LUTHERSBURG — The fight to stop an injection well site in Brady Township continued to be an issue at the April meeting of the community’s supervisors.
Township resident Darlene Marshall updated the supervisors on the residents’ attempts to stop a company from pumping injection fluid into a well it plans to construct near their residences on Highland Street Extension. Marshall presented a copy of the well permit to the supervisors as well as an outline of the steps that need to be taken to appeal a decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to allow that well to be constructed.
The company, Windfall Oil and Gas, had requested the permit which was approved on March 21, 2018. The residents have maintained all during the application process that the well could have a significant negative impact for many resaons. They fear that if the solution pumped into the well is allowed to leak into the aquifer it would contaminate the private wells they depend on for their water supply, as well as get into the water that the local water company uses for its more than 800 customers.
Since the residences will be part of the new sewage system, if their water is contaminated that contamination could also get into the sewage system and have an effect on the treatment plant itself, depending on what the contaminants would be.
The residents also fear that having the well close to their homes will destroy their property values, leaving them with houses they will be unable to sell. As such, they plan to appeal their property values to have taxes lowered which in turn would reduce the tax income to the township, county and school district. They maintain that neither the federal agency that previously approved the plan (the EPA) nor the DEP ever studied such things as the impact on the environment or the ability of roads and bridges to handle the increased traffic and weights that will accompany the well.
Marshall thanked supervisors’ chairman Charlie Muth for all he has done to help their efforts. She said Muth had been to her home and with his knowledge of the gas industry, his opinions about the negative effects of the well helped them in their attempt to stop the well.
Marshall said she had recently met with the Clearfield County Commissioners who told her they would set up a meeting with all the municipalities involved and the meeting would likely take place in Luthersburg. The municipalities that will be contacted most likely will be Brady and Sandy Townships and the city of DuBois.
Marshall also said that this is more than just a local issue since if this ruling is upheld locally, gas companies will see it as a opportunity to put in more injection well sites elsewhere in the state since pumping the fluid into the ground is cheaper than treating it.