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8,000-Gallon Gas Drilling Frac Spill In PA; Fish Kill Confirmed, Others "Swimming Erratically"

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:12 PM
Original message
8,000-Gallon Gas Drilling Frac Spill In PA; Fish Kill Confirmed, Others "Swimming Erratically"
Pennsylvania environment officials are racing to clean up as much as 8,000 gallons of dangerous drilling fluids after a series of spills at a natural gas production site near the town of Dimock last week.

The spills, which occurred at a well site run by Cabot Oil and Gas, involve a compound manufactured by Halliburton that is described as a "potential carcinogen" and is used in the drilling process of hydraulic fracturing, according to state officials. The contaminants have seeped into a nearby creek, where a fish kill was reported by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP also reported fish "swimming erratically."

The incident is the latest in a series of environmental problems <1> connected to Cabots drilling in the Dimock area. Last winter, drinking water in several area homes <2> was found to contain metals and methane gas that state officials determined leaked underground from Cabot wells. And in the spring, the company was fined for several other spills, including an 800-gallon diesel spill from a truck that overturned.

Neither Cabot Oil and Gas nor Halliburton immediately returned calls for comment on Monday. A Halliburton spokesperson sent an e-mail referring any questions to information on the companys Web site.

EDIT

http://www.propublica.org/feature/frack-fluid-spill-in-...
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benld74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. But yet it will be some poor soul's job to CLEAN up the spill!
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's the clean fossil fuel!
:patriot:
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Deep Gas. It's the Future!
F**k the Hybrid, a generation of gas-powered cars is on its way! No nukes, whack the windmills, stifle the solar, and go light on the lithium, 'cause we now have the Tech to tap directly into Mother Nature's golden farts! And how sweet it is!

500 TCF (TRILLION cubic feet) in the Devonian Marcellus system alone. Deep Gas has only recently been developable. So we need not worry about Peak Oil any more.

On the other hand, there IS this greenhouse gas thing ...

... but at least there will be some prime beachfront property opening up in the Poconos and Catskills in about 50 years. And haven't you always wanted to take a leisurely cruise on Lake Sacramento?

(Yes, this is sarcasm. Deep Gas scares me. Do a Google search on "Deep Gas" and read some of the links to see why it should scare you, too.)

--d!
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Local coverage
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 02:25 PM by OKIsItJustMe
From Wilkes-Barre, PA:
http://www.timesleader.com/news/Drilling_gas_gel_spills...


The spill occurred as Halliburton was using a fluid to fracture the Marcellus Shale and release the natural gas within it, he said. Baker Tank, the contractor responsible for tanking and piping for the frack job, allowed a pipe to come loose and release the gel, he said.




From Honesdale, PA:
http://www.wayneindependent.com/news/x576510049/Fractur...


The fluid made its way into Stevens Creek and a wetland, spurring a massive clean up and biological impact investigation by the state environmental regulator and the state fish & boat commission.



The chemicals can be harmful to human health, causing sickness and the possibility of various forms of cancer.

This would be Cabot Oil & Gas Corps second disastrous incident in Dimock Township since the company began extensive drilling operations in the township last year. A protective well casing failed at a different well around December 2008, causing methane to pollute the local aquifer.



The spill on Wednesday occurred in the vicinity of a natural gas well named Heitsman. According to a Wayne Independent review of DEP records, Cabot has five natural gas wells called Heitsman - with four of the five incurring violations from the state environmental regulator.



From Ithaca, NY:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/article/20090917/NEWS01...


The agent was released in two separate spills related to equipment failure or human error. Between 25 and 50 barrels escaped in the afternoon and about 140 barrels spilled in the evening, Carmon said. Each barrel holds about 42 gallons.

Cabot's operations in Dimock have kept regulators busy since the Houston-based company began ramping up operations in 2008.

Since then, the DEP has found that Cabot operations have caused unacceptable levels of methane to get into private water supplies. Four wells have been taken offline to prevent explosions and at least a dozen are being tested regularly. The company also installed systems at some homes to either take out natural gas or other contamination that has been linked to drilling.

There have been at least two other spills that required a cleanup. The company was fined $4,000 in civil penalties, plus $915 to help recover the cost of an emergency response after the operators spilled 800 gallons of diesel fuel in the spring of 2008 that threatened a nearby stream.




From Binghamton, NY:
http://www.wbng.com/news/local/59777742.html

Frack Water Spill in Dimock

By WBNG News

Story Created: Sep 18, 2009 at 5:17 PM EDT
Story Updated: Sep 18, 2009 at 5:29 PM EDT

Clean up is complete after large spill related to natural gas drilling in Susquehanna County.



The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection investigated the site today along with officials from Cabot.

The Houston-based gas company says the clean up went smoothly.



Cabot says a few fish may have died in the creek but says there was no damage to the surrounding environment.

http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20090918/NEWS01/90...


Documents kept on site, intended to detail properties and hazards of drilling fluids, were "relatively vague," Carmon said. The sheets, called Material Safety and Data Sheets, document hazardous materials at industrial sites to help emergency responders gauge risks associated with spills or accidents.

The gas industry is exempt from a provision in the federal Clean Drinking Water Act that requires full disclosure of chemicals injected into the ground -- an issue that has raised protests among advocates seeking tougher oversight.


http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20090919/NEWS01/90...


News From Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York:
http://readme.readmedia.com/news/show/IOGA-of-NY-Press-...


"On behalf of members the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, we are deeply concerned with the incident that occurred, in Dimock, Pennsylvania yesterday (September 17, 2009). It is our understanding that the spill resulted from a decoupling of a water line, which contained "slick water". Slick water is comprised of 99.5 percent water and sand and is not considered a toxic substance. The Pennsylvania DEP has been on hand and is satisfied with the remediation being completed.



Nothing to see here move along


http://www.counterpunch.org/federman04232009.html
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rickford66 Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Reality
Here's the reality. If you don't sign with these people, they drill anyway, but you get less money. I'm in a gas coalition and those in charge are hoping to match the $5,500 per acre offered another coalition. I could use the money, but we like our pure well water. A well was drilled about half a mile from me around 1992, I got $15 an acre, but it was done the old way and didn't produce any gas. We know there's gas under us. Recently another company marked out a potential drilling site less than a quarter mile from us. If they do drill there, I'll have to buy a water purification system. A guy I work with will not sign. His money will go into escrow until he dies I guess. Others I know will take the money. These companies are very powerful, but at least our New York government is trying to put some regulation on them. Who knows how much lobby money is being spent and how long they can hold out.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. It's going to be a hell of a water purification system if you want to remove potential carcinogens.
They've got to find a better way of doing the fracking, 'cause this shit's not going to fly.
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