For several years we have been talking about all the natural gas being drilled in Susquehanna County, but up until now no one who lived in the county was able to use the local gas.
That's all changing. On Thursday the state gave a company approval to provide natural gas to homes and businesses in Susquehanna County. Up until now it was all was piped elsewhere.
We stopped by the first business to tap into that gas.
This new asphalt producing plant north of Lawton considers itself the first business in Susquehanna County to tap into the Marcellus Shale natural gas that's been flowing from this county for years.
That gas is helping cook up the asphalt and run the plant.
“It is a big deal. When we first started the plans for this plant we always wanted to tap into the local natural gas to operate our plant and we're excited about that," said Patrick Bartorillo of Pennsy Supply.
That plant is a first because up until now there was no company and no infrastructure providing natural gas to businesses and homes in the county.
The state just gave Leatherstocking Gas Company permission to provide gas to other businesses like this, homes too.
Natural gas is half the cost of oil products.
“For us it's a cleaner burning fuel. It's more economical, and it’s resourced right here. We're able to tap into a local line. We don't have to have trucks delivering different types of fuel to the plant so it makes sense all around,” said Bartorillo.
The asphalt plant taps into the natural gas line, and that line comes from several wells right in the area.
“Right here, the line goes right down by the asphalt plant. They're using it right there. That's where it should be,” said Gerald Guiton, a neighbor.
Guiton lives right across from a well supplying the plant.
He's happy hearing Susquehanna County gas can now go to Susquehanna County people.
“This is right here! We have electric heat in our house so we won't use it, but there are a lot of people who will,” said Guiton.
Pennsy Supply may be the first to tap in, but expects followers.
“We think that by us doing this we think that other companies will do that and take the lead Pennsy Supply has done, and also consider locating in this area,” said Bartorillo.
After getting permission from the state on Thursday, Leatherstocking Gas Company said it plans to begin constructing natural gas lines to businesses and homes in the Montrose, Great Bend, New Milford and Susquehanna Depot areas in 2013.