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Posts Tagged ‘human health’

Fracking in N.D. Contaminated Soil & Water with Elev. Levels of NORM

Posted by feww on May 11, 2016

Fracking in Bakken, ND leaves 9,700 wells producing 119million m³ of wastewater: Study

Unconventional oil and gas production from hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in the Bakken region in North Dakota has been rising significantly since 2007. Some 9,700 unconventional wells have produced an estimated 119 million cubic meters of oil and gas wastewater (OGW), according to a new study.

Bakken region spills 2007-2015
Map of western North Dakota that includes well density (number of wells per 5 km radius), reported brine spills from 2007 to 2015 (red circles), and sampling sites of samples collected in July 2015 (green triangles). Note the association between spill locations and well density, with higher occurrences of spills in areas of high well density. Spill data were compiled from the North Dakota Department of Health and include both contained and uncontained brine spills. Oil well data were downloaded from the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Oil and Gas Division. [Image source]

“In 2014, the Bakken region was producing an average of over 1 million barrels of oil per day, compared to production levels that consistently lingered at approximately 100 thousand barrels per day before 2007. This rapid rise in production has been made possible by intense development of oil and gas infrastructure in western North Dakota, including approximately 9700 unconventional wells that have produced an estimated 31.4 × 10 9 gallons (118.9 × 10 9 L) of oil and gas wastewater (OGW).”

In addition to the elevated concentrations of major elements—Na, Cl, Br—the study found Bakken brines are rich in “metals, metalloids and other potential contaminants” including Se, V, Sr, Li, B, Mn, Ni, Cd, Cu, Zn, Ba, Pb, Ra, NH4, all of which have “human and ecological health implications.”

NORM in the Bakken Brines and Impact on Spill Sites

Produced waters can have elevated levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), primarily the long-lived radium isotopes 228Ra. Read More…

The study Brine Spills Associated with Unconventional Oil Development in North Dakota was conducted by the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

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What Now Brown Cow?

Posted by feww on January 17, 2015

Manure pollution poses ‘imminent and substantial endangerment’ to the environment, people: Federal Judge

U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice of Spokane has ruled that a large industrial dairy in eastern Washington has polluted drinking water through its handling of manure, said a report.

The judge ruled that the pollution posed an “imminent and substantial endangerment” to the environment and to people who rely on groundwater for drinking.

Rice ruled that he “could come to no other conclusion than that the Dairy’s operations are contributing to the high levels of nitrate that are currently contaminating—and will continue to contaminate … the underlying groundwater.”

“Any attempt to diminish the Dairy’s contribution to the nitrate contamination is disingenuous, at best,” said Rice in his opinion, entering  a partial summary judgment against the mega dairy, Cow Palace.

The dairy has 11,000 cows that create more than 100 million gallons of manure each year, said the judge in summing up.

The civil lawsuit was filed by environmental groups on behalf of more than 24,000 residents in the lower Yakima Valley who rely on private wells for their drinking water. “The valley is a heavily agricultural area located about 150 miles east of Seattle.”

“A trial has been scheduled for March 23 in Yakima to decide how much pollution the Cow Palace dairy of Granger was causing and what steps should be taken as a remedy.” said the report.

For the first time a federal court has ruled that inadequately handled  manure is a solid waste, and not a beneficial farm product, said Jessica Culpepper—an attorney for Public Justice, who helped represent the environmental groups.

“This is also the first time that the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which governs the disposal of solid and hazardous waste, was applied to farm animals,” she said. “Those standards can now be applied across the nation.”

“Rice’s ruling criticized the Cow Palace and its owners, Bill and Adam Dolsen, saying they appeared to minimize the dangers posed by nitrates, including ‘Blue Baby Syndrome,’ a condition that can result when babies consume formula mixed with nitrate-contaminated water.”

Read full report

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Tipping Point: Here and Now!

Posted by feww on April 30, 2008

Our thanks to Lisa G. for forwarding the link to the following (Source)

We are at the tipping point because the climate state includes large, ready positive feedbacks provided by the Arctic sea ice, the West Antarctic ice sheet, and much of Greenland’s ice. James Hansen

Tipping Point: PERSPECTIVE OF A CLIMATOLOGIST [PDF]
by JAMES HANSEN

An Excerpt from Hansen’s report:
Our home planet is dangerously near a tipping point at which human-made greenhouse gases reach a level where major climate changes can proceed mostly under their own momentum. Warming will shift climatic zones by intensifying the hydrologic cycle, affecting freshwater availability and human health.

[James Hansen is director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.]

The ice in the Arctic is much younger than normal, with vast regions now covered by first-year ice and much less area covered by multiyear ice. Left: February distribution of ice by its age during normal Arctic conditions (1985-2000 average). Right: February 2008 Arctic ice age distribution. Credit: NSIDC [Caption: NASA]

Related Links:

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Posted in Arctic, atmosphere, big oil, biofuels, biosphere, Climate Change, environment, food, greenhouse gases, Greenland’s ice, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »