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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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DSL72
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Reged: 07/11/12

Fracking & Light Pollution in PA
      #5662639 - 02/04/13 10:37 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfJ9KwGKKkM

Toward the end of the 2 minute video, an ugly view, looking east from Cherry Springs.

Then there's the Chicago-sized light dome in North Dakota:

http://www.houstontomorrow.org/livability/story/north-dakotas-fracking-boom-l...


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csrlice12
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Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: DSL72]
      #5663263 - 02/05/13 10:20 AM

Fracking Light Pollution (pun intended) is not just a problem in PA. Colorado is being overrun by Fracking oil companies; they put one Fracking well within 1/2 mile of our Astro Society's Dark Site....Lit the dark site up like a Christmas tree, you could read your star charts without any lights. And now, people are on TV News setting their kitchen/bathroom faucets on fire.......

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George N
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5663631 - 02/05/13 02:03 PM

There have currently been around 2 to 3 thousand frack wells drilled in PA, somewhere between 30 and 60 in Potter County (66 approved permits), which has Cherry Springs International Dark Sky Park.

The plan, for the next 50 years, is to drill 140,000 gas wells in PA. BTW, they have to re-frack the wells every 3 years or so to keep the gas flowing. They have to create the gas lines and pumping stations to get the gas out of all of these wells. They light the pumping stations for ‘security’. Welcome to the future.

At least the state owns much of the land around CSSP, and the drill rights for much of the private land in the area within 10 miles of the park. They are trying to buy up the drilling rights on the remainder. They plan on not allowing drilling in the immediate vicinity of the park.


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csrlice12
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5663673 - 02/05/13 02:27 PM

Just read an article here in CO and the people are fighting further fracking in many locals...

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mountain monk
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5664087 - 02/05/13 06:07 PM

For the background on what is happening in N. Dakota, see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/magazine/north-dakota-went-boom.html?pagewa...

According to the World Bank, the US has moved to fifth place in gas flame luminance (after Russia, Iran, etc). Gas flaming also pumps more carbon dioxide in the air, of course. In MHO, the IDA has not paid sufficient attention to this issue. We have already lost two dark areas in Wyoming--the NE corner and the Upper Green River Basin. The high rent Eastern press is filled with stories of no housing in Wyoming, the coming huge problems in Utah and Colorado, etc. in addition to the disaster in N. Dakota. The issue cuts across the usual political lines and it will be a formidable foe. Almost everything is on the side fracking: money for framers and ranchers, big money are business, tax monies for some states, energy independence, major job production (it is virtually impossible to be unemployed in N. Dakota or Wyoming)... The only groups who seem concerned are astronomers, a few environmentalists, and social workers. And for those considering retirement to the Four Corner area--take a close look at the new light pollution maps. Grim.

This is worthy of attention for all those who love dark skies.

Dark skies.

Jack


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mountain monk
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5664116 - 02/05/13 06:25 PM

And gas is $2.49 in Casper, WY. Anybody upset at that?

Dark skies.

Jack


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5664212 - 02/05/13 07:29 PM

Ummm, let's stay with LP discussion not gas pricing.

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Plan9
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Reged: 01/28/08

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5670370 - 02/09/13 09:34 AM

Quote:

The only groups who seem concerned are astronomers, a few environmentalists, and social workers.




Jack, I share your concern, but I think this may be getting some more widespread attention now.

E.g., CNBC article (this is about the amount of flaring and states like N. Dakota being visible from space now).

Bill


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FirstSight
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5671167 - 02/09/13 06:31 PM

Quote:

Ummm, let's stay with LP discussion not gas pricing.




The price of gas is light pollution.


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mountain monk
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5671538 - 02/09/13 10:50 PM

Plan9: Thanks for the link--much appreciated.

First Sight: Indeed, literally.

Dark skies.

Jack


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mountain monk
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5671562 - 02/09/13 11:17 PM

And the problem will soon arrive in California--see this:

http://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/6555/californias-silent-oil-rush/

The main deposits lie between L.A. and San Francisco. That will sure be a bummer for California astronomers--as though the don't already have enough trouble with light pollution. Sort of like the opening scenes of Blade Runner.

Dark skies.

Jack


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herrointment
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5672797 - 02/10/13 06:14 PM

And herein Wisconsin, home of numerous frac sand mines that run 24-7, the light domes mark each facility.

Let's hope the money is worth it.


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John Fitzgerald
In Focus
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: herrointment]
      #5673838 - 02/11/13 11:07 AM

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!

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csrlice12
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #5674053 - 02/11/13 01:18 PM

They need the lights in case that invisible, odorless gas tries to escape....it's worth money dontchaknow......

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George N
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Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #5674882 - 02/11/13 10:04 PM

Quote:

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!




As far as I know they only light up the drill pads when work is being done there. The lights shining up on the drill rig are required by Fed regulation, and from what I’ve been told by the workers, they are absolutely necessary to their work. The lights come back when they need to re-frack the wells every 3 years or so. I don’t think that the gas flaring keeps up after a well is first finished. At least around Cherry Springs, the gas companies have agreed not to flare on dark weekends.

Perhaps nearly as bad are all of the lights on the many trucks bringing water, taking out brine, etc. Two years ago I experienced a convoy of 30 or more who staged right outside Cherry Springs Park and then drove down a dirt road next to the park around 3 am. It took the convoy a good 15 to 20 minutes to clear.

I’ve been told (but not seen) that they light up the central pumping stations on the gas lines. I assume that that is for “security”. While not “light pollution” (but perhaps annoying to observers), they have to run big diesel engines 24/7 to keep the pressure in the wells. That never goes away.


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zippeee
sage


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5675701 - 02/12/13 12:01 PM

Welcome to my world. I'm certain that my fellow Albertans will attest to the fact that we suffer from this 'industry fed, light dome plague' worse than anybody else. Just look at the LP map . . . Alberta is basically outlined. We only have 3.5 million people here and for a province the size of Texas, that's an awful lot of light to be throwing out.



Every time I go to my darksite, I notice another small light dome.


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herrointment
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: zippeee]
      #5676412 - 02/12/13 06:41 PM

Wow. I don't think of Canada and LP in the same sentence.

Then again I never thought I'd see oil money in Wisconsin.

We can all hope for the best!


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jwheel
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Davis TX
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: herrointment]
      #5677335 - 02/13/13 10:04 AM

Here at the McDonald Observatory in West TX we have seen a little increase in light pollution. The main cause is from fracking that is happening to the north of us around the Pecos area. It is a very small amount but noticeable.

Joe Wheelock


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GeneT
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Reged: 11/07/08

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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: zippeee]
      #5684281 - 02/16/13 09:25 PM

Quote:

Welcome to my world. I'm certain that my fellow Albertans will attest to the fact that we suffer from this 'industry fed, light dome plague' worse than anybody else. Just look at the LP map . . . Alberta is basically outlined. We only have 3.5 million people here and for a province the size of Texas, that's an awful lot of light to be throwing out.

Every time I go to my darksite, I notice another small light dome.




Sad--truly sad.


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northernontario
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #5685297 - 02/17/13 02:04 PM

Quote:

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!






jake


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mountain monk
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: northernontario]
      #5707614 - 03/01/13 06:31 PM

The March, 2013, issue of National Geographic Magazine contains an article--"American Strikes New Oil"--that serves as a good introduction to fracking and its many ramifications.

Dark skies.

Jack


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BoldAxis1967
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Loc: Kentucky
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: northernontario]
      #5707988 - 03/01/13 11:42 PM

Just saw this thread. Very late, but had to write something.

The larger point here is: What can we do about it? Who will listen and who will even care. These problems require solutions that are on a massive scale. Large sums of money are required to fund political interests groups that can influence politicans at all levels of government. The problem is so massive that the ball is half way down the hill and picking up steam. Consider this: For all the efforts put into the environmental movement success has been minimal if one looks at the whole. Forest, bird populations, amphibian populations etc. are crashing. I hate to sound so negative but without someone or group with the energy (physical and mental)to start a movement the only thing we can do is complain. What is needed is an Al Nagler type to start a movement. But, we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4% would care.


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George N
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Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: BoldAxis1967]
      #5708918 - 03/02/13 02:25 PM

Quote:

....... I hate to sound so negative but .....we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4% would care.




Well, we need to remember: there have been some successful anti-LP efforts related to frack’ing in PA. For example, the gas companies have agreed to not do “burn-off flaring” in the general area of Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park during dark-of-the-moon weekends. Also, the state has made some considerable effort to buy up drilling rights in the immediate vicinity of the park, (and owns much of the land around it). They plan on not allowing frack’ing near the park. My understanding of “near” is as being within about 10 miles or so.

I remain cautiously optimistic that anti-LP efforts related to frack’ing can be successful in PA. At least at this point the gas companies want to be as accommodating as possible, and the local governments in Potter County are well aware of the economic importance of the many visitors that Cherry Springs brings in. The park manager noted recently, that before the Dark Sky Park designation, the park’s camping area was often empty, and now it is full every weekend – even full moon weekends.


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BoldAxis1967
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5708946 - 03/02/13 02:48 PM

That is good news! Maybe there is at least a ray of sunshine in all of this. Winning small battles does account for something and is very meaningful. It sounds like you were directly involved and I commend your efforts.

We, the country, need policies and to set long-term goals. Unfortunately, the past 30 has seen an unwillingness to do so. To a certain extent our failure to set long-term energy and environment goals has led to the need for Fracking and hence the light pollution problem is part of the mix.


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hokkaido53
sage


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: BoldAxis1967]
      #5712055 - 03/04/13 08:19 AM

Quote:

Just saw this thread. Very late, but had to write something.

The larger point here is: What can we do about it? Who will listen and who will even care. These problems require solutions that are on a massive scale. Large sums of money are required to fund political interests groups that can influence politicans at all levels of government. The problem is so massive that the ball is half way down the hill and picking up steam. Consider this: For all the efforts put into the environmental movement success has been minimal if one looks at the whole. Forest, bird populations, amphibian populations etc. are crashing. I hate to sound so negative but without someone or group with the energy (physical and mental)to start a movement the only thing we can do is complain. What is needed is an Al Nagler type to start a movement. But, we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4% would care.




From what I've read lately, much of America's "new oil strike" isn't going to be used by Americans. It will be sold and shipped overseas. In other words, it won't affect the price of gas or decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

Here are some articles on the subject:

http://ecowatch.org/2012/fracking-industry-export-natural-gas/

http://www.dontfractureillinois.net/oil-and-gas-industry-aims-to-build-19-new...


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dpwoos
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Reged: 10/18/06

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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: hokkaido53]
      #5712384 - 03/04/13 12:05 PM

It is a common misconception that producing a commodity locally means local lower prices. Commodity pricing is global, and only government price controls/export restrictions (all contrary to free market capitalism/socialism) will result in prices that are below market.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5712398 - 03/04/13 12:13 PM

Folks, let's remain on the subject of LP, caused by fracking; not the political aspects of it.

Thanks!


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dpwoos
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5712559 - 03/04/13 01:41 PM

I think you are confusing economics with politics.

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csrlice12
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5712581 - 03/04/13 01:50 PM

Truthfully, you can't really split the two, they're related.....

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dpwoos
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5712639 - 03/04/13 02:27 PM

I guess everything is related to everything somehow, and so what can be discussed and what can't? Is pointing out that the commodity market is global a political statement? I don't see how - it is simply an uncontroversial economic fact. Discussing whether or not it SHOULD be a global market can certainly be debated in a political context, but that never came up here.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5712788 - 03/04/13 03:55 PM

When the discussion changes to "government price controls & exportation", this is carrying the discussion away from LP.

Now back to the LP caused by fracking.


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kfiscus
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5712802 - 03/04/13 04:02 PM

In southeast Minnesota and Southwest Wisconsin, frac sand MINING threatens to become an LP (and dust) problem. The companies want to go 24/7 if they can.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5712847 - 03/04/13 04:25 PM

Never would have thought of the dust problem, but defintely can see where that would just add to the overall LP.

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dpwoos
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5712934 - 03/04/13 05:05 PM

Mitigating light pollution from fracking can be approached on (at least) two different fronts - 1) better lighting, and 2) less fracking. The second requires understanding something about the pricing structure of natural gas and petroleum, hence my post.

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DarkSkys
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: dpwoos]
      #5713300 - 03/04/13 08:26 PM

Were doooooomed.

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csrlice12
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5720237 - 03/08/13 10:39 AM

Here in Colorado, you can heat your house, run your car, and your lawnmower...all from the convenience of your Kitchen faucet!!

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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #5723096 - 03/09/13 10:29 PM

Quote:

Were doooooomed.




Maybe…..

Personally, if it gets as bad as all that, I’m moving full-time to Indian Lake NY. There is no gas under the Adirondacks and it’s nearly all a ‘gray zone’. Of course it’s also 20 below and cloudy at night most of the winter.


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Motokid600
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Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5724422 - 03/10/13 06:13 PM

I got a place in Tunkhannock, PA. Used to be a small, quiet town. In the last few years its since become a boom town because of the gas. And its a mess. My skies went from green ito yellow quite easily.
Aaaand then came the gas line.. 50 feet next to my property. It.. was quite amazing actually. In just months they cleared thousands of acres of trees all the way up and over the mountain. But in the process I lost my second home. The property has gone to hell. I give it a few more months before the retaining wall of my lake blows out. They removed all the trees so there's nothing to hold the ground together. Just needs a good rain storm.
I'm sorry if that's off topic a bit but I wanted to share that. I'm really bumbed about it. Place was my childhood and now its destroyed. And there's nothing I can do. All for more fossil fuels... MORE.. FREAKING fossil fuel.

Edited by Motokid600 (03/10/13 06:17 PM)


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5726762 - 03/11/13 08:15 PM

Quote:

I got a place in Tunkhannock, PA. ....... My skies went from green ito yellow quite easily.
.....in the process I lost my second home. .....Place was my childhood and now its destroyed. And there's nothing I can do. All for more fossil fuels...




I'm sorry to hear this. It's really sad. I've been to your town and it *was* a wonderful place.

Alas, I fear that you are describing the future of rural New York as well.


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5727118 - 03/11/13 11:24 PM

I don't think I'll be able to stand it if they start fracking here. I'll have to get out. Witnessing the destruction day by day would be too depressing. For many years I was grateful there was nothing here that the extractive industries wanted. How naive. They will stop at nothing.

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herrointment
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Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5727240 - 03/12/13 12:30 AM

I've decided to take a positive view of the situation.....when all our hills are carted away and pumped underground we will have wonderful unobstructed views of the horizon.

When the sand runs out or the price crashes it's dead certain they will be gone as quickly as they arrived and the lights will be extinguished.

Then the real work will begin.


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: herrointment]
      #5727323 - 03/12/13 01:52 AM

Luckily the price of natural gas has fallen enough that the frackers are no longer quite so eager to move into NY.

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George N
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5727897 - 03/12/13 11:09 AM

Quote:

I don't think I'll be able to stand it if they start fracking here. I'll have to get out. .....




Joe,

My plan is to move to the Adirondacks, or another nice dark place like North Korea….. oh wait, I mean Cuba! It should be nice there for about 5 years after the hardcore Commies leave and before the casino industry builds up too many lights.


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dkb
sage


Reged: 07/23/08

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: northernontario]
      #5730547 - 03/13/13 03:29 PM

Although PA looks just as bad in the light pollution map shown at the beginning of this thread this map shows the Bakken oil fields much more prominently and was taken just last year:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=79800


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Phillip Creed
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Reged: 07/25/06

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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: dkb]
      #5734206 - 03/15/13 02:09 PM

Interesting feature--there's a substantial light pollution source that's equivalent to a town of 5,000-10,000 people about halfway between Caldwell and Woodsfield, OH. Last time I was there 10 years ago, there was NOTHING out there. Heck, we even had an observing site.

Anyone familiar with SE Ohio know what that could be? It's near the town of Summerfield.

Clear Skies,
Phil


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zippeee
sage


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: dkb]
      #5734540 - 03/15/13 05:27 PM

Quote:

Although PA looks just as bad in the light pollution map shown at the beginning of this thread this map shows the Bakken oil fields much more prominently and was taken just last year:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=79800




Gee, reminds me of home

Seriously though, that Bakken development is mental!


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herrointment
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Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: zippeee]
      #5734901 - 03/15/13 08:33 PM

When there's big money involved the speed at which change occur boggles the mind.

My friend sold the farm for frac mining, just like everyone else. In 14 months it went from a quiet farm where you easily mistook the Milky Way for clouds to a giant hole with a bridge and a train loading facility that runs 24/7.

They did not want to sell but they had little recourse and are actually devastated by the results.

This happened in an area that has stayed basically unchanged in my lifetime.

The mile(s) long conveyor belt is in the approval stamping stage. More lights needed undoubtedly.

I no longer recognize the area. Everything that was familiar to me has vanished in little over a year.


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
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Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: northernontario]
      #5742111 - 03/19/13 12:32 AM

Perhaps some of you will be gladdened by this. I was.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/the-andes-chronicles-a-ban-on...

Dark skies.

Jack


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5742122 - 03/19/13 12:45 AM

Indeed I am.

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t.r.
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Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5742649 - 03/19/13 10:57 AM

Wow...about time someone took a stand. I have no desire to be able to light my faucet on fire or to drink the eco-friendly chemicals!

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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5742703 - 03/19/13 11:24 AM

Quote:

Perhaps some of you will be gladdened by this. I was.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/the-andes-chronicles-a-ban-on...

Dark skies.

Jack




Andes NY is a cool little Catskills mountain town that finds it self sitting over massive natural gas deposits. The area outside of town is mostly forest, with some remaining farms.

Hopefully this law will also help protect this dark sky area, just an afternoon’s drive from New York City. I believe that the sky is darker there than the ‘blue zone’ that satellite maps show.

However the gas industry and “land owners’ associations” are not sitting on their drills about this. They are challenging all such laws in court, and have won against the city and town of Binghamton, NY. Other cases are still in the works.

I’m not sure about the situation in Pennsylvania. I’ll have to check, but I believe there is an actual law banning local governments from regulating fracking – or maybe it is just something the governor has proposed? Anyone know?


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t.r.
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5742865 - 03/19/13 12:40 PM

One thing is for sure, the line is drawn in the sand, apparently at the NY/PA border! It will be interesting to see which way this goes...

Edited by csa/montana (03/19/13 12:52 PM)


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richard7Moderator
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Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: t.r.]
      #5743229 - 03/19/13 03:27 PM

It seems like Andes isn't the only one to try banning it.
Ft Collins Colorado.
Keep an eye on this one.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: richard7]
      #5743498 - 03/19/13 05:20 PM

Hi,
This fracking has ruined my skies. I live in the Eagle Ford Shale Play. Thats the name of the new big oil and gas fields here. I live on a small ranch outside of Pleasanton, Tx. south of San Antonio.
I had very dark skies. I could see the milkyway pretty good as well as some star clusters and nebulas without my telescope.

First Frac tech built a big sand plant with bright spotlights on top of their towers pointing in my direction about a mile away south. I wrote emails to their headquarters. They actually turned them off and put dimmer lights lower down pointing in a different direction. That helped alot. Around January 2012.

That month the oil companies sent a man to pressure the next ranch over in the West to sell his property. He didn't need the money and refused many times. But that slick developer from the oil company kept after him every few days with more and more money. Eventually they offered so much that he couldn't refuse. They even let him keep the mineral rights.

Immediately they built a bunch of oil field support businessed. Including a huge parking lot for a big fleet of oil tanker trucks. They put up football stadium lights. The lights point sideways instead of down with no shielding. The same thing across the street from them is Louisiana crane company. They built a huge parking lot for their huge cranes. With the same lighting. Next to them another huge lot full of double wide trailers for oil field offices. Same lighting. There are about 10 other new oilfield support businesses with big lots behind them all lit up. The oil company developer last year told us they were building a big area for a Boy Scout camp. What a lie that was. I wrote and mailed hand written letters to each company and each builder and electrician company. I also sent emails to all of them.

The worst over lit place is the trucking company. Their manager and wife came to my ranch and told me they were a "Green" company. He told me he has been told by their headquarters Enterprise oil co. LLC. in Houston Tx. to replace all the bulbs with dimmer ones, and to put shields to prevent the light from going up. And to point the lights down instead of sideways. And that they would set the timmer to turn half the lights off until midnight or 1AM. That was last May and they never did anything. I have sent more emails and letters last Fall but no one will cooperate.

I explained all about light pollution and Astronomy and Imaging. I told them about all the people with kids who came out here all the time to look through my telescopes and some bring their own to set up here. I have a nice wide paved driveway.

I'm out there almost every night but it's not the same with all the light pollution. Its been almost a year since anyone else has come out here. They are building more businesses comming closer. Their about 1/4 mile away and the sky is washed out to the West now. There were no businesses on our road before. They keep all the lights burning bright all night even though they are all mostly closed then. Their oil, they can afford to waste electricity.
The Milky Way is somewhat washed out now. Its still somewhat dark in the East.

Neilson Shepard


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: neilson]
      #5743537 - 03/19/13 05:41 PM

Quote:

Hi,
This fracking has ruined my skies. .......
Neilson Shepard




Sad story.


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5743735 - 03/19/13 06:54 PM

Neilson,

I am very sorry to hear that.

Dark skies.

Jack


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herrointment
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Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5743761 - 03/19/13 07:03 PM

It is an all to familiar tale.

I wish you the best of luck....


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: herrointment]
      #5744003 - 03/19/13 09:04 PM

Historically in the western U.S., extractive industries of all kinds have created a relatively short bubble of rapid population gsrowth and wealth in various locations, which dissipates as the resource is exhausted, eventually leaving towns that are mere shells of their former selves or sometimes outright ghost towns. So shall this pass in another two or three decades in western North Dakota and western Pennsylvania (even though that's not "out west"). In the meantime, bad for astronomy, and the longer term bad for the regional water supplies.

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MEE
super member


Reged: 07/10/10

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5744355 - 03/20/13 01:58 AM

The light pollution that Neilson refers to can be seen as an arc of lights on the photo below running from NW of Nuevo Laredo to E of San Antonio:

http://www.blue-marble.de/nightlights/2012


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: MEE]
      #5744678 - 03/20/13 08:45 AM

Hi,
That arc from Laredo to East of SanAntonio use to be complete darkness and emptyness a few years back. That area is now littered with over a hundred well lit new camper trailer parks and man camps all full of oil field workers. And lots of well lit drilling rigs. There are over 5,000 oil men moved in the Pleasanton area alone this past year. Our 1,000ft water well had the best tasting water but last year they were fracing in the area now the water tastes nasty. We had to put a water filter system in and we now buy lots of bottled water. We had our first earthquake ever, last year. They had been doing heavy fracing that week. Guess where the epicenter was. Right below that fracing well south of Pleasanton.

Neilson


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d00d
sage
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Reged: 02/24/12

Loc: So Cal
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: neilson]
      #5744922 - 03/20/13 11:30 AM

Neilson,

Sorry to hear about your plight. Let me ask this, has the drilling itself impacted your quality of life beyond that of the LP? I've read a number of pieces on the matter and many of them speak of the constant noise from the drills as well as the increased traffic from trucks and such.

Have you considered a light barrier of some sort? A gent from Georgia made one from the remains of a trampoline.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: d00d]
      #5745568 - 03/20/13 04:33 PM

Hi,
The trucks are constantly going by in the day but that doesn't bother me too much. They capped the closest drilling rigs last fall but in December they signed leases on all the ranches connected to our little ranch, so they will probably be drilling very close soon.
The noise won't bother me too much. Its the lights. It's as though I live in town across from a Walmart now. I can actually see the stadium type lighting from down the road on that light pollution map. The light dome covers our property too. Just over a year ago it was pitch black. If they would just point the lights down. They have them pointing at almost a 90 deg angle on top of really high poles. Half the light is going upwards causing a glare. It washes out the stars. I use our house to block the direct lights.

My plans are to send out new emails to their headquarters offices again and the offices here in April. Then I plan to make personal visits. I will be reasonable and happy about any resolution that will reduce the light any amount. I think setting the timers on half the lights to not come on until midnight or 1 AM is reasonable, their not even open at night. The whole area is like daytime over there. The white caliche parking lots make it even brighter.

neilson


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richard7Moderator
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Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: neilson]
      #5745649 - 03/20/13 05:03 PM

I sure hope that lighting gets straightened out soon. Living deep in a red zone myself I can sympathize with you.
If they aren't even operating at night then it would only make sense to use only a couple of security lights all night anyway.


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Gary Honis
Vendor-DSLR Mods


Reged: 12/15/04

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: richard7]
      #5751640 - 03/23/13 11:32 AM

A new organization (CSSD) was formed this week comprised of the gas drilling industry and environmental groups that have reached agreement to create a system to set standards for reducing the effects of shale drilling. The article is here:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/03/both_sides_agree_on_tough_...

According to the article, multiple states will be covered but it does not mention any outdoor lighting or flaring controls.

The CSSD has a comment page set up for receiving comments. If you are so inclined, please consider requesting that they include exterior lighting and flaring standards to address the problem of light pollution. The CSSD comment page is here:

http://037186e.netsolhost.com/site/contact/

If they don't get comments from the astronomical community, I doubt lighting issues will be addressed. Below are the comments I provided:

...........................

My recommendation is the CSSD should include flaring and lighting requirements in its standards to avoid the problems of light pollution such as glare, light trespass, energy waste and skyglow. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) maintains a list of IDA approved shielded light fixtures and also has developed lighting codes jointly with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). See

http://www.darksky.org/outdoorlighting

Utilizing the IDA approved light fixtures and CSSD adoption of the IDA/IESNA lighting codes would address lighting problems for adjacent land owners. It would also avoid the light pollution as documented in the 2012 NASA Earth Observatory images showing wasted light and skyglow in North Dakota and Pennsylvania from gas drilling operations. See:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/news/earth-at-night.html

Having standards that limit flaring operations to daytime or during New Moon periods, as is being done in sensitive areas of PA, would help preserve our disappearing night sky resource.

Thanks for your consideration of this request.

Gary Honis, P.E.
GHAAS
........................


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Gary Honis]
      #5758527 - 03/26/13 03:56 PM

I live in that black spot on the map, which is central West Virginia. It is still dark here. I have seen some light from the wells, and a man was killed in an explosion at one on the same morning the meteor came down over Russia - some thought the boom was a meteor hitting here!

However, all things considered, the wells are nothing compared to the development in the I-79 corridor west of me, especially around Clarksburg. One infamous big-box store in particular caused a whopping increase in light pollution.

I used to live in town and could still see M31 naked eye in 1990, along with the Milky Way. Now, that might happen on some rare crystal clear 2am Winter morning, but barely. I am glad I live in the country now but realistically, my site will be screwed up within 15 years. That also means that Spruce Knob will be very seriously damaged, and it's the best sky I have ever seen this side on New Mexico.

>>>>>I think Spruce Knob should be made a focal point by the IDA or whoever is handling this now. Glen


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
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Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5758623 - 03/26/13 04:42 PM

Quote:



>>>>>I think Spruce Knob should be made a focal point by the IDA or whoever is handling this now. Glen




I can sympathize with you. The last few years, since the downturn in the economy, LP has remained pretty steady. Bad but steady.
Now that things are picking up again you know more LP is coming.
While I don't know how big Spruce Knob is it really doesn't matter much how much effort you put up to save it if everything around it goes downhill.


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: richard7]
      #5758877 - 03/26/13 06:57 PM

They were turning off lights through Clarksburg on route 50 back in 2009, I think it was, to save money. There were times I had a pretty decent sky from in town, well after midnight.

On the fracking - there are so many making money on it around here that minimizing the damage is the best that can be hoped for. We get a double whammy in West Virginia because we have mountaintop removal, too. It may not be progress but I guess we need the energy.

I believe Spruce Knob is threatened by distant light domes and also by development right there at it. They pave the roads into it a little more each year, it seems like, and vacation cabins are going up along the newer paved road which comes in from the east. Besides LP, the natural feel of it is liable to take a beating. Glen

Edited by Glen A W (03/26/13 07:00 PM)


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darber99
member


Reged: 03/26/13

Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5765387 - 03/29/13 05:38 PM

Here is a copy of the email I sent to the CSSD... I hope all will copy and send as well. Our dark skies are too important to just give up to industry...

To whom it may concern:
When developing a program for sustainable shale development, I hope you would consider standards for exterior lighting and flaring as it pertains to astronomical observations and light pollution. The Marcellus Shale has some of the most pristine areas for viewing the night skies and it still can be by employing low cost light shields, which will focus light towards the ground and not allow light to escape into the atmosphere. This increases sky glow and decreases amateur astronomers ability to view deep sky objects such as galaxies and nebulae. Metal casings could also be made to contain flaring while still allowing the heated gases to escape.
Natural gas drilling is going to be an important aspect of PA's economy in the near and distant future and I hope that during development of this natural resource, your center takes appropriate steps to safe guard the environment for all who enjoy it.

Thank you for your time.

Brad Lukach.


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darber99
member


Reged: 03/26/13

Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: darber99]
      #5765392 - 03/29/13 05:41 PM

Whoops... That was my 1st draft... Here is the real one...

Letter to Center for Sustainable Shale Development

When developing a program for sustainable shale development, I hope you would consider standards for exterior lighting and flaring as it pertains to astronomical observations and light pollution. The Marcellus Shale has some of the most pristine areas for viewing the night skies in the Eastern US and it still can be by employing low cost light shields that are approved by the International Dark Sky Association, which will focus light towards the ground and not allow light to escape into the surrounding atmosphere. Existing lighting increases sky glow, light trespass and decreases amateur astronomers ability to view deep sky objects such as galaxies and nebulae. Flaring could also be limited to daytime hours or during full moon periods as to not disrupt evening, dark sky observations.
Natural gas drilling is going to be an important aspect of PA's economy in the near and distant future and I hope that during development of this natural resource, your center takes appropriate steps to safe guard the environment for all who enjoy it.

Thank you for your time.

Brad Lukach


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Gary Honis
Vendor-DSLR Mods


Reged: 12/15/04

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: darber99]
      #5765480 - 03/29/13 06:22 PM

Hi Brad,

Thanks for preparing and sending your comments to the CSSD. I have heard from many others that have sent comments and that is encouraging. I drafted a Performance Standard No. 16 to address Light Pollution and I sent it as a follow-up comment to the CSSD with a recommendation that they consider adding it to their existing 15 perfomance standards:

....................................

LIGHT POLLUTION PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Performance Standard No. 16

1. Beginning on January 1, 2014, an Operator must install only light fixtures that are fully shielded so that no light is emitted at or above a horizontal plane drawn through the lowest light-emitting portion of the luminaire. No light fixtures located on any drill or operation site are to be directed in such a manner so that they shine directly on public roads, adjacent property, the night sky or any property in the general vicinity of the operation site. All lighting will comply to standards of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Electrical Code. Illumination Levels for all support facilities shall have illuminances, uniformities and glare control in accordance with the recommended practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES).

2. Beginning on January 1, 2014, in order to minimize the visual impact of flaring at night and to avoid the creation of skyglow, an Operator shall schedule any nightime gas flarings to take place during the two weeks each month outside of the New Moon period. Sending gas to a flare outside of that period is acceptable only for safety reasons. Operators must document the extent of additional flaring and reasons requiring flaring outside of that period.

..............................

I haven't heard of anyone that subitted comments receiving a reply from CSSD yet. Hope to see you at CS soon.


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darber99
member


Reged: 03/26/13

Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Gary Honis]
      #5767059 - 03/30/13 03:29 PM

Thanks Gary,
I really hope that the CSSD pays attention to what we are saying and adopts the new performance standard that you drafted. I haven't heard anything back from the CSSD myself concerning the email I sent but you never know...

Brad Lukach


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Dan G
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/27/06

Loc: Minisink, NY, USA
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: darber99]
      #5776557 - 04/03/13 09:41 PM

I added my 2 cents. Thanks for the link Gary.

Dan in NY


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richard7Moderator
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Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Dan G]
      #5835276 - 05/01/13 09:35 PM

More bad news for LP in the Dakotas and Montana.

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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: richard7]
      #5920586 - 06/14/13 01:15 PM

The following is what I gleaned (assuming my memory is working) from listening to Chip (Cherry Springs State Park Manager) at last week’s Cherry Springs Star Party:

Note: Thanks to Chip’s efforts on getting Cherry Springs designated a ‘gold standard’ dark sky park by the IDA, he has been asked by the IDA to take part in a review of the rules for all such IDA designations. The IDA is about to change “the rules”, to include a continuing monitoring of a designated park’s sky conditions, with the possibility of losing or changing the designation if conditions change. The IDA is also researching possible anti-LP reguations for the gas industry in PA (there are currently none). Chip said that he likes the reguations currently in place in Texas, at least as a starting point for PA.

According to Chip:

The shale bed in Potter Co is very thin, and this has inspired the gas companies to reduce drilling activity and even to abandon some existing gas wells (not so to the east in Tioga Co). The low price of gas right now has resulted in a significant reduction in frack’ing activity. The main frack’ing impact so far has been from new gas well flaring (burn-off of the first gas produced). The gas companies have been very willing to not flare on dark weekends, and have even called the park to ask “Can we flare now? What is the best time so that we won’t cause you problems?” As pipelines are installed, there will be less and less need to flare a new well, or a re-fract’ed one.

On the other hand, equipment storage sites, pump sites, etc, are having ‘security lights’ installed, and the frack’ing fluid trucks are greatly increasing night-time traffic.

With IDA help, the park is looking into installing a permanent sky brightness monitoring system, with data available on-line. The same is being considered for all IDA dark sky designated parks/areas.

Bottom line: Cherry Springs may be permanently impacted by increased light from the conversion of rural PA into an “industrial zone”, and the park may lose it’s IDA “gold standard” rating if anti-LP regulation of the gas industry is ineffective.


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John Vogt
super member
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Reged: 10/26/05

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5925797 - 06/17/13 03:39 PM

Hi George,

Thanks for the update. Was there any mention of working with the gas companies to install night sky friendly fixtures with motion control at the various sites to minimize their LP impact? Enacting LP regs. would certainly help but the time frame to get them enacted in the current climate would take quite some time. I think the horse will have left the barn at that point, assuming it hasn't already.

John


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: John Vogt]
      #5925981 - 06/17/13 05:20 PM

Neilson,

Where outside of Pleasanton are you?

I have mixed emotions on this topic.
1) I LOVE dark skies, using my scopes, seeing stars, and most recently imaging.

2) I work for MI Swaco/Schlumberger in the Production Testing Services area. My main area is the Eagle Ford. My job allows me to have the funds to support my family and curve my telescope addiction.

I need the work, but want for dark skies.

Yes, any type of oilfield always has its downsides, but there are some (depending who you are) upsides as well. Small towns down here like Catarina, Carrizo Springs, and Cotulla were barren wastelands 6 years ago, but now thrive due to oilfield traffic. New businesses, better roads, and local economy are thru the roof. Plus it doesnt hurt if you happen to have mineral rights.

I know the upsides and down, and I dont want anyone here to think im an oilfield lobbyist. I am gone away from my family for days, weeks, and occasionally, months on end.
I hate my job, but it pays the bills.

I brought my 8SE with me on this job (I posted a pic in the "Viewing area" thread yesterday) and last night turned off the light plants on location just to show my night guy what he was missing.

I agree with all of you, the light pollution COULD be cut down tremendously, but with oilfield companies bringing in billions in revenue, being charged for light plant and diesel rentals is insignificant compared to profits.

I hope it changes I really do, but as far as the near future, in south Tx anyways, it will only get worse before it gets better. At least for the life of the Shale play.

Clear skies to you all.


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: John Vogt]
      #5925992 - 06/17/13 05:26 PM

Quote:

Hi George,

Thanks for the update. Was there any mention of working with the gas companies to install night sky friendly fixtures with motion control at the various sites to minimize their LP impact? Enacting LP regs. would certainly help but the time frame to get them enacted in the current climate would take quite some time. I think the horse will have left the barn at that point, assuming it hasn't already.

John




John,

The only thing I can remember Chip saying is that "the gas industry" is not adverse to anti-LP regulation, shielded lighting, etc. Apparently they are willing to do a lot to improve their public image. Chip emphasized the point that the long-term LP threat to the area is from the logistics sites that will remain long after the drilling. There is already a new equipment staging area to the northeast of the park with piping, drill rigs, parked trucks, etc. I did not see it at night, but I think I remember light poles.

Considering the anti-LP efforts that the village of Galeton has already done (changed to all shielded street lights), I would bet that the gas industry might be willing to do a lot if they can be sure that they will not have to re-install new lights at a later time to meet new laws.


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5926012 - 06/17/13 05:40 PM

Quote:

Here in Colorado, you can heat your house, run your car, and your lawnmower...all from the convenience of your Kitchen faucet!!




Where are you getting this from???

I regularly watch the local news in Denver and read 2 daily newspapers and I've never seen anything about the faucet incidents you keep referring to.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5926220 - 06/17/13 07:42 PM

Hi Matt,
I live on Corgey rd. Near interstate 37. East of Pleasanton. There was nothing but ranch land and 2 cemeteries on our road until 2012. Now there's about a dozen or more brand new businesses all in brand new buildings, all built since January 2012. All of it was a ranch with trees and cattle. A smooth talking developer guy bought small parcels then finally the entire ranch all the way up to our 10 acres. The owner of the ranch didn't need the money and didn't want to sell any of it but the developer guy just wouldn't stop bothering him until he got every acre of it. He is building quickly coming up the road. These are all oil field support businesses.

On the other side of town is a large industrial park that was abandoned many years ago. Some of the buildings and lots have been bought by oil field businesses but there are more open spaces for sale there than could fill this entire road. There are even truck stops and access to the interstate over there. Our road just goes over the interstate with no access at all. The bad part is they didn't need to install all those high powered lighting up on high poles that light up the sky all night long. They are closed at night. You'd think they were new car dealers.

I have seen how the oil field has overtaken those areas you talk about like cotulla. There are some huge ranches all around there owned by rich people in Houston and Dallas that use them for hunting. Now they are getting even richer from the oil wells. Until a few years ago all that area use to be extremely dark all around as far as you could see. Not anymore.



neilson


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David2011
newbie


Reged: 06/17/13

Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #5926737 - 06/18/13 01:19 AM

Quote:

And herein Wisconsin, home of numerous frac sand mines that run 24-7, the light domes mark each facility.




Quote:

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!




New to the forum and don't want to ruffle feathers but I've been an amateur astronomer for a long time and have some exposure to the oilfield. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about fracking. The sand mines run 24x7 and are lighted so the operators can dig up the sand. Fracking a well takes from a day to a week depending on how many zones are to be fracked. The locations are lit while the crews are working. When finished there are normally no lights or flares left. Natural gas has gotten into water wells for as long as there have been water wells. Fracking occurs thousands of feet below the surface. Most water wells are 25 to 250 feet deep. The casing (pipe) of a well is cemented into the ground under
high pressure to seal the casing to the ground and isolate the production zones from one another, groundwater and the surface. I won't say that a natural gas well has NEVER contaminated groundwater but don't believe that every story I see on TV is related to drilling. Decomposing vegetation or coal is a more likely source of methane at water well depths.

David


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: David2011]
      #5927330 - 06/18/13 11:35 AM

Welcome to CN David! Thanks for your input concerning fracking, good to know these things.

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George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: David2011]
      #5927567 - 06/18/13 01:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

And herein Wisconsin, home of numerous frac sand mines that run 24-7, the light domes mark each facility.




Quote:

Why do they feel they have to light up every facility? Lighting does not equal security!




New to the forum and don't want to ruffle feathers but I've been an amateur astronomer for a long time and have some exposure to the oilfield. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about fracking. .....

David




David,

This is (in my opinion) not the place to discuss the pros and cons of gas frack'ing, except as it impacts Light Pollution in PA.

There has been a *major* impact to LP in PA, especially in the Cherry Springs dark sky park area, and others.

They are in the process of drilling many thousands of wells in what was empty forest, and will continue for many years. The lights on the well pads, and from all of the new truck traffic is part of the LP problem right now, plus the flaring. They do *a lot* of flaring right now in PA because there is no pipeline system in place, and thus no place to send the gas when it's first produced, and has to come out of the well. The industry itself acknowledges that in PA wells will have to be re-frack'ed every 5 years or less, so there will be no reduction in drilling/frack'ing light any time soon. However, as the gas lines go in, the need to flare will go down, or even disappear.

However, the bigger issue is the light coming from unregulated "industrial areas", like pumping stations, equipment storage facilities, truck parks, other support facilities, and other related development. Long convoys of water and drilling related heavy trucks and equipment now sometimes stream past Cherry Springs late at night for 30 or more minutes at a time. Without some sort of anti-LP regulation there is no doubt that the pristine dark sky that won Cherry Springs a "gold standard" designation from the IDA will be gone forever.

Other areas, like the nearby Mt. Pisgah State Park (formerly a green/gray zone border area), are already strongly impacted, with measurable loss of dark sky.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5928307 - 06/18/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:


New to the forum and don't want to ruffle feathers but I've been an amateur astronomer for a long time and have some exposure to the oilfield. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about fracking. .....

David




David,

This is (in my opinion) not the place to discuss the pros and cons of gas frack'ing, except as it impacts Light Pollution in PA.





Indeed, George... indeed.

Any progress yet at the state level against these overlit towers?


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5928949 - 06/19/13 10:33 AM

Quote:



Any progress yet at the state level against these overlit towers?




From what I remember of Chip's talk at CSSP:

PA does not currently have any anti-LP laws that apply to the gas drilling industry. He also believes that long-term lighting of the various "industrial infrastructure" sites that will remain is the long-term LP "problem" for Cherry Springs and Northeast PA. He is a member of an IDA group working on suggested law covering the gas and oil industry, and he noted that Texas already has such laws and he is currently thinking they would work in PA.

As I mentioned before, new well gas burn-off (flaring) will become less of a problem as the collection pipeline system is installed. Only the first burst will be burned once they have enough pipes to collect the gas. I'm not sure what happens when an existing well is re-fract'ed to get it going again - something that has to happen about every 5 years.

In the past, they have noted at Cherry Springs discussion of the issue: Lighting on the drilling towers is dictated by existing Federal safety law, and is very unlikely to be impacted by any anti-LP law. Apparently, there is at least one person up on the tower at all times while drilling and the lighting has to be the same level as in a factory.


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galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
*****

Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5930426 - 06/20/13 12:34 AM

Hi George

Pennsylvania will probably not have any statewide LP laws anytime soon, for they do things like that on the local level.

Now my question is about the lighting fixtures at these gas facilities. Are they shielded or not?

I have not been up at Cherry Springs for a while now, so I have not seen any of this.

Something like this should get the full attention of the IDA. I know representatives of the POLC have been up there in years past.


Karl
E.O.H.


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: galaxyman]
      #5931191 - 06/20/13 12:19 PM

Quote:

Hi George

Pennsylvania will probably not have any statewide LP laws anytime soon, for they do things like that on the local level.

Now my question is about the lighting fixtures at these gas facilities. Are they shielded or not?

I have not been up at Cherry Springs for a while now, so I have not seen any of this.

Something like this should get the full attention of the IDA. I know representatives of the POLC have been up there in years past.


Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565?feature=mhee
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos




Karl, et al:

I took only a brief look at the new equipment storage yard east of Galeton. I believe that there are just plain ol' cobra-head street lights..... i.e., the worst kind. There were also a lot of trucks, so I expect some head light increases.

Chip said that he is on a new IDA committee drafting rules changes for their dark sky parks. They will now monitor LP, and a park (like CSSP) *can* now be down-graded if LP gets worse. Bottom line: CSSP could lose its 'gold standard' rating!!!

Chip is also on the IDA committee that is coming up with draft anti-LP laws for the gas/oil industry. He said that the industry in PA is agreeable, and looking to take actions that increases their popularity with the locals. Perhaps the IDA, PA state parks, other groups, could convince the PA gas companies to voluntarily implement the IDA recommendations? From what Chip said, it sounds like they would be agreeable. Again, he said that the anti-LP laws applicable to the gas/oil industry in Texas look to be a good model for PA, but will be reviewed.


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA new [Re: George N]
      #5954878 - 07/04/13 02:52 PM

The Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is seeking permission from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to frack and industrialize an unspoiled area of the Loyalsock State Forest known as the Clarence Moore Lands.

http://www.bayjournal.com/article/conservationists_fight_to_save_one_of_pas_g...

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20026829...

Dave Mitsky


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