Sunday, May 19, 2013

Franklin Forks case-- Wording changed by Colleen Connolly CHECK THIS

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I've turned up a couple of interesting things in the Mannings case in Franklin Forks:

Executive Summary:
What the Press (and Energy in Depth) reported on the PA DEP's final determination letter was from a Cover Letter written by the PA DEP's Public Relations person, Colleen Connolly, who ALTERED THE WORDING to favor industry.

Why does PA DEP need Public Relations people?
  • Remember, Energy in Depth shills are Public Relations People?
  • Did you know that Helen Humphrees who now does PR Spin-Doctoring work for Williams Company(*) used to work for PA DEP in the same position now held by Colleen Connolly?

    (* you know, the company who have had THREE compressor stations EXPLODE within 40 miles of Binghamton in the last 22 months?)
According to the meta-data on the original Word document, the author was not Colleen Connolly, but Gary Miller.
Like Colleen Connolly, Gary Miller is a PR person who reports directly to Governor Corbett.

An Arbitrary line in the sand, and the Presumption of Guilt
First thing I found by reading though the treasure trove of PA DEP Determination letters uncovered by Vera Scroggins and published by Damascus Citizens for Sustainability is that apparently there is an arbitrary line drawn in the sand: 1,000' for a conventional vertical well, and 2,500' for a high-volume horizontal hydrofracked Marcellus well.

According the Pennsylvania State Law, If there is water contamination which occurs within this radius of an oil or gas well, then the law PRESUMES GUILT on the part of the gas company.

However, if you are outside this radius, there is no such presumption of guilt. They still might be to blame, but it is tougher to get a determination of "proof" from the PA DEP.

(Note Well: this is NOT SCIENTIFIC PROOF of anything. These numbers are completely arbitrary and were just pulled out of someone's backside who wrote the law. Probably someone from Chesapeake Energy).

So we NOTE WELL that the nearest well to the Mannings was 4,000' away. (It just happens to belong to Shelly Depue, the star of the Propaganda Piece TRUTHLAND. The well has a failed casing and was cited by PA DEP)

So in the Manning's case, there is no automatic presumption of guilt, because the well is more than 2,500' away.

However the laterals can extend far beyond 2,500'. According to the Well Location Plat (filed by the PA DEP, obtained via FTK Request to PA DEP and obtained by MarcellusGas.Org) The Depue 8H well was 4874'ft. In their

Colleen Connolly SPINS the Determination Letter to Favor Industry

The next interesting thing I discovered is a disconnect between the wording of the actual Determination Letter, and the Cover Letter written by the DEP's head Spin Doctor, Ms. Colleen Connolly:


Determination letter ACTUAL WORDING: ``At this time, the Department's investigation does not indicate that gas well drilling has impacted your water supply.`` -- Jennifer W. Means, PA DEP Environmental Program Manager


Cover letter, FUDGED BY COLLEEN CONNOLLY:  ``After a 16-month investigation, the Department of Environmental Protection has determined that high levels of methane found in three private water wells in Franklin Township, Susquehanna County, cannot be attributed to natural gas drilling activity in that geographical area.`` -- PA DEP Colleen Connolly, Public Relations, emph. added


"Does not indicate" means "there is no proof".
"Cannot be the cause" means "there IS PROOF to the contrary".

What did the press report?
The corporate media apparently did not read the actual Determination Letter, but only the SANITIZED cover letter written by Colleen Connolly.

Here is one example:

State: Drilling didn't foul northeast Pa. wells6:19 PM, Apr 29, 2013
Written by Michael Rubinkam / Associated Press

MONTROSE, PA. — Gas drilling isn’t to blame for a high-profile case of methane contamination in northeastern Pennsylvania, state environmental regulators declared Monday, but a homeowner with fouled water vowed to press on and said she doesn’t trust the agency. 

Anti-fracking celebrities including Yoko Ono and Susan Sarandon had visited the Susquehanna County village of Franklin Forks in January as part of a tour of natural-gas drilling sites. There, the stars met with Matthew and Tammy Manning, who blame the high level of methane in their well water on a natural gas driller, WPX Energy. (NOTE: WTF do celebrities have to do with this story?)

But the state Department of Environmental Protection said its 16-month investigation shows WPX isn’t responsible for high levels of methane and other contaminants in the private water wells at three homes.

The methane in the residents’ wells is naturally occurring shallow gas — possibly from nearby Salt Springs State Park — and not production gas from the Marcellus Shale formation, DEP said. The agency said that samples taken from the wells and from Salt Springs exhibited similar water chemistry, including high levels of barium, iron, chlorides and other contaminants.

“We’re pleased that a science-based, fact-finding effort by the state definitively showed that our operations were not responsible for methane migration issues in Susquehanna County,” WPX spokeswoman Susan Oliver said.
(NOTE1: No, that's not what the report said!)
(NOTE2: Gotta get the PR "response", when the whole thing is PR!)

The company has been paying to have replacement water delivered to the homes. Oliver said no decision has been made about whether the deliveries will continue.

Tammy Manning, who became an outspoken opponent of gas drilling after her well failed in December 2011, said DEP has not determined how the methane showed up in her well. Manning, who is one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against WPX, said she continues to believe the company is responsible.

“I’ve said for almost a year and a half that I didn’t really put a lot of stock in what (DEP) had to say,” Manning said of the agency’s determination. “Something happened that caused all this gas to come into our neighborhood.”

Industry officials have said the Mannings’ well was flooded in 2011 and suffered mechanical failure. Manning pointed out the flood happened three months before the contaminants showed up in her well, and said another homeowner with fouled water did not experience flooding.
More here:

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)


Vera said...

The State has not shown anything about the Manning water, Franklin Forks, like WPX likes to spin it.
The State said gas drilling is not responsible at this time. !! ??
open-ended remark.

Bill Huston said...

Vera, the precise wording is critical.

The determination letter said, "``At this time, the Department's investigation DOES NOT INDICATE that gas well drilling has impacted your water supply.``

In other words, the were not able to show the gas industry was to blame.

The phrase "DOES NOT INDICATE" has a very different meaning than "IS NOT RESPONSIBLE".

DOES NOT INDICATE means "we have no proof".

"IS NOT RESPONSIBLE" means "we DO have proof to the contrary".

Vera said...

that's why this case and others need to be reopened and re-investigated by an independent study, probably, has to be independent even of the DEP !