With all the pressure, it causes mini earthquakes, fracturing the ground and allowing natural gas to flow more freely. These wells are in locations that were previously inaccessible, ruining our beautiful countryside and being drilled below our reservoirs and water systems. Horizontal franking uses a mixture of up to 600 different chemicals along with water. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens and toxins including lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde. Lets do the math; 500,000 active gas wells in the IS.
S, ultimately that by 8 million gallons of water, multiply the 18 times a well can be freaked. That comes to 72 trillion gallons of water, 360 billion gallons of chemicals needed to run current gas wells. (demagnification. Com) The instances of water contamination are not unique to New York and Northern Pennsylvania. For the first time, Pennsylvania has made public 243 cases of contamination of private drinking wells from oil and gas drilling operations. The cases occurred in 22 counties, with Susquehanna, Tioga, Bradford, and Locoing counties having the most incidences of contamination.
In a few asses, one drilling operation contaminated the water of multiple wells, with water issues resulting from methane gas contamination, wells that went dry or undrinkable, and wastewater spills. The Pennsylvania DEEP has been criticized for its poor record of giving information on franking- related contamination to state residents. (ethnographers. Org) As of 2005, Pennsylvania had 1 1 frank water pits. Eight years later, aerial maps show that number is now 529. It is unclear how many of these sites store fresh water used for franking, and how many store the toxic wastewater that results from oil and gas drilling operations.
The Department of Environmental Protection(DEEP) couldn’t provide the data to public health researchers. The researchers turned to the nonprofit data resources from Shutouts, who have documented the ponds with the help of USDA aerial imagery and citizen scientists from around the globe. A spokesman for DEEP told the Observer- Reporter that the department can’t produce a list of impoundments that include smaller wastewater storage sites because they have a different classification. The DEEP sent the reporter to another nonprofit that tries to fill the state’s data and information gap, Firecracker.
Firecracker says the data they get from the DEEP on the location of frank ponds is ‘Woefully incomplete. ” Since state environmental regulators have no reliable knowledge of where these sites are located, volunteers from around the world studied the aerial images from 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2013. The accuracy of the data was carefully looked over by Shutout’s methodology, which included training on how to distinguish a frank pond from a duck pond. The organization has yet figured out how to distinguish the toxic from the non-toxic fresh water holding ponds. We wish that the PA DEEP would publish better data about his aspect of the oil and gas extraction business,” said Matt Keels, manager of data and technology at Firecracker Alliance. Many of these impoundments are reclaimed after a period of time. For example, the 2010 maps show 581 frank water storage facilities, while in 201 3, Shutouts documented 529. The project was meant to help researchers link possible health impacts to the wastewater ponds, which contain toxic chemicals that can emit dangerous air pollutants. Volunteers in six states, including Pennsylvania, took air samples for the study.
Pennsylvania samples show high levels of formaldehyde near compressor stations. The formaldehyde is formed in two ways. One by combustion at compressor stations, but also as a byproduct of methane leaks, when exposed to the sun. The deadly chemical hydrogen sulfide was also found in high levels in Wyoming County. The DEAD has documented leaks from these sites. In October, the DEEP announced it was seeking to fine EST. corporation a record $4. 5 million dollars for a leaking impoundments, or frank pond. The Attorney General has also filed criminal charges against the driller.
In September, DEEP handed Range Resources a $4. 15 million dollar fine for violations at six wastewater impoundments in Washington County. Centralized open storage pits with gas drilling waste water have to be double- lined in Pennsylvania, and include a leak-detection system. The smaller, on- site ponds however, do not need to be double-lined. (systematic. Nap. Org/ Pennsylvania) Josh Fox, who lives just down the road from me in Millennial, PA, received a letter in the mail in 2009 for the drilling rights to family property on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. He was offered $4,750 an acre, owning 19. Acres. He could have $1 00,000 in his pocket, or spent to fix the damage done. Dick Cheney’s 2005 energy bill, pushed through Congress, exempt oil and gas industries from the Safe Drinking Water Act. They are also exempt from the Clean Air Act and a dozen other environmental protection laws. The major industry that started out in the west is now coming east, proposing 50,000 gas wells along a 75 mile stretch of the Delaware River. The New York City Watershed and Delaware River Basin in total supplies 15. 6 million people, it’s the largest unfiltered water supply in the world.
Industry leased hundreds of thousands of acres within the New York City Watershed and Delaware River Basin. That could mean 50,000 gas wells in the combined watershed area. As of Spring of 201 0, no drilling has taken place. Drilling could interfere with reservoirs over 100 years old. The closest drilling site from Fox is in Idioms, PA, 40 miles from the New York and Pennsylvania border in the Susquehanna River Basin. Cabot Oil & Gas had drilled over 40 wells in just a few months. In Idioms, workers were dumping waste water into streams and fields.
Fox set out to talk to other property owners about what he could expect, and their answers startled him. In Idioms and across the country, in some cases, many households had discovered their water was not only undrinkable after gas drilling, it was even lamentable. In his documentary, Island, he talks to dozens of people just like us who have contaminated water sources. You see in the film people taking lighters to their faucets and a blue flame coming from the water. In the film, it seems as if he tries and tries to get answers from gas drilling companies but all of them manage to blow him off.
Weston Wilson worked for the Environmental Protection Agency for 20 years and wanted to make sure Josh Fox would note, “not speaking on behalf of EPA. ” Wilson also said the EPA would go along and say the chemicals were toxic but said they weren’t a risk. “Made no sense. Wilson added. From 1995 to 2000, Dick Cheney was CEO of Hallucination. Hallucination is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the oil and gas industry. It employs more than 80,000 people, representing 140 nationalities in over 80 countries. One of the first things he did when he became vice president was form what was known as the Energy Task Force.
In January of 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Dick Cheney to head of the Energy Task Force that created the National Energy Policy. After the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) released a study in 2004 that concluded franking posed “little or o threat’ to drinking water, Cheney’s Energy Task Force asked Congress for a specific exemption from the Underground Injection Control provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act for franking. That exemption became part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act and soon became known as the “Hallucination loophole. Hallucination had lobbied for the exemption while Cheney ran the company the decade before and the company is credited with inventing hydraulic fracturing in 1947. (lollipop. Com/post)(Island documentary) Hallucination isn’t the only company with loopholes; Chesapeake Energy is one of the largest natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania. Operating close to 800 wells, and has also been fined more than $1 million for various violations. The company has seen its share of problems. Most recently Chesapeake is facing allegations it’s cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of royalty money.
Although Chesapeake has denied this, it’s the subject of several class action lawsuits and an ongoing investigation by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Chesapeake was fined for a February’ 201 1 Washington County tank fire, and contaminating several drinking wells in Bradford County. Chesapeake voluntarily suspended hydraulic fracturing operations for three seeks in April and May 2011 , after a Bradford County well spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of franking fluid. (systematic. Nap. Org/Pennsylvania) Chemicals used in franking have been found to disrupt hormone function in the body.
Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine analyzed 12 chemicals known or suspected to be used in franking that are often grouped as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (Deeds); meaning they can interfere with the normal function of the endocrine system. ETC exposure has been linked with adverse health effects such as cancer and birth defects. To understand how gas gathering procedures may interact with the body, the researchers gathered surface and ground water samples from franking sites with drilling spills or accidents in drilling-dense areas.
The samples were found to have higher levels of ETC activity, which could block the body’s production of androgen’s; a group of hormones that includes testosterone and estrogen. (foxiness. Com/health) In Island, Josh Fox also tells the horrifying truth about the franking fluid, or wastewater. After each process Of franking, 200 – 300 tanker trucks of chemical-filled “product water get stored n a big pit and most gets evaporated with the help of sprayers. In the flow back pits, water is sprayed into the air so the sunlight can evaporate it faster.
Which then falls back on the grasslands as chemical or acid rain. Did I mention the chemicals aren’t biodegradable? Once they’re on this planet, there’s no way to get rid of them. (Island documentary) What has happened here already in Pennsylvania is absolutely insane. People have no clean water, they’re getting sick all the time, and it’s happening relatively close to us. Chemicals are not only affecting ground water, they’re affecting our air. The EPA needs to get involved more, and investigate the chemicals used in hydraulic franking closer.
Hallucination and Chesapeake are only two companies out of hundreds that have had major fines because of reckless franking, imagine how many more spills and accidents there have been. Imagine being surrounded by hydraulic fracturing sites and one day you have no more water to drink because your well simply dried up, your water turned black, or even exploded in some cases. Unless the companies in the franking industry as a whole improve their ability to inform not only the innocent people of Pennsylvania, but the people of every state, the hydraulic fracturing business should be put on hold.