Monday, January 3, 2011

Penn Allows Gas Fracking Waste to be Dumped in Local Waterways

Activist Post

It was revealed today by the AP that the state of Pennsylvania is allowing "wastewater so salty, and so polluted with metals like barium and strontium" to be flushed into local waterways. This wastewater is a result of natural gas extraction method called "fracking" which has been a sore spot with the affected community.

The protests against gas fracking in the Marcellus Shale area of Pennsylvania have increased in size since the movie Gasland was released, which brought great awareness to the environmental damage caused by this method.

The AP described the process of fracking and the effect on water as follows:

Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand deep into the rock, shattering the shale and releasing the gas trapped inside. When the gas comes to the surface, some of the water comes back, too, along with underground brine that exists naturally.

It can be several times saltier than sea water and tainted with fracking chemicals, some of which can be carcinogenic if swallowed at high enough levels over time.

The water is also often laden with barium, which is found in underground ore deposits and can cause high blood pressure, and radium, a naturally occurring radioactive substance.

Pennsylvania reportedly allows the waste liquid that gushes from gas wells to be only partially treated for environmentally harmful substances.  Then, companies like Atlas Resources and Cabot Oil & Gas are legally able to dump their spoils into the local rivers that provide drinking water to nearby communities.

These companies claim that they are playing by the rules, however weak they may be.  Yet, AP's own investigation turned up some stirring inconsistencies:
  • 'Of the roughly 6 million barrels of well liquids produced in a 12-month period examined by The AP, the state couldn't account for the disposal method for 1.28 million barrels, about a fifth of the total, because of a weakness in its reporting system and incomplete filings by some energy companies.
  • Some public water utilities that sit downstream from big gas wastewater treatment plants have struggled to stay under the federal maximum for contaminants known as trihalomethanes, which can cause cancer if swallowed over a long period.
  • Regulations that should have kept drilling wastewater out of the important Delaware River Basin, the water supply for 15 million people in four states, were circumvented for many months.'
Al Lander, the president of Tunnelton Liquids, one of the frack-water treatment plants that discharges water into local rivers actually said, "In some respects, it's better than what's already in the river."  The infected area is said to affect at least 17 municipalities.

The EPA claims that high levels of trihalomethanes in drinking water can cause increased risks of cancer and could also develop liver, kidney, or central nervous system problems.

It was revealed in September that any opposition to this poisonous practice is being monitored by the Department of Homeland Security. Peaceful protesters were shocked to find out that they were on an 'extremist' watch list compiled by a foreign company who was contracted to monitor dissent, apparently on behalf of the oil and gas industry.

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Anonymous said...

i saw the documentary GASLAND and am nothing less than appalled. I know ( being a business man ) that profit is the essence of business but when that procedure comes back to kill and completly destroy the enviornment it is time to create another procedure. Fracking is noting short of Insane Greed.

Anonymous said...

GET serious about stopping it, they have cracked the aquifers here in Colorado and it's permanent. As in geologic time permanent. It's criminal.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Trihalomethanes also cause miscarriages of pregnanacies.

Anonymous said...

I thought the title of the film was Gaspipe. However, I am appauled as Anonymous stated.

The chemicals are deadly and they rise to the water levels and contaminate the water. The farmers raged until the gas company came out and put in news facilities for water use, a cistern.

That does not cover the damage done to cattle drinking water, nor pigs, no sheep nor all the animals on a farm including chicken. The chemicals are poison, cancer causing and deadly to drink. To enter these chemicals into the shale which is apparently in almost all states, the use up to 300 to 400 tankers of water with the deadly chemicals.

It rises to the surface folks, the food chain is contaminated with these chemicals and the farmers will slaughter the animals and then we can eat the deadly chemicals from the grocery store. I also have great sadness for the farm animals, I always do, and hate it that I do eat meat occasionally.

The chemicals rise up into the creeks, rivers, and marshlands as well as ponds, it enters the plants and they die. If anyone wants to preach the "end of the world" as does Speaker Baehner, there can be no easier, nor silently deadly way than this. Plans....all plants. The famers were lighting their water with their matches. It is so very stupid and the Government is doing nothing as far as notice to we the citizens. I saw a Congressman on the news state : "the regulatory agencies do not feel this is dangerous." They must be workers left over from G.W. Bush admin. The Free Press in this country is letting us down. They should be ontop of this like fleas on a dog. Where are you Press of America?
A disgusted citizen'


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