Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yeah Right. Gas drilling is environmentally friendly and strongly regulated.

Another letter arrived from Cherokee Horn yesterday. This one is about environmental concerns. It states the following:

"frac fluid is 99% water and sand, the rest is additives found in common household items."

Tell that to the owner of the 17 cows that died after eating and drinking from a pasture where spilled frac fluid pooled.

Chesapeake waited 5 hours to report this deadly spill to state officials. The Caddo Sheriff's Department learned about it from the residents living near the spill. This just proves the lack of respect gas companies have for the citizens living near gas drilling.

Chesapeake claims the frac fluid is 99% water. Apparently the 1% left over, or additives found in common household items according to Cherokee Horn, was extremely lethal. The frightening thing is that lethal 1% isn't considered a "reportable quantity"!

Chesapeake Energy Corp. waited five hours before notifying the state of a spill from a well site onto a south Caddo pasture that apparently killed 17 cows April 28, according to Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality files.

Chesapeake Energy, the largest competitor in the Haynesville Shale natural gas play in northwest Louisiana, also never notified the Caddo sheriff's office, which learned of the incident through neighbors. Local authorities, such as police or sheriff's offices, are supposed to be notified first when there is an environmental incident, according to DEQ.

Turk's letter states:"During a routine well stimulation/formation fracturing operation by Schlumberger for Chesapeake, it was observed that a portion of mixed 'frac' fluids, composed of over 99 percent freshwater, leaked from vessels and/or piping onto the well pad."
The spill was not reported, the missive states, because it was not a "reportable quantity" under state and federal regulations, but water and soil analysis found that some of the site contractor's "products" mixed with storm water runoff and flowed into the field.

Cherokee Horn further states:

"Much information about the hazards of drilling is based on old technology no longer in use and/or drilling techniques and chemicals that are not used in the Barnett Shale."

Those in Keller who had a mysterious yellow substance rain down on them from a gas well might disagree with that statement.

Below are links to 2 more incidents that happened right here in North Texas in the last 3 months. You can bet we would never know about these dangers if someone outside of the industry wasn't watching.

We all know that the Texas Railroad Commission is suppose to regulate the gas and oil industry. Yet they are allowed to receive 30% to 50% of their campaign donations from the very industry they are suppose to regulate. The TRRC had only 83 inspectors as of last year and over 377,000 wells, 76,436 of them are gas wells according to data collected in 2007, to inspect. You do the math. Yet we are suppose to feel comfort in knowing that the TRRC is watching out for us. We are expected to let the gas companies come into our towns and drill where ever they want and trust that everything will be okay.

The "Halliburton Loophole" allows the industry not to tell what is in that 1% of "frac fluid". They get other exemptions from the Clean Air and Water Acts. Because of this, we really don't know what they are doing. We have to take their word for it. Are you comfortable with that? What is it going to take to get our government officials to demand better regulation? When is enough......enough?

Support the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Program. Contact our elected officials here in Texas and Washington.

No comments: