Thursday, August 13, 2009

Natural Gas Drilling linked to the death of migratory birds

Exxon Mobil pleads guilty to killing birds in 5 States, including Texas. The deaths were linked to gas well reserve pits and waste water storage. Here is another example that there is nothing "clean" about natural gas drilling.

Flower Mound doesn't allow waste water reserve pits and many surrounding towns are requesting the same. They use closed loop systems but the drilling waste or mud is stored in portable steel tanks until it can be transported to injection wells. This practice does cut down on wildlife drinking from or bathing in the pits. Although there can still be leaks from the tanks or during transportation.

Some drilling companies use pipelines to send the waste or mud to a central storage area until it can be transported for disposal. Some risk here would be pipe couplings failing and leaks at the storage facility and during transportation.

But waste water storage isn't the only way for contamination. During the drilling and fracing process, leaks of drilling/fracing fluid and odorless gas can spew from the well site itself. There have been numerous cases in the past 3 months right here in North Texas referenced in previous posts.

Most drilling companies claim the drilling and fracing fluids are 99% water and sand. In the last few months there have been numerous stories of animals deaths and vegetation dying after exposure to the fluids. That 1% seems to be extremely lethal. What is in that 1%? According to Cherokee Horn, it is additives found in common household items. They really don't have to tell us because the Federal Government gives them an exemption from doing so. article stated the following

Exxon Mobil pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of approximately 85 migratory birds, most of which died after exposure to natural gas well reserve pits and waste water storage facilities.
Birds died in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas between 2004 and 2009.
Article Controls
Officials said that at those sites, birds would either get coated in hydrocarbons or ingest the oily waste, leading to their deaths. None of the birds are on the government's list of endangered or threatened species.

Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project

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