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“Downstream Strategies, the company I used to analyze the water forwarded the WVDEP report to me and they said that all of their questions were not answered from the WVDEP which they requested under the FOIA.  The just sent a second FOIA request to get the info they originally asked.  Sen. Rockefeller’s office out of Fairmont called me last Thursday (I sent a letter and pictures to him in D.C.) and said they wanted to make sure the Governor had responded to me (he did) and that I had  received the answers I had been seeking.   After I found out they had to do a 2nd FOIA request I called them back and left a message, suggesting a phone call from them to James Martin would be helpful.
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“The creek cleaning consisted of the drilling company spraying the rocks and gunk downstream into cachment areas and then being vacuumed up.  My concern was the high orange marks in the sandy soil going up the banks and being imbedded into the soil.  I don’t know if they addressed that or not, they may not have even seen that.  Also they had pulled the used filters out of the creek and had left them on the soil for some time also.  Those were recently picked up though.    I am coming back from Colorado and will be there Wednesday for a week and will spend some time going up and down the creek looking closely.  I guess the lack of rain and low water has hindered the process.  My new beef is that if a drilling company, the ones who produce this toxic waste, will be cleaning up their own mess, they really need to know what they are doing and have a plan in place.  According the report from officer Scranage, per the DEP report I just read, he found that a new crew was on the job the second day and was going about it backwards. If the water is low and there is a lack of rain to help move the water down into cachment areas, they need to be doing something else, rather than waiting for rain.  For the first  2 weeks the creek languished with oil covering the water and smelling acrid. I believe they improperly ‘limed the area’ on our property.  When I questioned the inspectors and also asked James Martin about all the lime put down along the stream banks, changing the ph of the water, he only said ‘there won’t be any more liming’.
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“Thanks again for the support.”
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Louanne Fatora

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  • Dimock, PA, approximately Thursday, 9/3:
    A blowout occurs during drilling under a road and wetland for a gas pipeline, resulting in a large spill of drilling mud.  Witnesses report a greasy, gray film running down a water body.  Local people who hear about the blowout have difficulty getting the straight story, despite persistently asking questions of DEP and drilling company representatives.
  • Dimock, PA,  Wednesday, 9/16, afternoon:
    “At least a thousand” gallons of frack fluid escape from the Heitsman2 well site and run down into Stevens Creek. According to the fracturing subcontractor, Halliburton, the fluid contains carcinogenic substances.
  • Dimock, PA, Wednesday, 9/16, late evening:
    A much larger spill of the same fluid occurs.  Reports say the total volume of both spills the released frack fluids is as much as 8500 gallons.
  • Dimock, PA, Tuesday, 9/22
    Another spill of the same fluid occurs.   This one is of “hundreds of gallons.”

DEP reports fish swimming erratically and kills of small aquatic life.

On 9/22, after the third spill in a week’s time, DEP cites Cabot with 5 violations.

Following DEP’s action, the fish are still dead.

On 9/25, DEP orders Cabot to stop all hydraulic fracturing activities in Susquehanna County.

Reports indicate that, subsequent to DEP’s order, the fish are still dead.

. . . .

Why do regulating agencies pretend that physics pays any attention to regulations?

Why do they pretend that their disciplinary action is effective, when no disciplinary action can reverse the damage once it’s done?

On 9/30, the NYS DEC will issue its draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the next step in paving the way for New York to enjoy the  benefits of industrial-scale gas drilling with horizontal drilling / high-volume hydraulic fracturing in low-permeability gas reservoirs.

The fish in our brooks and rivers are, for the time being,  still alive.  But it’s only a matter of time and physics – not regulation – before the same fate befalls them.

See:

http://www.wayneindependent.com/news/x576510049/Fracturing-fluids-spill-into-Susquehanna-County-stream?popular=true

http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20090917/NEWS01/909170411/State%20probes%20spill%20at%20gas-drilling%20site

http://www.propublica.org/feature/frack-fluid-spill-in-dimock-contaminates-stream-killing-fish-921#photo_correx

http://www.timesleader.com/news/ap?articleID=2868477

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/09/18/business-energy-financial-impact-us-gas-drilling-spill-pennsylvania_6905460.html

http://www.wayneindependent.com/news/x1699593258/Third-natural-gas-chemical-spill-reported

http://www.wayneindependent.com/news/x1128380990/DEP-notes-5-violations-for-gas-drilling-spill

http://www.wnep.com/sns-ap-pa–gasdrilling-spill,0,7426305.story

http://www.ahs2.dep.state.pa.us/newsreleases/default.asp?ID=5676&varQueryType=Detail

http://www.ahs2.dep.state.pa.us/newsreleases/default.asp?ID=5678&varQueryType=Detail


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Copied with permission from http://sootypaws.livejournal.com/

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Buckeye Creek

In late August the pit holding fracture flowback “water” for natural gas well 47-017-05815 was breached near Sherwood in Doddridge County (the north central part of the state). The pit was constructed within feet of Buckeye Creek (the state has no requirement for a minimum distance between ground or surface water for pits — see our Pits post) so the “water,” at least 2500 gallons, went into the creek.

The red gelled liquid has had a negative effect on wildlife. People were told “it was ‘just oil’ and hadn’t killed any fish and okay to be in” — kids swim and play in the Creek. Already, before the spill, a decline in fish and mussels had been noted by residents and some of the fish had raised nodules on the skin.

Here are some photos:

Buckeye Creek was a good place to fish for bass and muskie. The contamination is plainly visible from fracture flowback chemicals and formation material (the color may be due to high iron) from a Marcellus well.

Gels are created by chemicals which can include diesel fuel or ethylene glycol, neither of which is good to swim in.

A similar fracture gel release in Pennsylvania caused a fish kill.

A high chloride concentration is a feature of fracture flowback but we don’t think chloride killed this muskrat near its den.

High chloride will kill fish and other aquatic organisms.

Two ducks were unable to fly.

Louanne (who furnished these photos and information) has a letter she wrote to Governor Manchin available online. The last I’ve heard, the gunk has been skimmed from the Creek but is lying in piles beside the Creek.

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Please visit Sootypaws at http://sootypaws.livejournal.com/

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Must-see video:

“If I had done to my grazing permit what oil and gas has done, I would have been pulled off of it.  If I had created the surface disturbance, the erosion, the pollution of the water, the noxious weeds … I would not have a grazing permit.”

- Tweeti Blancett

http://www.sierraclub.org/scp/chronicles/episode4.aspx

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Dear Mr Cyr,

As a former farmer, I am appalled by these pictures.  Is there any definite evidence that the tumors on these animals was caused by hydrofracking by-products?  Is anyone doing any research on these incidents?  If so, and there are definite links to the hydrofracking compounds, then they should be presented to the DEC immediately!

Where were these pictures taken?  NY?  Pennsylvania?

I would appreciate any further information you can provide on these incidents.  Thank you.

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Hello Carol,
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What the diseased calf and buck had in common was both were grazing on land where gas drilling hydrofracture had taken place. Those who believe it normal for beef and deer to be in such condition might consider that to be an irrelevant coincidence. The photo of the hideously deformed by cancer deer is from Louisiana. The photo of the diseased calf is from Arkansas. The Arkansas rancher who had leased his land for gas drilling reportedly had to dispose of his entire herd; while the herds of his neighbors who didn’t lease weren’t affected.
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For those informed of the types of chemicals that are used in hydrofracture, and the immense scale of use that would be required to actually extract the great amounts global corporations wish to extract of these last remnants of gas so tightly bound up within the material of the rock itself, unconventional gas drilling hydrofracture is clearly incompatible with agricultural use of land. If they get this gas, we will lose our clean water and eventually no longer be able to produce safe food.
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The DEC is well aware of the environmental unsoundness of this form of gas extraction. Unfortunately, due to corporate ownership of government, the DEC’s prime concern is maximizing energy resource extraction… not protecting the environment that all living things depend upon for health and well being.
With government compromised by corporate campaign contribution ownership, agencies created for the protection of the people are no longer performing that function.
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The responsible research is being done by scientists who are independent of corporate/government influence (see TEDX).
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TEDX Research – Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations:
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Recent incidents raise issues on drilling, environment:
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Consider the effect that toxic chemicals used in Halliburton’s unconventional gas drilling hydrofracture process have on animals just one step down in the food chain:

calfwithulcers

Ulcers in cattle raised near gas drilling operation

buckwithcancer

Aggressive cancer in deer grazing near gas well

If you leased your property to corporations that will use hydrofracture to extract the last remnants of gas trapped too tightly in stone, you have allowed them to site toxic waste production facilities on your property.

Chemicals added to the enormous quantities of fresh water to be taken from our rivers and streams will forever remove that water from the natural water cycle. All the water used in hydrofracture becomes toxic waste, which New York State is allowing the polluters to run through municipal sewage treatment plants that have no ability to remove the chemicals from the water. The corrupt state government is deviously permitting the toxics to run straight on through municipal treatment plants, to then be dumped into our lakes, rivers, and streams.

Unconventional gas drilling also produces tremendous amounts of air pollution: Ozone that destroys crops and trees; and fugitive gases that increase global warming. The net effect of unconventional (low permeability stone deposit) gas drilling is more — not less — pollution.

If Albany’s facilitation of this global corporate invasion and occupation is not stopped, then over the next few decades there will be hundreds of thousands of high volume high pressure hydrfracture drilling operations sited throughout the farming country of the Catskill, Central, and Southern Tier regions of New York State. Each of those drilling sites will several times remove millions of gallons of fresh water and convert it into toxic waste. The cumulative environmental impact over time will be devastating. Our water, ground and air will be polluted. Twenty years from now the only people who might remain living, in the then gas extraction industrial zones that were traditionally farming areas, will be those too poor to move.

Got neighbors?

Got children?

Got a conscience?

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