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Posts Tagged ‘Dimock’

Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water

Posted by feww on May 10, 2011

Hydraulic-fracturing is poisoning ground water: Report

Methane levels 17 times higher near active fracking cites

Researchers at Duke University have analyzed methane levels in 68 drinking water samples collected across 5 counties in New York and Pennsylvania and found “evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction.”

The potentially harmful levels of methane gas were found in the samples near drilling sites, where natural gas is extracted from shale formation using a process called  hydraulic-fracturing, or fracking.


Map Of Shale Gas Basins In The United States. Click image to enlarge.

“We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids,” researcher said. “We conclude that greater stewardship, data, and possibly regulation are needed to ensure the sustainable future of shale-gas extraction and to improve public confidence in its use.”

[NOTE: FIRE-EARTH Moderators find the above statement unusual and suspect that Duke University may be receiving funds from one or more of the energy companies, or their lobbyists, involved in fracking.]

“But residents near drilling wells have complained fracking has polluted ground water supplies enough that they can light their drinking water on fire. In addition, accidents at wells have led to fires and floods of fracking fluids have reached streams.” Said a report.

“At least some of the homeowners who claim that their wells were contaminated by shale-gas extraction appear to be right,” said Robert Jackson, lead author of the study.

“It comes as no surprise that natural gas is not as clean as the industry pretends,” said an attorney with Earthjustice environmental group. “The gas industry has made it virtually impossible to do base-line testing because in order to do that, researchers need to know what they’re testing for – not just methane, but the variety of other contaminants being injected into the ground.”

One reason why poisons chemicals used in fracking were not detected/reported in the study samples  might be because it would take “decades from now” for them to appear “as they work their way up from deeper levels,” a report said.

EPA scientists have already revealed that drinking water wells near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  They admitted that the gas drilling was a potential source.

Researchers say these chemicals may cause cancer, kidney failure, anemia and low fertility problems, and pose serious health risks to people who live close to the drilling sites, a report said.

Currently 32 states are using fracking to release  natural gas from shale formations, according to an Earthjustice.

The report was released by the National Academy of Sciences said on May 9.

Chesapeake Energy

In April, Chesapeake Energy suspended fracking in Pennsylvania after blowout spilled toxic fluid into river.

The Chesapeake well spewed thousands of gallons of toxic fracking fluid into a nearby waterway immediately after the blowout on Wednesday, said the Bradford County emergency management officials.

In March,  Philadelphia officials asked the Delaware River Basin Commission on Thursday to stop prospectors using the hydraulic fracture  shale gas extractions in the City’s watershed, until a full environmental impact assessment is conducted.


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. Credit: Reuters/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

Philadelphia City Council

The City Council, in a unanimous resolution, has formally asked the Commission to stop all fracking operations in the watershed and deny a drilling permit to Stone Energy Corp, a Louisiana-based energy company prospecting for natural gas, and all others that propose to use fracking to extract shale gas in the Basin which  supplies drinking water to more than 15 million people, including 2 million plus in the Philadelphia metro area.

Stone Energy

In march 2010,  Stone Energy spokesperson, Tim O’Leary, reportedly said that fracking posed no danger to the drinking water in the region.

Truth and Financial Profits are Mutually Exclusive

FIRE-EARTH has always maintained that the energy companies cannot be telling the truth AND making a profit both at the same time!

‘Diarrhea water’

Fire Earth has earlier noted that

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

Kudos to Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania

Residents of Dimock, a small rural Pennsylvania town, have sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, claiming the company’s natural-gas drilling has contaminated their wells with deadly chemicals, causing sickness and reducing their property values

Related Links:

Posted in environment | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Philadelphia: Public Health Prevails Over Private Wealth

Posted by feww on March 26, 2010

NO MORE FRACKING!

Philadelphia urges ban on hydraulic fracturing technique, or ‘fracking’

Philadelphia officials asked the Delaware River Basin Commission on Thursday to stop prospectors using the hydraulic fracture (fracking) shale gas extractions in the City’s watershed, until a full environmental impact assessment is conducted.

The commission, which comprises of representatives from Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as federal officials, is responsible for protecting the Delaware River Basin over 360 miles from its headwaters all the way to the Delaware Bay.


Map Of Shale Gas Basins In The United States. Click image to enlarge.


The Middle Delaware River above Walpack Bend. Credit: NPS/George Ratliff

Background: Natural Gas Drilling in the Delaware River Basin

Much of the new drilling interest taking place in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York is targeted at reaching the natural gas found in the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies about 36 percent of the Delaware River Basin.  Because Marcellus Shale is considered a tight geologic formation, natural gas deposits were not previously thought to be practically and economically mineable using traditional techniques.  New horizontal drilling and extraction methods, coupled with higher energy costs, have given energy companies reason to take a new interest in mining the natural gas deposits within the Marcellus Shale.

However, these new extraction methods require large amounts of fresh water to fracture the formation to release the natural gas.  A significant amount of water used in the extraction process is recovered, but this “frac water” includes natural gas and chemicals added to facilitate the extraction process, as well as brine and other contaminants released from the formation. —DRBC

The City Council, in a unanimous resolution, has formally asked the Commission to stop all fracking operations in the watershed and deny a drilling permit to Stone Energy Corp, a Louisiana-based energy company prospecting for natural gas, and all others that propose to use fracking to extract shale gas in the Basin which  supplies drinking water to more than 15 million people, including 2 million plus in the Philadelphia metro area.

“Stone Energy began operations in a protected area of the river basin without the necessary approvals, and now has applied for permits to drill for gas, extracting water it needs from a tributary of the river, the council said.” Reuters reported.

“We call on the Delaware River Basin Commission to halt Stone Energy’s operations, and not approve their application, or any other applications, until a full environmental impact assessment of fracking in the Delaware River Basin has been conducted,” the council said in a unanimous resolution.


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

Stone Energy

Stone Energy spokesperson, Tim O’Leary, was reported as saying that fracking posed no danger to the drinking water in the region.

“Stone Energy believes that hydraulic fracturing technologies are a safe and proven method of accessing ample domestic sources of clean natural gas needed by the United States,” O’Leary said.

“Concern about possible ground water contamination from hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ has led New York City to call on state authorities to prevent drilling in the city watershed. U.S. Congress members have introduced a bill that would require energy companies to disclose chemicals they use in fracking.” The report said.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has expressed ‘serious reservations’ about the prospect of fracking in the New York City watershed, said on March 18 it will conduct a national study of the process.”

“I knew the responsible thing to do was to send a strong message that drilling should not occur without an environmental impact statement,” said Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, who sponsored the resolution.

“Energy companies exploiting vast reserves of shale gas in Pennsylvania and other states say there has never been a proven case of water contamination from fracking, and that the toxic chemicals are injected through layers of steel and concrete thousands of feet below drinking-water aquifers.” The report added.

The energy companies clearly aren’t telling the truth!

‘Diarrhea water’

Fire Earth had earlier noted that

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

Kudos to Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania

Residents of Dimock, a small rural Pennsylvania town, have sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, claiming the company’s natural-gas drilling has contaminated their wells with deadly chemicals, causing sickness and reducing their property values

Related Links:

Posted in Delaware River Basin, fracking, hydraulic fracturing, shale gas, watershed | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kudos to Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania

Posted by feww on November 22, 2009

Residents of Dimock in rural Pennsylvania sue Cabot Oil & Gas Corp

Residents of Dimock, a small rural Pennsylvania town, have sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, claiming the company’s natural-gas drilling has contaminated their wells with deadly chemicals, causing sickness and reducing their property values, Reuters reported.

“The lawsuit accuses the company of violating state environmental laws by allowing drilling chemicals to escape from gas wells, where they are used in a technique called hydraulic fracturing.”

A Cabot spokesman, Ken Komoroski, said the company was in full compliance with Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and “disappointed” by the lawsuit, which he said  they had not had time to study yet.

“We don’t see merit in these claims,” Cabot spokesman said. More …


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

Residents: ‘WE WANT JUSTICE’

“The suit is the culmination of complaints by residents of the northeastern Pennsylvania community where Cabot has drilled dozens of gas wells in its efforts to develop the Marcellus Shale, a massive gas formation that underlies about two-thirds of Pennsylvania and parts of surrounding states.” The report said.

“These releases, spills and discharges caused the plaintiffs and their property to be exposed to such hazardous gases, chemicals and industrial wastes,” said the complaint.

The residents have suffered neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms from exposure to contaminated water, the complaint said. The results of blood samples taken from residents are consistent with exposure to the chemical pollutants.

“Victoria Switzer, a plaintiff who lives about a mile from Carter’s home, said she had joined the lawsuit because she had failed to get satisfaction from the state Department of Environmental Protection or her elected representatives.” Reuters said.

“Lawyers were the last thing I wanted,” she said. “We are not greedy people, we just want some justice.” More …

Background:

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

FEWW wrote:

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

‘Diarrhea water’

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

Related Links:

 

Posted in doorstep drilling, EPA, fracking, gas drilling, natural gas | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

Posted by feww on August 29, 2009

You recall this headline: “In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.”

The post titled Diarrhea Water revealed what some of the local folks in Dimock, who were affected by the  drilling operations for Marcellus Shale natural gas in the area, had to say.

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

Researchers say these chemicals may cause cancer, kidney failure, anemia and low fertility problems, and pose serious health risks to people who live close to the drilling sites, Reuters reported.

Sole Source Aquifers: ‘One Drilling Activity from Contamination’

sole source

As of March 2009, EPA has designated 77 Sole Source Aquifers nationwide. Five of these are in Region 8 (which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming). EPA defines a Sole Source Aquifer as one which supplies at least 50 percent of the drinking water consumed in the area overlying the aquifer. EPA guidelines also stipulate that these areas can have no alternative drinking water source(s) which could physically, legally, and economically supply all those who depend upon the aquifer for drinking water. Sole source aquifer designation provides only limited federal protection of ground water resources which serve as drinking water supplies. It is not a comprehensive ground water protection program. Protection of ground water resources can best be achieved through an integrated and coordinated combination of federal, state, and local efforts. (Source:  EPA website.)

Gas drilling companies maintain that the gas drilling technique they use, called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is safe, but based on observation of the drinking water in numerous drilling areas, and the fate of many people who live near the drilling rigs, and who are afflicted with serious health conditions, we know that fracking contaminates groundwater with dangerous chemicals.

“Evidence of a link between gas drilling and water contamination would set back development of a clean-burning fuel promoted by the Obama administration as crucial to the future of U.S. energy production.” Reuters reported.

Wyoming the Gas State -
Wyoming the Gas [‘n Quake] State. The red stars on the map denote some of the recent earthquakes measuring up to 4.2 Mw, which are [probably!] almost entirely gas-drilling activity related. Source of original map: Google Earth. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Some experts believe the United States holds more than 100 years worth of natural gas reserves. The new findings may raise questions about the process companies such as EnCana Corp, Halliburton Co and others commonly use to pump the gas from deep geological formations. Encana, Canada’s biggest energy company, is drilling in Pavillion.”

“There may be an indication of groundwater contamination by oil and gas activities,” Reuters quoted from the 44-page report, which received little public attention when released on August 11. “Many activities in gas well drilling (and) hydraulic fracturing … involve injecting water and other fluids into the well and have the potential to create cross-contamination of aquifers.”

Contaminants found in the wells include the organic solvent2-butoyethanol (C6H14O2), or 2-BE, which is used to extract natural gas, and  “which researchers say causes the breakdown of red blood cells, leading to blood in the urine and feces, and can damage the kidneys, liver, spleen and bone marrow.”

“Greg Oberley, an EPA scientist who has been testing the water samples, said the agency did not set out to prove that hydraulic fracturing caused groundwater contamination, but was responding to complaints from local residents that their well water had become discolored or foul-smelling or tasted bad.” Reuters reported.

“While the EPA team has not determined how the chemicals got into the water, many are associated with gas drilling, Oberley said in a telephone interview.”

“The preponderance of those compounds in the area would be attributable to the oil and gas industry,” he said.

But why can’t the EPA simply ask the drillers what they put in the water?

“Drillers such as EnCana are not required to disclose the chemicals they use because of an exemption to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, granted to the oil and gas industry in 2005.” Reuters said.

The oil and gas industry deny that their operations has anything to do with the contaminants that are found in the drinking water, and insist that they use heavily diluted fracking chemicals, which are injected thousands of meters below the drinking-water table in the aquifers. They blame the contamination on other causes such as “naturally occurring,” leaking from “ordinary household products” and “organic solvents” used in agriculture.

A representative for EnCana, which operates 248 wells in the area, told reporters that the contaminants discovered by the EPA had been “tentatively identified.” He said they came from various sources, but admitted: “One of those sources could be oil and gas development.”

“John Fenton, a farmer in Pavillion, a rural community of about 150 people, said residents blame gas drilling for a range of illnesses including rare cancers, miscarriages and nervous system disorders.” Reuters reported.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, has reportedly advised people with contaminated water wells not to drink the water. Fenton said water from some of the wells was black, oily and with a petroleum-like sheen, which also smelled of gas.

“The stress is incredible,” Fenton said. “People have built their lives and businesses here. What’s it all worth now?”

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

[Note: EnCana Co. is North America’s largest natural gas extractor. The company extracted 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2008. EnCana was formed in 2002 with the merger of PanCanadian Energy and Alberta Energy Company. The corporate headquarters are in Calgary, Alberta. In the United States, EnCana operates in Colorado, Louisiana, Texas and  Wyoming. The Candian company also jointly owns two oil refineries with ConocoPhillips in Louisiana and Texas.]

Related Links:

Posted in elk mountain aquifer, Encana, EPA, Greg Oberley, Halliburton | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

NY Quakes Probably Gas Drilling Related

Posted by feww on May 21, 2009

New York Earthquakes may be natural gas drilling activity related

having carefully researched and reviewed the SW New York seismic history, geological details of shale gas plays in the Appalachians and other related data, Moderators and blog contributors have concluded with 75% certainty the cluster of 3 earthquakes that struck Medusa, New York, earlier this week may have been caused by shale gas drilling activity.

The mainshock, a magnitude 3.0 tremor, struck on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 00:53 UTC, about 170km northeast of Dimock, Pennsylvania, followed by two smaller aftershocks measuring 2.1 and 1.9 Mw respectively. See below for details.

PA-NY-Gas drill
NE PA Gas Exploration & Central NY Wells. Epicenter of the mainshock
is marked in red at [42.571°N, 74.112°W.] The recent earthquake cluster struck an area located about 31 km WSW of Albany NY, and 170 km northeast of Dimock, Pennsylvania. Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright. For legend see original map.

Oil and gas res
Shale Gas Plays, Lower 48 States. Map date: March 16, 2009. EIA Data Sources: Published studies. [Click image to enlarge.]

See also: The 100 Volumetrically Largest U.S. Oil and Gas Fields [PDF 12MB]


CHK – Marcellus Shale Depth from Data and Cores –  10/16/2008 [source.] Image may be subject to copyright.

FEWW expects more seismic activity occurring in a 100-km radius area  centered at  42.07°N, 75.27ºW, about 55km North of Hancock (town), New York, an area located outside the region’s recent historic seismicity. Should this occur, the Moderators would be able to recalculate the certainty factor.

geologydotcom- marcellus-shale-depth-map
This map shows the approximate depth to the base of the Marcellus Shale. It was prepared using the map by Robert Milici and Christopher Swezey above and adding depth-to-Marcellus contours published by Wallace de Witt and others, 1993, United States Department of Energy Report: The Atlas of Major Appalachian Gas Plays.  Image and caption: Geology.com.
Image may be subject to copyright.

Earthquake details:

Event #1 – Magnitude: 3.0
Date-Time:  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 00:53:29 UTC
Location: 42.571°N, 74.112°W
Depth: 9 km (5.6 miles)
Region: NEW YORK
Distances:

  • 15 km (10 miles) N (5°) from Medusa, NY
  • 16 km (10 miles) SSW (203°) from Altamont, NY
  • 17 km (11 miles) WSW (240°) from Voorheesville, NY
  • 29 km (18 miles) WSW (250°) from Albany, NY
  • 138 km (86 miles) WNW (292°) from Springfield, MA
  • 208 km (129 miles) N (356°) from New York, NY

Source:  Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID:  ld1023914
NY ld1023914  18 May 2009
Earthquake Location. Map Centered at 43°N, 74°W. Source: USGS? ANSS

NY ld1023914  18 May 2009 - 4

NY ld1023914  18 May 2009 - 2

Event #2 – Magnitude 2.1
Date-Time:  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 07:21:57 UTC
Location: 42.567°N, 74.109°W
Depth: 6 km (3.7 miles)
Source: Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID:  ld1023916

Event #3 – Magnitude 1.9
Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 14:52:32 UTC
Location 42.575°N, 74.113°W
Depth 14 km (8.7 miles)
Source Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID ld1023935

Related Links:

See also:

Posted in earthquake forecast, Gas Drilling earthquake, Medusa quake, NY Earthquake, oil and gas drilling | Tagged: , , , | 19 Comments »

‘Diarrhea water’

Posted by feww on March 13, 2009

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. —Report


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

The following is adapted from a report by Reuters

What people say about the Dimock drilling for Marcellus Shale natural gas

Pat Farnelli whose  children had persistent diarrhea and vomiting  said:  “I was getting excruciating stomach cramps after drinking the water … It felt like an appendicitis attack.”

Geologists :  Marcellus Shale natural gas could potentially provide total U.S. natural gas needs for at least a decade, possibly more.

Observers: What the problem then?

Experts: Oh, the gas cannot be extracted easily because it’s encapsulated  deep inside layers of rock; you need a cocktail of highly toxic chemicals mixed with sand and fluids to drill the rocks [see below for “fracking.”]

Dimock residents: The drilling has clouded our drinking water, sickened our kids and animals and made our wells flammable.”

Energy Industry spokesperson:  The groundwater is safeguarded meticulously. The chemicals used are heavily diluted and pose no health threat.

Residents: What chemicals are you using?

Energy companies: Sorry, that information is proprietary, we can’t disclose what chemicals we use because other companies might copy our work.

Residents: How can we test our drinking waters, if we don’t know what to look for?

Cabot Oil & Gas spokesman Kenneth Komoroski [Cabot has drilled about 30 wells since 2006, 20 of them just last year, Reuters reported]: It is impossible for the drilling to contaminate the groundwater,  how could it I ask you!

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell speaking to Reuters: The state is careful in granting drilling permits. “We are very scrupulous about whether it will have an effect on the groundwater.” It’s safe, it’s safe … I say!

Mark Carmon an official with the Department of Environmental Protection: [they say they tested well water in Dimock houses in February] “We have not seen anything that would be of concern.”

A dozen local interviewed by Reuters: We draw water from a well sunk into an aquifer; two gas wells are within a few hundred yards (meters) of our houses.

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability [a Pennsylvania group opposed to drilling] :  Toxic chemicals have leaked into groundwater at hundreds of natural gas drilling sites in Colorado and New Mexico. How could Pennsylvania be an exception?

Ron and Jean Carter: We were alarmed when the water supply to our trailer home suddenly started to taste and smell foul after Cabot had started drilling 180m away. To protect our grandchild living with us, we managed to scrape together $6,500 for a water purification system.

“It was kind of funny that the water was good in July but after they drilled, it wasn’t,” said Ron Carter.

Tim and Debbie Maye, a truck driver and post office worker: We have three teenage children, and have been drinking and cooking with only bottled water since our well water turned brown in November 2008, shortly after Cabot started drilling.

But we can’t afford bottled water for our animals. Our cats have been losing fur  projectile vomiting because of the contaminated water.  One of  our three horses is also  losing its hair. When I go out to give water to them, “I tell my husband, ‘I’m going out to poison the horses.'”

Methane in the Water

Another byproduct of the drilling in Dimock is methane which has been released into the water supply, which the state regulators and Cabot have  acknowledged.

Local homeowners: We can ignite our well water. Recently, a gas buildup blew the large concrete cap off a well.

Norma Fiorentino, 66, a resident: “The well was capped with six to eight inches of concrete. …  The explosion broke it into three big pieces and blew a huge hole in the ground.”

Hydraulic fracturing [“fracking”]

Environmental groups: Energy companies use a method called  Hydraulic fracturing [aka, hydrofracturing, or fracing pronounced “fracking”] to create fractures  from a borehole al the way down to rock formations by  injecting a toxic mix of chemicals together with water and sand deep into the rock to release the natural gas which is trapped there.

Komoroski, the Cabot spokesman: Of course the “fracking” chemicals are dangerous. But they are only dangerous  in concentrated form. Here [in Pennsylvania,] we use them heavily diluted in the injection fluid.  Further, we inject them into depths of 1,700 to 2,700m (5,000 to 8,000 ft)— well below the normal depth aquifers at 70 to 170m (100 to 500 ft)—and we pump them into the ground inside several layers of steel and concrete, preventing any discharge at levels that could contaminate the groundwater.

FEWW Moderators: Why did the water turn brown, people and animals that drank the water got violently ill, cats lost their fur and horses their hair just after you started fracking? And what say you about the exploding well caps? Please respond.

[This space is reserved for Komoroski‘s reply!]

Komoroski: The Marcellus Shale Committee, a statewide group of energy companies will publish a report on the chemicals that are being injected into the ground.

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a Colorado research group: of the 201 “fracking chemicals” we have found in the groundwater about 188 could potentially harm skin, eyes, and sensory organs;  100 could damage the brain and nervous system, and 59 may cause cancer.

Retired schoolteacher Victoria Switzer and her husband, Jimmy: We spent five years building our dream home [nestled on an idyllic wooded hillside,] now we have to share the rural setting with a gas well just a few hundred meters away. How could we fight the wealthy energy companies? Cabot, for one, posted annual revenues of about $1 billion in 2008.

Victoria Switzer: “They are big and we are small and they count on that.” 

Posted in Cabot Oil & Gas, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, doorstep drilling, Gov. Ed Rendell | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »