Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another North Texas Town Has Radioactive Water

The town of Aledo was recently told that one of their wells registered for hazardous levels of radiation. Earlier this week Hudson Oaks discovered their water was "hot" too. Some residents are questioning if this could be drilling related.

The TCEQ if down playing this and claims it is naturally occurring. But the levels in some of the tests were 3 to 4 times higher than the EPA standards.
Watch the video from Brett Shipp WFAA News 8.

Barnett Shale Air

Here is a great post by TXSHARON. It has videos from a number of well sites here in North Texas showing the fugitive emissions from tanks and compressor stations. These videos were filmed with the GasFindIR Camera. What you don't see may kill you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Texas officials politely asks barnett shale gas companies not to kill too many people

Interesting article from D Magazine about TCEQ and the Oil & Gas Industry. It is time to stop handling this industry with kid gloves! The TCEQ "find it and fix it" policy is outrageous. How do you find it without testing for it? How many towns and private citizens can afford to do testing? This type of toxic air is invisible so how do we know when it exists? How can the TCEQ possibly get around to testing all gas well sites in the Barnett Shale?

Here is a simple way to take care of this problem. Demand better emission standards now!!! Make the Oil & Gas Industry accountable. No more exemptions from the clean air and clean water act. Higher fines when they are in violation. Even better...shut them down when in violation. They will clean up their act real fast when the rigs stop.

Here are a few paragraphs from the D Magazine story
Tests show some wells are emiting benzene, a carinogen whose “long-term effects” are highly dangerous.

The Commission has known about these emissions since 2007 but forgot to share its test results with the Legislature or the Fort Worth City Council. I can understand why. The elected officials might have gotten a little upset, and in Texas we don’t want people to get upset, especially with the oil and gas industry. (It goes without saying that all three members of the Commission are Rick Perry appointees.)

A article from the Star Telegram mentions how high the toxic air levels have been at some well sites. One sample taken 7 miles from Dish, showed a high level. How bad do you think the air is when a well site is 300 feet, 500 feet or a 1000 feet from a home, school, or park?

the below paragraphs are from the Star Telegram story
In August and October, the commission monitored well sites with infrared cameras and found hydrocarbon vapors coming from the hatches and valves on storage tanks and from vents on compressor stations, said Keith Sheedy, a commission engineer.

One sample taken downwind from a tank seven miles west of DISH showed a level of 1,000 parts per billion, which is more than five times the commission’s short-term exposure limit of 180 parts per billion.

That level is the equivalent of a person sniffing a can of gasoline, and it shows the need for more tests, including long-term sampling,

video of fugitive emissions billowing from storage tanks.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Citizens Sue The Village of Horseheads Over Approval of Schlumberger Project

Citizens of Horseheads, NY have filed suit against the Schlumberger project in thier Township

The citizen group had voiced their concerns about environmental and health concerns but the village officials ignored it and approved this project anyway.

The following paragraphs sounds very familiar. The village officials seem to disregard many articles and incidents about drilling contamination to water, air and soil. They pretty much pushed it through and rushed the decision. Now the residents have filed a suit!

Last winter Schlumberger Technology Corporation plunked down a chunk of change for 88 acres in the Horseheads Industrial Center. It is an area zoned for light industry and manufacturing and contains warehouses and distribution centers. There is also another gas field service industry on the site - a company that provides equipment needed for drilling.

Schlumberger hopes to construct a 400,000 square foot facility to store fracking chemicals and explosives needed for gas field development. And they claim that their facility will bring 300 to 400 jobs to the area.

But residents are concerned that local municipal officials have embraced potential economic gain at the cost of potential environmental contamination. During the public hearings they repeatedly expressed their concern to village board members that it seemed like the project was a “done deal”. They begged the town board to conduct a more complete environmental review.

It seems that some town officials think they can just do whatever they want without listening to the majority of their residents and not have any ramifications. But that is simply not true. It is refreshing to see citizens demand accountability from their town officials. We are hearing about more and more citizen lawsuits. People are saying enough is enough!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hudson Oaks Water is "Hot"

It seems that Hudson Oaks in Parker County has "hot", as in radioactive, water. As posted here before. The water from the Barnett Shale is toxic, flammable and radioactive

Every day more and more comes out about the dangers of produced water from gas drilling. Yet in Flower Mound, it seems we have some council members who might choose to over look these reports and allow produced toxic waste water to be piped through the town and stored in 14 to 38 (the number seems to be increasing) tank batteries at a waste water collection facility.

As if that isn't bad enough, eminent domain will come into play for these pipelines. The town will not be able to control where these pipelines go. If the gas company that will own this proposed facility chooses, they may take waste water from other gas companies in the town. This will mean more pipelines!!!

Here is a great report on Hudson Oaks water by Brett Shipp with WFAA news 8.
a few paragraphs from the report.

Chruscielski independently monitors water quality data in the Barnett Shale, and she almost missed it.
"From what I have seen -- particularly the alpha particles -- you don't want to ingest those, and they are bone-seeking carcinogens with a 1,600 year half-life that accumulates in the tissue," Chruscielski said. "I am not comfortable with that."

State environmental officials say the uranium is "naturally occurring" in the rock formations below the soil.
Hudson Oaks water quality report
Here is the water violation report

Wall Street Journal reports on EPA crack down on Texas air quality

Texas has allowed gas and oil to do whatever they want for decades. The industry is currently exempt from the clean air act. The result is the worst air in the nation. EPA is cracking down on the TCEQ. Read few paragraphs from the article in the Wall Street Journal.


Officials in the big cities complain the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which enforces federal regulations, isn't strict enough. Dallas and Houston have been in violation of federal air-quality standards for years.

Earlier this year, the EPA said it was seeking to invalidate the state's permitting system, contending that it allows companies to skirt federal rules under the Clean Air Act. The agency is expected to announce a decision on certain parts of the program by the end of this month.

"Our system is not broken," said Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas environmental commission. "It's just misunderstood."

Residents Sue Gas Company Over Tainted Wells

A group of residents are suing Cabot Oil & Gas for contaminating their water wells. The wells were so tainted and flammable a well exploded near a home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.


The problem was discovered Jan. 1 when a well exploded at a home near Cabot's operations.

Here is another article about the damage done and the case against Cabot.

WFAA Report on the TCEQ and Barnett Shale Emissions

Here is the video from the report WFAA did with Dr. Honeycutt from the TCEQ. He is head of the Toxicology Department but at the Fort Worth Barnett Shale Emissions Meeting, he admitted that he knew nothing about the process of fracking. Hopefully he will learn quickly.

In the video, he addresses the high benzene levels found at some gas well sites here in North Texas. Some levels where so high he stated it is like holding a can of gasoline under your nose.

Apparently the TCEQ held a meeting in Austin and invited the top ten gas producers. TCEQ showed them a video of the emissions billowing from the well sites. None denied that there is benzene in the gas drilling air.

TCEQ said that the current permits do not address benzene control and they want to pass several new benzene rules but that could take months or years. The TCEQ is asking the gas companies to clean up their act voluntarily until new regulations can be put in place. Let's pray they actually do because months or years will be too late.


Report From The Barnett Shale Emissions Meeting In Fort Worth

Sharon Wilson from TXSharon wrote a great summary of the Fort Worth League Of Neighborhoods Barnett Shale Emissions Meeting.

Deborah Rogers, owner of Deborah's Farmstead, was one of the main speakers. She gave a great presentation that included the following information.

The drillers over estimate production by 3 times what can be extracted because the reserve price drives stock prices.

Historical production data - financial data is based on production that is not there or not recoverable.

Recently, Aubrey McClendon said Chesapeake has only drilled 15% of the wells they plan to drill. That means another 60,000 to 70,000 wells will be drilled.

The drilling treadmill - The drillers have to drill more wells to maintain the production levels and they have to drill more to support their debt.

The technology exists to reduce air emissions by 99%

Every $1.00 spent on reducing air emissions gains $9.00 in recovered product.

Dr. Honeycutt from the TCEQ and Dr. David Sterling, Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth were on hand to speak as well.

Read the whole story at txsharon. The link is below


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Test of Produced Water Shows High Sodium

First of all lets get the facts. This test was performed by Williams not by the Town of Flower Mound. In fact, when the water sample was taken, no one from the town was present.

At a Flower Mound Town Council meeting a few weeks ago, when asked if the town could have a sample, the Williams Company said they had already provided one for a test but not to the town. As of today, the town has not received authorization yet to do their own independent test.

"It's a very typical sample of produced water in the Barnett Shale," said Kelly Swan, a spokesman for Williams Production, a Tulsa, Okla.-based drilling company that hired an independent laboratory to conduct the analysis.

Read the whole article below http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-water_19met.ART.Central.Edition1.4bb766b.html

High sodium in water isn't a good thing either. It kills all vegetation in it's path. http://pubsindex.trb.org/view.aspx?id=475914

Produced waste water has been found to be toxic, flammable, and radioactive. http://stopthedrilling.blogspot.com/2009/11/produced-waste-water-pipelines-and-tank.html

Williams is one of the gas companies being looked at for contamination of a man's spring in Colorado. The owner of the property was rushed to the hospital after drinking from his spring. http://coloradoindependent.com/40117/reports-trace-spring-contamination-to-two-western-slope-gas-companies

According to the Post-Independent, Halepaska and Associates issued a report on Sept. 10 that names Williams and OXY as the two companies most likely responsible for the leakage of BTEX, a combination of carcinogenic chemicals found in produced water that returns to the surface after the drilling process

So it seems produced water is toxic, flammable and radioactive everywhere else but Flower Mound.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Texas Officials Say We're Running Out Of Fresh Water

I know that gas drilling isn't the only industry that uses excessive amount of water. But...it is one industry that currently seems resistant to treat and and recycle the excessive amount of water they use everyday. In fact they go a little farther and contaminate fresh water sources and soil. In addition to that, add the VOC's and naturally occurring radioactive material "NORM" that producing and storing of the toxic water put into the air. The produced water is so contaminated it can't be used again to re-frack a well!!

Many gas drilling companies claim that recycling and purifying water for re-use on the drill site isn't cost effective at this time. What price is too much to make sure that our citizens have "plenty" of clean water to drink and clean soil to plant and build on? They can spend millions on lobbying to stop the "frac act" but not thousands to truly be "a good neighbor" as they like to call themselves.

Let's hope that when our officials put the plans discussed in the article below into action, the gas drilling industry isn't exempt like they are from everything now.

The below article is about how Texas is running out of fresh water for its citizens.


With the Texas population expected to nearly double over the next 50 years, lawmakers and water experts gathered Monday to convey an important message: We're running out of water.

Arlington residents upset about more Pipelines

Here it is. Another story about eminent domain and pipelines. The residents have asked the city to protect them. Of course at this point, there is not much the city can do because of "Eminent Domain". The gas industry is out of control. When is it going to stop?


Private property owners say they're fighting an uphill battle. "People knocking on your door telling you 'Hey, if you don't like it, we'll take you to court'. [Telling you] 'If you don't like it we'll take it anyway'. Is that fair?" asked Arlington homeowner Ed Flanegan


Monday, November 16, 2009

Mortgage Company Reconsiders Lending Policies On Gas Leased Properties Update

With all the stories out there about what gas drilling accidents and leaks have done to some property values, this is no surprise. We have posted many articles where land owners are walking away from homes they can't live in anymore because their land and water is so contaminated from gas drilling activity.

Another blog in the area where this story came from reported that a friend went in and applied for a loan on their property and was asked to sign the following......

Visions Federal Credit Union Policy Regarding Oil and Gas Leases
1. If there is an oil and gas lease on your property, Visions Federal Credit Union will not give you a mortgage loan secured by your property.

2. If someone other than you has the oil, gas, or mineral rights to your property, then Visions Federal Credit Union will not give you a mortgage loan secured by your property.

3. If you presently have a mortgage with Visions Federal Credit Union and you subsequently enter into an oil or gas lease after September 14, 2009, then Visions Federal Credit Union may require you to pay the balance of the loan in full pursuant to the terms of your existing note and mortgage. Please note that Visions Federal Credit Union will not sign a subordination agreement or other consent to lease with an oil and gas company.”

Other mortgage companies in New York are worried about property values from gas drilling. They want to change their lending policies and re-mortgage some properties where the borrowers have signed gas leases.

It is just a matter of time before other mortgage companies decide to do the same to protect themselves.

The below paragraphs really grabbed my attention.

Potential environmental damage to properties could affect their future value, Berrish said.

Visions officials have come up with likely mortgage policy changes for borrowers who lease mineral rights to their properties.

Visions may require some of its borrowers to re-mortgage their gas-leased properties, which would entail a new appraisal and closing costs, Berrish said.

That's because gas leasing could lead to gas drilling and a potential de-valuing of property, Berrish said.

It's also because the secondary mortgage market -- federal lenders like Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae -- specify in their mortgage contracts that if a borrower signs or sells a right to a mortgaged property, the mortgage holder can demand immediate payment in full.

Titan does seismic testing near Denton park


The site is east of South Lakes Park and the Southridge neighborhood. The company has contacted mineral owners in the area and is still pursuing some leases, Schumacher said.

Although Titan secured city permits to test the ground at South Lakes Park, city officials “certainly have no intention” of allowing a gas well at the park, said Emerson Vorel, Denton’s parks and recreation director. The city has allowed off-site gas drilling under parkland, but there are no active agreements involving South Lakes Park, city officials said.

"certainly have no intention" of allowing a gas well at the park? Yeah right, they are seismic testing just for the fun of it!

Produced Waste Water, Pipelines and Tank Batteries

Tank Batteries
Tank batteries are large storage tanks that hold the produced water, which flows with the natural gas to the surface.

Tank batteries have been noted as contributing to the air quality issue here in North Texas.

Armendariz estimated that, in the nine-county Metroplex area, gas drilling produced about 112 tons per day of pollution, compared with 120 tons per day from vehicle traffic. In a 20-county area, including rural counties, he estimated that gas drilling produced 191 tons per day.
The pollution comes from a couple of major sources. The tank batteries used to store wastewater and condensate, which is a light form of crude oil, often vent to the atmosphere. The motors used to drive pipeline compressors often have no pollution controls. And drillers frequently vent natural gas to the atmosphere when they complete a well.

Tank batteries can also catch fire and explode.

The produced water in the tanks contains toxic chemicals, is flammable, and radioactive!

Oil and Gas is the only industry exempt from the following:
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Safe Drinking Water Act.
Clean Air Act.
National Environmental Policy Act
Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

A large “tank farm” or wastewater collection facility is being proposed by Williams Production in the Town of Flower Mound. The amount of tanks that will be at this site seems to keep growing. Number of Tanks started with 14 and is now up to 38. This site would store waste water from over 125 proposed gas wells.

This proposal would require that the town’s Oil and Gas Ordinance be changed to allow the site and the extra pipelines to pump the toxic produced waste water to this facility. If it is added to the ordinance, then it can be done by any gas company in other areas of the town. Pipelines would fall under eminent domain and could be placed any where throughout the town. There will still be truck traffic going to and from the “tank farms”. There is no proof that the proposed activity will reduce the number of trucks on the road.

Wow how great will that be?

Pressurized toxic, flammable and radioactive drilling waste water running 4 feet underground throughout the town.

Large quantities of produced water storage tanks per collection facility location that produce large volumes of VOC’s and are flammable.

The Gathering LIne

Gathering Line - a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

Amy Goodman interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting, an Ithaca, NY-based environmental database firm which released a report last week, uncovering 270 documented hazardous chemical spills which occurred over the past thirty years. PA's own Department of Environmental Conservation's database contained records of fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination, and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Take a moment to watch the interview Amy Goodman Interviews Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting Mr. Hang is calling on NY Governor David Paterson to withdraw the Draft Supplemental Geologic Environmental Impact Statement, citing woefully inadequate reporting which will not come close to protecting the environment, water, and public health. This is a must-see interview! Visit Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends to find out more from Peacegirl!

Would you consider this a small footprint? See the effects of 40 years of drilling! Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Gas drilling is destroying Pennsylvania's wilderness. The Pennsylvania Wilds include more than 2,000,000 acres of publicly owned virgin forest, clear mountain streams and abundant wildlife. Read about how these public lands are being violated and watch for public action you can take soon to defend the Allegheny National Forest, part of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story--don't miss the comments. It's all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Colleyville tables application for first well site. See story at Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling

Sue Heavenrich writes about problems with a local compressor station in upstate New York at the "Marcellus Effect." Industrial drilling in Marcellus is impact enough, but without local zoning rural areas are open to invasion by other industrial uses too, including compressor stations. You'll find more on the "Marcellus Effect"

EPA coming down on Texas' air permitting program

The EPA is expected to formally disapprove of Texas' state regulations of air pollution controls. Of course, the TCEQ claims their air permitting plan works. But with the recent studies in Dish, TX and by Environmental Defense Fund showing just how bad the air quality has become in North Texas, the TCEQ may have no choice but to cooperate.

here are a few paragraphs from the article.
But Armendariz and EPA officials have said there's room for improvement.
"Texas has allowed big utilities and industry to operate any way they want to for decades,"

No other state has been so singled out for its air policies as Texas, said Kelly Haragan, who heads the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Texas. However, EPA still hopes to work with the help of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), she added.

"From EPA's position, they hope they can change things faster with TCEQ's cooperation than if it has to drag the agency kicking and screaming," she said. "TCEQ wants to make as few changes to their rules as possible to get EPA to go away."

An offer from Mayor Tillman of Dish, TX

Mayor Tillman has so graciously offered to come and tell the story of the Town of Dish. The small but mighty town just north of Fort Worth. They recently spent their own money to have a study done of the effects from gas drilling and air quality in Dish. As previously posted, the results were shocking.

Here is Mayor Tillman's offer:
I have been asked on several occasions, by folks around the country to come and talk about the air study here in DISH. It seems a bit odd to me, but it appears that tiny DISH, TX has been the only municipality to perform a study such as this. I will happily share our story here in DISH with anyone who would like to hear about. I firmly believe that the only way to change the current situation is stand together. I further believe that helping you, where ever you may be, will also help us hear in DISH. Therefore, if you are interested in hearing about our story please contact me directly to discuss the possibilities. I will not accept funding for any travel expenses, but also need to know that my presentation would make a difference.

Please give me a call or email for details.

Calvin Tillman,Mayor, DISH TX
Calvin Tillman Mayor, DISH, TX (940) 453-3640

"Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wise County Messenger tells story of family's drilling horror

In the past 2 weeks, we have posted a story about a family in Wise County that does not own their mineral rights. Their situation is what is called "Split Estate". They own the surface, live on the property, pay taxes on the property but have no say when it comes to drilling on it.

Aruba Petroleum showed up one day with their equipment, cut the fence to their horse pasture, letting the horses run free and started building a pad site!

Read the whole story in the article below.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interesting article about Titan Operating....

The town of Colleyville tabled Titan's request for a permit to drill. The site would put Southlake residents closer than 1000' to the pad site. The property in question sits on the border of the two Towns.

Titan plans to drill 13 wells from this pad site. Chris Hammack from Titan stated the drilling operation could last for five to seven years.

When asked if the site noise could be reduced during the daytime, Mr. Hammack stated that one drilling starts, it will run 24 hours a day.

Even with a 28 foot wall to drown out some of the noise, it is still projected to put out 85 decibels!
That seems to be the number when hearing loss can occur with prolonged exposure. With drilling going on 24 hours a day from a pad site with 13 wells. That would be prolonged.

Below is a paragraph from a Military Audiology Association prevention campaign presentation for 5th graders.
Tell the children that 85 decibels is also very special because it is this level that starts hurting hearing.
And another site, Noisy Planet, on hearing loss.
Researchers who study hearing loss have found that a person who is exposed to noise levels at 85 decibels or higher for a prolonged period of time is at risk for hearing loss.

Below is a paragraph from an article in the Southlake Journal. Titan is asking for more flexibility on two very important issues. Air quality and Noise!!!!! Let's hope they don't try this one here in Flower Mound.

Is this is what we have to look forward to on the Hilliard site.
Only 1000' from Shadow Ridge Middle School.

How will the noise affect the students trying to concentrate and learn?

What about when they go outside for sports and breath in the air while drilling and fracking is going on? Think Dish, Texas!!!http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/localnews/news8/stories/wfaa091012_mo_dishcompressions.20f1c4733.html

Read the Southlake Article here

Titan Operating, LLC, which has filed an application for the drilling permit, asked the Colleyville Planning and Zoning Commission for "more flexibility" in air quality testing and noise abatement than the city’s ordinance provides.

Lawmakers ask EPA to study hydraulic fracturing

Currently the Oil and Gas Industry is exempt from the following:

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Safe Drinking Water Act.

Clean Air Act.

National Environmental Policy Act

Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

Congress has asked the EPA to take another look at hydraulic fracturing. In 2004 the EPA gave their approval for hydraulic fracturing after they conducted a highly criticized study. This study was used to justify the "Hallibuton Loophole" back in 2005.


The following paragraph should not come as a surprise.

The EPA gave hydraulic fracturing its stamp of approval in a 2004 report [1], but that study has been widely criticized as politically-motivated and scientifically unsound. After the report was released, veteran EPA scientist Weston Wilson wrote a letter [2] to Colorado representatives saying that "based on available science and literature, EPA’s conclusions are unsupportable." He also wrote that five out seven members of a panel that reviewed the findings had conflicts of interest and "may benefit from EPA’s decision not to conduct further investigation or impose regulatory conditions."

The report below goes into detail about the exemptions only the gas and oil industry are allowed.


This is good news for many of us living in the Barnett Shale. Below are a few recent articles about gas drilling and water contamination. Help may be on the way!!!



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Titan has applied for a permit from the Town of Flower Mound

Titan turned in an application to drill on the Hilliard Airfield on Friday. The town has a ten day review period. Brandon Bammel did not know how many variances will be needed at this time but did say he believed that there may be some needed for environmentally sensitive areas.

When we get more information, we will share it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Gathering Line

Gathering Line - a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

Splashdown wants to encourage everyone to get behind the 2 Action Alerts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and all inflowing waterways. 1. You can send an easy click message to Congress to urge them to join in sponsoring this critical Clean Water legislation. 2. Beginning Nov. 9th, public input (also easy click to comment) is being sought on strategic plans for President Obama's Executive Order for cleaning up the Bay. So please, hop to it!

TXsharon continues to report from a backyard in the Barnett Shale. Despite all the local and national press on drilling related toxins, carcinogens and neurotoxins in our air, Aruba Petroleum Refuses a Simple Step to Improve Barnett Shale Air and thereby recklessly and willfully endangers public health and safety. Read it on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

The New Energy Army Pickens Proposes to force his plan upon the nation Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Peacegirl writes about the situation in Clearville, PA, where compressor stations are causing serious environmental problems. Read Compressor Stations Wreak Havoc in PA. Watch two videos, and see for yourself what it looks like to have tiny oily spots on every surface, every plant, farm equipment, a pond- everywhere. It is unbelievable! See the cemetery adjacent to a Clearville compressor station where local residents hope someday to "rest in peace." They are wondering if that day will come sooner rather than later because of the serious health threats they now fear from the gas industry. Who will help the residents of Clearville? Is the PA DEP doing its job? Visit Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends. Reader comments are always welcome.

Sue Heavenrich reports on a recently released report about drilling accidents in NY 270 Drilling Accidents in NY So Far Read about that and and more at http://marcelluseffect.blogspot.com/

Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling urges everyone to read the Environment Texas study to learn how excessive waste of fresh water and toxic chemicals gas drillers use in the extraction of the gas are threatening our drinking water in the Barnett Shale area.

Gas Drilling Produced Waste Water Radioactive! Update

After I originally posted this article about New York, I remembered last year, Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe from the Denton Record Chronicle, did an article on NORM. Naturally occurring radioactive material. The link to her article is at the bottom.

Now Abrahm Lustgarten did an article in ProPublica talks about this dangerous aspect of gas drilling. The produced water is radioactive!!!

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation studied 13 samples of waste water that was brought up to the surface from drilling. The level of radium 226, this level is 267 times the limit for safe discharge into the environment and thousands of times higher than the limit safe for humans to drink. Below are a few paragraphs in red from the article.

As New York gears up for a massive expansion of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, state officials have made a potentially troubling discovery about the wastewater created by the process: It's radioactive. And they have yet to say how they'll deal with it.

The information comes from New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, which analyzed 13 samples of wastewater brought thousands of feet to the surface from drilling and found that they contain levels of radium-226, a derivative of uranium, as high as 267 times the limit safe for discharge into the environment and thousands of times the limit safe for people to drink.

The industry may be putting their own employees at risk of future health concerns

Measuring human exposure -- which is quantified in doses of millirems per year -- from radiation is notoriously difficult, in part because it depends on variables like whether objects interfere with radiation, or how sustained exposure is over long periods of time.

Gas industry workers, for example, would almost certainly face an increased risk of cancer if they worked in a confined space where radon gas, a leading cause of lung cancer and a derivative of radium, can collect to dangerous levels. They would also be at risk if they somehow swallowed or breathed fumes from the radioactive wastewater, or handled the concentrated materials regularly for 20 years.

Here is the real problem. The gas and oil industry is exempt from the federal laws for handling toxic waste in addition to the many other exemptions only they receive!!

Federal laws don't directly address naturally occurring radioactivity, and the oil and gas industry is exempt from federal laws dictating handling of toxic waste, leaving the burden on New York state. New York has laws governing radioactive materials, but the state's drilling plans don't specify when they would apply.


The Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe from the Denton Record Chronicle article about NORM last year.
This paragraph stuck out.

One factor is that organic-rich shale such as the Barnett Shale has higher levels of uranium. Another factor is the high level of salt in the wastewater produced along with the gas. As a gas well is producing, the variable pressure also helps free NORM from the shale, bond with other elements, such as barite and calcium carbonate, and travel to the surface along with the gas.

Pennsylvania Landowner says he has proof drilling contaminated his water

George Zimmerman owns 480 acres in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Recently water tests performed on his land, including one 1500 feet from his home, found seven potentially deadly chemicals above levels set by the EPA.

Zimmerman had baseline tests done a year before the drilling began. At that time, his water was "perfect". June of this year water tests found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits and naphthalene five times the federal standard.

Mr. Zimmerman has filed suit against Atlas Energy.

Baseline tests on Zimmermann's water a year before drilling began were "perfect,'' he said. In June, water tests found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits and naphthalene five times the federal standard.


Washington County is the same area where a waste water pipeline leak contaminated a lake in June of this year. That accident killed fish and aquatic insect life.

Remember, the gas companies do not have do tell you exactly what is in the fracking fluid "hallibuton loophole". They can be as vague as they want. We have had water contamination accidents right here in Texas.

Recently at a public hearing in Flower Mound, Williams was asked for a sample of their fracking fluid so the town could have it tested to find out what specific chemicals were in there. They refused. But they want the residents to allow them to run waste water pipelines under the town to pipe fracking produced water to a central collection facility.

We, the citizens of Texas, must demand better regulations and accountability! We need to put more pressure on our elected officials on the local, state, and federal level.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Part of Carlsbad, New Mexico subject to giant sinkhole because of drilling activity

Imagine driving down the road and seeing a bright yellow warning sign that states "US 285 south subject to sinkhole 1,000 feet ahead". Scary huh? This is happening right now in New Mexico.

Below are a few paragraphs from the msnbc article.

The cavern was formed over three decades as oil field service companies pumped fresh water into a salt layer more than 400 feet below the surface and extracted several million barrels of brine to help with drilling.

Over the past few decades, communities in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Canada and Europe learned of similar underground danger only after cracks appeared and the ground began to sink.

"It would be a mess. It would be like a bomb going off in the middle of town," said Jim Griswold, a hydrologist with the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division.

Of course there is always the denial by those who profit from the industry.

I&W Trucking, the oil field service company that owns the site where the cavern is located, contends the state is overreacting because of the previous collapses on state land and criticized the Oil Conservation Division for not doing more tests to establish the size of the brine cavern before forcing it to plug the well.

Local and State officials are asking for federal funds to figure out a way to stabilize the cavern.
They are worried it might not happen in time. Carlsbad is home to around 26,000 residents and great deal of tourists. The area where the danger exists could result in $100 million in crop damage.

State officials said parts of the ground above the well are already heaving while other parts are sinking.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Videos of what gas drilling in your backyard is really like

Txsharon has posted these videos she received from a friend of hers who recently got a rig in their backyard! The property owners do not own their mineral rights and could not stop this from happening. The mineral owner has the right to come in and do whatever they need to in order to get those minerals. Seems like it should be a crime right? Well it isn't and happens every day here in Texas and many other states. The rig, bulldozers, workers and the rest of the drilling equipment just showed up one day.

For those of you that may still believe that gas drilling near homes is not that bad, please check out the videos and read the story to see for yourself.

Tan Parker, please step up and protect District 63's air quality

Chris Roark recently wrote a great article covering Representative Tan Parker's Town Hall Meeting.

We all should be concerned that Tan Parker might still have some blinders on when it comes to gas drilling and air quality in our area. Below are a few paragraphs that jumped out at me.

We need to be pursuing not only traditional sources of energy, but also alternative sources,” Parker said.

All right Tan, you seem on the right track so far with the above statement.

Regarding gas drilling and the possible dangerous health impacts of it, Parker said he has met with drilling company representatives and community members and plans to have a best practices document as it relates to routing.

“If it is a real issue, nobody will be a stronger advocate for fixing it and cleaning it up immediately than me and my fellow colleagues,” Parker said.

Okay you just lost me with the "if it is a real issue". Tan, it is a real issue to Dish, Texas. They have residents that are testing positive for chemicals in their systems. The same chemicals used in gas drilling and that were found in the air in Dish.

"Possible" health impacts? Meeting with drilling company representatives? How about a meeting with the residents of Dish?

A study was done by the Environmental Defense Fund recently. Denton County air has more hazardous pollutants than any other county in DFW area!!!!!

The EDF recently released an analysis of the air quality in Denton County.
A related analysis released today of state air pollution monitoring data between 2002 and 2008 found that the air in Denton county contained more non-methane hydrocarbons (including some potentially hazardous pollutants) than any of the other counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where such monitoring was conducted.

Tan, please step up and do the right thing for the residents in your district!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Natural Gas Drilling Toxic Threat to Texas Drinking Water

Environment Texas put out a press release yesterday about gas drilling and toxic water.


Excessive waste of fresh water and toxic chemicals gas drillers use in the extraction of the gas are threatening our drinking water in the Barnett Shale area.

Below are a few paragraphs from the press release

Toxic chemicals used in natural gas drilling could pose a threat to water quality near Texas’ 95,814 gas wells according to a report released today by Environment Texas.

Sharon Wilson with Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project stated:
“Texas does not have any regulations specific to hydraulic fracturing, and communities have lost confidence in the state's interest in protecting human health. Federal regulation and full disclosure is essential to ensure we have minimum protections in Texas.”

The TXOGAP is working towards reform and accountability in the oil and gas industry.

How many times have we heard "what a blessing the Barnett Shale is?" State Rep. Lon Burnam is concerned about the cost the citizens of the shale are having to pay.

"We are blessed with an abundance of natural gas in Texas," said State Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth). "But if we don't take some concrete steps to protect our even more precious air and water resources, that blessing could quickly turn into a curse."

Dr. Al Armendariz named EPA's Regional Administrator for Region 6

This is great news. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson announced President Obama's selection of Dr. Al Armendariz for EPA Region 6 Administrator .

"I'm proud to be selected and to work with the dedicated EPA team in confronting the environmental and energy challenges currently before us. As a scientist, there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in environmental protection."

This could not have come at a better time with the horrible news from Dish, TX about their toxic air quality.

Oil and Gas bully California City

Sound familiar.
It seems if the Oil and Gas Industry doesn't get their way, they sue. Houston based PXP has filed a lawsuit against Culver City, California. PXP filed an injunction to lift a moratorium the city put into place in August. Culver City wants more time to draft a stronger ordinance to protect their residents. Back in 2006 there was an oil field vapor leak that blew throughout areas of the city. Many residents complained of strong odors and possible health and safety hazards.

Culver City isn't trying to stop the drilling all together, they just want more time to write better regulations into their ordinance.

A few paragraphs from the article.

"This is absolutely not an attempt to stop all drilling in the city," Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman said. "Rather, this is an attempt to make sure that the drilling is done in a way that preserves the health and safety of the citizens of Culver City." Ordinance update Culver City wants an ordinance with standards that will prevent the recurrence of oil field vapor leaks like the one that swept through part of the city in early 2006, prompting hundreds of complaints from residents about odor, and possible health and safety hazards.

But in the Sept. 22 lawsuit challenging the moratorium, PXP alleges that the moratorium harms company's property rights. The lawsuit states that PXP holds leases on the oil field that are set to expire in the next few months unless the company begins to develop them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gas companies spend millions on lobbying

The gas and oil industry has spent $120,669,855 lobbying so far in 2009. The Williams Company has spent $2,359,000.00. If they can spend this kind of cash for their industry to prosper, why can't they spend some cash coming up with ways to drill right?

Go to the link below and see what other gas companies are spending.

Can you imagine what their PR budget is? They spend millions trying to convince us that natural gas is "clean burning". That money would be better spent on new technology to make the extraction of it healthier, safer, and more environmentally friendly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Senator Davis calls for a Senate investigation of gas production and barnett shale area air quality

Senator Wendy Davis has great concern about the air quality here in North Texas, the Barnett Shale area. In the past few months, both a TCEQ study and a privately funded study in the Town of Dish, discovered high levels of benzene in the air. Benzene can lead to leukemia.

Senator Davis has called for a Senate investigation.


"It seems as though there are some very serious health concerns that should cause us alarm," Davis said.

On Monday, Davis sent a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, calling for a Senate investigation into the environmental impacts of gas production processes, and expressing concern over the benzene levels discovered both by TCEQ and a private study in DISH, a small Denton County community.

Below is the link to the letter Senator Davis sent to the Lt. Governor


A couple of weeks ago, the Environmental Defense Fund put out a press release on an analysis they did of the state air pollution monitoring between 2002 and 2008. The study found that Denton County air contained more potentially hazardous pollutants than any other county in the DFW area.


Txsharon has been reporting about a well in Wise County operated by Aruba Petroleum. The owner of the property, who unfortunately is does not own the minerals, has told Sharon that they smell strong chemicals and see white "steam" no matter what time of day.


The Gas and Oil industry is out of control and in need of reform on the Federal, State and Local government level. Those of us that live in Towns that have Oil and Gas Ordinances need to demand that our ordinances protect us.

NPR talks Barnett Shale and Bad Air

This morning, NPR radio did a segment on the Barnett Shale and how it affects North Texas air quality. It featured Mayor Tillman from Dish. Please go the the link below to hear this great report.


Highlights From Flower Mound Public Hearing

Last night's turnout at the Town Council meeting was excellent. The chambers were packed and almost all of the extra chairs set up in the foyer and hallways were taken.

No votes were taken last night and continued participation is essential. Following are some of the highlights.

It was made clear that should seismic testing occur, there are no protections for homeowners or businesses, other than having to initiate a lawsuit against the developer.

The Town Staff stated that they are unable to determine if the waste water collection site would actually reduce traffic. In all likelihood, it would simply divert traffic to another location.

A seismic consultant stated that Flower Mound has "exceptionally bad ground" and that seismic testing could possibly do a great deal of damage to the roads, but that further testing was necessary.

Al Filidoro requested that air quality baselines be established.

It was confirmed that the Town ordinances do not have any air quality requirements.

It was also confirmed that the pipeline companies have the right of eminent domain and that they can seize your property in order to lay a pipeline. It was also confirmed that the Town will have no say in where the pipelines will be.

Thirty people spoke in the public comment portion of the meeting specifically related to the seismic and waste water issue. By far, the majority spoke against it.

Williams, when asked directly by Tom Hayden, refused to allow an independent analysis of their fracking fluids.

The Bridlewood HOA President spoke at length about Bridlewood's opposition to both seismic testing and the waste water collection facility.

Al Filidoro brought up waste water recycling and requested that the Town Staff obtain more information. He also questioned preliminary findings, which suggested that it was not "cost effective" and suggested that was from the perspective of the driller, rather than the Town.

And finally, it was noted that there appeared to be an attempt to by certain members of Town Council to communicate that they were not considering "weakening" the O&G ordinance with a change to allow seismic testing and the waste water collection facility, but rather they were seeking to "clarify" it.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Colorado county copes with methane mystery

No problems before gas drilling.
Many problems after gas drilling.
Hmm, I wonder what could possibly be the mystery.


A few paragraphs from the article that spotlighted a few different residents in the area

Bernice and Jerry Angely like to show visitors the singed T-shirt a friend was wearing when their water well exploded and shot flames 30 feet high.

It is never the fault of the gas company. The burden of proof always seems to fall on the citizen.

"They say, `Well, there's no proof,'" Corsentino said. "Well, we'd been getting along for generations just fine until they started pumping 8 million gallons out of this country."

Corsentino also says his herd suffered abnormally high birth and death rates and now numbers 400, down from 650. He believes the cows consumed too much sodium from the water and corn grown from it. His corn used to produce 6,000 tons of silage; this year's crop yielded 1,500 tons.

However, Corsentino says his herd is healthier and milk production has increased since drilling stopped.

"There's an obvious direct, substantial impact to Brett Corsentino's dairy," the state's Gunderson said of the drilling.

This has been sent via US Mail, to every municipality in the Barnett Shale from Dish, TX

Thanks to Mayor Tillman and the Town of Dish for sharing their story with us all.
Hopefully their suffering will bring some much needed reform, regulations and accountability for the gas drilling industry.

Gathering Line

Gathering Line - a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

This week's Gathering Line is too scary for Halloween

Peacegirl writes about gas drilling in Bradford County, PA. Welcome To Bradford County, PA, calls attention to an article in the Fall 2009 issue of Save the Bay, the magazine of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation which features the North Branch Susquehanna River in Bradford County. From the blog Gas Wells Are Not Our Friends where your comments are always welcome.

Aruba Petroleum is drilling a Barnett Shale gas well in the backyard of Tim and Christine. Their property was taken, it's value diminished, they were threatened and now Aruba Petroleum spilled toxic drilling waste a few feet from where their daughter plays. Another tale (with VIDEO) about the Victims of the Shale on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Allegheny State Forests Littered!! Park Management Tries To Bring Drilling To A Halt And Are Met With IntimidationRead it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Today’s environmental horrors could lead to a scary Sci-Fi future. Drilling Santa Fe offers an excerpt from Apocalypse Soon by Laura Paskus.

Meanwhile, Splashdown says, Kiss myGas!

Williams Petroleum wants to pipe drilling waste water under our homes in Flower Mound, TX to a huge tank farm. Flower Mound Citizens Against Urban Drilling we discovered an alternative that is safer and greener. Williams claims to be a "good neighbor." Here's their chance to prove it.