An INTERNATIONAL WOW COMPANY PRODUCTION
SELECTED FOR SUNDANCE
The following is the opening statements from journeyoftheforsaken.com
Note: The following is excerpted from an excellent and relatively revealing study of the Tioga Junction area, conducted by the USGS. I found this report particularly helpful because it helps explain the uncertainty associated with isotopic analysis – particularly in alluvial mixing zones.
Currently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and some area oil and gas operators in our region rely upon a thermogenic signature detection method that fails to account for obvious environmental factors and relies too greatly upon flawed assumptions ultimately yielding bias and therefore inaccurate results suggesting that a sudden appearance of methane gas in stream beds and alluvial areas is purely biogenic in nature.
This report reveals key factors which, when properly considered, demonstrate certain mechanisms which would facilitate a mixed and more complicated hydrogeologic dynamic and therefore truer assessment of groundwater/surface water contamination.
I’ve noted some of these key revelations in bold blue font.
Read the report here:
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Here is a link to a three part series on the Marcellus Shale Gas Play. The fellow speaking is Tony Ingraffea. He has a PhD in rock -fracture mechanics and is from Cornell University.
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It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless in this struggle to get the real story about drilling for natural gas into the eyes and ears of the residents in the areas where this is happening. For this reason I decided to take a larger step in getting closer to the truth.
This past weekend I took a trip to Washington County, PA to visit some of the folks in Hickory. This is the site of some of the very first hydro-fracked wells that existed in PA.After all, some of these wells went in back in 2005 so it seems that by this point they should all be millionaires living the good life, the economy should be well on the upturn with plenty of jobs…..at least this is what the gas industry keep telling us will be.
I have to say that isn’t quite how it’s gone down for the residents there.
I met with Ron Gulla who lost his 141 acre farm due to water pollution and dirty drilling practices by Range Resources. Terry Greenwood and his wife are also farmers who have lost at least 7 cows due to contaminated pond and spring water. They are wondering when they might get sick too. Terry’s royalties are just enough to cover the cost of him meeting with his lawyer for 1 hour per month! He stuck in a perpetual lease signed in 1921.
Hickory Pa stinks…literally! Would you like to know what the smell of toluene, benzene, butane, ethane, propane and other NGL’s (natural gas liquids) smell like? Do you know what it’s like to go out your backdoor and walk 30 feet to the top of the ridge and get hit in the face with a blast of this stuff coming from a compressor station less than a mile from your house? Stephanie Hallowich sure does. After spending about 20 minutes in her yard I felt sick to my stomach and had a headache. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to live there!
Wayne and Angel smith live near Clearville, PA and they’ve lost livestock as well as beloved pets due to contaminated drinking water. Both Angel and her husband Wayne are sick themselves. They’ve spent over $10,000.00 on a system to treat their water which they also use to water livestock. They hope this system is working on their water problems but what’s going to clean the air that is full of contaminates from a nearby gas storage facility? Both Spectra Energy and the DEP have been called out many times to test and view these issues and each time they have turned a blind eye to the problems in this valley.
For more information on any of these people and their stories please click on their names.
In the future you will be able to find all their faces at http://pafaces.wordpress.com/
We will post a new face and new story each day. If you have a situation that you want others to hear about please contact me through a comment on this blog or directly from the site below.
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By DAVID THOMPSON – email@example.com
More than 100 people turned out Wednesday for a public hearing regarding a Department of Environmental Protection proposal to set more stringent treatment standards on wastewater primarily associated with the natural gas industry.
The hearing was hosted by the state Environmental Quality Board and moderated by Patrick Henderson, executive director of the state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Of the approximately 20 people who testified at the hearing, held at the DEP’s Northcentral Regional Office in Williamsport, most were either in favor of the proposed standards or advocated even stricter or wider-reaching standards.
Two who testified said they believed current discharge standards are adequate.
The proposal would impose restrictions on the amount of total dissolved solids – or TDS – sulfate and chloride that can be discharged by a treatment plant into a waterway.
It also regulates levels of barium and strontium that can be discharged from wastewater specifically from the natural gas industry.
Deb Nardone of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited spoke in favor of the proposed standards, calling it “a necessary tool” for the DEP to use to protect the state’s fresh water resources.
Nardone suggested that more stringent regulations may be needed in the future, but in the meantime, the ones proposed should be “in place as soon as possible.”
Anne Harris Katz of Fairfield Township said she and her husband were drawn to the area almost 20 years ago but now questions whether the move was a good choice.
Katz said she fears the gas industry will change the region’s “pristine environment, small-town atmosphere and the confidence that residents’ health and safety are adequately protected from the short- and long-term hazards of gas drilling and extraction.”
“The proposed new standards will decrease the amount of pollution, and in this instance, less is better,” Katz said.
Her husband, Harvey M. Katz, said the gas industry should bear the cost of treating its wastewater, not the public.
He added that water polluted by gas industry wastewater will impact the area’s aquatic life.
Nathan Sooy of Clean Water Action, which represents a consortium of environmental and watershed groups, spoke passionately about the impact gas industry wastewater could have on local waterways.
Sooy said the DEP proposal “will go a long way towards ensuring our drinking water supplies will not have unsafe levels of (TDS)” and urged the agency not to weaken the proposed discharge standards.
Sooy added that the rules should be put in place as soon as possible, that no drilling permits be issued until that happens and that discharge standards should be applied to other materials found in gas drilling wastewater.
City resident John Bogle said the gas industry will prove harmful to the state’s tourism industry, the Pennsylvania Wilds initiative, agriculture and property values.
Bogle suggested the industry could adversely impact the area in ways similar to the coal industry.
“A trip through the coal regions will show what pollution from an unregulated extractive industry can do to the economic future of a region.”
“The DEP’s proposed TDS strategy is a solid move in the right direction,” he said. “The DEP needs to stick to its guns.”
Jerry S. Walls, former director of the county planning department, said it is “vitally important for Pennsylvania to have effective policy standards for the discharge of total dissolved solids.”
According to Walls, clean water is as essential to a healthy environment and positive quality of life.
“Our groundwater, rivers and streams should not be viewed as easy, unlimited waste disposal systems,” he said.
Walls said he was involved in the planning, design and development of the Lycoming County landfill. The DEP has specific standards regarding the control of leachate from the landfill. However, frac water flowback impoundment lagoons at drilling sites “have no such standards” which ‘equals preferential regulatory treatment of the natural gas industry,” he said.
Walls lauded the industry’s efforts to recycle gas drilling wastewater, adding the proposed TDS standards would provide incentives to continue that practice.
John Tewksbury, a kindergarten teacher from Muncy, said he attended the meeting on behalf of his students who wanted him to speak in support of the regulations.
Tewksbury said the students were concerned with the impact pollution could have on rivers and streams.
F. Alan Sever, an engineer from Montoursville who worked for the DEP, said the Environmental Quality Board determined in 2001 that there “was no reason to assign statewide effluent limitations for total dissolved solids, chloride or sulfate.”
Sever said that except for isolated incidents on specific streams, the DEP has not shown that there is any reason to change that policy.
If the agency finds specific problem areas, it could assign “site specific” discharge limits at those sites, he said.
Sever also took issue with the cut-off date – April 1, 2009 – for when dischargers would fall under the new guidelines and those that would be gandfathered under the previous guidelines.
By grandfathering treatment facilities already causing problems and assigning stringent limits to those that did nothing to create a problem is unfair, he said.
He also cited an example of a discharge permit issued to a company several days prior to the cut-off day and suggested the permit was issued “in order to protect this company from having to meet these new limits.”
Ned Wheeler, president of Keystone Clear Water Solution Inc., said the oil and gas industry has been in Pennsylvania for 100 years and has a history of cooperation with regulatory agencies.
Wheeler said the proposed regulations are “unrealistic and unreasonable” and do not take into account regulations already in place.
According to the DEP, the expected results of the new rules would be to prevent the water quality issues that came to light in 2008 on the Monongahela River and ensure that the cost of treating gas industry-generated wastewater will not be borne by customers of drinking water systems.
In the fall of 2008, the river flow fell and concentrations of TDS, which mostly is salt, and sulfate in the river rose to historic highs.
According to the agency, the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Moshannon Creek have a limited capacity for handling new loads of TDS and sulfate.
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