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A small town’s big summer

Five years ago, landowners who joined in signing the Friendsville Group Lease negotiated what they consider very favorable terms from Talisman Energy: $5,500/acre up front, and 20% royalties once the well goes into production. Five years later, and the quiet borough of Little Meadows, tucked in the northwest corner of Susquehanna County, is seeing some action. High atop facing ridges, rigs have been drilling the York and Capriot wells. Hundreds of water trucks are filling holding ponds with millions of gallons of water to frack the wells, and thick stands of forest and open field are being opened up for pipeline that will carry away the gas.

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Now land owners, most of whom are eager for the action to begin even though the state Department of Environmental Protection has determined that at least 209 water wells have been impacted from drilling, are waiting to see what kind of royalties will come rolling in.

I walked into this small town’s big moment yesterday, as the wells are both about a mile south of the New York-Pennsylvania line. Before I arrived, one local told me by phone about this summer, the true significance of which may not be felt for years: “You clearly are hitting this area at the right time.”

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