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/

Boom Meets Bust in Texas: Atop Sea of Oil, Poverty Digs In

“And though the boom has helped produce fortunes for some and comfortable lives for many, for others it exists within a rural landscape of unpaved streets without garbage pickup, where few dare to drink the tap water because it tastes and smells like chlorine.”   (Read the entire article….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/30/618/

NY’s top court says towns can ban fracking

 In its majority opinion, the Court stated,  “We are asked in these two appeals whether towns may ban oil and gas production activities, including hydrofracking, within municipal boundaries through the adoption of local zoning laws,” Associate Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote in the majority opinion. “We conclude that they may because the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt the home rule authority vested in municipalities to regulate land use.”

(Poster’s note:  New York’s municipalities have been awaiting an appellate level decision for three years.  During that time,  municipalities around the State have been banning “oil and gas production activities”  or they have been reluctant to do so in the face of threatened lawsuits.  Although this decision is open to  appeal,  all  New Yorkers, no matter their stance on fracking,  should celebrate this affirmation of local control.  Read the Court’s opinion here.)

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/30/612/

The Mother of All Anti-Fracking Tools:  community rights tested in Mora, New Mexico.

“Does a community’s right to self-governance trump the rights of corporations? The county ordinance’s basic aim is to protect the water supply in a parched region of a drought-stricken state, but it also contains a bill of rights for the environment, which argues that natural ecosystems ‘possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist.’”  (Read more….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/20/606/

This successful challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s  (FERC) refusal to consider the cumulative impacts of its approved projects is huge!   It’s been the major stumbling block to appealing the Commission’s entire approval process!  Major kudos to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the NJ Sierra Club and New Jersey Highlands Coalition:

In a decision issued June 6, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, ruled that the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the NJ Sierra Club and New Jersey Highlands Coalition were correct in their legal challenge to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Upgrade Project and ordered additional analysis and review. The Court stated: “On the record before us, we hold that in conducting its environmental review of the Northeast Project without considering the other connected, closely related, and interdependent projects on the Eastern Leg, FERC impermissibly segmented the environmental review in violation of NEPA. We also find that FERC’s EA is deficient in its failure to include any  meaningful analysis of the cumulative impacts of the upgrade projects. We therefore grant the petition for review and remand the case to the Commission for further consideration of segmentation and cumulative impacts.” –   (Read more….)

 

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/11/600/

Residents in Colorado Town File Class-Action Lawsuit Against State and Governor to Uphold Fracking Ban

“While the suit centers on fracking, it seeks to protect the citizens’ right to self-governance under the Community Bill of Rights. The residents allege that the Colorado Oil and Gas Act and the industry’s enforcement of it violate that right to local self-government under the U.S. Constitution….  ‘This class action lawsuit is merely the first of many by people across the United States whose constitutional rights to govern their own communities are routinely violated by state governments working in concert with the corporations that they ostensibly regulate,’ said Thomas Linzey, Esq., executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which helped craft Lafayette’s Community Bill of Rights.”    (Read more….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/11/592/

Daily Air Quality Maps.  View by USA, State, Region, Zip Code!

I’m probably the last person in the fracking world to find this but in case anyone else is interested, here’s a terrific link to daily air quality maps. You can look at your specific zip code, at an entire region, etc.  (Follow link….)

Obviously,  these maps are excellent resources for natural gas industry workers and folks living near natural gas industrial activities, especially in light of recent jury awards.

For more on air quality exemptions awarded the fracking industry,  please download DCS’  Timeline of Federal Regulations which includes data from  “What They Knew in 1988-89,” and the 2011 Committee Report that describes the damage done by the 2005 National Environmental Policy Act.

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/09/578/

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/

Environmental statutes and FERC have failed the People and Workers but brilliant legal strategies are winning based on Constitutional and Tort arguments…

(For more on legal news, visit our GasVets Legal Page.)

In Pennsylvania where the challenges continue to Act 13 which threatened all local zoning prerogatives, rights and obligations.  (These Act 13 documents include many documents submitted during the Discovery Phase of the lawsuit!)

 

In the US Supreme Court which upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s  “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.”

In Texas  where a  jury in Dallas  awarded $2.925 million to plaintiffs Bob and Lisa Parr, who sued Barnett shale fracking company Aruba Petroleum Inc. for  intentionally causing a nuisance on the Parr’s property which impacted their health and ruined their drinking water.   (See more…)  (Poster’s comment:  This is huge.  Bypass FERC.  Bypass statutory exemptions.  Go to “Intentional Tort.”  Truly great news from this jury trial.  And no surprise, DeSmog Blog is on top of it.)

 

http://gasvets.org/2014/05/12/brilliant-legal-strategies-are-winning-in-pennsylvania-where-the-challenges-continue-to-act-13-which-threatened-all-local-zoning-prerogatives-rights-and-obligations-these-act-13-documents-inc/

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