Cumberland Times-News

Local News

August 26, 2013

Citizen Shale issues response to state’s Marcellus report

OAKLAND — Citizen Shale has completed its comments on the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative draft report on Best Management Practices for Marcellus Shale Development in Maryland.

“Many of you realize that the cart was placed in front of the horse in the development of the BMPs,” wrote Eric Robison, president of Citizen Shale. “The state of Maryland’s decision to compile BMPs before many other studies were completed seems to suggest that the state is moving forward with development of regulations without specific facts regarding the outcome of those studies.”

Robison suggested that a comprehensive way to form the BMPs would have been to fund a risk analysis, which would have guided the studies and scope for each. After those studies were completed, then the BMPs should be compiled, noted Robison.

The report is the second of three reports requested by Gov. Martin O’Malley’s safe drilling initiative. The primary focus of the report regarded environmental protection of potential drill sites.

“There are many areas within the BMPs that have what many would suggest are gold standards, but equally there are areas that lack informed decisions or have established industry guided recommendations,” wrote Robison. “Due to the complexity of the BMPs, Citizen Shale attempted to compile comments on areas that appeared to lack the gold standard approach to development of natural gas in the state of Maryland.”

Should hydraulic fracturing come to the state, one regulation to be implemented will be a mandatory Comprehensive Gas Development Plan to be done by any energy company applying for a permit to drill in the state.

“Though limiting clustered development to certain areas, Comprehensive Gas Development Planning requirements will ultimately create more intensive ‘sacrifice zones’ in the areas where this highly concentrated development takes place,” stated Citizen Shale in its comments.

The CGDP will cover a report on the location a company wishes to drill, how it will construct the well, materials that will be involved in drilling and other aspects in the production of the gas.

During a previous public forum, Christine Conn of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources explained the purpose of the CGDP is to allow the DNR and Maryland Department of the Environment, as well as other stakeholders, to recommend any changes to the company prior to drilling. Maryland would be the first state to mandate a CGDP by a government agency as a prerequisite for applying for a permit.

“There needs to be an external review process from MDE and DNR for permitting, siting, construction and operation of all pipelines and ancillary development outside of the CGDP process,” states Citizen Shale in its comments. “This can be addressed in the 2014 legislative session as a bill for the PSC (Public Service Commission) to adopt permitting for rural gas gathering lines within the state.”

As an organization, Citizen Shale hasn’t taken a position on fracking but has tried to stay within its mission of encouraging dialogue and supporting comprehensive efforts to protect individuals and communities from the wide-ranging impacts of shale gas development, said Robison.

The public comment period for the BMP draft report has been extended through Sept. 10. The report can be found at and a copy of the draft report is available at the Ruth Enlow Library in Oakland and the Frostburg Community Library.

On behalf of MDE, the Regional Economic Studies Institute of Towson University as part of the Maryland Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative is conducting a survey and it can be found at

Comments on the BMP can be made to the MDE at

To view Citizens Shale’s comments in their entirety, visit

Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners