Protect PT continues opposing Apex Energy’s Drakulic well pad, located in the center of Level Green. We had opposed Apex’s Erosion and Sedimentation plan that was submitted to the DEP. Protect PT reached a settlement with Apex requiring them to more adequately provide for the rehabilitation of the site in the event that it is finally developed.
Protect PT has appealed DEP’s issuance of a Drill and Operate Permit for Apex’s Drakulic well pad based on Public Nuisance, as well as violations of Article 1; Section 27 of the PA State Constitution, the Environmental Protection Amendment. Protect PT is asserting that by granting the permit, the DEP violated Section 27 because it completely lacks any regulations concerning the chemical classes PFAS and PFOA, toxic “forever” chemicals.
On or about Friday, August 27, 2021, a truck hauling well cuttings from the Gaia pad spilled the contents of its load on the access road and the adjoining township road, Denmark Manor Road. Protect PT went to the site with another individual who is experienced in the use of radiation detectors and discovered a higher-than-normal reading for ground-level radiation, Samples were taken and sent to a testing laboratory in Massachusetts. The results have not yet been received (the lab works pro bono for us, so testing is often delayed). Protect PT continues its efforts to hold Olympus accountable for this accident. The DEP has not cited Olympus for this spill, but subsequent to Protect PT’s activism, did cite Olympus for a similar spill at their Metis pad.
Protect PT has appealed the DEP’s grant of a Drill and Operate permit to Olympus for its “Aphrodite” well pad, located less than a mile from its Poseidon pad. This second well pad will double the noxious waste, noise pollution, and air pollution that was created by the Poseidon pad. The basis for this appeal is the same as for the Drakulic Drill and Operate appeal.
On Dec. 7, 2022, the Murrysville Council (Council) held a Conditional Use hearing for the proposed Hermes well pad. The hearing was advertised as an opportunity for public comment. In fact, the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) requires a public hearing to be held in accordance with strict requirements, including equal time for citizen objectors to be heard. Yet during the hearing, the Council refused to allow public comment to take place, directly violating the MPC. Council did not give residents and Protect PT equal time to present their case-in-chief. Protect PT asked for a continuance which was denied by the Council. We will continue fighting for public health and environmental justice in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.
Plum Injection Well
Protect PT has appealed the Plum Zoning Board’s grant of a permit for a second injection well at the Sedat site. This site has one injection well already, and the placement of a second injection well will double the likelihood of failure. The Sedat 3a well has already experienced one casing failure, and Penneco is using the same well design for 4a as is used for 3a.
For additional updates on our legal work, visit our blog page or contact our community advocate, Jim Cirilano.