On March 20, 2010, a Pennsylvania State Police Officer temporarily blocked the Oil and Gas Issues tour organized as a joint outing of the Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club and ADP. The officer intercepted our group at the Bucktail Hotel in Marienville where we had convened to start the tour. We organized the tour to survey oil and gas drilling operations within the footprint of the Allegheny National Forest, including a Marcellus Shale gas well site west of Marienville on Guitonville Road, and a shallow well drillingsite on FR 216. The Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) Marcellus Shale gas drilling operation includes a massive fresh/wastewater impoundment on Gamelands No. 24. One of the wells at this drilling site will use six million gallons of freshwater for hydraulic fracturing from surface streams and creeks, and from aquifers in the area.
The PA State Police officer told tour organizers that PGE had posted a security guard at a newly installed gate on the roadway going to their Marcellus Shale gas well site. The officer also told the group that it was private property. The roadway that PGE blocked with a gate and a security officer crossed Collins Pine Land into Gamelands No. 24. The officer repeatedly referred to an “injunction” during the discussion suggesting that it might be something that would impede the tour.
After a lengthy discussion, the State Police Officer, Corporal Richard Douthit, who met the group in Marienville, agreed that the group did have the right to access the public lands.
Photo By Maren Leyla Cooke