To my knowledge, there are at least eight shale gas wells north of, and not that far from, Oneida Valley Reservoir, a principal water source for Butler city and township. Are any of these wells located near streams that flow into the reservoir? If so, what protections are in place to keep toxic fracking chemicals from reaching the reservoir in the event of a well blowout or other accident?
Perhaps a more immediate threat to the reservoir are the many tanker trucks (notably Halliburton) driving along Rte. 38 carrying said toxic chemicals north to the wells. Why doesn't the Pennsylvania DEP require these trucks to take a route that doesn't bring them and their toxic payload so perilously close to a major municipal water source? This stretch of highway is notorious for accidents. Are these out-of-state drivers immune to such things?
I have also heard from reliable sources that Pennsylvania American Water has run a pipeline from the reservoir to the vicinity of the drilling sites so that the drillers can use our municipal water for fracking purposes. I have never read about this in the Butler Eagle. Maybe I missed it? Maybe the Eagle could verify this? I'm sure the community would like to know if this is happening.
The reservoir is full now; will this arrangement continue if a drought should come upon the area?
For a few years after 9/11, PA American Water had Oneida Reservoir cordoned off and would allow no one near it. You couldn't even fish there. They feared that foreign terrorists might poison Butler's water.
Now that there is a much more plausible threat, what steps are being taken to safeguard our water supply?