Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Congress investigates possible water contamination caused by gas well drilling

Sorry for the delay in postings. I assure you we are still here. I have been trying for the last several days to do more research and post a synopsis on this topic. However, my "day job" is even more demanding than usual at the moment.

We have all heard how the industry wants us all to believe that the drilling process is completely safe for our neighborhoods. Finally more questions are being asked. The U.S. House of Representative’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the process called hydraulic fracturing. The hearings, chaired by Henry Waxman began on October 31, 2007. They are looking into the chemicals used in the fracking process.

There was some interesting testimony from Dr. Daniel Teitelbaum, an occupational physician and toxicologist. He stated before the committee that "Although there have been documented health complaints by residents, no government agency has asked for an investigation,” he said. “The fact that neither government nor industry has undertaken these critical exposure/outcome health studies is inexcusable.”

You can read more here.

There are 12 criteria for the Flower Mound Oil and Gas Board to grant a variance to the drilling ordinance. A few of the 12 are:

- Whether the operations proposed are consistent with the health, safety and welfare of the public when and if conducted in accordance with the oil, gas, or combined well permit conditions to be imposed.

- Whether the operations proposed are consistent with protecting the ecological integrity and environmental quality, including protection of surface and ground water sources, of potentially impacted environmentally sensitive areas.

- The variance, if granted, will be no material detriment to the public welfare or injury to the use, enjoyment, or value of property in the vicinity.

We know there have been health complaints. We know Congress is investigating. How can anyone say there isn't risk? No one has all the answers.

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