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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Ind. Decisions - More on "Ruling gives I-69 crews immediate access to Monroe County property to survey land for construction: Judge says tree-cutting ban presses INDOT to fell trees before April 1"

Supplementing this ILB entry from April 1st, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today has a story by Erich Schmwartzel that reports:

The Indiana bat weighs less than an ounce and is so small it is able to nest in the spaces between a tree trunk and its rotting bark.

It can also do what class-action lawsuits and full-throated protesters haven't been able to: stop Marcellus Shale drilling.

Energy firms are quizzed daily on their industry's impact on air and water used by humans, but the companies' rapid development must also take into account less sentient creatures.

Does that Greene County property sit atop bountiful shale gas reserves? Better make sure the endangered shortnose sturgeon doesn't swim in a nearby stream. Think that pasture would make a great place to lay pipeline? Check for the beleaguered snow trillium first.

Tracking Pennsylvania farmland for sensitive communities is part of the state permitting process for a Marcellus well, and it has fueled a cottage industry of ecological consultants trolling the hills for threatened wildlife and foliage to help companies avoid costly fines. The inspection process, which sometimes takes longer than actual drilling, has inspired some unlikely partnerships between gas firms drilling underground and the advocates interested in the life that's above it.

Later in the long Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, and paralleling the earlier Bloomington H-T story (which was headed "Indiana bat dictates I-69 work schedule"):
Forget worries about lease expirations. Chesapeake Energy hustled to complete a tree clearing in Beaver County last month before an eight-month moratorium went into effect allowing the Indiana bats to hibernate in peace. The Oklahoma City driller filed an injunction in district court forcing the tree-clearing to make the hibernation deadline or risk having to renegotiate the area's leases.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 8, 2012 12:48 PM
Posted to Environment | Indiana Decisions