The Natural Resources Defense Council is  “Lifting the Veil on Oil and Gas Company Spills and Violations.”

EXCERPT: “Sadly, in most of the United States, neither state nor federal agencies are providing information on violations in a transparent, easily accessible, or comprehensive way.

Corporations aren’t providing this information either.”

Please read more of this important report…

http://gasvets.org/2015/04/06/756/

Dallas doctor gets no answers on frack fluid ingredients.

(Gas Vets note:  Courts and corporations have more importance than the public health…)

After his failed attempts to fight the state’s oil and gas law in court, Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., is ready to sign a nondisclosure form to view a full list of ingredients in hydraulic fracturing fluid. If only someone could tell him where to find it. Read more at the  Hazleton Standard Speaker…..

http://gasvets.org/2015/04/06/752/

Tomblin Calls for Study of Increased Deaths from Gas Drilling Boom

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is calling for a study aimed at reversing the increase in workplace deaths that has accompanied the boom in natural gas drilling and production from the Marcellus Shale fields in Northern West Virginia. –

Read more at the Charleston Gazette….

New York Times publishes study and documents:   Natural Gas’s Toxic Waste

 

EXCERPT:  “Over the past nine months, The Times reviewed more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through open records requests of state and federal agencies and by visiting various regional offices that oversee drilling in Pennsylvania. Some of the documents were leaked by state or federal officials. Here, the most significant documents are made available with annotations from The Times.

This study was provided to The Times by an E.P.A. official who said it shows that dilution of drilling waste does not always succeed in eliminating the health risks posed by that waste. The study is marked confidential and was conducted on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute in 1990. It found a potential increased risk of cancer among people who often eat fish from waters where drilling waste is discharged. The study is relevant because state regulators in Pennsylvania have said that dilution is effectively removing the risks posed by drilling waste that is discharged into rivers. Importantly, this study found an increased risk of cancer when drilling waste was dumped into a larger body of water than Pennsylvania rivers. Furthermore, state records indicate that the radium levels found in Pennsylvania wastewater are much higher than those used in this study. Radium, for example, was found in Pennsylvania at levels over 18 times the number used in the this study. It should be noted, however, that this study did not detail actual cases of increased cancer. Rather, it modeled potential increases in cancer rates as a result of radium-laced drilling waste being discharged into large waterways.
In an e-mail exchange with The Times, Anne F. Meinhold, one of the lead authors of of the study, wrote, “I suspect that the dilution rates in a river would not be as high as for the open water discharges we considered.” She cautioned, however: “The bioaccumulation factors and ingestion rates we used were based on data collected in the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t know if bioaccumulation factors for freshwater fish would be similar or if freshwater fishermen could be assumed to eat as much fish caught over their lifetime.”

Asked about the study, Bill Bush, a spokesman for the American Petroluem Institute, said, “We have no reason to challenge what’s in the study, but to confirm it’s accurate would require someone with expertise to go over it and thoroughly digest what it says in light of any additional related research done over the past 20 years.” Asked to review the study, an expert on human health and ecological risk analysis said that it clearly shows that the drilling waste is not sufficiently diluted in some cases. As a result, the radioactivity levels left behind in receiving waters come close to reaching the threshold at which the E.P.A., under federal Superfund rules, requires a cleanup, the risk expert said.”

 

 

 

 

http://gasvets.org/2015/01/05/737/

Fracking sand in oilfields stirs up a serious health risk for workers

Health concerns about oil field fracking have been focused on the mixed brew of chemicals injected into wells. But it is another innocuous-sounding substance — sand — that poses a more serious danger to workers.

Government overseers of workplace safety first highlighted the problem three years ago and issued a hazard alert a year later warning that high levels of fine quartz sand around fracking operations could lead to silicosis and other lung illnesses.  (Read more….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/12/16/730/

Phenomenal work by Marcellus Outreach Butler in compiling this partial month-by-month list of Spills, Accidents, and Violations by frackers. The link takes you to reports for 2014 but MOB has plenty for before this year, too. Thank you, MOB!

http://www.marcellusoutreachbutler.org/spill-baby-spill

http://gasvets.org/2014/12/16/725/

SMITH CASE STUDY:  Blackout in the Gas Patch: Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement

From EarthWorks Action’s  study:

Our research on gas wells and facilities in the area revealed several pollution events, problems that persisted for long periods of time, and plausible reasons why the development would have compromised air and water quality. In addition, there were instances when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) gave operators the benefit of the doubt about activities and incidents. Yet it was only because residents filed complaints that DEP conducted some inspections and investigations and discovered violations. – See more at: http://www.earthworksaction.org/library/detail/blackout_case_study_4_angel_and_wayne_smith#.VEVm6PnF9MU

http://gasvets.org/2014/10/20/705/

Fracking workers exposed to dangerous amounts of benzene, study says

(NB GasVets.org:   Although this article was first published  9/11/14,  it’s received little attention.  For more on worker health and threats to it,  see  GasVets’  Timeline of Federal Regulations which includes data from  “What They Knew in 1988-89,  and  the 2011  Minority Congressional report which lists 650 fracking chemicals that are known- or potential-carcinogens,  If you are a GasVet worker or a resident of  “Gasland”  who believes you’ve suffered harm from fracking,  please participate in Damascus Citizens’  Health and Community Impacts Survey.)

“Some workers at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are routinely exposed to high levels of benzene, a colorless gas that can cause cancer, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The agency, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends that people limit their benzene exposure to an average of 0.1 of a part per million during their shift. But when NIOSH researchers measured the amount of airborne benzene that oil and gas workers were exposed to when they opened hatches atop tanks at well sites, 15 out of 17 samples were over that amount.

Benzene, a component of crude oil, “is of major concern because it can be acutely toxic to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys at high concentrations,” the study authors wrote. As the CDC explains, benzene interferes with the normal workings of cells.

‘It can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia,” according to the CDC. “Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.’”

http://gasvets.org/2014/10/08/693/

Confessions of an Oil and Gas Worker: I live in Heaven, but I work in Hell…

“I live in Heaven, but I work in Hell…

My family and I moved away from Alberta last September in order to have a better life. We chose a place that was near my wife’s hometown in New Brunswick. A place where the speed of life is slower and more manageable. Now we find out this area is targeted for oil and gas development.”

http://gasvets.org/2014/09/15/683/

Two deaths in four days shocks south west mining community

Australia.

http://gasvets.org/2014/09/15/681/

Auditor General of PA says PADEP is deficient and overtaken by shale gas development.  

Report’s findings mirror concerns raised by Pennsylvanians dealing with water contamination

The link will take you to the actual  audit and  a statement  from a Pennsylvania coalition:

Steve Hvozdovich, Clean Water Action, 412-765-3053 x 210 cell – 412-445-9675
Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726 berksgastruth@gmail.com
Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, 215-369-1188 x 102 (rings through to cell)
Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 215-369-1188 ext. 104
Nadia Steinzor, Earthworks Oil and Gas Accountability Project, 845-417-6505
Thomas Au, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, 717-234-7445
Nick Kennedy, Mountain Watershed Association, 724-455-4200 x 6 www.mtwatershed.com

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/24/663/

DEP: Oil and gas operations damaged water supplies 209 times since end of ’07

“Oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007, according to official determinations compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection that the agency is preparing to release for the first time.”

 

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/24/652/

Wolf says he would ‘restore trust’ in PA’s health                                                 department drilling policies

As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, two retired state health department workers claim employees were instructed not to respond to phone calls from people who complained about natural gas operations.

In 2012, employees were sent a list of 19 drilling-related “buzzwords” and directed to forward phone calls from people who used those words to the Bureau of Epidemiology. Employees were also required to fill out a permission form and get high-level approval before attending any meetings on topics related to Marcellus Shale development. (Read More….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/14/647/

Expert: PA Didn’t Address Fracking Health Impacts

 

Former health secretary says PA has failed to seriously study the potential health impacts of fracking
By Kevin Begos, The Associated Press, July 12, 2014.  

Pennsylvania’s former health secretary says the state has failed to seriously study the potential health impacts of one of the nation’s biggest natural gas drilling booms. Dr. Eli Avila also says the state’s current strategy is a disservice to people and even to the industry itself because health officials need to be proactive in protecting the public. “The lack of any action speaks volumes,” said Avila, who is now the public health commissioner for Orange County, New York. “Don’t BS the public. Their health comes first.”    (Read more….) 

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/14/643/

Fla. DEP gives oil drilling company 9 demands

The nine demands levied against the Dan A Hughes Company by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (FLADEP) reflect the  fundamental reasons Damascus Citizens for Sustainability created 1) the Natural Gas Health and Community Impacts Survey and 2) a protocol for transmitting individual and community impact  data to the (federal) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):

  • DCS and ATSDR recognized that the Agency  does  not  receive enough data from state authorities to initiate Public Health Assessments  or to create a federal registry of reported natural gas extraction and production  harms and impacts.  (Demands # 2, 3, 5, 6, 9)
  • Beyond illuminating individual and community health impacts, the Survey asks several questions that establish the nature of residents’ interactions with oversight agencies and the responses received.)

Other of the nine demands  might establish,

  • proximal cause of contaminations;
  • who knew what when and what they did about it;
  • whether or not protocols exist to enable reasonable oversight and enforcement to protect the public health and safety and whether or not fraudulent actions were taken  to bypass existing oversight and enforcement protocols. (Demands #  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-9)

Demand #1 seems innocuous but DCS’  review of  the Hancock Compressor proposal, for instance, questioned whether or not the pro forma nature of FERC approvals and consequent dismissal of  public concerns and comments contravened the  National Environmental Policy Act.

 

(From the ABC coverage…)  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is giving the Dan A. Hughes Company two weeks to comply with nine demands or face penalties.

A letter was issued to the Texas-based oil drilling company from Florida DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard, Jr. on Thursday.

The letter outlines steps the company needs to take to restore public confidence in it’s Collier County projects.

The demands were stated as follows:

1. Publish dates and times that Dan A. Hughes will hold three public meetings to discuss and take public comment on your plans for the Collier-Hogan site and future operations in Collier County.

  1.  Confirm whether Hughes took samples of the flowback material that was trucked off the Collier-Hogan site prior to June 23, 2014, when DEP arrived to inspect the site. If samples exist, immediately provide those samples to DEP. If Hughes did not take samples of the flowback material, prior to trucking off-site, provide an explanation as to why and who, specifically at Dan A. Hughes, made the decision not to sample these materials and why DEP was not notified of this action.
  2.  Publicly announce media and public access to your operations to ensure that the previous violations are not ongoing.
  3.  Publicly commit to testify before the County Commission’s July 8 meeting to discuss your current practices and long term plans.
  4.  Provide an explanation of the agreement between Dan A. Hughes and the facility that agreed to accept the flowback material to provide full assurance that this material is being disposed of appropriately to safeguard the public. Also include a copy of the renewed pretreatment permit issued by Miami-Dade County, as the current permit you provided to DEP expired on May 31, 2014.
  5.  Provide the revisions of the groundwater monitoring plan as required by DEP to address the deficiencies previously identified by the Department. This would include a prompt schedule of when Dan A. Hughes will be conducting on-site testing.
  6.  Provide the names and qualifications of the individuals at Dan A. Hughes who are responsible for implementing the requirements of this Consent Order and ensuring compliance on-site. We are aware that you have released the environmental compliance consultant and project engineer who were working with DEP on the implementation of the Consent Order, and we ask that you provide an explanation for the release of these individuals. It is important that we have the information necessary to determine the expertise of those employed by Dan A. Hughes to protect the public.
  7.  Provide the name of your recommended independent third-party expert that will conduct the study under the Consent Order. The Consent Order required Dan A. Hughes to provide a third-party expert acceptable to DEP and a scope of work within 60 days, which was June 7, 2014. The independent third-party expert you initially proposed was rejected by DEP because, as a prior contractor for Dan A. Hughes, that company (Stantec) had a clear conflict of interest. The independence of the third-party expert is critical to ensure unbiased information.
  8.  The Company must provide every 10 days a status report as to the utilization of its Spill Prevention and Cleanup Plan to ensure that proper safety mechanisms are in place. Aerial photographs and on the ground assessments have exposed oil sheen on the ground that are allegedly the result of Hughes’ techniques of spraying oil into truck tanks. It is important to know whether or not this activity is part of the Spill Prevention and Cleanup Plan.

    The letter states that the stipulations are non-negotiable.  The Dan A. Hughes Company has until July 15 to complete the demands.

For background on Dan A. Hughes in Collier County, Florida, you can begin here.

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/06/622/

Romanian Fracking worker dies on the job, as toxic frack chemicals kill or harm many more around the world.

“…they came for the [workers] and I didn’t stand up…”  Please defend the world’s workforce.  They are we and we are they.  Join us at our Gas Vets Facebook page and on Twitter.

 

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/04/575/

Physicians, Scientists & Engineers Video on Fracking and Worker Health:

Excellent video about the impacts of fracking and related activities on worker health.  This is particularly interesting in light of silicosis and all of what NIOSH and OSHA have known for years.  Please review our timeline of federal regulations, including what  the Feds knew in 1988-89.

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/04/573/

Letter from 250 Medical Organizations, Health Experts and Researchers Sent to NYS Governor Cuomo and Acting Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Zucker

Per Dr. Sandra Steingraber:  “Yesterday, [May 29, 2014] a broad-based coalition of more than 250 medical organizations, health experts and researchers – mostly from NYS but some luminaries and fracking researchers from elsewhere as well – sent a letter to NY’s Governor Cuomo and our new acting Department of Health commissioner, Dr. Zucker.

The letter lays out recent science and trends in the data and calls for a 3-5 year concrete moratorium. The national Physicians for Social Responsibility is among the signatories, as are the American Academy of Pediatrics District II, American Lung Association in NY, Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, numerous breast cancer networks, many doctors and even some county health departments.”

Medical Experts to Governor Cuomo May 29FINAL (2)

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/02/568/

In Illinois where Farmers Insurance believes climate damage is foreseeable, not an “Act of God.”   

 “A major insurance company is accusing dozens of localities in Illinois of failing to prepare for severe rains and flooding in lawsuits that are the first in what could be a wave of litigation over who should be liable for the possible costs of climate change.    Farmers Insurance filed class action lawsuit last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area for failing to prepare for flooding. The suits argue towns should have known climate change would produce more flooding.”

http://gasvets.org/2014/05/19/562/

The AFL-CIO  Issues 23rd Annual  “Death on the Job Report”  and fracking in North Dakota shows alarming data.

  • The fatality rate in the mining and oil and gas extraction sector in North Dakota was an alarming 104.0 per 100,000, more than six times the national fatality rate of 15.9 per 100,000 in this industry; and the construction sector fatality rate in North Dakota was 97.4 per 100,000, almost ten times the national fatality rate of 9.9 per 100,000 for construction.  Read much, much more…..

http://gasvets.org/2014/05/17/552/

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