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WTOV9.com reports:

1 Killed, 4 Wounded In Gas Well Accident

Video: http://www.wtov9.com/news/20837210/detail.html

“One person was killed and four others injured after a gas leak at a well in Guernsey County.

“Officials said the men were working on a gas rig, preparing to cap the well, when they were overtaken by a poisonous hydrogen-sulfide gas mixture.

“The accident happened near Londonderry at the intersection of Skull Fork Road and Ginger Road. A spokesperson for Antrim Volunteer Fire Department said one man went down and the others tried to rescue him.

“Three victims were transported to Cambridge Hospital for treatment. One person was transported by medical helicopter to another Ohio hospital.

“Officials said one of the victims is in critical condition.

“The gas the men encountered is commonly referred to as “poison gas” or “sour gas” and is common in natural gas drilling.

“The men were wearing the proper meters to check for gas, officials said.

“‘It happens all over. It’s something they’re trained to deal with but, sometimes it happens so fast that their protective clothing doesn’t warn them quick enough and they’re unable to deal with it,’ said Antrim Volunteer Fire Department Chief Don Warnock.

“The men are employed for Chipco Oil and Gas Well Services. Company representatives were at the site Thursday but had no comment.”

———————————————————
See this training video about hydrogen sulfide:

———————————————————–

See also:  http://www.wtov9.com/news/20856751/detail.html : “Officials Release Name of Worker Killed By Gas Leak”

.

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Published: September 9, 2009

BY JAMES LOEWENSTEIN

TOWANDA – Gas drilling activity is resulting in an increase in crime
in the borough, the borough police chief said on Monday.

The issue came up at Monday’s Towanda Borough Council meeting, when
borough council member Bob McLinko asked Police Chief Mitch Osman
whether the “extracurricular activity in the borough, along with
population increase, has resulted in problems.”

By extracurricular activity, McLinko was apparently referring to
drinking at the bars in Towanda.

Osman replied that police calls have gone up as workers in the gas
drilling industry have moved into the county, “especially the severity
of the calls.”

In the past, you could probably predict which nights would be quiet in
town, the police chief said.

“We can’t do that any more,” he said. “It’s definitely busy.”

. . . . .

Osman said…that he could use two additional police officers.

Complete story:
http://www.thedailyreview.com/news/police_chief_gas_drilling_causing_increase_in_crime_locally

.

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In a story published on 8/27/09, Jon Hurdle of Reuters reports:

U.S. finds water polluted near gas-drilling sites

PHILADELPHIA, Aug 27 (Reuters) – U.S. government scientists have for the first time found chemical contaminants in drinking water wells near natural gas drilling operations, fueling concern that a gas-extraction technique is endangering the health of people who live close to drilling rigs.

The Environmental Protection Agency found chemicals that researchers say may cause illnesses including cancer, kidney failure, anemia and fertility problems in water from 11 of 39 wells tested around the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May this year.

. . . . .

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.

. . . . .

“There may be an indication of groundwater contamination by oil and gas activities,” said the 44-page report, which received little public attention when released on Aug. 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.”

Among the contaminants found in some of the wells was 2-butoyethanol, or 2-BE, a solvent used in natural gas extraction, 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.

The investigation was the EPA’s first in response to claims that gas drilling is polluting water supplies, he said. Testing will continue.

LINK TO GAS INDUSTRY?

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.

. . . . .

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.

Families with contaminated water wells have been advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to drink the water, which in some cases was black and oily, with a petroleum-like sheen, and a smell of gas, Fenton said.

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

Complete story at:

http://in.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idINN2731170120090827?sp=true

For more on this story:
http://www.propublica.org/feature/epa-chemicals-found-in-wyo.-drinking-water-might-be-from-fracking-825

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PA DEP Investigating Natural Gas Well Leak In Lycoming County

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa., July 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a natural gas well leak at an East Resources well in McNett Township, Lycoming County.

“East Resources is cooperating fully with our investigation, and has already implemented measures to stop the leak,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “DEP staff will continue to work closely with East Resources and local emergency responders to ensure the safety of nearby residents.”

DEP was alerted to the problem last week by a citizen who reported discoloration of water in a tributary to Lycoming Creek and in a nearby spring. DEP staff investigated on July 24 what was then a suspected sediment problem in the creek.

On Monday, DEP received a report of possible natural gas bubbling from the tributary. DEP staff collected water samples from the spring and the tributary. Those samples are being analyzed for methane and other parameters in the department’s laboratory in Harrisburg. DEP staff confirmed the bubbling in two Lycoming Creek tributaries earlier today.

East Resources personnel monitored 18 private water wells in the nearby area that same day, and are providing water to four homes. They also monitored methane levels in the homes.

East Resources has three wells in the area, which are in the Oriskaney [sic] geologic formation, and not in the Marcellus Shale area. Two of the wells are drilled and completed, but not yet in service due to the lack of gathering lines in the area. The third well was previously plugged and abandoned.

East Resources began flaring the Delciotto #2 well on Monday to reduce pressure from the natural gas, and is currently working to flare the other two wells. The company is investigating the possibility that a casing failure in part of the Delciotto #2 well caused the natural gas leak. The company is attempting to seal off the leak with drilling mud to stop the natural gas from escaping.

CONTACT: Daniel T. Spadoni (570) 327-3659

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

- http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/07-28-2009/0005067720&EDATE=

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Does Schreiner’s ‘right’ to extract natural gas supersede residents’ right to clean water and safe homes?    And does the industry’s ‘right’ to process natural gas supersede the neighborhood’s right to clean air?

These folks didn’t move into this neighborhood knowing their air and water was going to be ruined. They had good water and air. Drilling and processing of (un)natural gas by someone else has taken their property.

————–

June 9, 2009
“Our neighbor who has been out of his house for 11 weeks brought a sample of his water from his newly drilled well up to our house, and it still catches on fire- we got video again.  Plus, now there is some weird black stuff in it- it’s a little like oil but a little like charcoal or something.  Very strange.  Schreiner apparently didn’t know that our neighbor already tested his water, because he told him that he has great water now and can move back in!  I just can’t believe that.  Also, it appears that Schreiner has lied to State Representative Martin Causer’s secretary Rhonda because he told her that the Bailey family was already back in their home- definitely not true.

“Another neighbor told me that he heard that Schreiner has been kicked out of New York state and Sheffield, PA for bad practice before.  I’d sure like to try and find those details.

“Another neighbor has a new well and a reverse osmosis system, and his water is still bad.  DEP alluded to the idea that as long as they can get good water out of one tap in the house for drinking, then that will be all that Schreiner has to do.  Ridiculous.

“The stripper plant is still way too noisy and the vapors coming off of it are not getting any better.  The couple of neighbors who have detectors in their homes (I think CO2 and methane) have had the alarms go off several times.  These are issues that we are going to stress at the next township meeting on the 22nd.”

————

June 16, 2009
“My neighbor who has been out of his home for 12 weeks now was forced to move back in tonight.  His water still catches on fire, but Schreiner said that he’s done and won’t pay for a hotel anymore.  DEP claims that it’s perfectly safe… even though when my neighbor runs the washer there is free methane left in the machine after the laundry is done!  Unbelievable. Schreiner says he put $100,000 into addressing our problems, and even though not one house has their issues fixed, he is “done” and if we want more we just have to sue him.  He’s even been giving State Representative Causer’s secretary crap telling her to stop calling him with our complaints and that he is just going to stop answering his phone.”

————

DEP, why do you side with industry?

It’s time to take the oil & gas industry in hand.


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Meanwhile, from just on the other side of the hill from Bradford Township, 1490newsblog.blogspot.com reports:

“Some Foster Township residents seem to be having a problem Hedgehog Lane residents have been dealing with for months – oil and gas drilling affecting their water wells.

“Interstate Parkway resident Joe Piganelli told Foster Township Supervisors Monday night that the water in his neighbor’s well turned brown, but DEP told him his well had gone bad. However, it went bad the day fracking was done in the area.

“Piganelli asked that the supervisors contact the drilling company.

“‘If the three of you got a hold of US Energy and said ‘Hey, what the heck’s going on?’ … We had pristine water and now it’s garbage. Pretty soon you’ll be able to drink out of your sewer better than you can your water.’”
. . . . .

“Piganelli also raised several concerns about drilling company trucks and what they’re doing on the roads.

“One concern is speeding.

“‘They’re going fast up there at 2, 3, 4, 5 o’clock in the morning,’ he said. ‘And I’ll tell ya – they’re raising hell.’

“Another concern he has is the drivers using Jake Brakes when they come down the hill.

“He also said they’re leaving mud on the road, which could be dangerous. He specifically mentioned driving out of Allegany State Park when it’s raining.

“‘If you hit that mud that they’ve left there … When I worked for Halliburton we had to clean up the highway,’ he said, adding that if they came out of the woods and had mud and dirt all over their trucks they had to clean the road.

“‘There’s no reason they can’t do that,’ he said.”

The same blog post reports this irony:

“Also Monday night, supervisors reminded residents that if they’re going to repave their driveways, they need a permit.

“Supervisor Chairman Bob Slike said the reason for the permit “is not to make a buck or anything off of it. It’s to make sure that driveway is put it so in the wintertime the plows don’t gouge it out.

“Supervisors said it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to get the permit, but the contractor should know enough to ask if they have one.”

That is, townships are allowed to protect their residents from building driveways less than optimally but they’re not allowed to do much to protect their residents from gas drilling … which presents just a few more risks than a gouge or two in some asphalt.

For the complete post, visit http://1490newsblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/water-well-problems-in-ft-too.html

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An e-mail from one citizen & taxpayer to Barbara Fiala:

I am writing in regard to Broome County’s decision to hire a lobbyist
to urge Albany not to get “bogged down” in its environmental review of
drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

The shale gas drilling techniques that have come into use over the
last decade were developed in an atmosphere of very poor regulatory
control. A May 19 press release on hydrofracturing from Congressman
Maurice Hinchey
(see http://www.house.gov/list/press/ny22_hinchey/morenews/051909HydraulicFracturing.html)
states:

“More than 1,000 cases of contamination have been documented by
courts and state and local governments in New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio,
Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. In one case, a house exploded after
hydraulic fracturing created underground passageways and methane
seeped into the residential water supply.

A 2004 EPA study, which was haphazardly conducted with a bias
toward a desired outcome, concluded that fracturing did not pose a
risk to drinking water. However, Hinchey noted that the more than
1,000 reported contamination incidents have cast significant doubt on
the report’s findings and the report’s own body contains damaging
information that wasn’t mentioned in the conclusion. In fact, the
study foreshadowed many of the problems now being reported across the
country. ”

We have recently seen drilling-related methane contamination of water
wells in nearby Dimock, PA. Questions still remain as to exactly how
the water in Dimock became contaminated. Once an aquifer is
contaminated, it may be extremely difficult or even impossible to
clean it up. Fortunately, so far, no one has been killed by the
drilling-related explosions that have occurred in water wells, and, in
one case, in a home. But there is certainly no guarantee that we will
continue to be that lucky.

It is often said that New York’s environmental regulations regarding
drilling are superior to those of other states, but a review of the NY
regulations does not bear out that claim. For example, NY’s setbacks
from residences and bodies of water are much smaller than those in
many other areas. Water is becoming increasingly precious as shortages
occur around the world and in other parts of our own country. Areas
possessing clean water are likely to be increasingly desirable in the
future. Our water is our area’s most valuable natural resource and we
should not endanger it.

Last summer and fall, the NYSDEC demonstrated that it did NOT have a
good grasp of the multiple issues involved in shale gas drilling.
Rather, it was members of the public and of local environmental groups
who researched the damage that has occurred from this type of gas
drilling in other areas and then made the NYSDEC aware of that damage
through the informational meetings and draft scope SGEIS hearings held
by the NYSDEC. The NYSDEC received thousands of comments on its draft
scope. Many, many of those comments were NOT in support of drilling.

I do not believe that the NYSDEC is getting bogged down in
bureaucracy. They are understaffed and do not have the resources
needed to deal with this issue in a truly thorough manner. Even if
they had sufficient resources, the environmental review would still
require a great deal of care and time. This is an extremely complex
and technical issue; the drilling’s impacts will be long-lasting and
wide-ranging and are likely to negatively affect not only our water,
but our air, the health of our forests and farmlands, the nature and
desirability of our communities, and the health of our people.

Many Broome County residents are not in favor of this drilling. While
the pro-drilling landowners’ groups may be well organized, it is
important to recognize that most of the residents of this county do
not own large tracts of land, will see little or no financial gain
from the drilling, and may suffer serious personal and financial
losses if their quality of life, their health, and/or the value of
their homes are negatively impacted by the drilling.

I would also like to point out that the current price of natural gas
is quite low, that some experts expect it to remain low for some time,
and that the first few years of production are usually the highest for
any given shale gas well. It is therefore quite likely that if Broome
County’s land is drilled in the near future, the county will be
selling a large fraction of its recoverable gas at bargain-basement
prices.

We have all seen the results of the TCE contamination in Endicott. Our
area does not need more of the same. Frankly, given the track record
of the gas industry and the high well density needed to recover
appreciable amounts of gas from the Marcellus Shale, it seems
extremely likely that Broome County will end up with a number of
seriously contaminated drilling sites, several areas in which homes
have no reliable water supply, poor air quality, a loss of green
space, lowered residential property values in areas where drilling
occurs, a loss of residents who prefer not to live in an
industrialized area, difficulty attracting new and highly skilled
residents to the area, additional costly health problems among its
residents, and probably a whole host of unforeseen problems as well.

We should not rush into this. The gas is not going anywhere. And I
would add that, in any case, the gas industry is well able to afford
its own lobbyists.

For all of the reasons explained above, I do not think it is in Broome
County’s best interest to spend taxpayer dollars to hire a lobbyist to
push for gas drilling.

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