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Contaminated Home Wells Found Near Pa. Fracking Site


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#1 concert andy

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:46 PM

Contaminated Home Wells Found Near Pa. Fracking Site: Study
 

http://www.philly.co...S1f1Pu4cHLUe.99

 

Homes that are close to fracking sites are at higher risk of having their drinking water contaminated by combustible gases, according to a new study.

 

Researchers from Duke University in Durham, N.C., analyzed drinking water samples from 141 private water wells in the Marcellus shale basin in northeastern Pennsylvania, where companies are using hydraulic fracturing to tap hard-to-access pockets of natural gas.

 

They detected methane in 82 percent of the drinking water samples, with the average concentrations six times higher for homes less than one kilometer -- about six-tenths of a mile -- from a natural gas well, according to findings published online June 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 

In the study, which was strongly disputed by the oil and gas industry, the scientists also found higher concentrations of ethane and propane in drinking water wells less than six-tenths of a mile from shale gas drilling. Ethane concentrations were 23 times higher in water wells located near gas drilling, while propane was found in 10 wells all within a kilometer of a drill site.

 

"We were surprised to find such high concentrations, but we were also surprised to see such a strong effect of proximity to gas wells," said Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

 

Jackson added that there is no biological source of ethane and propane in the region, which makes the Marcellus wells the chief suspect for the contamination.

 

The risk of fire and explosion is the main public health risk from the presence of these gases in drinking water, said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C.

 

"These are volatile gases and in particular concentrations, they burn," Benjamin said. "If they leak into your home and build up, particularly in enclosed spaces, there's an explosive risk."

 

Based on what is now known, there seems to be no risk involved in ingesting the gases by drinking the water. "I just can't imagine how anyone would drink enough to make them sick," Benjamin said.

 

Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, is a controversial process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to crack open hydrocarbon-rich shale and extract natural gas. Prior studies have raised concerns that such drilling techniques could lead to contamination of drinking water supplies.

 

Jackson believes the contamination is the result of faulty well construction, with gases escaping from flaws in either the steel tubing or the concrete seal that surrounds the tubing.

 

"We don't think the gases are migrating up through thousands of feet of rock to contaminate ground water," he said. "If the well isn't sealed properly with cement, you can have gas from thousands of feet down move up the outside of the well and into people's drinking water without ever seeing natural gas leak out from the Marcellus."

 

Industry spokesman Jim Smith criticized what he called key flaws in the Duke study. For example, he noted that the water samples were not taken randomly, but from wells chosen by the researchers in cooperation with homeowners' associations and other local contacts. Smith, a spokesman for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, added that the researchers found no fracking fluid in the contaminated wells.

 

"If the methane that was found in the water was a result of fracking, then certainly frack water would be found in those wells as well, and they found no evidence of that," he said.
 

Smith also doubted that poor well construction would be involved in the contamination, citing the stringent regulations adopted by the state of Pennsylvania to regulate gas drilling.

 

Jackson argues that flaws in the concrete seal would allow gas to migrate while still preventing leakage of fracking fluid.
 

He also noted that his team has researched potential well contamination from fracking in five states, most recently from the Fayetteville shale formation in Arkansas. His team believes faulty well construction is involved in Pennsylvania because other locations have revealed no contamination at all.

 

"We don't see any evidence of contamination in the homes there," he said of the Arkansas study. "We don't see the same problems everywhere we look."
 



#2 MeOmYo

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:54 PM

A neighbor of mine has natural gas in their well water.  No fracking here.



#3 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:22 PM

He also noted that his team has researched potential well contamination from fracking in five states, most recently from the Fayetteville shale formation in Arkansas. His team believes faulty well construction is involved in Pennsylvania because other locations have revealed no contamination at all.

 

OK. So what we're seeing is not necessarily the results of fracking, but (potentially, the study is certainly not groundbreaking esp. considering how they sourced samples) the results of doing it poorly in regard to well covers/construction. In light of that, I would say the industry is probably trying hard to cover themselves from liability in areas where they may actually be liable for damages. In that, Dan and I can agree. But again, this study does not show that fracking itself contaminates well water as a result of its procedure. it shows neglegence.

 

With that, I'm not going to be buying an anti-fracking T-shirt or protesting the industry to be shut down. I would suggest to those that are, to hold the representatives they elected and the regulatory agencies that these reps create, more accountable for protecting property rights instead of looking to ban human behavior. Since that never, ever works out. Ever.



#4 concert andy

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:29 PM

 

OK. So what we're seeing is not necessarily the results of fracking, but (potentially, the study is certainly not groundbreaking esp. considering how they sourced samples) the results of doing it poorly in regard to well covers/construction. In light of that, I would say the industry is probably trying hard to cover themselves from liability in areas where they may actually be liable for damages. In that, Dan and I can agree. But again, this study does not show that fracking itself contaminates well water as a result of its procedure. it shows neglegence.

 

With that, I'm not going to be buying an anti-fracking T-shirt or protesting the industry to be shut down. I would suggest to those that are, to hold the representatives they elected and the regulatory agencies that these reps create, more accountable for protecting property rights instead of looking to ban human behavior. 

 

 

I was going to ask how we do that...

 

 

then I got to the end...

 

 Since that never, ever works out. Ever.

 

:protest:



#5 china cat

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:56 AM

 

OK. So what we're seeing is not necessarily the results of fracking, but (potentially, the study is certainly not groundbreaking esp. considering how they sourced samples) the results of doing it poorly in regard to well covers/construction. In light of that, I would say the industry is probably trying hard to cover themselves from liability in areas where they may actually be liable for damages. In that, Dan and I can agree. But again, this study does not show that fracking itself contaminates well water as a result of its procedure. it shows neglegence.

 

With that, I'm not going to be buying an anti-fracking T-shirt or protesting the industry to be shut down. I would suggest to those that are, to hold the representatives they elected and the regulatory agencies that these reps create, more accountable for protecting property rights instead of looking to ban human behavior. Since that never, ever works out. Ever.

 

the more pervasive this practice becomes, I'm guessing the more accidents and faulty construction we will see. The cost of clean up (including the cost of victim shut up), is often a drop in the bucket to these companies and rarely solves the problems it creates - just hand a family a check after they've endured 3 years of court and unimaginable nightmares and maybe ship them a supplemental water supply. But the water is still contaminated and mom still has migraines so bad that she can't take care of her kids. never mind that your house is now worth nothing and you live with the worry your house is toxic and your kids are unsafe

 

I would fight against them coming into my backyard.



#6 china cat

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:12 AM

never mind that your house is now worth nothing and you live with the worry your house is toxic and your kids are unsafe

 

all the while you feed them hot dogs for dinner, put them to sleep on their off-gassing toxic mattress, and then in the a.m. let them sit in front of Halo 3 for hours as they snack on sugar soaked Capt Crunch with hormone and pesticide infused milk :lol:



#7 Not_Sure

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:47 AM

the more pervasive this practice becomes, I'm guessing the more accidents and faulty construction we will see. The cost of clean up (including the cost of victim shut up), is often a drop in the bucket to these companies and rarely solves the problems it creates - just hand a family a check after they've endured 3 years of court and unimaginable nightmares and maybe ship them a supplemental water supply. But the water is still contaminated and mom still has migraines so bad that she can't take care of her kids. never mind that your house is now worth nothing and you live with the worry your house is toxic and your kids are unsafe

 

I would fight against them coming into my backyard.

 

I love you, Kris. You know that. But this is a lot of hyperbole and doesn't meet observation The contaminates in these cases are the objects of procurement. Methane, is what the goal is. Additional leakage of it is money to the sky or to potential costumers anti-consumerism. It's not the object of the business. The technology is actually getting better, not worse. As one would imagine. In the event of liability these companies should be held to fast and expedient restitution. But certainly with all the negative media, companies arent looking to cause these issues. 

:heart: Cant wait to see you and Tim.



#8 Not_Sure

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:50 AM

all the while you feed them hot dogs for dinner, put them to sleep on their off-gassing toxic mattress, and then in the a.m. let them sit in front of Halo 3 for hours as they snack on sugar soaked Capt Crunch with hormone and pesticide infused milk :lol:

 

:lol:

 

There is that. Although it is a sweeping generalization.



#9 Not_Sure

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:51 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure. Blew that one. :lmao:



#10 Not_Sure

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:52 AM

Dang it.



#11 china cat

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:19 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure. Blew that one. :lmao:

 

:lmao:



#12 china cat

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:21 AM

I love you, Kris. You know that. But this is a lot of hyperbole and doesn't meet observation The contaminates in these cases are the objects of procurement. Methane, is what the goal is. Additional leakage of it is money to the sky or to potential costumers anti-consumerism. It's not the object of the business. The technology is actually getting better, not worse. As one would imagine. In the event of liability these companies should be held to fast and expedient restitution. But certainly with all the negative media, companies arent looking to cause these issues. 

:heart: Cant wait to see you and Tim.

 

I'm not sure that any of what I posted is hyperbole to those who have lived it.

 

I agree that sending money to the sky is not the "object of the business" but it has been shown to be a consequence.

 

Wouldn't you agree that this scenario happens over and over within different industries: industry, money, toxins, pollution, health problems, lawsuits, cover-ups, denials.... 30 years later maybe a few apologies. Is it plausible that this has/is/could with fracking as well?

 

The technology may be getting better but accidents are always a risk (think oil industry, think long history of toxic chemical contamination from various toxins and various companies destroying water supplies and people's health, etc.)  ruptures, leaks, spills should be expected and to suggest that they won't because technology is improving seems... I dunno, a bit unrealistic.

 

I was just looking up health effects related to natural gas leaks and exposure to methane - yep, no thanks

 

the chemicals in the fracking fluid? yep, no thanks

 

the dumping of the fracking fluid? yep, no thanks

 

Victims face an arduous battle when they go up against a giant corp. savvy lawyers and millions of dollars to avoid a precedent of culpability (or a voice of accountability)

 

Trusting govt agencies or energy corporations to tell the truth? yep, no thanks.

 

I wouldn't want it in my backyard and I'm curious to know if you'd feel differently if it was in yours.

 

(I'll try to keep an open mind as I continue to read multiple perspectives in these threads.)



#13 china cat

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:22 AM

:lol:

 

There is that. Although it is a sweeping generalization.

 

purposeful for sillies sake :)

 

can't wait to hang with you too!!!



#14 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:22 AM

I'm not sure that any of what I posted is hyperbole to those who have lived it.

 

I agree that sending money to the sky is not the "object of the business" but it has been shown to be a consequence.

 

Wouldn't you agree that this scenario happens over and over within different industries: industry, money, toxins, pollution, health problems, lawsuits, cover-ups, denials.... 30 years later maybe a few apologies. Is it plausible that this has/is/could with fracking as well?

 

The technology may be getting better but accidents are always a risk (think oil industry, think long history of toxic chemical contamination from various toxins and various companies destroying water supplies and people's health, etc.)  ruptures, leaks, spills should be expected and to suggest that they won't because technology is improving seems... I dunno, a bit unrealistic.

 

I was just looking up health effects related to natural gas leaks and exposure to methane - yep, no thanks

 

the chemicals in the fracking fluid? yep, no thanks

 

the dumping of the fracking fluid? yep, no thanks

 

Victims face an arduous battle when they go up against a giant corp. savvy lawyers and millions of dollars to avoid a precedent of culpability (or a voice of accountability)

 

Trusting govt agencies or energy corporations to tell the truth? yep, no thanks.

 

I wouldn't want it in my backyard and I'm curious to know if you'd feel differently if it was in yours.

 

(I'll try to keep an open mind as I continue to read multiple perspectives in these threads.)

 

Yes, accidents and negligence are always a risk. They are a risk of almost everything we do in sourcing energy. Also, according to scientific study, the methane levels are below the SDWA. I think we shouldnt be drilling for oil either. And a host of other procedures humans have developed to procure energy resources. So should we stop drilling for oil too? I mean, there are a lot of consequences and accidents from such activity. Along with then refining it and then even driving in cars.

 

As for in y backyard, I'd say no. But there are ways to control even natural seepage (the dominant reason for gas in wells) of nat gas in wells. The govt.'s job should be to defend these peoples rights and property. But it seems that corporatism is the bigger goal.



#15 concert andy

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:49 PM

Yeah, I'm not sure. Blew that one. :lmao:

 

I knew it.  

 

:boardie:



#16 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:08 PM

http://news.yahoo.co...-184714679.html

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology's benefits for the environment — and the wallet.

What customers may not know is that there's a dirtier side.

While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.

To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.

The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar's carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product's impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is.

After installing a solar panel, "it would take one to three months of generating electricity to pay off the energy invested in driving those hazardous waste emissions out of state," said Dustin Mulvaney, a San Jose State University environmental studies professor who conducts carbon footprint analyses of solar, biofuel and natural gas production.

The waste from manufacturing has raised concerns within the industry, which fears that the problem, if left unchecked, could undermine solar's green image at a time when companies are facing stiff competition from each other and from low-cost panel manufacturers from China and elsewhere.

"We want to take the lessons learned from electronics and semiconductor industries (about pollution) and get ahead of some of these problems," said John Smirnow, vice president for trade and competitiveness at the nearly 500-member Solar Energy Industries Association.

The increase in solar hazardous waste is directly related to the industry's fast growth over the past five years — even with solar business moving to China rapidly, the U.S. was a net exporter of solar products by $2 billion in 2010, the last year of data available. The nation was even a net exporter to China.

New companies often send hazardous waste out of their plants because they have not yet invested in on-site treatment equipment, which allows them to recycle some waste.

Nowhere is the waste issue more evident than in California, where landmark regulations approved in the 1970s require industrial plants like solar panel makers to report the amount of hazardous materials they produce, and where they send it. California leads the consumer solar market in the U.S. — which doubled overall both in 2010 and 2011.

The Associated Press compiled a list of 41 solar makers in the state, which included the top companies based on market data, and startups. In response to an AP records request, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control provided data that showed 17 of them reported waste, while the remaining did not.

The same level of federal data does not exist.

The state records show the 17 companies, which had 44 manufacturing facilities in California, produced 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water from 2007 through the first half of 2011. Roughly 97 percent of it was taken to hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but more than 1.4 million pounds were transported to nine other states: Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

Several solar energy experts said they have not calculated the industry's total waste and were surprised at what the records showed.

Solyndra, the now-defunct solar company that received $535 million in guaranteed federal loans, reported producing about 12.5 million pounds of hazardous waste, much of it carcinogenic cadmium-contaminated water, which was sent to waste facilities from 2007 through mid-2011.

Before the company went bankrupt, leading to increased scrutiny of the solar industry and political fallout for President Barack Obama's administration, Solyndra said it created 100 megawatts-worth of solar panels, enough to power 100,000 homes.

The records also show several other Silicon Valley solar facilities created millions of pounds of toxic waste without selling a single solar panel, while they were developing their technology or fine-tuning their production.

While much of the waste produced is considered toxic, there was no evidence it has harmed human health.

The vast majority of solar companies that generated hazardous waste in California have not been cited for waste-related pollution violations, although three had minor violations on file.

In many cases, a toxic sludge is created when metals and other toxins are removed from water used in the manufacturing process. If a company doesn't have its own treatment equipment, then it will send contaminated water to be stored at an approved dump.

According to scientists who conduct so-called "life cycle analysis" for solar, the transport of waste is not currently being factored into the carbon footprint score, which measures the amount of greenhouse gases produced when making a product.

Life cycle analysts add up all the global warming pollution that goes into making a certain product — from the mining needed for components to the exhaust from diesel trucks used to transport waste and materials. Not factoring the hazardous waste transport into solar's carbon footprint is an obvious oversight, analysts said.

"The greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting this waste is not insignificant," Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney noted that shipping, for example, 6.2 million pounds of waste by heavy-duty tractor-trailer from Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, to a site 1,800 miles away could add 5 percent to a particular product's carbon footprint.

Such scores are important because they provide transparency to government and consumers into just how environmentally sustainable specific products are and lay out a choice between one company's technology and another's.

The roughly 20-year life of a solar panel still makes it some of the cleanest energy technology currently available. Producing solar is still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney.

The U.S. solar industry said it is reporting its waste, and sending it to approved storage facilities — thus keeping it out of the nation's air and water. A coal-fired power plant, in contrast, sends mercury, cadmium and other toxins directly into the air, which pollutes water and land around the facility.

"Having this stuff go to ... hazardous waste sites, that's what you want to have happen," said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative, a solar advocacy group.

Environmental advocates say the solar industry needs greater transparency, which is getting more complicated as manufacturing moves from the U.S. and Europe to less regulated places such as China and Malaysia.

The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a watchdog group created in 1982 in response to severe environmental problems associated with the valley's electronics industry, is now trying to keep the solar industry from making similar mistakes through a voluntary waste reporting "scorecard." So far, only 14 of 114 companies contacted have replied. Those 14 were larger firms that comprised 51-percent of the solar market share.

"We find the overall industry response rate to our request for environmental information to be pretty dismal for an industry that is considered 'green,'" the group's executive director, Sheila Davis, said in an email.

While there are no specific industry standards, Smirnow, head of the solar industry association, is spearheading a voluntary program of environmental responsibility. So far, only seven of the group's nearly 81 manufacturers have signed the pledge.

"We want (our program) to be more demanding, but this is a young industry and right now manufacturing companies are focused on survival," he said.

___

Follow Jason Dearen on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JHDearen



#17 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:08 PM

BAN SOLAR PANEL MAKING NOW!



#18 TEO

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:48 PM

Whoever controls all potable water will control all the people.