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/

Project studying illnesses near Minisink gas compressor

Resident says family suffering maladies

TOWN OF MINISINK – Public health toxicologist David Brown does not call his work with people living around gas compressor stations “research.”

“When people are sick, you don’t do a study. You find out what they’re sick from,” he said.

Brown is a founder of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit group begun in 2011, initially devoted to providing public health information and services related to natural gas extraction in Washington County.

Now the Environmental Health Project is studying 30 people living near the Millennium Pipeline gas compressor that was built in Minisink 18 months ago.    (READ MORE…)

http://gasvets.org/2015/03/16/747/

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/

Respiratory and skin complaints more likely within 1 mile of a gas well….

From the January 2015 issue of the scientific journal, “Environmental Health Perspectives” come these excerpts from a health study of 180 households (492 persons) with ground-fed water wells living within 1-2 miles of fracking in Washington County, PA:

“Gas well proximity for each household was compared with the prevalence and frequency of reported dermal, respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neurological symptoms.

Results: The number of reported health symptoms per person was higher among residents living < 1 km (mean ± SD, 3.27 ± 3.72) compared with > 2 km from the nearest gas well (mean ± SD, 1.60 ± 2.14; p = 0.0002).

… reported skin conditions were more common in households < 1 km compared with > 2 km from the nearest gas well….

Upper respiratory symptoms were also more frequently reported in persons living in households < 1 km from gas wells (39%) compared with households 1–2 km or > 2 km from the nearest well (31 and 18%, respectively) (p = 0.004).

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that natural gas drilling activities could be associated with increased reports of dermal and upper respiratory symptoms in nearby communities; these results support the need for further research into health effects of natural gas extraction activities.”

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/123/1/ehp.1307732.alt.pdf

http://gasvets.org/2015/01/05/734/

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/

Fracking risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos in Walport report

EXCERPT:  Fracking carries potential risks on a par with those from thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.

The flagship annual report by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts.  (Read more…)

http://gasvets.org/2014/12/01/716/

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/

Bad Air Day

Around North Texas parks and playgrounds, children are breathing dangerous doses of toxic fumes from gas industry sites.  (Read More…)
(NB from GasVets:  For more on how frackers have been contaminating playgrounds and schools,  please see our “Timeline of Federal Regulations”  and “What They Knew In 1988-89”  which contain this 1989 assertion  from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality:  “The State of Mississippi has found contaminated pipe used in the construction of bleachers at schools.”)

http://gasvets.org/2014/10/13/701/

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/

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/

Video Shows Dumping in Payette River at Black’s Bridge (Idaho). Posted on Facebook by  Alma Hasse (Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction) 3 hours ago (7/24/14):

(To view the video,  you must visit the Facebook link.  Hopefully,  it will be posted at IRAGE’s  website soon. For your reference, here’s a map of the area.)

 

Per Alma Hasse of IRAGE:  “LOOK what Tina and I saw when we were out photographing yesterday afternoon. The crew admitted to dumping, but said it was clean water.

I guess they must have thought we just fell off of the turnip truck yesterday, because I don’t believe that I’ve EVER seen “clean” water coming out of a vacuum tank! And if it was “clean” water that went in, I can GUARANTEE you that it wasn’t clean water coming out.

They’ve also got a hole dug there, covered by a pillowcase in this video. However, I have still pics of the hole before they put that safety device known as a pillowcase down, where it is VERY obvious they’ve been utilizing this hole in the ground to dump the contents of that vacuum tank>

One of the workers tried to tell us was a “test hole” for a well. Only one teeny weeny problem with their story, it wouldn’t make ANY sense that they would want to drill a well of ANY type– five feet from where they’ve just buried two natural gas pipelines 20′ underground!

This video will be sent to ALL the regulatory agencies today, including EPA.”

 

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/24/656/

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/

COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND                                             MEDIA FINDINGS 

DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING
(UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION)

Succinct, easily-understood breakdown  of  the risks and harms of gas extraction & production  with a call that governments and industry  heed the many alarms sounded by the medical and scientific professions.  When you post it at your website and Facebook pages and hand it out at your events, maybe say something  like,   “After you’ve read this, please ask who has your back.  Fossil fuel companies and the government?  Or, doctors and scientists who aren’t being paid by either of them?”  (And then encourage individuals, families and communities who’ve been harmed to consider taking  DCS’  Health & Community Impacts Survey.)

 

From the compendium by  Concerned Health Professionals of New York:  “With increasing urgency, groups of medical professionals and scientists are issuing calls for comprehensive, long-term study of the full range of the potential health and ecosystem effects of drilling and fracking. These appeals underscore the accumulating evidence of harm, point to the major knowledge gaps that remain, and denounce the atmosphere of secrecy and intimidation that continues to impede the progress of scientific inquiry. Health professionals and scientists in the United States and around the world have urged tighter regulation of and in some cases, suspension of unconventional gas and oil extraction activities in order to limit, mitigate or eliminate its serious, adverse public health hazards.”  

 

Read  more …:

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/14/633/

Letter of Dr. Paulson to PA-DEP on Fracking Impacts on Children

NO EVIDENCE TO INDICATE THAT UNCONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS EXTRACTION CAN BE IMPLEMENTED WITH A MINIMUM OF RISK TO HUMAN HEALTH
 
Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP, Medical Director for National & Global Affairs, Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health & the Environment, Child Health Advocacy Institute, Children’s National Health System & Professor of Pediatrics and of Environmental & Occupational Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC. 
Original article by:   DUANE NICHOLS, FRACK CHECK WV, JULY 2, 2014

 

 

 

 

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/06/628/

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/

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