COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120
DEP IDENTIFIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR BRADFORD
TOWNSHIP GAS MIGRATION/WATER SUPPLY PROBLEMS
05/4/2009 MEADVILLE – The Department of Environmental Protection has
determined that Schreiner Oil and Gas Company has affected at least
seven water supplies along Hedgehog Lane in Bradford Township,
McKean County, and has notified the company of its responsibilities
to those residents.
Two of the water supplies were affected by methane and five supplies
have iron and manganese above established drinking water standards.
Schreiner has been actively drilling combination oil and gas wells
in the area since last fall and did not establish background water
quality in the area prior to drilling.
Therefore, Schreiner is presumed responsible for
restoring water supplies within 1,000 feet of the drill sites.
Last week DEP also issued a notice of violation to Schreiner for
failure to submit well records in a timely manner, the second notice
of violation that the company has received regarding this issue.
“On Thursday, we notified the affected residents that Schreiner will
be taking measures to restore or replace their water supplies,” said
DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch.
“It is our intention that this action will
resolve the water issue for residents who have been living with
major inconvenience and disruption.”
At this time, the operator is providing bottle water to many of the
residents in the affected area.
On April 30, DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch met with about 30
neighborhood residents to discuss their worries about water quality,
concerns associated with a natural gas stripper plant installed
behind some of the homes, and accelerated erosion and sedimentation
associated with the drilling activity.
Previous to last week’s notice of violation, DEP had issued three
notices of violation to Schreiner pertaining to drilling on Hedgehog
Lane. On November 13, DEP cited Schreiner for over-pressured wells.
On February 19, DEP issued a notice of violation
for pit violations and failure to post a well permit. On March 20,
DEP cited Schreiner for new over-pressured wells and failure to
submit well records.
All of the violations were corrected except for the submission of
The department assessed 17 water supplies during the investigation.
One water well still has methane present and the
resident currently is staying at a motel provided by Schreiner as a
precaution. DEP continues to monitor the water well that was
affected by this gas migration on a daily basis and has observed a
decrease in the amount of natural gas evident in the water well.
The department suspects the stray gas occurrence is a result of 26
recently drilled wells, four of which had excessive pressure at the
surface casing seat and others that had no cement returns.
In an effort to eliminate the source of methane,
Schreiner has installed packers on all hydraulically fractured wells
and has vented all of the wells that have been drilled but have not
been fractured to stimulate production.
Until the gas migration issue is resolved, Schreiner will not be
drilling any new wells.
To address another neighborhood concern, the company has added stone
to stabilize the access roads to reduce sedimentation on Hedgehog
Schreiner also is seeding and mulching disturbed
areas to stabilize the drilling sites and access roads to further
reduce sedimentation and accelerated erosion.
For more information,
website, keyword: Oil and Gas.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA