Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Frack Brine On Montgomery County Roads?

November 14, 2012

DEP’s Permit Pickle

Pennsylvania’s municipal water treatment plants were designed to handle the bio solids of sewage, not the radioactive compounds contained in shale gas drilling waste. They can’t handle the massive volumes of frack flowback produced in our state.

It takes 4.5 to 9 million gallons of fresh water to hydro-frack a single natural gas well. There are more than 30,000 permits awaiting approval in Pennsylvania over the next 10 years. In addition to the 8,982 frack wells currently operating in Pennsylvania, that equals 165 billion gallons of fresh water, largely from the Special Protection Waters of the Delaware River Watershed and the Susquehanna River Basin. Once removed, this water is destined to become toxic, radioactive frack “flowback.” And, by the way, that’s way more water than we actually have.

At first blush, recycling frack flowback – both onsite and at regional treatment plants – seems like the perfect solution. There’s now a long list of companies who want to sell or lease their services to drillers, along with their glorified mobile distillation units. But this, too, poses new problems and raises even more questions about shale gas waste regulation and oversight. Ultimately, waste recyclers still have to deal with the disposal of the super salty waste bi-product known as brine.

So now, recycled frack brine is to be sold – at around $.05 a gallon – to PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) to spray on our roads for deicing in winter, and something called “dust suppression.”

Seriously, dust suppression.

Untreated frack brine has been shown to include barium, radium, strontium and a range of radionuclides. Sometimes, there’s even uranium. (Yes, there’s uranium down there, too.) Flowback may also contain sodium and calcium salts, iron, oil, numerous heavy metals, diesel fuel and industrial soaps. And now this stuff might be on my running shoes, and the wheels of my kids’ bikes. Heavy snows and spring rains will carry these compounds into our rivers and streams, lacing our waterways with toxins. Are you kidding me?

How is it, though they’re using taxpayer dollars to buy this supposedly “clean” brine, that there was no public input?

Because DEP stamped a permit.

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Manufactured “Rally Tally” Debate Rages Only Under Pink Skies

July 31, 2012

The Sound of 10,000 Feet Marching

I’ve been curious why the lamestream media has been slow to cover the Stop The Frack Attack! rally on Saturday in DC. After all, there were several thousand protesters. (I was there, I counted them.) Then I was reminded that no major news network, not even CNN, covered the largest public protest in Japan’s history earlier in the month, either – 100,000 people opposed to more nuclear power for that Fukushima-shocked nation. Similarly, the media ignored ensuing protests in Tokyo, though the story was finally picked up by Reuters and The Washington Post after protesters vitalized a key gubernatorial election there. Has ANGA threatened to pull their eight billion ads? Philip Bump examines the troubling phenomena of an under-performing media willfully ignoring the news in A Weekend Of Protests Barely Makes The Papers on Grist.org.   (more…)

Babes In Truthland

July 18, 2012

Rep. Jesse White’s Search For An ‘Honest and Fact-Based’ Discussion

There’s nothing irrational about wanting to protect our land, air and water from the ravages of industrial shale gas drilling. Today, Truthland is making the rounds with sponsored viewings in drilling regions across the state. I suppose the showings are meant to mimic the viewings of Gasland that fractivists regularly host in their homes. Make no mistake, Truthland was created by and for the Gas Industry, so they could have an artsy puff piece, sort of a mockumentary answer to Josh Fox’s powerful, Golden Globe winning, Academy Award-nominated film. But serious propaganda it ain’t, and if the ramifications of people believing this dreck weren’t so serious, one might even say it’s a gas. Truth is, Truthland only generates more exposure for Gasland, and makes us impatient for the promised sequel, Gasland2. Until then, Fox fills the factual void with this emergency short film, The Sky Is Pink.

Rep. Jesse White [D-46th] recently attended a viewing of Truthland in his district “to learn” …   (more…)

Nothing Left To Debate

July 17, 2012

They’re poisoning you, and they’re telling you there’s nothing wrong…”

Gas companies don’t have to win the debate over whether fracking is safe or not, they only need to run out the clock. To argue the point seems kinda moot when they’re fracking away anyway. There are more than 200,000 fracking rigs in the US and, according to StateImpact’s frack map app, nearly 7,725 of them are in Pennsylvania. Yet if there’s no honest debate, who really wins and who loses? If you happen to live in a drilling-free county (you know who you are), consider taking a moment to listen to the people who live among the 7,725 rigs. Their experiences make it difficult to maintain that more fossil fuels and deadly dangerous drilling jobs are such a great thing.

The Woodlands by Rich Waters from Butler County, Pennsylvania

“When you’re so used to being healthy, it’s not fun getting sick and not knowing why.

Uploaded by NatureAbounds:  Residents in Butler County, Pennsylvania share their fracking experience. Film shared courtesy of Nature Abounds’ friend Rich Waters, a local photographer and videographer who is documenting how fracking is changing the lives of his neighbors in Southwest Pennsylvania.  (more…)

Fracking Lawsuits Pile Up in Pennsylvania

July 14, 2012

Gas Industry Still In Denial
Shale gas extraction isn’t simply dangerous, it’s toxic. Uninsurable. And it’s not just Nationwide who denies rig operators commercial coverage. Fraccidents and industrial workplace accidents related to fracking have spiked.  (more…)

Drill, Baby, Drill?

July 11, 2012

Not In Anyone’s Backyward!

Health is the Number One Concern of people opposed to fracking. If you have concerns about the potential adverse health effects resulting from unconventional gas extraction, visit The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project at environmentalhealthproject.org for valuable tips and clinic information. Read more about this landmark project in Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project To Address Fracking Health Concerns from the Associated Press via HuffPost Green.

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Just Ask A Pennsylvania Politician

July 8, 2012

Natural gas drilling is complicated. I’ve been known to go on about it long past the point of being polite. Woe to those who ask a simple question because there are no simple answers. Yet if you care deeply about our environment, about public health and the health of future generations, it’s difficult not to get a little impassioned when the subject comes up. Thankfully, it comes up a lot more often. When I’m fortunate enough to have the ear of a state official, I keep it brief but I let them know I’m alarmed by specific impacts of Shale Gas Production. I stick to the facts, and mind my manners of course.

FACT 1:  (more…)