Seminar providing basic information on Marcellus Shale

The Elk County Gas Task Force is hosting the first in a series of educational seminars on Wednesday evening at St. Marys Area Middle School from 6 to 8 p.m.Elk County Commissioner and Task Force Chairperson June Sorg, along with Jodi Foster, Elk County Planning Department's community and economic development coordinator, have worked together on planning the seminar.Although pre-registration is encouraged by today, attendees are encouraged to stop out to the event taking place in the school's LGI classroom, which has a seating capacity of 186. To make reservations, call 776-5335 or log on to"This is the first in a series of seminars to give people the opportunity to learn about the industry so it's not so scary for them," Foster said.The trio of speakers are Mike Donovan of Seneca Resources, who will present Marcellus Shale 101 on well-drilling basics; Jim Clark of Penn State Cooperative Extension, who will provide information on water testing, chain of custody and what residents should know; and attorney Tom Wagner, who will speak on leasing, split estates, and what to do if you're contacted by drillers. "Jim has a vast knowledge of the entire process; however, he will be specifically focusing on water for the seminar," Sorg said.Each presenter will speak for 30 minutes. A 15-minute question-and-answer period is being held at the conclusion of the event. Participants interested in asking a question will be directed to do so by handing in a card with their question, as a way to avoid having duplicate questions. Evaluation forms will be handed out for participants to complete to see what specific topics are of interest to them and issues they wish to see addressed.