#1 Fracking pollutes aquifers!

Santos coal seam gas project contaminates aquifer - March 8, 2014

A coal seam gas project operated by energy company Santos in north-western NSW has contaminated a nearby aquifer, with uranium at levels 20 times higher than safe drinking water guidelines, an official investigation has found.

It is the first confirmation of aquifer contamination associated with coal seam gas activity in Australia - a blow to an industry pushing state and federal governments for permission to expand.

Santos was fined $1500 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority, which posted a media release on its website on February 18, without identifying the nature of the contamination.

source: Sydney Morning Herald

4 states confirm water pollution from drilling - January 5, 2014

— Pennsylvania has confirmed at least 106 water-well contamination cases since 2005, out of more than 5,000 new wells. There were five confirmed cases of water-well contamination in the first nine months of 2012, 18 in all of 2011 and 29 in 2010. The Environmental Department said more complete data may be available in several months.

— Ohio had 37 complaints in 2010 and no confirmed contamination of water supplies; 54 complaints in 2011 and two confirmed cases of contamination; 59 complaints in 2012 and two confirmed contaminations; and 40 complaints for the first 11 months of 2013, with two confirmed contaminations and 14 still under investigation, Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark Bruce said in an email. None of the six confirmed cases of contamination was related to fracking, Bruce said.

— West Virginia has had about 122 complaints that drilling contaminated water wells over the past four years, and in four cases the evidence was strong enough that the driller agreed to take corrective action, officials said.

— A Texas spreadsheet contains more than 2,000 complaints, and 62 of those allege possible well-water contamination from oil and gas activity, said Ramona Nye, a spokeswoman for the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees drilling. Texas regulators haven’t confirmed a single case of drilling-related water-well contamination in the past 10 years, she said.

Source: USA Today

Also see:  

[caption id=“attachment_5979” align=“alignnone” width=“620”]source: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/santos-coal-seam-gas-project-contaminates-aquifer-20140307-34csb.html NSW farmers Ted and Julia Borowski (holding banner) protest against Santos’ coal seam gas project near the Pilliga State Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell[/caption]

#2 Fracking creates tons of Radioactive Waste

Ohio Executive Pleads Guilty, Faces Three Years in Prison For Dumping Fracking Wastewater - March 26, 2014

Just over a year after he pleaded not guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, an Ohio wastewater company owner changed his tune regarding allegations that he dumped or ordered the dumping of thousands of gallons of toxic and potentially radioactive fracking wastewater into a storm drain.

Ben Lupo, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland this week, the Associated Press reported. He faces up to three years in prison, a year of supervised release and fines that could total $250,000. He will be sentenced on June 16.

source: EcoWatch

Radioactive Waste Booms With Fracking as New Rules Mulled - April 16, 2014
Oilfields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take.

State regulators are caught between environmental and public health groups demanding more regulation and the industry, which says it’s already taking proper precautions. As scientists debate the impact of small amounts of radiation on cancer risks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there’s not enough evidence to say what level is safe.

Left to police the waste, state governments are increasing their scrutiny of well operators. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are revising limits for acceptable radiation levels and strengthening disposal rules. North Dakota’s doing the same, after finding piles of garbage bags filled with radioactive debris in an abandoned building this year.

“We have many more wells, producing at an accelerating rate, and for each of them there’s a higher volume of waste,” said Avner Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who’s studied the issue. Without proper handling, “we are actually building up a legacy of radioactivity in hundreds of points where people have had leaks or spills around the country.”

source: Bloomberg

[caption id=“attachment_5980” align=“alignnone” width=“720”]Source: North Dakota Dept of Health via Bloomberg On Feb. 28, North Dakota officials found hundreds of irradiated “filter socks” – used to strain wastewater from wells – dumped in an abandoned building in Noonan, just south of the Canadian border. The filters registered about 40 microrems of radiation, about eight times the naturally occurring “background level” in the area, the state said. Source: North Dakota Dept of Health via Bloomberg[/caption]

#3 Fracking is bad for Climate Change!

Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas - January 2, 2013

The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study1 suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere. If methane — a potent greenhouse gas — is leaking from fields across the country at similar rates, it could be offsetting much of the climate benefit of the ongoing shift from coal- to gas-fired plants for electricity generation.

Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.

“We were expecting to see high methane levels, but I don’t think anybody really comprehended the true magnitude of what we would see,” says Colm Sweeney, who led the aerial component of the study as head of the aircraft programme at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder.

source: nature.com

Solving the Case of California’s Extra Methane - May 15, 2013

… Peischl found that the methane leak rate from Los Angeles-area oil and gas operations was 17 percent. This is high; leakage rates of “fugitive emissions” from oil and gas drilling operations are currently estimated at 4 percent by U.S. EPA (ClimateWire, April 4).

source: scientificamerican.com

A Mysterious Patch Of Light Shows Up In The North Dakota Dark - January 16, 2013

What we have here is an immense and startlingly new oil and gas field — nighttime evidence of an oil boom created by a technology called fracking. Those lights are rigs, hundreds of them, lit at night, or fiery flares of natural gas. One hundred fifty oil companies, big ones, little ones, wildcatters, have flooded this region, drilling up to eight new wells every day on what is called the Bakken formation. Altogether, they are now producing 660,000 barrels a day — double the output two years ago — so that in no time at all, North Dakota is now the second-largest oil producing state in America. Only Texas produces more, and those lights are a sign that this region is now on fire … to a disturbing degree. Literally.

Source: NPR.org

[caption id=“attachment_5981” align=“alignnone” width=“948”]http://www.fractracker.org/2013/07/bakkenflare/ In the hazy world of gas flaring and venting, finding worthwhile data often leads one to a dead end. Although the Energy Information Administration (EIA) holds the authority to require active oil/gas companies to disclose this data, they choose not to. EIA will not proceed with such actions because, “…assessing the volume of natural gas vented and flared would add significant reporting burdens to natural gas producers causing them substantial investments.” Additionally, the EIA is not confident that oil/gas producing companies have the capability to accurately estimate their own emissions from venting or flaring activities. Source: FracTracker[/caption]

#4 Fracking causes Earthquakes!

Greeley quake may be related to nearby disposal wells - June 5, 2014

The understanding that disposal wells cause quakes has been known, studied and fully documented by the federal government for more than 30 years.

In fact, one of the last times Greeley felt a quake would have been in 1967 when a quake measuring 5.3, the largest to ever hit the Front Range, was felt from Denver to Goodland, Kan., to Laramie, Wyo. It was later determined that this quake was caused by the toxic liquids disposal well at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Commerce City. As a result of the Arsenal’s quake, the government began studying the well, determining exactly how much pressure caused how large of a quake. By the time the experiment ended, the government had intentionally caused more than 1,300 earthquakes for the sake of research.

This research continues at various locations today. A disposal well in western Colorado, located 110 miles south of Grand Junction known as the Paradise Valley Unit, has now been studied by the federal government for 25 years and has generated more than 4,000 quakes on demand for research.

It is disposal well research such as that described above that has allowed the U.S. Geological survey to say that the damage-causing earthquakes near Trinidad, Colo., the past few years were the result of oil and gas disposal wells.

In the past year there have also been more than 500 earthquakes in Oklahoma, an area of stable seismic activity like Greeley, that have also likely been caused by disposal wells. In Oklahoma, the U.S. Geological Survey is warning that so many quakes could actually lead to a massive quake.

There are four disposal wells located near the epicenter of the Greeley quake.

Source: Boulder Weekly

Seismologist: Fracking Injection Wells Linked to Earthquakes - January 31, 2014

Dr. Elizabeth Cochran is a seismologist with the US Geological Survey in Pasadena, California. As an observational seismologist, her research ranges from developing new techniques to densely observe earthquakes to evaluating possible cases of induced seismicity. She, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Oklahoma and Columbia University, linked the M5.7 Prague, Oklahoma earthquake to nearby wastewater injection; this event is the largest earthquake ever associated with wastewater injection. In 2010, she was recognized with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the highest honor, bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Source: The Real News

And the list goes on…


More Resources

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The Fracking Song (My Water’s On Fire Tonight)

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