So Much for the Dark Skies….

Has anyone else noticed the burn off from the gas wells at night? Last Wednesday I was driving along 660 heading towards Covington where S. Bullock Road intersects and was amazed at the terribly fantastic glow coming from the sky.  I assumed it was a gas well burning off excess pressure but as we got closer the flare in the sky was so large that I couldn’t imagine it being a gas well.  I thought it must be a large barn fire. As the car drew closer to the source of the light I was astonished to see two pillars of flame, each about 30 feet high, soaring into the sky. The flames came from two gas wells sitting side by side. Their piping was about 30 feet from the ground as well and the whole spectacle was about 50 to 60 feet high into the air. The whole valley was lit up!

I can’t imagine what it must be like to own a home next to this. There are about 5 houses in that area including the large farm the gas wells seem to be located on. I wonder what happens when it’s a really dry year? When it’s windy and the leaves on the trees are dry and the ground cover is dry and something like this gets out of control? I have also seen a smaller gas well with flames about two feet high on Heise Run Road. This well had tree branches about 3 feet away from the flame and on a windy night after a week or two of no rain I could see this being dangerous as well.

Having said all that, I am off to research the burning off of excess pressure and the safety measures taken and what sort of laws and regulation surround this. I want to know how long they burn like that. It is not every day. I drove out to the 660 site last evening to take pictures and there were no flames and a couple crew men were still out working at dusk.

I’ll post again when I have some answers.  until then check out this site.

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/186/

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