(Aug 12, 2016)
HARRISBURG, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that he intends to introduce legislation that would strengthen protections surrounding unconventional gas wells and their proximity to dams and reservoirs.
Matzie’s proposal would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 4,000 feet of any existing dam or reservoir, such as the Ambridge Reservoir. Additionally, Matzie said his bill would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 2,000 horizontal-feet of any existing water well, surface water intake or water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor without the written consent of the water purveyor.
“I remain a supporter of the responsible extraction of our natural resources and I applaud the economic lifeblood that it has pumped into our region over the past few years,” Matzie said. “But as new information becomes available, we have to make sure that the proper protections are in place so no unintended harm comes to our citizens or our communities.”
A recent multiyear engineering study completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the structural integrity of the Joe Pool Dam, located in Texas, was at risk of being compromised by nearby drilling, hydraulic fracturing, the injection of fluids and the extraction of natural gas.
As a result of that study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that the 20-year-old standard of a 3,000-foot exclusion zone surrounding the dam is not suffic Read more