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Lebanon, PA USA

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A "Conversation on Marcellus"

Purpose:  To educate and engage citizens in preparing for Marcellus Shale impacts.  Clean Water is essential to life, and we want to protect this valuable resource.  We can learn from what has happened in other counties and proactively plan for the day that drillers come to Lebanon County.  There is Marcellus on the fringes, but similar to Chester County, pipelines can run like a checker board across the County.  Further, below the Marcellus is a larger Utica layer. 

Outcome:  Resources like PowerPoints provided by speakers will be placed on the SWA web site; People can volunteer to serve on a Marcellus Shale Task Force for Lebanon County; Citizens take action to preserve their mineral rights and obtain baseline water reports for their wells; Municipalities can update their comprehensive plans; and if invited, SWA can make other presentations in the community.  

August 5, 2014:  Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline comments at Lebanon Valley College, Annville PA (4 links, 18 speakers)

bullet                 Speakers-- :45 Doug Laurenz, Mt. Gretna; 8:10 Sam from the Clean Air Council; 13:50 Wayne Norris, pipe maker; 17:10 Ann Pinca, Pipeline Awareness, Lebanon County; 21:55 Gordon Tomb, Commonwealth Foundation; 24:50 8th-generation farmer.

bullet                    Speakers-- :07 Sherry Stom; 11:25 Jo Ellen Litz; 21:45 Dennis College; 24:15 Don Gahres.

bullet                Speakers—:15 Ellie Sallahub, Lebanon; 4:55  William Houston, NY videographer; 16:40 Garry Gross , Pine Grove;

bullet                   Speakers-- :07 Zerbe biologist Delaware Riverkeeper Network; 9:55 Richard “Dick” Blouch, Jonestown; 12:35 Christine Bomgardner, Lebanon County, works at Fort Indiantown Gap; 18:00 Pat Stephens, South Annville; 20:10 Nate Lyons, Lebanon.

May 26, 2011--6:30-8:30PM @ Northern Lebanon High School



Tom Embich, VP SWA, HACC instructor, Environmental Consultant


Jo Ellen Litz, President SWA and Lebanon County Commissioner  Marcellus/Watershed Perspective Marcellus Lebanon.pdf



Attorney Tom Harlan on land issues--mineral rights, rights-of-way, leases, eminent domain 


Bradford County Conservation District Director Mike Lovegreen on water quality and economics Marcellus/Gas Lebanon.pdf ;                                                        


Lynda Farrel, Chester County, on 3 types of Gas Pipelines


Carol French & Carolyn Knapp, farmers and landowners from Bradford County Marcellus/The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.pdf



The Swatara Watershed Association


Lebanon County Conservation District


League of Women Voters


Harold's Furniture (on Route 422--Cumberland St.--west of the City of Lebanon)

Q&A on YouTube:

  1. Do a test on your well today! 10:02

Lebanon Daily News article:

Some useful tidbits heard at “A Conversation on Marcellus:”

  1. When Marcellus comes, it comes quickly.
  2. If you’re on a well, get it tested today so that you have a baseline before drilling comes to Lebanon County.  Don’t get a three-page report, get a full water test that will stand up in court.  It’s like an insurance policy.  QAQC is Quality Assurance Quality Control with a calibrated report and a full deliverable, including a test for Strontium, a radioactive isotope. Water must run for hours to stabilize before collecting for the test.  Taping the tester also helps you to verify the validity of your tester in court. 
  1. While a sign-on bonus may be tempting, don’t sign a canned lease offered by a gas company.  There is a standard plain language addendum that you should ask for as well as having an attorney knowledgeable in Marcellus leases to review your lease prior to signing.  Attorney Tom Harlan, A Conversation on Marcellus.wmv
  2. If you are going to sign a lease, also talk to an accountant about the taxes you will have to pay.
  3. Don’t rush into signing a lease.  Think about the impacts to your estate planning, your children and grandchildren.  Is the money worth more than your cows, a trout stream or stand of trees?  If the gas company wants your Marcellus, they’ll probably come back again with a better offer.
  4. In general, mineral rights in the Cornwall area are owned by Bethlehem Steel or the Coleman family, but mineral rights in the rest of Lebanon County may still be part of each landowner’s deed.
  5. Kris Troup, in County Planning, is working on a sample zoning ordinance to share with municipalities on Marcellus Shale.
  6. When it comes to pipelines, gathering lines are self-regulated by the gas industry.  There are also transmission lines and interstate lines, which may carry the power of eminent domain—even in the case of preserved farms.  Marcellus - Lynda Farrel Explains 3 types of Gas Pipelines.wmv

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Swatara VP Tom Embich welcomed everyone, thanked sponsors, explaiend the ground rules, and acted
as sergeant at arms.


Swatara President Jo Ellen Litz provided an introduction from the Watershed

Swatara members welcomed people and handed them an index card on which to
write questions.  Members directed people to register at a table.  As the speakers finished,
members collected and organized the question cards by topic, and provided the cards to
Tom and Jo Ellen who alternated asking the questions of the featured

Featured speakers included:
*    Tom Harlan, local land attorney with Henry and Beaver, who will
concentrate on leases, rights-of-ways, mineral rights, and eminent domain.
717-274-6782   (Sponsor, the Swatara Watershed Association)
o    Thomas P. Harlan focuses his practice on real estate, municipal law,
zoning, and workers' compensation. A Lebanon native, he is active as a
solicitor to a number of local governments and zoning hearing boards. He is
past president of the Lebanon County Bar Association and served on its Board
of Directors.
o    Mr. Harlan is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United
o    From 1975 through 1977, he was a member of the Lebanon County Legal
Services Association, a forerunner of Mid-Penn Legal Services, which
provided free representation to low income clients in civil, landlord -
tenant, and family law matters.
o    He is past president of the Lebanon County Lions Club and chaired
its Sight Preservation Committee. He was State President of the Pennsylvania
Sports Hall of Fame from 1985 through 2004. Tom has served on the PSHF Board
of Governors since 1980.
o    Areas of Practice:
    *    Real Estate, Municipal Law, Zoning, Land Use, Title Insurance,
    Workers' Compensation
o    Bar Admissions: 
    *    Pennsylvania, 1970; U.S. District Court Middle District of
    Pennsylvania; U.S. Supreme Court
o    Education:
    *    Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, 1970
    J.D.; Pennsylvania State University, 1966 B.A.
o    Professional Associations and Memberships:

*       Pennsylvania County Bar Association
*    Lebanon County Bar Association
*    Bar of the Supreme Court of
the United States Member

Mike Lovegreen, Bradford County, who will focus on water quality and
economics.  (Sponsor, the Lebanon County Conservation District)
o    Mike has been the manager of the Bradford County Conservation
District since 1980.He spent a few months prior to becoming the manager as
the education coordinator where he developed trails in the County Parks and
gave presentations to the campers.  Before coming to work for the
Conservation District and County, Mike ran his own contracting business
called "Creative Environments".  He has a degree in natural resource
management from the State
University of New York (SUNY).Some of the many positions Mike has held while
at the Conservation District include the following:
*        Member of the State Leadership Development Committee since 1984
*        An alumni and small group facilitator for the PA Rural Leadership
Program (RULE)
*        Past president of the Northeast Assoc. of Conservation District
Employees (13 States)
*        Past board member of the National Conservation District Employees
*        Past president of the PA Lakes Management Society
*        Chair of the hydro-modification committee for the DEP 319 Liaison
*        Adviser to the State Conservation Commission's Nutrient Management
Advisory Board
*        Co-founder and past president of the Upper Susquehanna Coalition
*        Board member of the Endless Mts. Heritage Region
*        Selected as the National Conservation Professional for 2000
*        Presented the Environmental Partnership Award in 1999
*        Presented the PA State Conservation Commission Leadership
Award in 2006
*        Certified as a senior engineering technician by the National
            Certification for Engineering Technologies
*        Certified as a master facilitator for the Department of Education
*        Trained facilitator for the PA Game Commission in Project WILD; PA
            Fish & Boat Commission for Keystone Aquatic Resources Education (KARE); PA
            Dept. of Education for Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and Healthy
            Water, Healthy People.

Lynda Farrel, Chester County, who will concentrate on the three
different types of pipelines, ordinances, and how commissioners can assist
at the IRC level.  Lynda is the Administrator of the Pipeline Safety
Coalition.   (Sponsor needed for Lynda's mileage round trip
135 miles, at the standard mileage rate ($.51), would be $68.85)   
o    Blue Heron Consulting & Honeysuckle Hill Farms, LLC, Agricultural &
Environmental Consulting
                Phone 610.269.4977  *  Cell: 484.340.0648  * Email @

*    A graduate of Susquehanna University with a BA in English, Lynda
obtained Pennsylvania Special Education Certification and taught high school
English.  A teacher at heart, her background spans marketing, management,
finance and farming.  As owner operator of Honeysuckle Hill Farms in Chester
County, PA, Lynda's first experience with natural gas pipeline safety
occurred when an unannounced "smart pig" inspection of subterranean
pipelines rumbled below her feet and sent her running in fear of an
impending explosion.

o    As Blue Heron Consulting, Lynda is an independent consultant, writes
the Lancaster Farming column "Women In Ag", provides USDA Risk Management
Education for Pennsylvania's re-emerging population of women farmers, and
promotes sustainable practices in agricultural and environmental

o    An environmental advocate since her undergraduate years, Lynda
became a grass roots advocate for pipeline education and safety when the
natural gas pipelines under her organic farm led her to eminent domain
proceedings.  In an effort to protect her land, steep slopes and the
Brandywine Creek, Lynda and four neighboring landowners were dubbed "The
Brandywine Five" by a Federal Judge.  The Brandywine Five won their case
against eminent domain and were awarded attorney fees in a landmark Federal
Court decision.

o    Lynda has initiated, and is Administrator of, Pipeline Safety
Coalition (, a Pennsylvania Non Profit formed to serve
as a public resource of factual information in the pipeline process.  PSC
seeks to improve public, personal and environmental safety in pipeline
issues through equal access to education and information.
o    Additional Professional Affiliations & Volunteerism:
o    Chester County Conservation District Board of Directors, Associate
Director (2002 - Present)
o    Pennsylvania Women's Ag Network (PA-WAgN), founding member, Regional
Representative (2003 - Present)
o    Keep Farming First Summit organizing committee (2003 - Present)
o    Brandywine Defense Coalition, Organizer (2002)
o    Upper East Branch Brandywine Watershed Conservation Plan, Steering
Committee (2003)
o    Brandywine River Clean Up Committee Co Founder and Organizer (2006 -
o    Chester County Economic Development Council Agricultural Loan Review
Committee (2007 - Present)
o    Chester County Pipeline Task Force (2009 - Present)
o    Citizens Coalition for Environmental & Property Protection in
Pipeline Operations, Founder (2009 - Present)
o    South East Pennsylvania Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D)
Council Board of Directors (2006 - 2009)
o    Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), member
(2002 - Present)
o    Farm Bureau, member (2000 - Present)
o    Certified Pet Therapy Dog Handler (2008 - Present)
o    Tick Tock Early Learning Center, "A Children's Christmas" Founder,
organizer (1997 - Present)

Carol French and Carolyn Knapp are founders of PLGAS (Pennsylvania
Landowners for Awareness and Solutions)  (Sponsor Ann Pinca)
o    Both women are farmers, living in Northeast Pennsylvania. They have
been neighbors for almost 25 years. Their children went to the local school
together. They were always friendly towards each other, sometimes found
themselves at the same community events. It was not until the gas industry
arrived in our community that we began to work together to fight for the
health of our land. They have become good friends and comrades.
o    Carol is a conventional dairy farmer. Carolyn is an organic dairy
farmer. Carol has lived in Bradford County her whole life. Carolyn moved
from Queens, New York with her family in 1987.
o    Their responsibility is to educate and empower the people with
knowledge--details to understand and visualize what it will look like and
what to expect. Knowledge is power! We need to become at least as
knowledgeable as the industry is.
o    They will arm people with information so that they can make informed
decisions. The gas companies came into their lives years ago when they
signed leases without full disclosure. They now work to make sure that the
companies provide full disclosure.

Harold's Furniture (On Route 422--Cumberland Street, west of the City of Lebanon) will provide chairs so that we can sit all
of the speakers and the moderators on the stage in a setting similar to a
living room to hold "The Conversation." 

Sue Fry and Pam Tricamo, from the League of Women Voters, served as
timers.  Similar to LWV debates, for each speaker, they held up a
yellow card at 14 minutes signaling one minute to wrap up a presentation,
which was marked by a red card.  During Q&A, they signaled speakers with a yellow card
at 90 seconds to wrap up at 2 minutes, which was marked by a red card.