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Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail

The Montour Trail Council has successfully negotiated for a three-mile rail-with-trail near Pittsburgh to be built by MarkWest Energy Partners of Denver, Colo. MarkWest is transporting natural gas by rail and needs an additional three-mile section to connect the processing facility with an active mainline.

A common concern expressed to RTC's Northeast Regional Office about the increase in gas drilling is the additional heavy truck traffic, making the roads less safe for bicyclists. Montour Trail Council’s negotiation with MarkWest may be unique, but it provides further proof that rails-with-trails are an ideal partnership that present an opportunity for communities faced with increased traffic and unsafe conditions.

The Montour Trail Council also just announced a successful negotiation with another energy company, Range Resources, for a gas lease on more than 180 acres of land owned by the trail council. The council will create an endowment fund with the initial $511,000 payment on the lease. You can learn more about this arrangement in the latest edition of the Montour Trail-Letter.

The Montour Trail Council stated they are aware of the many environmental and community concerns associated with drilling for natural gas, but they feel they have been diligent in protecting the interest of the trail.


Posted Mon, Dec 13 2010 9:12 AM by Patricia Tomes (RTC)

Comments

Nick wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Wed, Jan 19 2011 11:47 AM

WHAT!!! DO NOT DRILL ON MY BIKE TRAIL! haven't you been paying attention? fracking is NOT safe and it poisons our water supply and our air. Look up the news reports of people's hair falling out, their animals dying, water catching fire, nose bleeds and cancer from breathing in the AIR! I don't care how much money these devils are offering, you can't drink money. We need to send a message that our bike trails are off limits to this new evil. I'm not biking through the poisoned air montour trail!

P.Grozanick wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Wed, Jan 19 2011 7:53 PM

I hope your "money grab" works out for you - I for one will not be riding the trail in your area and seriously wonder about how you define conservancy.

Stephen Miller (RTC) wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Tue, Feb 8 2011 5:44 PM

Thank you for your comments, P.Grozanick and Nick. There are two separate issues you raise that are reported in our blog post.

First, there is the Montour Trail Council’s agreement with MarkWest Energy Partners for the construction of a new rail-with-trail to connect a natural gas processing facility to the mainline. It’s common for rail-with-trail corridors to transport materials such as natural gas and coal, and according to the Montour Trail Council (www.post-gazette.com/.../1114621-140.stm), this new rail connection will reduce truck traffic on nearby roads.

Second is the Montour Trail Council’s decision to lease gas rights underneath the trail corridor. According to the Montour Trail Council’s newsletter (http://www.montourtrail.org/news/2010Newsletters/novdec2010.pdf">www.montourtrail.org/.../novdec2010.pdf - also linked to from the original blog post), they decided to pursue negotiations with Range Resources “…if [MTC] could be guaranteed that there would be zero negative impact on the trail.” Leasing corridor rights is a decision made by the trail manager, at the local level. To voice your concerns about natural gas drilling within public lands (including trails), be sure contact the managing local or state agency or group.

For more information about the agreements mentioned in this post, contact the Montour Trail Council at http://www.montourtrail.org/.

Edward Maffei wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Wed, Feb 9 2011 3:18 PM

Another stream gets poisoned. What is in the fracking fluid?

none wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Sun, Mar 27 2011 1:06 AM

this is why we should never donate money to keep these trails alive.they eventually get greedier anyways and sell their soul.stop using natural gas people

a wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Sun, Mar 27 2011 12:06 PM

this why you don't donate to these organizations.they just get greedier and sell their souls.people need to get rid of their gas appliances now.

removemtc wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Wed, Jul 13 2011 12:32 AM

the mtc is just horrible.they already had to take out the only water fountain available because it is down from the fracking area. And the widening and chopping trees is from the future need for trucks to come through eventually the demise of our trail.

Richard Poor wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Sun, May 20 2012 10:09 PM

The trucks on PA 50 between Hickory and Bridgeville and other drivers will encounter 32 minutes per day or more of trains blocking the road.  If a propane or butane tank leaks like in Greentree recently, the fumes could be bad.  If a propane train derails or explodes, that could be worse. If anything spills from drilling into a legally within 50 feet of an intermittent stream, it will be washed into our watershed the next rain.  But since the DEP speaks for frac, and the legislator hardly taxes frac, the trail wells bring money for bridges and such. Cross Creek Park has frac wells that temporarily spilled briny, industrial detergent laden, radioactive water.  Forget the environment.  The Montour Trail is a road for bicycles.

Robin Anthony wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Thu, Jun 21 2012 10:25 AM

I agree that the Montour Trail is a road for bicycles.  Nothing more.  

This week, the beautiful wildflowers that grace the trail in full bloom are being mowed over by large tractors along the section of trail that I walk, effectively eliminating the entire fringe of meadow habitat, including the birds and butterflies which used to frequent that habitat.  

Bad enough, but the riparian buffer by the stream has also been mowed over, which will send all that silt and runoff into the stream, polluting it for the catfish, minnows and heron that call it home, as well.

Even in the hydrocarbon rich lands of Texas, they encourage the growth of wildflowers by the highways.  But here in PA, anything that moves or flowers is mowed over, paved over. excavated or land-filled.  Including our trails.

Steven Roberts wrote re: Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail
on Fri, Jul 27 2012 5:54 PM

If it wasn't for a railroad, you wouldn't have a rails to trail! And if it wasn't for the region's coal, there wouldn't have been a railroad. But now that you have a trail - industry is bad! You do have the option of donating a $1 million dollars from whatever “green” business you work for and give the gas drilling money back.

 

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