spills and wells

spills and wells

Postby naturegirl1150 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:02 pm

from the press:

DIMOCK, Pa. - A cement truck slid down an icy hill and spilled an undetermined amount of diesel or other substance in Dimock Township, environmental officials in Pennsylvania said.

Crews for Cabot Oil & Gas have excavated and removed the contaminated soil and are doing final cleanup work at the site, Mark Carmon, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, said Tuesday.

Reports on the size and nature of the spill varied. Carmon said up to 100 gallons of fuel leaked from the tanks on the side of the truck.

Ken Komorowski, a spokesman for Cabot, said the leak was from a line or hose under the truck, and it was much less, leaving only "a spot" on the ground.

The spill happened Friday when the truck slid off a steep ice-covered private road leading to a well on the Lewis property, Carmon said. It is the fourth spill in the last 10 months in an area where Cabot crews are drilling to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale.

In addition to the spills, the DEP has responded to several other concerns, including natural gas leaking into private water wells, and one well that turned turbid. As a result, Cabot has provided filters or alternative drinking supplies to five homes in the Carter Road area.

The first and biggest diesel spill happened last spring. Emergency responders and work crews set up barriers as they contained and vacuumed about 800 gallons of diesel that threatened a nearby stream. The DEP will be issuing a punitive fine for the first oil spill because it threatened a stream, Carmon said. He did not know the amount or timing of the fine as of Tuesday.

Additionally, DEP officials are evaluating the problems individually and collectively to see whether more enforcement steps are necessary.

Are they simply an unrelated string of bad luck, or part of a more serious or systemic problem with operations?

"You have to take it as it comes, and if you start to see a pattern, you have to deal with that, too," Carmon said.

Komorowski said the incidents were not unusual, given the amount and size of equipment, including drilling rigs, tankers, cement trucks, generators and excavation equipment being moved to drilling sites.

"We're moving a lot of equipment, and with the wintry conditions you sometimes have incidents like this," he said.

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Re: spills and wells

Postby John Twitchell » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:56 am

Sierra Club,Earthjustice, and Friends of the Earth asked its members to "thank House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who requested that the Capitol Power Plant in Washington D.C. stop burning coal and instead switch to clean burning natural gas". Our Dimock correspondent replies:

To: "Bruce Nilles, Sierra Club" <membership.services@sierraclub.org>
Dear Mr. Nilles, I am responding to your letter concerning switching from coal power to "clean" natural gas. Although I live near Scranton and the PA coal region in general, I am concerned when I hear of natural gas touted as a clean fuel. At this moment, Cabot Oil and Gas are extracting or pumping natural gas from two rigs on either side of my house, both about 500 feet away. The DEP has been investigating Cabot's work on Carter Rd., Dimock Township PA, because natural gas has migrated into nine or ten water wells on our rural road in Susquehanna County. The process of hydrofracturing underground rock layers has contaminated the water sources for at least 12 homes in Dimock, and next week, they will be filming a documentary. One of our neighbors wells exploded on New Year's Day, and Mrs. Fiorentino has no water supply. Cabot has refused to provide her with a new well, or to provide her and her relatives with drinking water or even non-potable water for drinking. Her water well, according to her son, is 1,001 feet from a gas well, and PA law says they are responsible for water wells less than 1,000 feet away. The explosion had enough force to blow a 10x10 foot concrete slab off of her well.
My next door neighbor has both methane and coliform bacteria in her water, and had to pay for her own $6,000 filtration sistem. Several of my neighbors have flammable water. One of our neighbors has water that still tests as 65%methane after her well has been vented for a month. Kids have been sick, and pets have developed liver damage and had their hair suddenly fall out. Forests that were part of our rural landscape have not only been cleared, but all their stumps removed, and all their soil taken away, to make drilling pads and pipelines and access roads to gas wells. We have had three fuel oil spills, one of 800 gallons and two that were 100 gallons, all within view of our home, all of which were the result of accidents by Cabot employees. None of us think of natural gas as clean these days.
John Twitchell
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