Shale Daily / NGI All News Access

Rains Ease Susquehanna Basin Withdrawal Restrictions

A stretch of heavy rainfall across Pennsylvania helped ease water levels in the Susquehanna River Basin, but the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) on Monday morning was still restricting withdrawals on 28 state waterways.

The restrictions are spread across six counties -- Blair, Bradford, Lycoming, Potter, Tioga and Wyoming -- in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and include operations by Talisman Energy Inc. and Chesapeake Energy Corp., as well as other companies involved in natural gas extraction and other industries.

The restrictions impact permits on specific creeks.

Chesapeake previously told NGI's Shale Daily that it planned to use storage to offset normal seasonal restrictions.

Because the restrictions are based on historic water levels, the number changes on a daily basis throughout the summer. The SRBC restricted more than 40 withdrawal permits at the height of this summer, but recent rains cut that in half and rains over the weekend are expected to cut the number further once streams and creaks recover (see Shale Daily, July 26).

Companies must stop withdrawals when water levels fall below the "Q7-10" level, or 10% of the lowest average seven-day stretch over a 10-year period, and cannot resume withdrawals until the waterway in question has recovered for 48 hours.

The SRBC intends to offer updates on withdrawal restriction in real time on its Twitter feed.

The SRBC recently held public hearings in Binghamton, NY, and Harrisburg, PA, on a set of proposed regulatory changes for natural gas companies looking to withdraw water in the basin, and is taking written comments through Aug. 23.

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