A Special Edition of Newsmakers will air this Sunday, March 9th on WBRE and WYOU.
Hosts Senior Producer Jayne Ann Bugda and PA Live Host Dave Kuharchik will take a closer look at the Natural Gas Drilling Industry in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.Bugda and Kuharchik will be joined by John Augustine, III, the Community Outreach Manager for the Marcellus Shale Coalition; Mark Volk, President of Lackawanna College and Brian Oram, a Geologist and principle with B and F Environmental Consultants. The panel will discuss questions and concerns surrounding natural gas drilling including health, safety, jobs and the benefits of natural gas. This special edition of Newsmakers will air Sunday, March 9th at 6:30 am on WYOU and 11:30 am on WBRE.
Learn more Websites of Interest
Marcellus Shale Coalition Website
Lackawanna College Website
B.F. Environmental Consultants
Keystone Clean Water Team (CCGG) - individuals can get the educational booklet, plus links to many free resources.
Citizen Database - Sumbit Your Baseline Data and Get a Free Evaluation
Methane Gas Migration and Mitigation Page
Video on Salt Springs State Park
Friends of Salt Springs- http://www.friendsofsaltspringspark.org/html/welcome.html
Connection for Oil, Gas & Environment in the Northern Tier, C.O.G.E.N.T. is a resource for those seeking reliable, objective information regarding all aspects relative to the development of unconventional shale resources. C.O.G.E.N.T. is a resource for landowners and communities alike striving to find and advocate for a balance that supports public health and safety, community and the environment balanced with the needs of industry.
Meet our Guests:
John L Augustine III – Community Outreach Manager, Marcellus Shale Coalition
John has extensive experience, particularly with economic/workforce development and supply chain related issues and is responsible for engaging key stakeholders in the Northeastern part of the state. John works with business, industry, education, government and the community to represent the coalition and strengthen the industry’s voice and regional presence.
Previously, John served as the senior economic development official at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, where he oversaw the marketing, job creation and retention for five industrial and office parks, and managed and operated the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre – an economic and technology incubator, aimed at bolstering the region’s small business community. A lifelong resident of NEPA and a graduate of King’s College, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communications, John serves on several regional boards.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) is an organization committed to the responsible development of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale geological formations, and the enhancement of the nation’s economy that can be realized by this clean-burning energy source. The member companies of the coalition work with partners across the region to address issues with regulators, local, county, state and federal government officials and communities about all aspects of producing clean-burning, job-creating natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
Mark Volk became the 8th President of Lackawanna College on July 1, 2012. Prior to being selected for the Lackawanna Presidency, he was appointed to the position of Vice President for Planning and Operations in 2004 and then was promoted to Executive Vice President of the College in 2007 where he oversaw the daily operations. During his tenure, he supervised all College planning and the implementation of its $2.5 million Title III infrastructure grant. He also assisted the President in the structural reorganization of the College.
Active in the local community, he is the Vice Chair/Chair Elect of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce having been appointed to the Chamber’s Executive Committee after serving as a Board member for six years. He also serves as a member of the Board of Leadership Lackawanna and is also a Past Chair of the Leadership Lackawanna program. In 2011, Mr. Volk was recognized as Leadership Lackawanna’s Outstanding Alumni Leader of the Year and was recognized as a Child Advocate in 2008 for his work with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast PA. In 2009, he was appointed as a Commissioner on the PA State Ethics Commission where he served until April of 2013.
Mr. Volk earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Scranton in 1977, a Master’s of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College in 1999, and holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Scranton. A doctoral candidate at Marywood University, he is in the dissertation phase of its program in Human Development with a specialization in Higher Education Administration.
A retired Army Colonel, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery in 1977. During his 26 year active Army career, he served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and overseas. He also trained as a Middle East/North Africa Foreign Area Officer (FAO) regional specialist studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute. Mr. Volk is also a graduate of the Department of State Foreign Service Institute, Tunisia where he continued his Arabic studies and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
His notable assignments include service as the Senior Intelligence Officer for the 3rd Infantry Division and then as Commander, 101st Military Intelligence Battalion. He deployed the 101st MI to Bosnia in September 1996 where it was the intelligence support force for Task Force Eagle in Multi-National District – North. During the last 5 years of his Army career, he was assigned to the Army Staff, Pentagon, and managed two Army specialties, the FAO Program as well as the Army Strategic Plans and Policy specialist program. Additionally, he was responsible for the integration of Joint Professional Military Education Learning Objectives across the Army’s schools. Present in the Pentagon on 9/11/2001, Mr. Volk was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest non-combat award for heroism for his lifesaving efforts after the 9/11 attack.
Mark and his wife, the former Lynn Favini of Scranton, reside in Benton Township, PA. They have one son, Mark Jr., who resides in Lorton, VA and are the proud grandparents of his son, Alexander.
Brian Oram is the principle of B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. The Company is a family based business that was founded in 1985 and incorporated in 2006 with offices in Dallas and Pittston, Pennsylvania. Mr. Oram is a licensed professional geologist and soil scientist that provides professional consulting services throughout the United States. B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. is a member of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Builders Association, Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists, and a member of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association. The primary expertise of the firm is water and wastewater management, industrial water treatment and reuse, mineral recovery and product development, environmental resource management, and professional / public training and education programs. B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. offers or facilitates over 9000 different online training programs and webinars for individuals and licensed professionals and conducts hands-on training programs in water quality, water testing, and applied soil science. Mr. Oram has partnered with Wilkes University, nationally certified laboratories, professional associations, and landowners groups to develop training program related to natural gas development and certified baseline water quality assessments. Locally, Mr. Oram provides education outreach programs to private water system owners though the Water Research Center and the Keystone Clean Water Team.
Mr. Oram was born and raised in the Wyoming Valley and moved to the Wilkes-Barre Area three months before Hurricane Agnes. Mr. Oram is an Eagle Scout, Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow, and he completed the Boys Scouts of America Wood Badge Training Program. Mr. Oram earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wilkes College in 1985 and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Pollution Control from The Pennsylvania State University in 1987. In 1984 and 1985, Mr. Oram received the Sigma Xi Research Award for independent research on acid mine drainage in Soloman’s Creek and urban runoff. In 1989, Mr. Oram returned to Wilkes College to help create the Environmental Quality Center. During his 22+ years at Wilkes University, Mr. Oram developed a nationwide program to educate and inform private well owners known as the Homeowner Outreach Program and assisted in multiple watershed monitoring and research projects in the region. Projects of critical importance were the watershed and lake assessments for Harveys Lake and Crescent Lake, the development of a Sourcewater Protection Plan for Roamingwood Sewer and Water Authority, and the American Heritage River Initiative EMPACT Project on the Susquehanna River. In 2010, Wilkes University announced the formation of a water quality database to help document the current baseline conditions and provide a means to track change that was managed by Mr. Brian Oram. In May 2011, the
Luzerne County Conservation District recognized Mr. Oram as the 2010 Stanley M. Sowa Jr. Conservationist of the Year Award. Since leaving Wilkes University in 2011, Mr. Oram has continued his educational efforts through the Water Research Center and as of this date over 1.3 million individuals have been directly or indirectly assisted by this program. Mr. Oram continues to compile baseline testing data and provides assistance to private wellowners through an unfunded program offered by the Keystone Clean Water Team. In 2012, Mr. Oram published the second edition of “Pennsylvania Water Quality – Private Well: What do the results mean?” as an educational guide for the community.
Mr. Oram has been active with the Boy Scouts of America and is a past board member of the Exploring Audubon’s Lehigh- An Auto Tour, Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals, Pennsylvania Lake Management Society, and the Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council. During his work with the RC&D Council, Mr. Oram spearheaded the implementation of 2 – Energy Expos in Northeastern Pennsylvania, projects related to the use of industrial scale biomass heating systems, and developed programs to provide technical assistance to watershed organizations. Mr. Oram is currently the community outreach coordinator and vice-chairperson for Back Mountain Recreation, Inc. He also works with the Hemlock Farms Source Water Protection Committee and the Pocono Source Water Protection Collaborative on water quality and groundwater issues in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Brian and his wife, Robin, reside in Dallas Township Luzerne County. They have three daughters named Vanessa, Victoria, and Samantha.