The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) will consider 35 applications for water withdrawals, most of them intended to support natural gas drilling, at its next meeting in mid-December.
Among the applications under consideration is one by Falling Springs Water Works Inc. (FSWWI), a Dallas, PA-based company that wants to draw water from a decommissioned reservoir in Lackawanna County and sell it to natural gas operators there and in three neighboring counties.
“Since 2008, most of our applications for water withdrawals have been for natural gas drilling,” SRBC spokeswoman Susan Obleski told NGI’s Shale Daily on Monday. She added that Falling Springs was a third party project that wasn’t considered particularly controversial by the agency. “We’ve only received three comments as of a few weeks ago.”
Obleski said the deadline to submit public comments for all 35 applications was Monday.
FSWWI has applied for a permit to withdraw up to 800,000 gallons per day (gpd) from the Falling Springs Reservoir, located in Ransom Township, “for bulk water sale in the production and development of natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties,” according to text from the permit application, which was received by the SRBC on Sept. 29, 2011.
FSWWI President Carlo Santarelli told NGI’s Shale Daily that the company owns the 50-acre reservoir and the surrounding land — collectively about 340 acres — which it hopes to develop into a residential community.
Asked when the company may begin delivering water to operators — assuming the SRBC grants approval for the permit — Santarelli said “not anytime soon. Quite honestly I don’t have a ball park figure [over when deliveries would start]. We’re just trying to get all of our ducks in line.”
Santarelli added that the company hasn’t yet decided on whether to transport the water from the reservoir by truck or through a pipeline. “We don’t want to put the carriage in front of the horse,” he said. “We’re just taking it one step at a time.”
In December 2010, the SRBC approved a permit by Linde Corp. to withdraw up to 905,000 gpd from the Lackawanna River in Fell Township, which is also in Lackawanna County (see Shale Daily, Dec. 21, 2010).
The Harrisburg, PA-based SRBC manages the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin, which regulates some development within the Marcellus Shale in parts of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Susquehanna River starts in Cooperstown, NY, and flows 444 miles to Havre de Grace, MD, where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.
The SRBC is a compact established by the federal government in 1971. Representatives from Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland and the Army Corps of Engineers serve as commissioners.
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