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Gas-Fracking Chemicals Detected in Wyoming Aquifer, EPA Says

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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:31 PM
Original message
Gas-Fracking Chemicals Detected in Wyoming Aquifer, EPA Says
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 01:33 PM by LiberalEsto
Source: Bloomberg News

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said for the first time it found chemicals used in extracting natural gas by hydraulic fracturing in a drinking water aquifer in west-central Wyoming.

Samples taken from two deep-water monitoring wells in Pavillion, Wyoming, showed synthetic chemicals such as glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids, the agency said today in an e-mailed statement.

Residents in the area were told in 2010 to find other water sources for drinking and cooking."




Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-08/gas-fracking-c...



Gee, they FINALLY noticed that fracking might be a problem.

This is the first time the EPA has publicly linked fracking to groundwater contamination.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Drink up, Cheney!!
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good one! Of course Cheney has nine lives! n/t
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. About fracking time the EPA admitted the fracking water-pollution problem with fracking.
And it's breaking news -- what local residents were "told in 2010." The admission comes just a little late.
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Find other sources of water for drinking and cooking" ??
Like, the $2.00/bottle kind?

:nuke: :nuke:
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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Or rain from heaven, I guess. These people are so clueless. n/t
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Yeah, except the rain from heaven likely came over from Fukushima/Dai Ichi ...
:hide: :hide: :hide:
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
37. Fremont County, WY gets an average of 10 inches of rain/snow a year.
They cannot afford to lose ANY source of potable water, much less their aquifer.

This is such a shame, since Fremont County is one of the prettiest places in the entire state.

Stop fracking the Mother!!

K&R
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Too bad that Darth cheney got them exempt from the Clean Water act.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
27. That is the real pisser in all this - no matter what foul results
End up linked to fracking, the oil and gas industries have a pass on the liability.

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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #27
32. Does this mean individuals can't even sue?
What if you never signed a contract with these mf's, and you find their chemicals in your well? Does that mean that you're screwed, with no chance of compensation?

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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. Yep!
The legislation that Cheney let his buddies in the oil gas and coal industries write up back in 2005 exempts these industries from any harm to individuals or the environment.

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Drahthaardogs Donating Member (482 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:44 AM
Response to Reply #41
44. The 2005 Energy Act exempts anything used "downhole"...
from RCRA hazardous waste regulations and from the Clean Water Act (they did not exempt the rigs from the Clean Air Act though which is interesting since Pinedale is now actually a non-attainment zone). If they polluted your well, you would recourse to sue them for damages the same as any other citizen. They may be exempt from RCRA and the CAA, but they are not able to make your well unsafe to drink and exempt from civil litigation. Yes, you could sue. However ,most likely it would never come to that. They would put a treatment system on your well and maintain it for you for free. Probably give you a little cash on the side. It is far cheaper to pacify than it is to actually remediate.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. That is interesting information. Thank you for setting
The record straight.

however, when entire aquifers are in trouble, it still needs to be "scientifically proven" that no other cause created the problem.

I was watching CNN a few weeks back, and citizens in contaminated-by-fracking area wanted to get money from the Big Fracking outfits to help them deal with the now polluted water.

CNN reporter was saying the citizens will get relief only after all other causes are examined. So if several gas stations had leaky pumps - it could take a dozen years to prove the catastrophe didn't come from those.

Gotta be scientific - don't cha know?!?
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Politicalboi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. Haven't we gotten
Rid of the EPA yet? I do believe this is one of the many reasons the Repukes want them to no longer exist. Unbelievable.
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. WHY was fracking given an exception to the Clean Water Act?
Because the industry insisted it was safe? If it were safe, why would it need an exception?

:shrug:
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. First I heard of this exemption, but it's an outrage
It was known years before Cheney darkened the doors of the White House that fracking was hazardous to water supplies.

According to the Environmental Working Group of Washington DC, the EPA linked hydraulic fracturing to water contamination as far back as 1987.

The following is from the Charleston WV Gazette on August 3, 2011. Much more in the article.

Link: http://blogs.wvgazette.com/watchdog/2011/08/03/report-t... /

"Contrary to the drilling industry claim that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated groundwater, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded in a 1987 study that fracking of a natural gas well in West Virginia contaminated an underground drinking water source. That all-but-forgotten report to Congress, uncovered by Environmental Working Group and Earthjustice, found that fracturing gel from a shale gas well more than 4,000 feet deep had contaminated well water.

EPA investigators concluded that the contamination was illustrative of a broader problem of pollution associated with hydraulic fracturing but said the agencys investigation was hampered by confidentiality agreements between industry and affected landowners. Environmental Working Groups year-long investigation of the incident found that several abandoned natural gas wells located near the fractured well in West Virginia could have served as conduits that allowed the gel, a common ingredient in fracking fluid, to migrate into the water well."

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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. My mistake. It's exempted from the "Safe Drinking Water Act"
Here's an article about a bill to repeal the exemption:
http://uusc.org/blog/entry/2600/bill_to_repeal_fracking...

The bill is dated March 2011. I haven't looked it up, but I doubt it passed.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It passed, all right
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 04:34 PM by LiberalEsto
This is from the Environmental Working Group's Aug. 3, 2011 press release:

"Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005 following an EPA study of hydraulic fracturing the previous year which found little risk to water supplies when fracturing is conducted in coal bed methane deposits. Neither Congress nor the EPA mentioned the agencys 1987 finding. EPA is currently conducting a new study of frackings impact on water supplies."

Link to much more: http://www.ewg.org/release/epa-report-fracking-contamin...


This is simply stinking EVIL!

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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. and those coal bed methane deposits are sitting on top of known drinking water sources
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. I meant I'm not sure if the bill to repeal the exemption passed.
I suspect it didn't. I'd look it up, but I don't want my blood vessels to pop when I find out for sure that the exemption wasn't repealed.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. To my knowledge, the 2005 decision stands, i.e. no SDWA regs despite
ample knowledge of dangerous chems getting into drinking water.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Because it was the Bush administration. They didn't need a better reason than that. nt
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. PLUS, "there's no proof our chemicals are getting in the water" so EPA is now doing a study
that will take 2 yrs.

There is already controversy about the scope of the study.
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Frack Glop Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
34. why the exception?
Historical background

late 1940's first environmental regs appeared
1950-2005 - more regs/legislation

MYTH: we've been fracking safely for 60 years.
Fact: they were VERTICAL LOW-PRESSURE fracking, as to doing it safely, there are court cases which are sealed but involve fracking and it's risks.


So if, as they say, they have been fracking "safely" for 60 years - what changed in 2005?

The merger of horizontal drilling and use of slick-water chemicals made it possible to do Fracking as we know it today. Pressure decreases over distance due to friction, adding the "slick-water" chemicals reduces friction and allows for higher pressure. So why the exemption?

It would not be cost effective to do Horizontal-Slick water fracking if they had to meet the regulations.


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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. Wow. No one could have predicted this. And NOTHING will be done.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. "Smirk" -FrackCorp (R)
"Suckers" -FrackCorp (R)
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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's only there to help your Kool-aid dissolve easier!
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leftyohiolib Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. the right wants the water supply polluted so they can make billions selling clean water
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 05:30 PM by leftyohiolib
republicans are a national security threat
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Sounds plausible
First, they destroy our wells and aquifers (they've already wreck the rivers).

Next, they sell us expensive bottled water.

Third, they load the water with some sort of sedatives, so that we will all be happy serfs.
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #18
45. that's what I was thinking
contaminate the water and they can sell you bottled water in their plastic (derived from oil) bottles. Contaminate the air and they can make money with more oxygen bars. Oh, and contaminate the food-they can monopolize the "organic" food market.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
19. Meanwhile, everyone was lighting their faucet ablaze with a match for years and years now
GASLAND is a must see.

'Gasland' Documentary Shows Water That Burns, Toxic Effects Of Natural Gas Drilling (VIDEO)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/21/gasland-docume...
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I just saw gasland for the first time ~ a month ago.
Fracking is nothing less than criminal. Are we really so short-sighted that we're willing to trade our CLEAN WATER sources for a chance to genuflect at the altar of the almighty US Dollar?

Apparently we are.
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Frack Glop Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #23
35. Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Reality Tour
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Boudica the Lyoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #35
48. Thanks for the link
This is scary as hell!
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
25. Sure. Fine them but don't clean it up as usual.
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
26. "...chemicals used in extracting natural gas by hydraulic fracturing in a drinking water..."
....yuck, bluck!....we can't drink the oceans, we can't drink surface water, we can't drink ground water, what are we to drink?

....crapitalism has wrecked the planet after feeding us lies....why would we ever believe an industry or system that brought us Gulf spill tar balls?
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Frack Glop Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
28. the Elephant in the Gas Wells
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Oh my Goddess!
I've long know there was a connection between shale and radon, because I used to live in Somerset, NJ atop the New Brunswick Shale formation. We had to do a radon monitoring when we sold our house. Lots of people in Central NJ have had to install systems to vent radon gas from their basements and crawl spaces.

Radon exposure can lead to increased risk of cancer.

But it never occurred to me until I saw your post that fracturing the shale would lead to even worse hazards than contaminating the precious aquifers which supply drinking water to huge numbers of people.

Fracking must be stopped!



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Frack Glop Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #31
36. used drill pipes/shafts
often when a part of the drill rig/pipe/shafts etc are no longer of use to a "gasser" - these will be sold for scrap metal, or put to use in other ways, like construction playground equipment.

These parts are used many times over before being scrapped, which mean they have had repeated exposure to radiation and absorb it.

see also : http://www.newser.com/story/112950/hydrofrackings-ugly-...
Hydrofracking's Ugly Secret: From Gas Wells, Bad Water
Radiation more than 1K times legal limit not properly treated


www.gdacoalition.org (Gas Drilling Awareness Coaltion) also has a lot of good info
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #36
40. welcome to DU, Frack Glop
You are certainly knowledgeable about this issue and I'm glad you're here


:hi:
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Frack Glop Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 03:53 AM
Response to Original message
29. Connecting the Dots: The Marcellus Natural Gas Play Players Part 1
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #29
49. corporate money in politics, so surprising
NOT
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
30. K & R
They never seem to learn. :(
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
33. Reuters market analyst calls for fracking reg. reform
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 08:38 AM by LiberalEsto
This is an excellent article. Read the whole thing.

COLUMN-Wyoming frack storm shows need for better regulation: Kemp

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/09/column-us-fra...

By John Kemp

"Dec 9 (Reuters) - Preliminary evidence that hydraulic fracturing may have contaminated drinking water at a small hamlet in Wyoming shows why the industry urgently needs to embrace intelligent regulation and engage with safety officials if North America's unconventional oil and gas reserves are to be exploited fully.

Responding to complaints about foul-tasting water in local wells at Pavillion (population 165), investigators found concentrations of benzene and dissolved hydrocarbons near pits used for storage of drilling waste, and dissolved chemicals and methane associated with fracking in two wells drilled 200-300 metres down into the drinking water aquifer.

In a draft report released on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded leaking waste had contaminated the nearby shallow wells. The most likely explanation for contamination at deeper levels was that methane and fracking fluids migrated up from the fracking zone into the overlying aquifer."

Kemp cites an industry report that says "up to 95 percent of all oil and gas wells drilled today are hydraulically fractured, accounting for 43 percent of total U.S. oil production and 67 percent of natural gas production, according to a report prepared by the National Petroleum Council for the U.S. Department of Energy."
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tex-wyo-dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
38. I may be wrong, but I believe this area of Wyoming...
was one of the first places they attempted fracking....probably because if anything went wrong they would be in a low population area...and who cares if a few hundred people get sick (much better than thousands).

Also, during the Bushco years, federal land oil and gas leases were handed out like candy at Halloween. Big energy companies knew they could pretty much do anything they wanted and get away with it due to friends in high places.

Don't think much is different now in this regard, unfortunately.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Only thing that I can see has changed is the public perception of the problem
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 04:55 PM by truedelphi
And now we also understand it doesn't matter which Big Political Party is in office.

However, with the ring of activists surrounding the WH, the public was able to let Obama know to at least do some political grandstanding and put off his decisions on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

So many, many of us thought once we had a Dem in the WH, things related to the environment would no longer require our being out in the streets.





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BeHereNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #38
47. All the pie was sliced in the secret Cheney Energy Task Force meetings
Any one from DU still around who recalls that crime?
BHN
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-12-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. And he's never been called to Congress to talk about it - "executive privilege"
no doubt :puke:
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
39. Like, I'm not even surprised. WTF do they expect to happen? nt
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Shoe Horn Donating Member (54 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
43. Didn't they just have a horrific OIL SPILL recently? Sheesh.
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