Mudslinging or Mud Blowout: Susquehanna County, PA – Updated

The once pristine “high value” Laurel Lake Creek north of Allentown in Silver Lake Township, Susquehanna County is now the site of the latest Fraccident in Eastern Pennsylvania, according to Department of Environmental Protection officials. The persistent mud blowout was caused when Laser Northeast Gathering Co., LLP crews were tunneling beneath the “protected” waterway to lay a gas pipeline on Friday, July 29, 2011. Mud continues gushing today, one week later.

The DEP says everything’s fine. The mud, which the company calls an “inadvertent return,” contains only 5% drilling chemicals, about 1,400 gallons, and is comprised mostly of BARA KADE bentonite clay, which is far more toxic to fish that humans, unless you inhale a whole bunch of it. Kevin R. Marion, Laser’s director of pipeline engineering services, was equally reassuring. He said the mud was forced to the surface through existing fissures in the rock, but that the company is considering a soy-based additive that is “supposed to help in this type of situation to plug fissures.” Let’s hope it’s organic soy. SOURCE: Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press

Want to get really freaked? Check out this video of the Laurel Lake Creek mud blowout taken by intrepid citizen-activist. Vera Duerga. It shows crews using sand bags, bales of hay and a large, motorized pump to unsuccessfully contain the spill. Want to get active? Join local residents who will walk today from Salt Springs State Park, which is fed by Laurel Lake Creek, to the spill site a few miles away. Better still, plan to join a broad coalition of anti-drilling activist groups who will gather for a conference, rally, and interfaith Blessing of Our Endangered Waters in Philadelphia on Wednesday, September 7, 2011.

To find out more, visit: ShaleGasOutrage.org

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UPDATE: As of Saturday, August 13, 2011, construction of the pipeline was shut down, pending a decision by  DEP Secretary, Michael “my job is to get gas done” Krancer. According to an article by Robert L. Baker in The Times-Tribune, “A biological survey is under way to document whether there was an impact. The 30-mile Susquehanna Gathering System will transport gas tapped from the Marcellus Shale through Susquehanna County and Broome County, N.Y., where it will connect with the Millennium interstate pipeline. The project has been under construction since February. Laurel Lake Creek is part of the Silver Creek watershed, which includes Salt Springs State Park.”

Read the entire article: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dep-shuts-down-laser-pipeline-in-wake-of-spills-1.1188107#ixzz1VCC3syzL
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NEW UPDATE: Two days later, with a new plan to divert the high value stream, and the DEP’s blessing, the pipeline crew is back in business.
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