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(Business Insider)   Penn Dept of Environmental Protection: "So we found high levels of benzene and arsenic in the bodies of residents near your fracking sites." Natural Gas companies: "We didn't ask you to look for that." PDEP: "Oh yeah, sounds good. Nevermind"   (businessinsider.com) divider line 123
    More: Scary, Radical Environmentalism, Western Pennsylvania, toxic metal, toxicology testing, petroleum industry, drinking water, Pennsylvania, NYSE Composite  
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3465 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Nov 2012 at 3:56 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-04 01:31:41 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: Yup. And, again, PA residents don't seem to mind.


Lots do...we get shouted down by the God and Guns brigade.
 
2012-11-04 01:38:29 PM  

X-boxershorts: Lots do...we get shouted down by the God and Guns brigade.


Yea. The same desperately poor, completely uneducated people right up the center of the state who wouldn't be able to afford the increased cancer rates they're doomed to if it weren't for the debil's Obamacare that they're so vociferously opposed to...

The fact that the republicans have managed to make such a successful business of getting so many millions to so obviously vote against their own obvious best interests is incredible to me.

/ but it's not fair to call them stupid or anything, even though almost everything they do is stupid...
 
2012-11-04 01:57:26 PM  

EnviroDude: If the frack wells are shallow and near the water producing sands, then they might interconnect. But my experience shows most residential water wells are shallow (
Anyway, the easiest way to remove Arsenic (naturally occurring), and BTEX is to install carbon filtration systems at each of the drinking water well heads.


How about "the easiest way to handle this is not to put BTEX (not naturally occurring) in the drinking water in the first place"?
Let's try that first, mmkay?
 
2012-11-04 02:01:38 PM  

rewind2846: How about "the easiest way to handle this is not to put BTEX (not naturally occurring) in the drinking water in the first place"?
Let's try that first, mmkay?


You have to accept that nothing is going to be optimal all the time. Doing the fracking isn't necessarily a problem, what's a problem is that the people doing the oversight have a huge financial incentive to do it poorly or not at all.

There's no reason this can't be done safely, but it can't be done safely when the people in charge of monitoring it are getting millions from the people they're supposed to be watching.
 
2012-11-04 02:35:56 PM  
So who is going to sell the "carbon filtration systems" and who is going to buy them? I bet the company that is doing the Fracking has a subsidiary that is only too happy to sell you however many "carbon filtration systems" that you may need. but unfortunately that model doesnt remove PCB's.( We dont know how THOSE got in there) But another one their associates has a system they would be willing to lease to you for a low, low monthly fee.

If we dont Rape and Pillage the Land exploit these natural resources someone else will!

Lets keep America Free!

Besides R&D is HARD and Expensive. We have nearly 100 years of "Fossil" fuels left. We'll all be dead before we have to worry about that!
 
2012-11-04 02:50:44 PM  
comon' america, lets get frackin'!!


don't listen to those crazy environmentalist folks. any water that will light on fire when you hold a match to it is good water!

and good water is good for america!
 
2012-11-04 02:51:18 PM  
Everyone, I apologize for the delay in responding. I'm traveling back from visiting my mom. Her house was hit by sandy. I should be back to my house and I will answer those questions directed at me to the best of my knowledge.

I should be back by 4 pm est.
 
2012-11-04 03:31:09 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: X-boxershorts: Lots do...we get shouted down by the God and Guns brigade.

Yea. The same desperately poor, completely uneducated people right up the center of the state who wouldn't be able to afford the increased cancer rates they're doomed to if it weren't for the debil's Obamacare that they're so vociferously opposed to...

The fact that the republicans have managed to make such a successful business of getting so many millions to so obviously vote against their own obvious best interests is incredible to me.

/ but it's not fair to call them stupid or anything, even though almost everything they do is stupid...


They call it Pennsyltucky for a reason
 
2012-11-04 03:51:43 PM  

lj1330: OK, Dougie, the only thing I have to ask: Will you drink a glass of water from the tap of a well within the 2000ft mark of one of your operations? How about your kids? Wife? Other loved ones? I am guessing, if you can do this in a reliable or provable way, the questions would probably come down quite a bit.


ljon1330,

I do drink the water within 2000 ft of our operations. Quite routinely, in fact. I forgot to mention that in addition to pre-drill records we are also required to do post drill testing of those same points.

Part of my responsibility is to meet with landowners when they have concerns/complaints and we most often meet them in their homes and to date, I have never turned down a drink of water/coffee/tea when offered.

However, as I do not have a wife and kids, I cannot tell you I would let them drink the water because it's purely hypothetical. However, I do not stop my mom from drinking the water when she comes up to visit.

I honestly, don't know how I could reliably prove it to you over the internet. If I suddenly, stop posting some day, I guess that would be your answer?
 
2012-11-04 03:57:23 PM  

X-boxershorts: They call it Pennsyltucky for a reason


Yea, and I moved out for a reason.

/ although apparently I was brain damaged by whatever was in the water because I moved south...
 
2012-11-04 04:13:59 PM  
X-boxershorts

You bring up some great points, and I recognize that you are not flaming me but bringing issues to the attention of authorities as a concerned citizen looking to keep business honest.

Now, please allow me to state that I do not disagree with you about the current workforce of the DEP. They are severely underfunded and need more regulators well versed in the oil and gas industry. I believe that supposed to be helped by the impact fees and higher permit fees generated by 2012 Act 13. However, I cannot be sure. I am one of the few, as a native Pennsylvanian and O&G industry person actually advocating for excise taxes. Excise taxes could help fund the DEP and keep up their orphaned and abandoned well program.

Unfortunately those wells were abandoned by previous operators who were independent and small wildcatters. Who were less then fastidious in their record keeping. At present, when a previously unknown/abandoned/orphaned well is discovered by us, we're obligated to GPS it, report it to the DEP and help them plug it before we can continue with our operations. Now in the specific area I work, we have yet to come across any but I know that they have in the other parts of the state.

So I plead to you to continue to hold the DEP and the industry accountable. It's the only way to affect change. I do my part on my side.

I checked and the area of PA you call out specifically we do not operate in so I can't comment on that operators specific operating procedures but I can tell you that any contractor that did that in my field would be summarily dismissed and their contract fought to withold all payments. There is no reason for that kind of carelessness aside from penny pinching contractors (who shouldn't be doing this kind of work in the first place) or shody operators for hiring them in the first place.

I can tell you that the mid-majors and major operators do share contractor performance information and we routinely blackball contractors who act in wreckless manners. Those pictures you posted are not the operators themselves but contractors. Very few companies own their own trucking lines anymore. Additionally that contractor was/is probably being investigated by the Dept. of Justice/FBI and state agencies. Trust me, the operator will be held partially reliable for their contractors conduct. Someone will and should go to jail over that.

As for long term maintenance, our lease operators check on a daily basis the well pressure, and casing pressures. When anything happens out of the ordinary we shut in the well and consult with our engineering department to diagnose and prepare repair plans before they get worse. However, since we are large enough we can weather low price environments while still performing this kind of maintenance, some of the smaller mid size companies and mom and pop shops can't and that's when you get problems.

I can tell you that we have drilled a few dry holes here and what we do in that event is this: pump the well full of cement, GPS the vertical well bore location, reclaim the property (restoring it to its "as found" condition) and let our permits expire. Now since I'm not in charge of permits and contracts I can't tell you with 100% confidence but I believe that there is an obligation to the operator to take care of any issues that arise on the property unless the property is repurposed for something else (i.e. another business comes in and develops the land for another reason).

Again, thank you for a non-yelling counter point discussion. It's always appreciated.
 
2012-11-04 04:39:42 PM  

Dougie AXP: we routinely blackball contractors who act in wreckless manners.


i943.photobucket.com

/You *want* to be a wreckless driver
 
2012-11-04 04:48:22 PM  
Dude, don't you see our problem? By your own admission, you are surrounded by contrators who act with greed, and cut corners. I am not worried about you (if you could prove it within the limits of the internet), but you are surrounded by scumbags! How can we trust an industry that is powered by pure profit!
 
2012-11-04 05:02:58 PM  

lj1330: Dude, don't you see our problem? By your own admission, you are surrounded by contrators who act with greed, and cut corners. I am not worried about you (if you could prove it within the limits of the internet), but you are surrounded by scumbags! How can we trust an industry that is powered by pure profit!


By holding them accountable we cut out the ones who act in those manners what you are left with are the ones who do it the right way and get repeat business so what they lose in profit per job they make up in repeat business and volume increase when that info is shared with other operators.

This is what to leads to the impression that getting into the business is "impossible". It's not impossible. You just have to pass the requirements and hold yourself as accountable as we do or higher if you want to continue to work for the industry/
 
2012-11-04 05:26:49 PM  

Dougie AXP: Unfortunately those wells were abandoned by previous operators who were independent and small wildcatters. Who were less then fastidious in their record keeping.


This is not accurate.

DEP began their records keeping functions as a factor of the 1984 oil and gas act. One major flaw of that act was that...they never reconciled their records with the old local records and the old geological survey maps were most of these records existed.

And the former oil and gas act of 1984 had a 2000 dollar restoration bond attached to it, which only applied to new wells drilled after Jan 1 1985.
And that bond never ever came close to the cost of properly plugging an abandoned well.

They updated that with the 2011 ACT13, now the bond averages about 6000 per unconventional well.

3 wells in Dimock, PA that DEP felt were responsible for the fouling is the water in Dimcok, all of them vertical marcellus wells, cost 700,000 each to plug.

The economics of well recovery bonding says this...

Drill a well, run it til it slows, sell it off to a small operator, small operator eventually goes bankrupt, PA owns the well and all it's liabilities.

This scenario has played itself out thousands of times in PA.

That hole in the ground will be there for the life of the planet.

What's your maintenance plan?

Concrete shrinks with age, too...
 
2012-11-04 05:56:49 PM  
Here's a video of a long abandoned well we found and hung a trail cam next to, showing the leaking methane (and other icky stuff) and deer and other wildlife and game drinking from the pool that always surrounds the abandoned well when air pressure drops below subsurface pressure allowing what's down there to come up here...

Link 

Who wants to eat PA venison now?
 
2012-11-04 06:02:48 PM  

X-boxershorts: Dougie AXP: Unfortunately those wells were abandoned by previous operators who were independent and small wildcatters. Who were less then fastidious in their record keeping.

This is not accurate.

DEP began their records keeping functions as a factor of the 1984 oil and gas act. One major flaw of that act was that...they never reconciled their records with the old local records and the old geological survey maps were most of these records existed.

And the former oil and gas act of 1984 had a 2000 dollar restoration bond attached to it, which only applied to new wells drilled after Jan 1 1985.
And that bond never ever came close to the cost of properly plugging an abandoned well.

They updated that with the 2011 ACT13, now the bond averages about 6000 per unconventional well.

3 wells in Dimock, PA that DEP felt were responsible for the fouling is the water in Dimcok, all of them vertical marcellus wells, cost 700,000 each to plug.

The economics of well recovery bonding says this...

Drill a well, run it til it slows, sell it off to a small operator, small operator eventually goes bankrupt, PA owns the well and all it's liabilities.

This scenario has played itself out thousands of times in PA.

That hole in the ground will be there for the life of the planet.

What's your maintenance plan?

Concrete shrinks with age, too...


First off, thanks for the clarification. That failure to reconcile records isn't the fault of the industry. That's the fault of the DEP.

Secondly, when you refer to Dimock are you referring you referring to the stuff in Gasland? Because that was a chemical surface spill, not anything to do with the actual process for frac'ing.

As for the economics, I don't argue with what you wrote. That's how business works. What could and should happen is regulation/laws that link all operators to the liabilities of that well. Kind of like a superfund site.

Maintenance plan; I told you what we currently do to monitor well integrity. When it comes to complete well shut off/plugging, I've only seen one. As for long term, I've only been in the Nat Gas side for just over a year but in the overall business for 5 years.

I believe they also can set solid metal plugs (like we do when setting our zones for frac'ing) however, since I'm not a drilling engineer/geologist, I cannot tell you with 100% certainty what the actual plan is.

I understand your questions but I also must ask; what energy source is 100% risk free? None of them are. All come with problems.

Coal gets strip mining/acid rain erossion etc.

Nuclear? Nuclear waste.

Crude? There's only so much in the world.

Natural Gas drilling has their challenges too.

If you want change, be the change you want. Push your representative for change/new rules regulations. As we have seen in New York, it can be used to slow the pace until the operators meet whatever requirements/information providing that the state/local governments require.

The fact of the matter is that green energy, while promising, still needs more research dollars (which I personally support) and the industry is also researching. ExxonMobil is researching large scale production of biodiesel. Chevron and shell are working on mass ethanol (not from corn) production. Wind technology continues to improve efficiency as does solar panel research.

but until then, you need an energy policy like that of what President Obama advocates. An environmentally responsible "all of the above" attack.
 
2012-11-04 06:44:31 PM  

Dougie AXP: Secondly, when you refer to Dimock are you referring you referring to the stuff in Gasland? Because that was a chemical surface spill, not anything to do with the actual process for frac'ing.


No, that is not Gasland, that is DEP records pointing to those 3 wells and the Carnegie Melon University study for the Commonwealth on the economics of the industry.

Dougie AXP: I understand your questions but I also must ask; what energy source is 100% risk free? None of them are. All come with problems.


Which is why I am not anti-fracking, but I am pissed as hell at both the state and the industry for blatantly lying about the risks AND the costs.


Dougie AXP: but until then, you need an energy policy like that of what President Obama advocates. An environmentally responsible "all of the above" attack.


Then, god damnit, this farking industry best god damn stop trying to export this shiat. Thus far, the industry actions say PROFIT is their only motive.

Again, not your fault, it's the state's responsibility. If only your industry hadn't compromised our state government....
 
2012-11-05 01:15:26 AM  

sammyk: MurphyMurphy: starsrift: MurphyMurphy: ...One situation where an impartial state government would be nice. But the industry saw to it we wouldn't have that.

The first sentence of TFA notes this is a private well. While giving shale fracking permits, contaminated groundwater and such is the purview of the state, the cleanliness of the well's water and monitoring of it also bears private responsibility as well.

Without trying to sound Republican... government isn't the only answer here.

Nothing partisan about expecting responsibility from all parties.

I think there is room for responsibility to be shared. I think it should be the land owners responsibility to have the tests done before/during/after ...also in my little ideal world, the government would insist and verify that it happened to a more than satisfactory level of quality and impartiality.

Sounds easy... but we sure screwed it up here.

Why should the property owner have any responsibility? Why should a private property owner have to take on the cost of testing because big oil wants to make millions by fraking near his land?

It should be a cost of the fraking business period. You want a permit to frak you need to do a proper environmental impact study that includes testing all wells in the area prior to fraking. Don't wanna do that tough shiat. You want to make millions fraking its your farking responsibility to ensure you do not harm nearby property owners that are getting nothing from the fraking operation.


I'm sorry, I didn't explain well enough.

When I said property owner, I meant the person that owns the property that has leased it for drilling. The guy that makes money by letting people use his land.
 
2012-11-05 06:56:19 AM  

MurphyMurphy: I'm sorry, I didn't explain well enough.

When I said property owner, I meant the person that owns the property that has leased it for drilling. The guy that makes money by letting people use his land.



Mr Kiskadden's land is useless now that the water is fouled. He can't even sell it because no bank in their right mind will underwrite a mortgage for it.
And his entire family has gotten very ill.

The state has water testing and reporting standards that, before the Marcellus gas rush, they followed stridently.
Standards that required the state too test AND REPORT for things like Chromium, Nickel, Silver and Arsenic.

Without changing law, the state changed the way they report. That is illegal.

And it took a FOIA act and a sworn deposition under subpoena to pull the truth from the State.

The drilling industry's fault lies before the gas rush when they promised such pie in the sky nonsense, like...nothing could ever go wrong, there's a mile of impermeable rock, we've been doing this (vertical wells only) for decades.

The real fault here is with the state, who, by their negligent and illegal shift in reporting standards, is actively working to give cover to the industry
by burying real data that renders the pie in the sky nonsense noted above to be exactly that, standard corporate American lies.
 
2012-11-05 06:58:02 AM  

Giltric: Mrtraveler01: Wait a second subby,

Are you telling me that the PA Commonwealth Government is bought and paid for by the oil and gas lobby?

Someone grab me my fainting chair.

You ever notice that all these complex conspiracies against the people of the us involve hundreds of people who are able to keep their lips sealed about an ongoing conspiracy and it only happens when the dumb republican party that cant tie thier own shoe laces are in power?

Either they are smarter than you think or there is no conspiracy...

I wish i drew the look the other way republicans instead of the libby mcenviroweenie when they inspect my dams for seepage after a 3 day rainstorm

/its rainwater saturating the ground... Come back when its been sunshine for 3 days


I hope to god you aren't in charge of anything as important as a dam.
 
2012-11-05 09:34:11 AM  

EnviroDude: If the frack wells are shallow and near the water producing sands, then they might interconnect. But my experience shows most residential water wells are shallow (
Anyway, the easiest way to remove Arsenic (naturally occurring), and BTEX is to install carbon filtration systems at each of the drinking water well heads.


So your plan is to

a) Pump poison in to the ground water than

b) require people to filter out the poison at their house?



seems legit
 
2012-11-05 10:18:15 AM  
All this jabber jawing if well and good, but If these "free market the glorious corporation can do no wrong types" really want to put their money where their mouths are then they would show how harmless this sort of thing is by getting together and buy a nice summer home right up on these fracking sites to PROVE that they're safe. Surely if they're not just lying partisan scumbags willing to make money by poisoning their fellow Americans then they would be all over buy up some of this now cheap land and allow their loved ones to spend some time swimming in the local streams and ponds while drinking the local water. right? come on. Prove it's all safe and the environmentalist are just being alarmist.

What? no takers?

Hypnozombie
/then go DIAF douche bag
 
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