How do Damascus and Delaware compare, methane-wise?

Results of Delaware methane testing to be announced at public meeting Aug. 24


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  • Comparing ambient methane concentrations in Damascus and Dimock Townships. At the same methane measurement scale, the Dimock peak maximum is 15.4 ppm compared to 3.5 ppm in Damascus. (Picture credit: Gas Safety, Inc.)



— The Damascus Citizens for Sustainability will report and review the results of its baseline methane testing in the Sullivan County, N.Y., town of Delaware from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24, at the Delaware Youth Center on Creamery Road in Callicoon, N.Y.

The Damascus Citizens say it's the first test of it's kind in New York State.

In comparing ambient methane concentrations in the Pennsylvania townships of Damascus and Dimock, which is famous for its proliferation of natural gas fracking wells. It's the locale featured in Josh Fox's "Gasland" documentary.

Dimock's peak maximum is 15.4 ppm compared to 3.5 ppm in Damascus. The Citizens invite the public to the meeting to find out: What will Town of Delaware look like?

The study was performed by Gas Safety, which specalizes in methane and gas leak detection, and Bryce R. Payne Jr., PhD, a researcher at Wilkes University.

Ambient methane levels on all public roads throughout the Town of Delaware were measured, and translated into an easy-to-read map with graph lines showing areas of greater or lesser natural methane concentrations. The study provides a basis for comparison should natural gas drilling or the building of natural gas infrastructure such as pipelines take place in the town in the future.

Called “insurance policies” by some media, such studies enhance landowner and community safety by providing a sound basis for determining when and if increases in methane levels and related drilling-related emissions are occurring, as well as providing the basis for property owners to protect themselves, via data admissible in court, against any adverse impacts from the effects of gas extraction activities, and obtain redress if appropriate.

The meeting will be led by expert Robert Ackley, president of Gas Safety. The findings for the Town of Delaware will be presented and interpreted, and compared with locations in which natural gas drilling has actually taken place.

Printed copies of the map and report will be available for those interested. The event is free, but the Damascus Citizens are accepting donations to go toward additional baseline work.

For more information visit damascuscitizens.org or call 845/252-6677.

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