking water standards, interpretation of water test reports and various strategies to solve pre-existing water quality problems.

Attendees can bring copies of individual water test reports to receive one-on-one help in interpretation of the results.

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