Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:56 pm
It is problems like these of which we have to be aware. Mr. Twitchell's quote couldn't be more true. We can't drink gas. we can live 30 days without food but only 5 days without water. Our properties will be worthless, and we would eventually have to relocate. And I don't think the gas companies can pump in air, if that becomes unbreathable. These are the " visible" problems. What about the ones that aren't visible? I'm concerned. http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20 ... uiAaYw4%3D
Re: water contamination
Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:47 pm
Still want a gas well? Really?
January 30, 2009
DEP zeros in on gas tainting water
Tests show source is a formation tapped for energy
By Tom Wilbertwilber@gannett.com
Natural gas invading at least nine water wells in Dimock Township has been tracked to the Marcellus Shale or a similar formation being tapped by drilling crews working in the area.
In an effort to fix the problem, regulators from the state Department of Environmental Protection have asked Cabot Oil & Gas to vent its natural gas production wells around the Carter Road area, just south of Montrose, said Mark Carmon, a spokesman for the agency. The intention is to give the gas seeping in the ground and collecting in water supplies a means to escape.
"The company is doing everything we are asking of them," Carmon said.
Cabot has taken water supplies of four homes off line and provided water tanks. State officials have advised residents of other homes in the area to vent their wells to reduce the chances of an explosion.
Tests have found gas in water supplies, but not basements or living areas. The state and Cabot are continuing to monitor homes in the area, Carmon added.
Tests show gas found in water is "production gas," Carmon said, meaning it escaped from the kind of geological formation commonly tapped for energy. The state has ruled out the possibility it was a product of organic conditions in shallow ground that sometimes affect water wells.
Carmon stopped short of blaming Cabot, adding more lab work is needed to pinpoint exactly how the gas migrated from thousands of feet below the earth.
Cabot, of Houston, is drilling dozens of wells into the Marcellus Shale, a massive natural gas reserve running a mile or more under the Southern Tier and Pennsylvania countryside. Agency scientists are conducting more tests expected to determine whether the gas came from the Marcellus, Carmon said.
Geologists were at a loss to explain how gas trapped in bedrock thousands of feet down could migrate into shallow aquifers without the drilling.
"This whole thing is very perplexing," said Gary Lash, a geology professor at SUNY-Fredonia. "It will be interesting to see what they find."
Ken Komorowski, a spokesman for Cabot, could not be reached Thursday evening. http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20 ... /901300332
Re: water contamination
Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:05 am
Thanks for the update. My question is what about the fracturing chemicals? If the gas can migrate without even drilling, how many of those chemicals can migrate with it? You might be able to vent gas, but can you vent chemicals (into the air we breathe)? Only three percent of the earth's water is potable. 2.997% is tied up in ice caps or glaciers. That leaves us .003% to drink. We've already polluted much of that. It is crucial that we protect our water supplies during this drilling process. Many on this board claim that drilling will come whether we want it or not. If this is so, we must be sure that we do all we can to protect our water supplies and our environment. We must demand resitution for any environmental damage that occurs, and we must get enough lease bonus so that we can relocate if our properties become uninhabitable. I am surprised that so many people are willing to venture into this process with so little thought of the future. As far as money goes, last year none of us expected any "windfalls". Why are people depending on one now? There are a myriad of problems for the landowners. Your water can be contaminated from a well not in your unit, and you may not even have lease money or royalties from it. We need to move slowly and learn from the mistakes of others.
Re: water contamination
Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:03 pm
Subject: Message from Dimock resident
The fracking chemical thing has muddied the water- water wells were
compromised from drilling in the area-cause and effect. Another family
goes on bottled water this week- I wonder how many residents now in
Dimock area do not drink their water.Someone should do a survey.
Methane was detected in numerous homes and wells had to be vented at
DEP request. Iron surged .3 to 3.0, water turned orange, black,
bubbles, cloudy, foamy and smelly, bacteria presentin wells that never
had it before-see bacteria is not a fracking chemical so all is okay.
Everyone gathered around a pond that had bubbles in the middle of
winter scratching their heads and waving a wand! I think we are stuck
on the fracturing chemicals not in the water presently- but I think it
can be proven that drinking water wells have been degraded due to the
drilling of gas wells in certain locations.And if methane migrated-
from whatever formation they want to call it-it migrated BECAUSE of
the drilling activity.The landman who testified we always had methane
in our water is the same landman that told me I did not need to test
my water before they drilled a gas well 700 feet from our water well!
Not every community or resident will have the same results from the
drilling. It will certainly be decided by the proper or improper
casing-cement and other procedures-it will be decided by how carefully
the drilling is done and if it is highly monitored at the appropriate
times. Remember PA did not require any type of study of the geology or
geography of the area to be drilled in.Our fate was decided by a few
and it continues to be decided by those who stand to gain financially.
The NY folks are slamming their state for doing the pre-drilling
study!! Question is Can you drill 30 plus wells in a 5 mile area with
private water wells, septic systems, creek valley, etc. and not
disturb drinking water supplies? I think we need to put energy into
getting the trained staff needed to "watch over" the industry. I am
concerned about the chemicals eventually showing up in the creek or
water wells but PA does not have an impressive record for safety over
industry-just look to the coal mining regions. The majority of people
in the 10 district want drilling and they want it in their front
yards. Dimock is the poster child for the industry "No fracking fluids
found in water" inspite of some very significant drilling errors. Here
is my gloomy side- unfortunately it will take a significant "mishap"
to put this in balance. I am very worried about the traffic on the
road to Elk Lake Schools when school starts up again. Also worried
about the kids on our road-how can those flatbeds and tankers stop
intime for a school bus. Sorry for the ramble-I am going to make some
coffee now using my last jug of water and then I go to the market to
get my drinking and cooking water for the week. Sorry Mark Carman I
just can't bring myself to drink the bubbles yet.
Re: water contamination
Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:06 am
Just a thought how about posting some of the postive impacts, and successfull drilling projects. Thats right because there is not enough room in the forum. I lived in wayne county pa most of my life, talk to people there weekly I am yet to hear complaints about water quality.
Re: water contamination
Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:17 pm
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Energy & Environment
EPA: Chemicals Found in Wyo. Drinking Water Might Be From Fracking
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica - August 25, 2009 12:36 pm EDT
Louis Meeks’ well water contains methane gas, hydrocarbons, lead and copper, according to the EPA’s test results. When he drilled a new water well, it also showed contaminants. The drilling company Encana is supplying Meeks with drinking water. (Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica)
Federal environment officials investigating drinking water contamination  near the ranching town of Pavillion, Wyo., have found that at least three water wells contain a chemical used in the natural gas drilling process of hydraulic fracturing. Scientists also found traces of other contaminants, including oil, gas or metals, in 11 of 39 wells tested there since March.
The study, which is being conducted under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program, is the first time the EPA has undertaken its own water analysis in response to complaints of contamination in drilling areas, and it could be pivotal in the national debate  over the role of natural gas in America’s energy policy.
Abundant gas reserves are being aggressively developed in 31 states, including New York  and Pennsylvania . Congress is mulling a bill  that aims to protect those water resources from hydraulic fracturing, the process in which fluids and sand are injected under high pressure to break up rock and release gas. But the industry says environmental regulation is unnecessary  because it is impossible for fracturing fluids to reach underground water supplies and no such case has ever been proven.
Scientists in Wyoming will continue testing this fall to determine the level of chemicals in the water and exactly where they came from. If they find that the contamination did result from drilling, the placid plains arching up to the Wind River Range would become the first site where fracturing fluids have been scientifically linked to groundwater contamination.
In interviews with ProPublica and at a public meeting this month in Pavillion’s community hall officials spoke cautiously about their preliminary findings. They were careful to say they’re investigating a broad array of sources for the contamination, including agricultural activity. They said the contaminant causing the most concern – a compound called 2-butoxyethanol, known as 2-BE – can be found in some common household cleaners, not just in fracturing fluids.
But those same EPA officials also said they had found no pesticides – a signature of agricultural contamination – and no indication that any industry or activity besides drilling could be to blame. Other than farming, there is no industry in the immediate area.
Pavillion, Wyoming In Pavillion, a town of about 160 people in the heart of the Wind River Indian Reservation, the gas wells are crowded close together in an ecologically vivid area packed with large wetlands and home to 10 threatened or endangered species. Beneath the ground, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earth is a complex system of folded crusts containing at least 30 water-bearing aquifer layers.
EPA officials told residents that some of the substances found in their water may have been poured down a sink drain. But according to EPA investigation documents, most of the water wells were flushed three times before they were tested in order to rid them of anything that wasn’t flowing through the aquifer itself. That means the contaminants found in Pavillion would have had to work their way from a sink not only into the well but deep into the aquifer at significant concentrations in order to be detected. An independent drinking water expert with decades of experience in central Wyoming, Doyle Ward, dismissed such an explanations as "less than a one in a million" chance.
Some of the EPA’s most cautious scientists are beginning to agree.
"It starts to finger point stronger and stronger to the source being somehow related to the gas development, including, but not necessarily conclusively, hydraulic fracturing itself," said Nathan Wiser, an EPA scientist and hydraulic fracturing expert who oversees enforcement for the underground injection control program under the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Rocky Mountain region. The investigation "could certainly have a focusing effect on a lot of folks in the Pavillion area as a nexus between hydraulic fracturing and water contamination."
Tanks hold natural gas condensate and mark the spot of producing gas wells in the Pavillion field, in Fremont County, Wyo., in the heart of the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Environmental Protection Agency has found chemicals that are used in gas drilling in water wells near this site. (Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica) The Superfund investigation follows a series of complaints by residents in the Pavillion area, some stemming back 15 years, that their water wells turned sour and reeked of fuel vapors shortly after drilling took place nearby. Several of those residents shared their stories with ProPublica , while other information was found through court and local records. Several years ago a one resident’s animals went blind and died after drinking from a well. In two current cases, a resident’s well water shows small pooling oil slicks on the surface, and a woman is coping with a mysterious nervous system disorder: Her family blames arsenic and metals found in her water. In two of those cases the Canadian drilling company Encana, which bought most of the area’s wells after they were drilled and assumed liability for them, is either supplying fresh drinking water to the residents or has purchased the land. In the third case a drilling company bought by Encana, Tom Brown Inc, had previously reached an out-of-court settlement to provide water filtering.
Though the drilling companies have repeatedly compensated residents with the worst cases of contamination, they have not acknowledged any fault in causing the pollution. An Encana spokesman, Doug Hock, told ProPublica the company wants "to better understand the science and the source of the compounds" found in the water near Pavillion before he would speculate on whether the company was responsible.
Precise details about the nature and cause of the contamination, as well as the extent of the plume running in the aquifer beneath this region 150 miles east of Jackson Hole, have been difficult for scientists to collect. That’s in part because the identity of the chemicals used by the gas industry for drilling and fracturing are protected as trade secrets , and because the EPA, based on an exemption passed under the 2005 Energy Policy Act, does not have authority to investigate the fracturing process under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Using the Superfund program gave the agency extra authority to investigate the Pavillion reports, including the right to subpoena the secret information if it needs to. It also unlocked funding to pay for the research.
John Fenton’s drinking water appeared to be perfect, until the EPA found it contained methane and contaminants associated with plastics. Fenton is president of the Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens. (Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica) EPA officials have repeatedly said that disclosure of the fluids used in fracking – something that would be required if the bill being debated in Congress were passed – would enable them to investigate contamination incidents faster, more conclusively and for less money. The current study, which is expected to end next spring, has already cost $130,000.
About 65 people, many in jeans, boots and 10-gallon hats, filled Pavillion’s community hall on Aug. 11 to hear the EPA’s findings. They were told that a range of contaminants, including arsenic, copper, vanadium and methane gas were found in the water. Many of these substances are found in various fluids used at drilling sites.
Of particular concern were compounds called adamantanes, a natural hydrocarbon found in gas that can be used to fingerprint its origin, and 2-BE, listed as a common fracturing fluid in the EPA’s 2004 research report on hydraulic fracturing. That compound, which EPA scientists in Wyoming said they identified with 97 percent certainty, was suspected by some environmental groups in a 2004 drilling-related contamination case in Colorado, also involving Encana.
EPA investigators explained that because they had no idea what to test for, they were relegated to an exhaustive process of scanning water samples for spikes in unidentified compounds and then running those compounds like fingerprints through a criminal database for matches against a vast library of unregulated and understudied substances. That is how they found the adamantanes and 2-BE.
An Encana representative told the crowd the company was as concerned as they were about the contamination and pledged to help the EPA in its investigation.
Some people seemed confounded by what they were hearing.
"How in god’s name can the oil industry dump sh*t in our drinking water and not tell us what it is?" shouted Alan Hofer, who lives near the center of the sites being investigated by the EPA.
"If they’d tell us what they were using then you could go out and test for things and it would make it a lot easier right?" asked Jim Van Dorn, who represents Wyoming Rural Water, a non-profit that advises utilities and private well owners on water management.
"Exactly," said Luke Chavez, the EPA’s chief Superfund investigator on the project. "That’s our idea too."
Now that the EPA has found a chemical used in fracturing fluids in Pavillion’s drinking water, Chavez said the next step in the research is to ask Encana for a list of the chemicals it uses and then do more sampling using that list. (An Encana spokesman told ProPublica the company will supply any information that the EPA requires.) The EPA is also working with area health departments, a toxicologist and a representative from the Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to assess health risks, he said.
Depending on what they find, the investigation in Wyoming could have broad implications. Before hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, the EPA assessed the process and concluded it did not pose a threat to drinking water. That study, however, did not involve field research or water testing and has been criticized as incomplete. This spring, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson called some of the contamination reports "startling" and told members of Congress  that it is time to take another look. The Pavillion investigation, according to Chavez, is just that.
"If there is a problem, maybe we don’t have the tools, or the laws, to deal with it," Chavez said. "That’s one of the things that could come out of this process."
Re: water contamination
Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:13 pm
comparing our "tight shale" to the geography out west is apples and oranges... the problem in dimmock was human error when pouring the concrete sleeve as reported by pa dep... natural gas is a clean fuel which will serve us well as the transitional fuel leading us towards zero emissions, our ultimate goal... in the meantime there will be mistakes made... looking at the big picture however, the health of our earth will be much better with natural gas than oil or coal... do your research and you'll find this true... as fossil fuels go, all agree natural gas is the best of the lot... chasgas