In late 2009, several Wayne County organizations came together to form an Oil and Gas Task Force “To identify key issues, research facts, information, and review and provide public education regarding the economic, environmental and community impacts of oil and gas exploration of the Marcellus Shale in Wayne County”, according to the Task Force’s mission statement. The Task Force is comprised of, and driven by, seven sub-committees. The sub-committees are: Workforce; Public Safety; Planning; Outreach; Government; Environment and Economic Development. Collectively, the goals of the sub-committees, and therefore the Task Force are “To protect the environment, capture economic opportunities, and educate the people and community related to Marcellus Shale development in Wayne County”.
In order to get information out to the public on activity associated with the Task Force and the exploration of natural gas in Wayne County, a website was developed. In addition to information on the composition of the Task Force and its goals and mission statement, the website contains information on events and announcements related to the natural gas industry, news releases and archived summaries of Task Force public presentations and work sessions. The site also contains a ‘Links’ page, which hosts links to various other websites where an abundance of information is available on the natural gas industry. The Wayne County, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Task Force website can be viewed by clicking on the logo below:
In 2010, the Task Force hosted two public meetings. The first public meeting, which took place in May, was an introduction to the Task Force. Each sub-committee chairman gave a presentation on the goals of each respective sub-committee. This public meeting also allowed for a question and answer session at the conclusion. The second public meeting took place in October and was titled “Marcellus Well Drilling 101: An in-depth discussion of state regulations and the drilling process”. The first portion of this meeting consisted of a presentation on the subject of the well drilling process from well siting to well completion and site reclamation. The presentation was given by Pete Chacon, a drilling engineer with Newfield Exploration. The second portion of the meeting consisted of a presentation of state regulation of Marcellus wells by Jennifer Means of the PA DEP. A question and answer session also took place at the conclusion of this meeting. Information on both of these public meetings is available under the ‘Public Presentations’ heading on the Task Force website mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The Task Force will continue to monitor the emergence of the natural gas industry and provide a resource for information for the municipalities and residents of Wayne County. The Task Force will accomplish this goal through the continued utilization of the skills and knowledge of the representatives that comprise its various sub-committees.