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/

‘Shocking’ underground water loss in US drought

This NASA study looks specifically at the Colorado River Basin and to quote one of the study’s authors,

“The Colorado River Basin is the water lifeline of the western United States,” said senior author Jay Famiglietti, senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He said the basin, like others worldwide, was relying on groundwater to make up for the limited surface-water supply.

“We found a surprisingly high and long-term reliance on groundwater to bridge the gap between supply and demand,” he said.

“Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico,” Famiglietti said.

Read more….

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/24/669/

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/

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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