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June 1, 2010

Damascus Citizens File Multiple Legal Actions


Within Upper Delaware River Watershed.

The Delaware River Basin Commission failed to review "exploratory" and or "test" wells within the
"Special Protection Waters" of the Upper Delaware River Basin Watershed.

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability [www.DamascusCitizen s.org] has filed multiple legal notices. On
Thursday, May 27, 2010, through counsel, Jeff Zimmerman, Damascus Citizens challenged the failure of
the Delaware River Basin Commission [DRBC] to review "exploratory" and or "test" wells within the
"Special Protection Waters" of the Upper Delaware River Basin Watershed. The legal notice includes a
request for a regulatory hearing to address this lack of review. Additionally, a filing has been made with
the Environmental Hearing Board of the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP,
Department) appealing the issuance of a "Drill and Operate" permit for the Teeple Well.

These legal actions are intended to prevent the DRBC from granting blanket exclusions for so-called
“exploratory” and/or "test" wells including DL Teeple (PADEP Permit No. 37-127-20013) ; Rutledge
(PADEP Permit No. 37-127-20012) ; Crum (PADEP Permit No. 37-127-20015) ; and Schwieghofer (PA-
DEP Permit No. 37-127-20016).

Although there is no legal classification for the term “exploratory well" and/or "test well” classification
under Pennsylvania’ s oil & gas permitting regulations, in its permit application to the PA-DEP for each of
these wells, Newfield listed the type of well as “vertical test well.” Newfield, also included in the permit file
for each of these wells a “To Whom It May Concern” letter in which the company states in writing its
intention that once its testing is completed, that each well may be “reconfigured and converted to a
production well.”

This legal filing with DRBC is a formal “request for hearing". It contends that each of these wells must be
subject to a specific review under the DRBC Compact, to review an action or decision of the
Commissions or Executive Director; the “Determination of the Executive Director Concerning Natural Gas
Extraction Activities in Shale Formations Within the Drainage Area of the Special Protection Waters,” (the
“EDD”). In accordance with the Commission’s decision at its May 5, 2010, meeting, each exploratory/ test
well must be deferred from further consideration until DRBC completes preparation and adoption of
comprehensive regulations to regulate all natural gas related activities production in the Delaware River
Basin.

By creating the fictitious category of an “exploratory well,” a category that does not exist under
Pennsylvania state law, the DRBC acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by creating a “loophole”
where the exception will swallow the normal rules and prevent public hearings and opportunity for
comment submissions by other agencies, government departments, and the general public. Unless this
hearing request is granted and the DRBC approach to “exploratory well” is changed, there will be no one
at the DRBC reviewing any of these “exploratory wells.” With no one at DRBC watching and protecting
the “special protection” water resources of the Upper Delaware River Basin, very substantial development
will occur that will nullify the effect of the Commission’s deferral decision and it’s historic mandate within
the basin.
Additionally, a formal appeal was made by Damascus Citizens to the PA-DEP “Environmental Hearing
Board” on behalf of Mr. Carl Keesler and Damascus Citizens. Mr. Keesler resides within less than 1000
feet from the Teeple project site. On or about April 23, 2010, PA-DEP issued a “Drill and Operate” permit
to Newfield, granting permission to Newfield [as contracted by Hess], to drill a gas well on property owned
by Mr. Dale Teeple.

Among the several legal claims made in the filing are the facts that the proposed project is located within
the “Shehawken Rattlesnake Creek” watershed, a designated “Special Protection High Quality” (HQ)
watershed. The Department has not given adequate consideration to the impacts of the project upon
water quantity. Further the Department has not evaluated this permit under its PA state anti-degradation
program. Additionally, Hess and Newfield [as contracted by Hess], should be barred from using their
partners or others with any conflict of interest to conduct water tests for the Keesler residence. And PA-
DEP’s arbitrary and capricious elimination of review by County Conservation Districts (CCDs) of erosion
and sediment control permit applications as well as stream and wetlands encroachment permit
applications exceeded the agency’s authority. Elimination of CCD review also prevented meaningful
public participation and local control as required by Pennsylvania law.

Finally, this permit as issued violates Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which
guarantees to its citizens “the right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic,
historic and esthetic values of the environment,” and places a duty upon the Commonwealth to “conserve
and maintain” the natural resources of the state “for the benefit of all the people.” The record of such
drilling in Pennsylvania and elsewhere around the nation shows a clear pattern of destruction of the clean
air, pure water and other values that Pennsylvanians enjoy by right. Such drilling, particularly so close to
the home of an unwilling neighbor such as Mr. Keesler, and to the Upper Delaware River cannot be
reconciled with the Commonwealth’ s duties under this provision.

The drilling disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico is an exploratory [test] well. The massive explosion
was caused by a single methane bubble. The Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf was given an exclusion - just
like the exclusion the Delaware River Basin Commission [DRBC] is allowing for "exploratory" or "test"
wells in the watershed region. Construction of these 14 exploratory [test] wells has begun.

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