In Erie, oil and gas companies to pay twice as much for water

In Erie, oil and gas companies to pay twice as much for water by John Aguilar, June 20, 2012, Daily Camera
Drilling for natural gas requires a lot of water, and for operators in Erie wanting to use the town’s municipal supply, it’s now going to cost twice as much. The town last week doubled its commercial water rate — from $5.73 per 1,000 gallons to $11.46 per 1,000 gallons — for oil and gas developers only. … Those concerns arose late last year when Encana Corp.’s plans to drill an eight-well site between two elementary schools came to light. Drilling opponents fear that activity at the site will generate thousands of truck trips carrying water and toxic chemicals past Red Hawk Elementary School. Opponents also worry that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at the site will release unhealthy emissions of volatile organic compounds and other pollutants into the air. Despite months of protests, Encana began drilling the site — dubbed Canyon Creek — late last month. … “Our feeling is that by the town selling them water, it’s making it easier for the operator and making the opportunity to drill that much more accessible.” Palazzolo said there are still going to be hundreds of trucks loaded with contaminated fracking water rolling through neighborhoods in Erie. “You can never put the health of people and the environment below bringing in money,” she said.

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