Video: Natural gas blow back in Bradford county

Frac fluid spills from well for 20 hours at Chesapeake site near Canton. Fluid flowed into a creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna. For more details, see

http://www.wnep.com/wnep-brad-leroy-gas-drillingemergency20110420,0,1884646.story

FrackTracker

Here’s an exceprt from the blog at Fracktracker, a useful site for info and maps and visuals.

The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted a draft of its Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan, which is to be reviewed by the Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group of independent scientists that works with the agency. According to the EPA’s news release, the focus of the study will be the lifespan of the water, from extraction to disposal of the waste water.

The 140 page draft has been made to the public. The SAB is scheduled to review the plan March 7th and 8th, and the plan will likely be edited based on their input.

Initial results of this study are expected by 2012, with an additional report due by 2014.

Want to see more of this site? Go here: http://www.fractracker.org/

Pittsburgh Sets Model to Reject Corporate-Imposed Energy Policies; passes ban on natural gas extraction

November 30, 2010

By S.B. Thompson

Chambersburg, PA –

Edited for length *

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is actively involved in many issues to help prevent corporations from raping America’s land and resources, including speaking out against uranium mining and mountaintop removal.

Earlier this month, CELDF issued an “Open Letter to Communities Working to Stop Fracking,” bringing attention to Pittsburgh, PA – which has set a great example for other cities, towns, and communities to follow to take back their power.

Pittsburg’s recent ban against hydrofracking within their city limits really sends a message.  Local officials – acting against the heavy lobby of energy companies – have moved to protect the people from the significant threats posed to their life and health by natural gas drilling companies engaged in hydrofracking (a.k.a. “fracking” in the energy industry) within the Marcellus Shale area of the United States (i.e. from the New England, down into The Mid Atlantic).

 

Here is what CELDF reported:

“This morning, the Pittsburgh City Council became the first municipality in the United States to ban natural gas extraction within its boundaries. The ordinance isn’t just a ban – it consists of a new Bill of Rights for Pittsburgh residents (which includes a right to water along with rights for ecosystems and nature), and then proceeds to ban those activities – including natural gas extraction – which would violate those rights. But it doesn’t stop there…

 

New Pittsburgh Ordinance Takes Back Rights from Corporations

The ordinance seeks to undo over a hundred years’ worth of law in the United States which gives corporations greater rights than the communities in which they do business. Those rights come in two primary forms – first are corporate constitutional rights and powers (including court-bestowed constitutional rights of persons, or “personhood” rights), and second, are corporate rights that have been codified by statewide laws (like Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act), which liberate the corporation from local control in individual issue areas.

When a community makes a decision which runs afoul of either of those corporate rights frameworks, corporate decision makers use the courts to throw out the community’s decision. If a municipality bans a State-permitted activity, it gets sued for “taking” the corporation’s property as a constitutional violation. If it attempts to legislate in an area in which the State has created a regulatory program which permits the activity, the community then gets sued by the corporation for violating preemptive state law.  .  .

 

#          #          #

What does this have to do with fracking in the Marcellus shale formation?

Everything. The rationale behind the Pittsburgh ordinance is a simple one. If we respect and comply with those frameworks of law – playing within the sandbox that has been constructed for us – we’ll get drilled. It’s as straightforward as simple arithmetic.

Which brings us to another logical conclusion: if we want to stop the drilling, we must therefore undo those false corporate rights frameworks. Over a hundred other municipal governments across Pennsylvania have joined Pittsburgh in reaching that revelation – that the only way to stop agribusiness factory farms, sewage sludge dumping, corporate waste disposal, and natural gas extraction is to frontally and directly challenge those layers of corporate law which have removed any vestige of community self-government.

As with the passage of similar ordinances by municipalities in Pennsylvania over the past several years, which have dealt with an array of issues, the Pittsburgh ordinance will result in a lot of hand-wringing by statewide environmental groups, which have made long careers out of not coloring outside of the lines.

 

As they see it, their job is to work within existing law and do their best to limit environmental damage. That’s why they call for more zoning laws (even though horizontal drilling defeats the purpose of zoning the placement of drilling pads, for example), or a severance tax (which ironically, encourages even more drilling to produce more revenue). It’s why they talk about “responsible” drilling and natural gas as a “bridge” to a sustainable energy future.

It’s why they’ve talked themselves into seeing drilling as inevitable, and that the best we can do is simply to endure it. In doing so, they’ve condemned our communities to the same kind of damage that the gas corporations are forcing upon us. They may be nice people, but they’re not our friends in this mess. They’re too obedient in a situation that demands fighting back.

 

Stopping the drilling means coming face-to-face with the reality that this country isn’t what we thought it was…. that the rights-frameworks claimed by the corporations are not just a tragic mistake, but are the underlying reality demonstrated by our existence in a system in which the legal system serves corporate production, but not community democracy.

These local ordinances intend to turn that structure upside down – subordinating corporate “rights” and corporate production to local self-governance and the rights of nature, rather than the other way around. For that reason, if we truly believe in economic and environmental sustainability, variations of the Pittsburgh ordinance must spread to a thousand other communities in the path of the Marcellus shale drillers.

* Read the complete, original article at:

http://7bends.com/2010/11/30/pittsburgh-bans-hydrofracking-victory-for-the-peope/

Investigating the US Gas Boom

I know many of you are becoming very aware of the natural gas boom happening in the Mid Atlantic area. This video covers some old ground but it also discusses some very current issues and is a great intro for anyone who is trying to learn about the problems with the fracking process.

http://www.theecologist.org/trial_investigations/687515/us_natural_gas_drilling_boom_linked_to_pollution_and_social_strife.html

For Gas-Drilling Data, There’s a New Place to Dig

by Nicholas Kusnetz
ProPublica, July 12, 2:01 p.m.

Starving for data about natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale? A new website hopes to feed your need. A couple of environmental and public health groups have teamed up to create FracTracker, a web tool that brings together different data sets and presents the information on a map. Launched in late June, FracTracker allows users to upload their own data on all-things-gas-drilling, from lists of drilling permits or incident records to maps of air monitoring stations. Others can then go to the site and either look at the data in map form or download it raw. The site is run by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC), which is funded by the Heinz Endowments. It is hosted by the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, an environmental group that funds local projects aimed at protecting the state’s waterways….

To see the entire article about Frack Tracker, click here:

http://www.propublica.org/article/for-gas-drilling-data-theres-a-new-place-to-dig

To go directly to Frack Tracker click here:

EPA to Hold Public Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing

EPA to Hold Public Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study In
Canonsburg July 22*

(*PHILADELPHIA** *- July 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is hosting an informational public meeting
in Canonsburg, Washington County, Pa. about its proposed study of the
relationship between hydraulic fracturing and potential impacts on drinking
water.

The meeting will be held from 6-10 p.m., July 22, at the Hilton Garden Inn
in Canonsburg to provide information about the scope and design of the
proposed study, and give the public an opportunity provide input and comment
on the draft study plan.

 Hydraulic fracturing is a process used for extracting natural gas or oil
from shale and other geological formations. By pumping fracturing fluids
(water and chemical additives) and sand or other similar materials into rock
formations, fractures are created that allow natural gas or oil to flow from
the rock – through the fractures – to a production well for extraction.

In March 2010, EPA announced that it will study the potential adverse impact
that hydraulic fracturing may have on drinking water.  In developing the
study, EPA is holding a series of meetings to receive public input about
specific drinking water, human health or environmental concerns that need to
be factored into the study.

To support the planning and development of the study, the agency sought
suggestions and comments from the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB), an
independent, external federal advisory committee. The agency will use this
advice, as well as extensive public input in designing the study.

EPA requests that citizens who are interested in attending to *pre-register
by Monday, July 19.* EPA will also hold meetings about the study on, July 8
in Fort Worth, Texas; July 13 in Denver, Colo.; and, August 12
in Binghamton, N.Y.

Call 1-866-477-3635 toll free to register.  Or register on-line at:
http://hfmeeting.cadmusweb.com.

Those wishing to contribute comments to EPA regarding the proposed hydraulic
fracturing research study may also submit electronic comments to EPA at
hydraulic.fractur@epa.gov ; or send written comments to:

Jill Dean

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Mail code 4606M,

Washington, DC  20460.

Frack Country Blues

Because sometime all you can do is laugh……Thanks!

http://frackcountryblues.com/2010/04/23/outdoor-recreation/

Health Effects of Water Contamination from Fracking

World-Renowned Scientist Dr. Theo Colborn on the Health Effects of Water Contamination from Fracking

Coburn

The Environmental Protection Agency has begun a review of how the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” can affect drinking water quality. We speak to Dr. Theo Colborn, the president of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange and one of the foremost experts on the health and environmental effects of the toxic chemicals used in fracking.

To listen to the webcast or read the transcript of the program, click here:

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/14/world_renowned_scientist_dr_theo_colborn#

What PA residents think of Range Resources

Here is some excellent video of the meeting with range Resources that took place in Washington County, PA today. Thanks txSharon!

http://txsharon.blogspot.com/2010/04/7-videos-what-pa-residents-thinks-of.html

Gas and drilling not clean choices

Robert Howarth

Natural gas is marketed as a clean fuel with less impact on global warming than oil or coal, a transitional fuel to replace other fossil fuels until some distant future with renewable energy. Some argue that we have an obligation to develop Marcellus Shale gas, despite environmental concerns. I strongly disagree.

Natural gas as a clean fuel is a myth. While less carbon dioxide is emitted from burning natural gas than oil or coal, emissions during combustion are only part of the concern. Natural gas is mostly methane, a greenhouse gas with 72 times more potential than carbon dioxide to warm our planet (per molecule, averaged over the 20 years following emission). I estimate that extraction, transport and combustion of Marcellus gas, together with leakage of methane, makes this gas at least 60 percent more damaging for greenhouse warming than crude oil and similar in impact to coal.

The most recent method of hydro-fracking is relatively new technology, massive in scope and far from clean in ways beyond greenhouse gas emissions. The landscape could be dotted with thousands of drilling pads, spaced as closely as one every 40 acres. Compacted gravel would cover three to five acres for each. New pipelines and access roads crisscrossing the landscape would connect the pads. Ten or more wells per pad are expected. Every time a well is “fracked,” 1,200 truck trips will carry the needed water.

Drillers will inject several million gallons of water and tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals into each well. Some of this mixture will stay deep in the shale, but cumulatively, billions of gallons of waste fluids will surface. Under current law, drillers can use absolutely any chemical additive or waste, with no restrictions and no disclosure. Recent experience in Pennsylvania indicates regular use of toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic substances. Out of 24 wells sampled there, flow-back wastes from every one contained high levels of 4-Nitroquinoline-1-oxide, (according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation). It is one of the most mutagenic compounds known. Flow-back wastes also contain toxic metals and high levels of radioactivity extracted from the shale, in addition to the materials used by drillers.

Industry tells us that surface and groundwater contamination is unlikely, since gas is deep in the ground and drilling operations are designed to minimize leakage. Nonsense. The technology is new and understudied, but early evidence shows high levels of contamination in some drinking water wells and rivers in other states.

Accidents happen, and well casings and cementing can fail. The geology of our region is complex, and water and materials under high pressure can move quickly to aquifers, rivers and lakes along fissures and fractures. Flow-back waters and associated chemical and radioactive wastes must be handled and stored at the surface, some in open pits and ponds unless government regulation prevents this. What will keep birds and wildlife away from it? What happens downstream if a heavy rain causes the toxic soup to overflow the dam? What happens to these wastes? Adequate treatment technologies and facilities do not exist.

What about government regulation and oversight? The DEC is understaffed,underfunded and has no history with the scale and scope of exploitation now envisioned. Federal oversight is almost completely gone, due to Congress exempting gas development from most environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, in 2005.

We can be independent of fossil fuels within 20 years and rely on renewable green technologies, such as wind and solar. The constraints on this are mostly political, not technical. We do not need to sacrifice a healthy environment to industrial gas development. Rather, we need to mobilize and have our region provide some badly needed national leadership toward a sustainable energy future.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers