Wednesday, February 3, 2010

EPA will research Hydraulic Fracturing and Endocrine Disruption

The EPA budget for 2011 includes 4.3 million for Hydraulic Fracturing Research through their Star Program. Also 17.4 million for Endocrine Disruptor's Research.

Dr. Theo Colburn and The Endocrine Disruption Exchange talks about the Fossil Fuel Connection. Here is a paragraph from the introduction on the TEDX website. It explains how hydraulic fracturing is done. The fracking fluid is sand, water and chemicals. It also mentions that 30% to 70% of the fracking fluid will come back up to the surface, along with other toxic substances that are naturally present, during fracking.

Toxic chemicals are used at every stage of development to reach and release the gas. Drilling muds, a combination of toxic and non-toxic substances, are used to drill the well. To facilitate the release of natural gas after drilling, approximately a million or more gallons of fluids, loaded with toxic chemicals, are injected underground under high pressure. This process, called fracturing (frac’ing or stimulation), uses diesel-powered heavy equipment that runs continuously during the operation. One well can be frac’ed 10 or more times and there can be up to 28 wells on one well pad. An estimated 30% to 70% of the frac’ing fluid will resurface, bringing back with it toxic substances that are naturally present in underground oil and gas deposits, as well as the chemicals used in the frac’ing fluid. Under some circumstances, nothing is recovered.

In 2004, the EPA, under the Bush Administration, conducted a study on Hydraulic Fracturing. The study was released concluding that hydraulic fracturing did not threaten water supplies. Shortly after this study was released, the "halliburton loophole" was passed. But Weston Wilson, a 31 year veteran with the EPA, sought protection under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act told a different story. The following paragraphs are from a article in the Union of Concerned Scientists:

EPA's conclusions are unsupportable. EPA has conducted limited research reaching the unsupported conclusion that this industry practice needs no further study at this time. EPA decisions were supported by a Peer Review Panel; however five of the seven members of this panel appear to have conflicts-of-interest and may benefit from EPA's decision not to conduct further investigation or impose regulatory conditions.9

"I think the agency's acted egregiously," said Wilson in an interview a few months after sending his letter to Congress. "It's not fulfilling its responsibility to protect public health."10 Wilson's concern was supported by other scientists both inside and outside of EPA. Geoffrey D. Thyne, a professor at the Colorado School of Mines who is generally supportive of hydraulic fracturing, argued that exempting the practice from regulation "is premature, unwise and goes against the public interest."11 Wilson is correct when he says, "EPA should finish its study and obtain field information to see if this does represent a risk to ground water."12

Now more than 5 years later, with a new group of members in the EPA, they will again revisit hydraulic fracturing. They will study the health impacts and the effects on water, air and soil.


Anonymous said...

Theo Colburn is just another environmentalist wacko doing her best to scare people into believing that "Farcing" a well is going to kill us all. If you outlaw Farcing, you had better bone up on your bicycling skills. There is no more free flowing oil & gas, thats all gone. What's left is in rock and shale. If you can't Frac it, it won't come out. You better hope you are on good terms with the Arabs for the rest of your life. Otherwise, you are walking or biking. Also, if a terrorist were to blow up an LNG tanker while in the port of Houston, you think the environmental damage is bad now? The death and carnage would be unbelievable. Support Texas produced Natural Gas & Oil. Keep the money and jobs in Texas.

Anonymous said...

to anon 9:10. Hmm, you are complaining about Dr. Colburn trying to scare people. Why do you read your own comment.
By the way, its Fracing or Fracking not Farcing. Here is a scary thought. No fresh water to drink. How bout that Einstein.

Anonymous said...

The gas and oil industry has spent a lot of money making sure that there isn't an alternative energy. My next car will be a hybrid that consumes less gas. Someday, I would like to convert to wind or solar energy but those industries get a fraction of the "perks" and tax incentives that Gas and Oil get.
All the EPA is talking about is making the industry use safer drilling practices. If the research shows that hydraulic fracking is dangerous to our health and natural resources, There will be death and carnage. Only it will be over fresh water right here in America.

Anonymous said...

According to the CIA factbook from 2008 the largest gas producing countries are Russia, the United States and Canada, not exactly a who's who among traditional "Arab" nations. Why don't you do a little research first, you know what, forget the research, start with a dictionary. Your arguments are "week", Hi Chris!!!!!

Anonymous said...

to anon 9:37 & 10:02 Friends, apparently neither one of you live in Texas, or the Barnett Shale Region. Because if you did you would know that 99% of our fresh water for human use is purchased thru municipal sources, that originate from surface water. And 2nd, in Billions & Billions of years of humans on this earth, humans will never run out of water.
71% of the Earth's surface is covered by water. "desalination"
So again, explain to me how we are going to run out of water? And believe me, I've read the "Frac Act" and it makes no mention of doing away with the practice of Hydro Fracing. And it does not require them to disclose the propriety formula of the Frac solution.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that there is so much water but every summer, we are put on water restrictions. Where do you think the surface water comes from? It comes from area lakes. Flower Mound gets their water from Lewisville, Lake Ray Hubbard, and Tawakoni. Creeks and rivers that feed into some of the area lakes could get contaminated. Lake Grapevine is no in danger of that because of the proposed disposal well in Argyle is on a flood plain that feeds into Denton Creek, which goes into Lake Grapevine. Hydraulic fracturing the way it is being performed with chemicals is dangerous period. Then the transportation and storage of the produced water is dangerous. On-site recycling would be the way to go. Nationwide!