DuBOIS — Darlene Marshall, one of the spokespeople for opponents of a deep injection well in Brady Township, provided information to the Sandy Township Supervisors Monday on the group’s filing of a final appeal.
“This is something that affects not only Brady Township, where I reside on Highland Street, but it also affects those in Sandy Township because the line is right there. And it affects the City (of DuBois),” Marshall said.
“It matters because they’re proposing to inject these at 7,000 feet down,” Marshall said. “Maybe that would be safe in some areas, but in our area we already know there is at least two other wells that were drilled at that depth. Those wells, at that depth, we know the casings are not great. We know that some people’s water wells are already affected by those casings on those old wells.”
Another problem is the coal mines underneath all the properties as well, she said.
Marshall told the supervisors the group needs any help it can get but the state Department of Environmental Protection requires legal counsel to appeal.
“I can work on writing an appeal, but I can tell you, we only have about 15 days left. And we need legal counsel. That’s our first step, that we need help.”
Marshall said a way to get water to the area is needed if the permitting stands.
“The appeal, we don’t know how long that can take. We’ve been at this seven years, we can be at it another couple,” she said. “And people will have to test their water wells again and again. I personally, probably, have the most investment in this — and time. But I probably had the most money because I had legal help seven years ago. And I couldn’t retain a lawyer at that time, and I can’t afford to retain a lawyer now. And I have tested my water.”
It’s not just about a land issue, about one homeowner, or a handful of landowners opposed, Marshall said.
“This is just a lot of people concerned for the community at large,” she said. “Do we take a 50/50 chance that it goes in and it’s okay? Or we take the chance that we know there’s wells done at that depth, and you can contaminate other things in the area. I’m not willing to take that chance.”
“I have done my part as best I can,” Marshall said. “Now we are going to need legal help and we need the City and you all to work together with us because the DEP requires legal help.”
Supervisors’ Chairman Jim Jeffers said, as she mentioned, it evolves beyond a political issue.
“It should have no boundaries,” Jeffers said. “The only suggestion I have, I don’t know if you have in the past — or it may not be too late. Have you tried contacting Bill Sabatose in Brockway? He was a commissioner on the Fish Commission and water, as long as I’ve known him, I’ve known him a good many years, water was right on the top of his list. If it’s fish swimming in it or drinking out of it, I think he would know the directions and know people to contact or if there’s help out there for you. I would think he’d be a good source.”
The supervisors took no action on Marshall’s request.
The state Department of Environmental Protection issued the permit to Windfall Oil & Gas of Falls Creek for the Frank & Susan Zelman 1 well in Brady Township March 21.