Geologists Council to hold session on gas drilling

Tuesday’s program will include presentation on Marcellus Shale and questions from audience.

By Rory
Staff Writer

The Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists will hold a seminar Tuesday on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, and it’s prepared to take on even the most technical of questions, from the science of the drilling itself to the legal issues surrounding it.

“We’re going to try to answer those questions,” said Rhonda Hakundy-Jones, the council’s executive director. “We’ve certainly heard those questions before. Some of them don’t have definitive answers; they have, shall we say, a range of answers.”

The deadline to register for the Tuesday event, set at the Quality Inn on Kidder Street across from the Wyoming Valley Mall, has been extended to today and applicants can contact the council to make arrangements if they won’t be able to get the entry fee in on time, Hakundy-Jones said.

The council has a subcommittee that’s been tracking shale-gas issues, she said, and “this was just the next logical step … to provide some of that educational material that we have collected, and our geologic knowledge, and present it to the public. … We are trying to make it a rather broad overview, and it’s geared more to professionals … people with some understanding of regulations in general and science in general.”

The panelists, who include two geologists, an attorney, a laboratory technician and representative of an environmental management company, plan to tackle the issues from an in-depth, technical perspective, Hakundy-Jones said, to explain “what those things are, how they work,” particularly hydraulic fracturing.

Additionally, after a 45-minute presentation and more than an hour for questioning, the event will host an hour-long session for informal discussion during which food will be available.

Hakundy-Jones expects, however, there will be interaction with the audience during the formal sessions as well. “We find that’s a great way to get additional information,” she said.

So far, about 20 people have registered, and she expects that may double.

“There should be plenty of opportunity for people to ask their questions,” she said. “Of course, how often, for example, can you get an attorney’s advice for $50?”

If you go

What: “A Rock ’n Rules Review” of issues concerning gas-drilling in the Marcellus Shale

When: 2:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: The Quality Inn on Kidder Street, Wilkes-Barre

Cost: $50

Who: Experts in the various fields involved in drilling will speak on technical topics, then take questions.

For information: Go to: for a registration form or call 717-730-9745.

Rory Sweeney, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 970-7418.

Copyright: Times Leader