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16 Cattle Drop Dead Near Mysterious Fluid at Gas Drilling Site

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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:36 AM
Original message
16 Cattle Drop Dead Near Mysterious Fluid at Gas Drilling Site

http://www.propublica.org/article/16-cattle-drop-dead-n...


ProPublica has been reporting for months <2> about how natural gas drilling is affecting the environment, but of all the causes for concern we've reported, here's a doozy.

Sixteen cattle dropped dead in a northwestern Louisiana field this week after apparently drinking from a mysterious fluid adjacent to a natural gas drilling rig, according to Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality and a report in the Shreveport Times <3>. At least one worker told the newspaper that the fluids, which witnesses described as green and spewing into the air near the drilling derrick, were used for a drilling process called hydraulic fracturing <2>. But the company, Chesapeake Energy <4>, has not identified exactly what chemicals are in those fluids and is insisting to state regulators that no spill occurred.

The problem is that both Chesapeake and its contractor doing the work Schlumberger, say that a lot of these fluids are proprietary, said Otis Randle, regional manager for the DEQ. "It can be an obstacle, but we try to be fair to everybody," he said. "We try to remember that the products they use are theirs and they need them to make a living."

(what!!)

Hydraulic fracturing <5> -- a process in which water, sand and chemicals are pumped deep underground at high pressure to break rock and release natural gas -- is controversial because of the secrecy surrounding the fluids and because the process is exempted from protections of the Safe Drinking Water Act and thus from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress is currently considering legislation to address these issues out of concern that fracturing, and the fluids and waste that are part of the process, may be contaminating drinking water in several states <6>.

-snip-

A Chesapeake Energy spokesman told ProPublica that the company is cooperating with the state and is waiting for test results to determine how the cows died. Schlumberger did not immediately return calls for comment. If we hear from the company, we'll let you know.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hydrogen sulfide? I worked in a refinery that handled high sulfide oil
and we were warned not to open certain pipes without respirators because the gas could kill so quickly.
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. yeah, H2S is deadly.
To me it seems a more likely explanation seeing as they 'dropped dead'.
Dh used to do "frac'ing" and I could ask him what kind of chemicals they used.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R!
This needs to get spread.
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Optical.Catalyst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. Drill here! Drill now! Pay less (unless you are dead)
<>
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. I want to know what secret stuff is in cologne, too. That's killing me. nt
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