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POA opposes vertical drilling for Marcellus shale

Getty Images via Newscred

DEEP CREEK LAKE — The Garrett County Property Owners’ Association has voted to oppose vertical drilling for Marcellus shale gas within the boundaries of the Deep Creek Watershed as defined by the map included in the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning Ordinance.

In a position letter, the POA encourages the Garrett County Commissioners to amend the ordinance to prohibit vertical drilling and associated surface infrastructure within the watershed.

The POA’s decision to oppose vertical drilling was motivated by concerns about preserving the watershed, sustaining water resources and drinking water quality, and protecting property values, according to the letter from president Bob Hoffman to the county commissioners. Concerns associated with the drilling are noise, odor, traffic congestion and viewshed impact, according to the position paper.

“These are simply inherent in the natural gas recovery process. Regarding water resources, protecting groundwater sources and well water against contamination are particular matters of continuing debate and concern, despite serious and appreciated attention as part of the state effort,” states the position paper.

Read More Here:  http://bakken.com/news/id/223164/poa-opposes-vertical-drilling-marcellus-shale/


Watershed plan seeks to limit hydraulic fracturing for gas near resort lake

OAKLAND, Maryland — A management plan for the Deep Creek watershed seeks to limit hydraulic fracturing for natural gas near Maryland’s largest freshwater lake.

The plan prepared for presentation Tuesday to the Garrett County Commissioners would prohibit wellheads within more than 41,000 acres around Deep Creek Lake. The watershed comprises about 10 percent of the county.

Read More Here:  http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/013e839afcf048409d1ca2bf564638a9/MD–Deep-Creek-Lake/


Public hearing on wind farm in Deep Creek watershed delayed

From Staff Reports

Cumberland Times-News

DEEP CREEK LAKE — The public hearing scheduled for Wednesday for Messenger Limited Partnership’s request to the Garrett County Planning Commission to amend the Deep Creek watershed zoning ordinance to allow a wind farm in the rural resource zoning district has been rescheduled.

During a meeting Jan. 8, the planning commission voted unanimously to postpone the public hearing and rescheduleit for March 5 to allow the applicant more time to assemble information concerning the sound, wildlife impact and the appearance of the proposed wind turbines, according to minutes from the meeting. Planning commissioner Jeff Messenger recused himself from the vote as a landowner involved in the proposed project.

The commission also requested aesthetic views from different perspectives around the area and also raised questions about Maryland Public Service Commission requirements for an application for the wind turbines. During a commission meeting in December, Eric Robison, a member of the Deep Creek Lake Watershed Planning Steering Committee, questioned if Ogin (previously FloDesign) had applied to the PSC for a wind turbine certification for generating power. Lars Dorr, director of business development with Ogin Energy in Waltham, Mass., indicated he wasn’t aware of that requirement.

During the Jan. 8 meeting, Messenger stated that he will ensure that Ogin has the information to answer any questions that may arise at the public hearing. It is up to the developer to assume the risk of being able to comply with any state or federal regulations regarding wind turbines, according to Messenger.

Commission chairman Troy Ellington indicated that the Property Owners’ Association and other groups might have questions and concerns about the proposed turbines and the amendment to the zoning ordinance. The POA plans on attending the public hearing and presenting a paper opposing the proposed amendment, according to president Bob Hoffman.

More here.

Deep Creek Lake Watershed Forum – Friends of Deep Creek Lake


Continuing to promote and celebrate National Lake Appreciation Month, Friends of Deep Creek lake is hosting a forum on DCL Watershed Planning, designed to provide share with lake stakeholders, our guests and residents of Garrett County current work of many protecting and restoration the watershed.

These are the real experts and our inspiration!

John Major, a student from Northern High School will share efforts of many working on Cove Run restoration project.

The Soil Conservation District is developing best management practices, which will be explained by Board member James Smokey Stanton.

Charles Hoffeditz Chair of the Forestry Board will explain about their efforts for planning and forest protections.

Barbara Beelar will cover the challenges of runoff in the watershed, sharing the field work FODC has done on County and State highway culverts.
Eric Robison, head of Citizen Shale will provide an update on Marcellus shale exploration and studies with comments on what more needs to be done.

FoDCL claims attendance at this forum may be the most important thing a lake stakeholder, tourist or county citizen can do this summer, given the huge importance of the lake in the local economy.


Garrett commissioners adopt watershed ordinance

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND —  Garrett County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a  Department of Planning and Land Development recommendation to rectify a conflict in the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning ordinance.

“Apparently, there have been over the years a course of hundreds of text amendments that have been made to the Deep Creek zoning ordinance,” said Commissioner Jim Raley during a public meeting held Tuesday. “I don’t want to see us be inconsistent with state law. I don’t want to see us doing things that are procedurally incorrect.”

The purpose of the amendments is to change two sections to make the ordinance consistent with Land Use Article 66B.

“I also want to make it perfectly clear that I want a full review, to the extent possible, of any text amendment that comes before us,” said Raley. “Obviously, I know there still has to be a public hearing.”

Raley asked the planning commission to review his comments and see if procedurally something could be put into place place to add a small hurdle to a text amendment.

“I don’t want to see the text amendment becoming a substitute for something more comprehensive,” said Raley. “… it can be easier to go with a text amendment change than it would be with a full zoning amendment. I do see some future text amendments on the horizon that I think can be very substantive.”

Both Chairman Robert Gatto and Commissioner Gregan Crawford echoed Raley’s sentiments.

“This doesn’t mean we are going to rubber-stamp every text change that comes through,” said Crawford.

The commission also voted, with Crawford abstaining, to adopt the Deep Creek Lake Shoreline Stabilization Projects Incentive Program. Crawford said the decision should have been tabled until the results of Phase II of the Deep Creek Lake sediment study are known.

“Without knowing the results … we’re looking at what we could do up front,” said Raley.

The program is similar to the sprinkler incentive that was adopted by the commission several months ago. The program will provide a $1,600 incentive payment for construction of a structure for shoreline stabilization, according to John Nelson, director of Planning and Land Development. The incentive will be paid with carryover funds from last year.

“I think the intent of the Board of Commissioners wasn’t necessarily to try to come up with incentive to cover the cost of the permit fee but actually the cost of that construction,” said Nelson.

“The incentive requires full construction and requires that the structure pass inspections by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources,” said Raley.

The program is for the current fiscal year and, thus far, eight to 10 applications have been made for shoreline stabilization projects, according to Nelson. The program will encourage people to stabilize the shoreline to protect it from further erosion and sedimentation that is caused by the surface of the lake, said Nelson.

The commission also voted to give $500 to the Northern High School agriculture department to grow grass for the shoreline project and to allow Southern High School to be included, if interested.