Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Susquehanna River Basin Puts Water Withdrawals on Hold

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) isn’t waiting for PA officials to declare a drought. Today the agency announced that they are temporarily suspending 36 separate water withdrawals due to low stream flow levels at many locations in the Susquehanna basin – especially in northern Pennsylvania.   

The water withdrawals have been temporarily suspended by virtue of the Commission’s passby flow restrictions, said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz. “The vast majority of those suspended withdrawals are related to water for natural gas development.”

Under SRBC’s passby flow restrictions, when streams drop to pre-determined protected low flow levels, project sponsors who are required to meet the agency’s passby requirement must stop taking water.  They cannot resume taking water until streams have recovered above the protected level for at least 48 hours.

SRBC and its regulated project sponsors monitor real-time stream flow data generated by stream gages maintained and operated by the U.S. Geological Survey. Regulated project sponsors are also required to install tamper-proof water meters that automatically record their water withdrawals on a daily basis.  SRBC requires that information be reported t quarterly, in addition to continuous spot-inspections by SRBC field staff working out of the field office in Sayre, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

Swartz said, “Our system is based on science and kicks in well before streams drop to critical low levels.  We base our surface and groundwater withdrawal approvals on conservative assumptions regarding hydrologic conditions.”

Companies And Their Water Withdrawal Sources In Pennsylvania Temporarily Suspended As Of July 19, 2011:

Blair County
  • Smith Transport Warehouse, Bald Eagle Creek

Bradford County
  •  Chesapeake Appalachia, Chemung River (Barrett) and Sugar Creek (Isbell)
  •  Healthy Properties, Sugar Creek
  •  Southwestern Energy Production Company, Wyalusing Creek (Ferguson)
  •  Talisman Energy, Fall Brook, Seeley Creek, Sugar Creek, Towanda Creek, Tributary to North Branch Sugar Creek, and Wyalusing Creek
  •  Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Towanda Creek
  •  Towanda Country Club, Little Wysox Creek

 Clearfield County
  •   Chief Oil & Gas, Clearfield Creek
  • Keister Miller Investments, West Branch Susquehanna
  •  Lebanon County
  • Pine Meadows Golf Complex, Little Swatara Creek
 Luzerne County

  •  Eagle Rock Community Association, Abandoned Quarry associated with unnamed tributary to Tomhicken Creek
  • Lycoming County
  • Hughesville-Wolf Township Joint Municipal Authority, Effluent Discharge
  • Pennsylvania General Energy Company, Pine Creek (Poust)
  • XTO Energy, Lick Run

Potter County

  • Ultra Resources, Pine Creek

Susquehanna County

  • Chesapeake Appalachia, Elk Lake Stream
  • Leonard and Jean Marie Azaravich, Meshoppen Creek
  • Stone Energy Corp, Wyalusing Creek (Stang 1)
  • Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Meshoppen Creek and White Creek
  • Williams Production Appalachia, Snake Creek

 Tioga County

  • LDG Innovations, Tioga River (Losey)
  • Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Tioga River and Unnamed tributary of North Elk Run
  • Ultra Resources, Cowanesque River

Wyoming County

  • Geary Enterprises, Buttermilk Creek
  • Mountain Energy Services, Tunkhannock Creek
  • Randy M. Wiernusz, Bowman Creek
  • Sugar Hollow Trout Park and Hatchery, Hatchery Effluent
  • Susquehanna Gas Field Services, Meshoppen Creek

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