2011-07-28 / Local & State

Pa. Agency Could Make Millions From Water Contract

By Kevin Begos

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission could make over $2 million per year selling water from a public lake to gas drilling companies – or it could wind up with far less if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

The commission in April signed a contract with Williams Production Appalachia, LLC to allow pipeline withdrawals from Donegal Lake, a popular fishing spot in Westmoreland County.

An Associated Press analysis of the contract shows the commission could earn up to $2.5 million per year. But the proceeds could vary widely depending on factors including the lake’s water level, since withdrawals won’t be allowed during drought conditions.

Thousands of wells have been drilled across the state in recent years as natural gas drillers tap the lucrative Marcellus Shale formation.

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