DuBOIS — Opponents of last week’s decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to approve an underground injection well in Brady Township, just outside of DuBois, met over the weekend to discuss a plan of action.
Windfall Oil & Gas Inc.’s Frank & Susan Zelman #1 is located on Highland Street Extension, just outside the City of DuBois near Sandy Township, Clearfield County.
It is near a residential area and the proposed location is a water recharging zone for private water wells and springs on a hill above homes. It is two to three miles from the city wells for DuBois and the surrounding area.
Water well testing will be undertaken to secure certified water tests that are current. Those tests are expected to cost each resident $400 or more, said Darlene Marshall, a representative of the Highland Street Extension Neighbors.
“If you want your water tested, please let us know as this week we are calling to schedule the testing,” Marshall said. “It is felt if you don’t have a current water test it might not be as valuable in court. Also, no one knows the date drilling will be allowed and it only requires 24 hour notice to the township and that doesn’t give time for water testing to take place. If your water test is over a year old, it is highly recommended to get another test.”
The residents say they hope to act without an attorney, if possible, but realize they may need someone with experience who knows the process for the DEP Environmental Appeals Board.
“We are doing some research to see if we can find any options that we can at least consult,” Marshall said. “Some contacts have already been made on Friday. Any ideas would be appreciated. We are asking people to let us know if they are able to help in any way with legal costs, if needed. A DEP timeline was reviewed and we are going to appeal and provide all the facts we have to start the appeal process. We have to try to do what we can. It was felt that retaining a lawyer could be cost prohibitive. Still, we may need to consult an attorney.”
Marshall said she planned to attend Monday night’s meeting of the DuBois City Council to ask for help, specifically, Solicitor Toni Cherry, as she is one who knows most about the issue.
Since the weekend neighbor meeting, Marshall said she has learned the group will need an attorney to file the appeal upon further research.
“It is required by the DEP Environmental Hearing Board,” Marshall said.