Tuesday July 31, 2018


Monday’s high, 75; Overnight low 61; .83” rain

DCNR releases second shale gas monitoring report…..State Senator wants to improve law dealing with kids left in hot cars…..Shinglehouse man seriously hurt in early Sunday morning crash….State police will be participating in aggressive driving enforcement crackdown starting Wednesday…

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Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has announced the release of the department’s second Shale Gas Monitoring Report that outlines its efforts to track, detect, and report on the impacts of gas development on Pennsylvania’s state forest lands.

Some insights from the report:
• Gas development on state forest lands has slowed considerably since the first monitoring report in 2014, due largely to market forces and a moratorium on new leasing which has been informally in place since 2010 and was formalized by Executive Order in 2015. Many leased tracts are only built out by about 30 to 35 percent.
• While shale gas infrastructure can result in improved access to forest interior, it can also conflict with the expectations of visitors who seek more primitive, undeveloped experiences undisrupted by industrial development.
• Invasive plants are of increasing concern as their presence and quantities are on the rise. Disturbed sites are ideal for the establishment of invasive plants that often emerge early in the spring and outcompete native plants through their rapid reproduction. Monitoring for invasive species and prioritizing the control of these plants based on the species and population size will continue, and strong governing lease provisions require operators to survey and treat invasive species.
• Water quality monitoring efforts by the bureau and its partners have not raised significant concerns on state forest headwater streams to date, however these results are still relatively short-term.
• Through planning and careful siting, forest fragmentation has been minimized. Those efforts need to continue as development proceeds on existing leases or where mineral rights are not owned by the commonwealth.
The department’s shale gas monitoring program began in 2011 and continues with a 15-member monitoring team. DCNR monitors repeated measurements over time to determine trends or patterns. The report notes that while certain trends can begin to be identified after eight years, natural resource monitoring is a long-term endeavor, and it may take longer to discern other trends in resource change and conditions, particularly if development under existing leases intensifies.
Of the state’s 2.2-million-acre system, there are approximately 600,500 acres of state forest land available for gas development, either through historic DCNR-issued leases, or on areas where the commonwealth does not own the subsurface rights.
The 202-page monitoring report is available on the DCNR website at www.dcnr.pa.gov.
Last Friday on CBS This Morning, the program featured a segment on children being trapped in hot cars. The report mentioned the statistics for this year, 2018, and how 27 kids have died trapped in hot cars.
According to KidsandCars.com, the 27 deaths this year are right on course with the yearly national average of 37. These statistics are devastating. They are not numbers. We must remember these are defenseless babies and children.
Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) says we need a proactive approach to this problem and enact legislation that better protects children from the dangers of being trapped inside a hot car.
As a result she has introduced House Bill 1152, which would provide civil immunity for any damage that may be done o a vehicle when forceful entry is necessary to rescue a child.
In some instances, parents and/or caregivers claimed to have unknowingly left a sleeping baby or toddler in a car. Boback’sy bill encourages passersby to take a second look, contact law enforcement, and step in to help when every second counts.
The Centers for Disease Control says the temperature inside a parked car can rise by 20 degrees after ten minutes in the sun, even with a cracked window.
The immunity in the bill would only apply when the person acts reasonably under the circumstances. Good Samaritans must have a good-faith belief that the child is in imminent danger; they must have determined the vehicle is locked and there is no reasonable method for the child to be removed prior to forcibly entering the vehicle; and the person must have attempted to contact law enforcement.

The bill was passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary Committee last July. The lawmaker is encouraging r leaders in the General Assembly to consider moving this bill quickly and ensure that this bill, which has the potential to save lives, sees a vote soon.
A Shinglehouse man was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash early Sunday morning in Ceres Township, McKean County. Kane based state police report Shawn McAnallen was going north on the Kings Run Road just after 3:00 am when his Chevrolet Suburban crossed the road, hit a shoulder and came to rest in a ditch. McAnallen was taken Shinglehouse Ambulance to Olean General Hospital and the investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing.
Coudersport based state police are advising motorists that starting tomorrow, Wednesday August 1, they will be participating in a statewide enforcement effort against aggressive driving which continues to be a factor in many injury and fatal crashes in Pennsylvania.
Targeted violations include:
Carless/reckless driving
Following too closely
Improper passing
Improper Turning
Failing to obey traffic control signals/signs
Failing to stay within own lane
Occupant protection violations
Driving with suspended license
Driving under the influence
Distracted driving, such as texting