community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
EPA Hydro-Fracking Hearing Begins In Binghamton, NY
by Fracking = Flammable Groundwater Monday, Sep. 13, 2010 at 8:08 PM
9/13/10 - Binghamton, NY - EPA hearings discuss safety issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" when related to pollution of groundwater. Fracking is the newest source for some natural gas pipelines like the one in San Bruno that recently exploded. Many older pipelines have serious safety concerns yet many more new pipelines are built each year due to expanded fracking of shale deposits without any clear oversight from federal regulators at PHMSA.
From local news channel WBNG;
September 13, 2010
"The EPA's hearing in Binghamton on hydraulic fracturing begins Monday afternoon.
There'll be 2 identical sessions Monday and 2 on Wednesday. They're being held at the Forum Theater on Washington Street.
Sessions are from 12:00pm-4:00pm and 6:00pm-10:00pm both days.
Registered speakers will be able to present verbal or written comments to the EPA on hydro-fracking.
You can also submit written comments to the EPA directly without attending the hearing. You can email your comments to;
hydraulic.fracturing [at] epa.gov
through September 28. Put "Hydraulic Fracturing Study -- Comments" in the subject line.
You can also mail comments to the EPA at:
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460
related fracking article;
Thursday, September 9, 2010
"What will happen to our farms?"
By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH
"As Dr. Volz and I presented as part of Geneva College's Colloquia Series today - right in the heart of PA's Marcellus Shale play - I found myself brainstorming on what issues FracTracker's DataTool can be used to help address, and what future research questions might result from its use. The next few blog posts of mine will follow that theme.
So the first question I would like to propose is what will happen to our region's farms and their products if an industry can offer $5,000 an acre and 18% royalties (an approximation based on recent verbal reports from owners of mineral rights) to farmers, many of whom are feeling the squeeze financially?
One of the great features of the data tool is its ability to layer different types of data, since all of the data that is uploaded is geo-coded (meaning there are latitudes and longitudes for each entry in the dataset). Using this tool, we created this snapshot:
This map has been zoomed in to take a closer look at how land is being used in Washington County, PA and comparing that with where gas wells are being drilled. The coral area of land, where more than 50% of it is cultivated as you can see, has several wells located within it. This observation leads to my question.
Since many farmers are experiencing financial hardships, it is understandable that the monetary assistance that can at times be provided by leasing out their mineral rights would be a very beneficial (and attractive) option for the farmers. But what does this new temptation mean for the quality of our nation's agriculture down the road? How will public health be affected, e.g. will access to local and fresh foods improve or decline? Will certain land owners be less motivated to farm? Will they use their signing bonuses and royalty checks to purchase new and better farming equipment, which hypothetically would improve the quality and quantity of the agricultural system? Or even, will more events like this one occur, when cattle had to be quarantined because they came in contact with waste water that leaked from an impoundment?
This is an invitation to hear your opinions on the direction this issue might go."
view article with map here;
Fracking adds methane bubbles into groundwater, resulting in water that can become flammable.
"Hydraulic Fracturing Makes Drinking Water Nice and Flammable"
9/3/10 at 10:18 AM
"The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (also known as "fracking" — sorry, Battlestar Galactica fans) extracts natural gas from deep underground by using drillers to pump large quantities of water mixed with sand and chemicals under high pressure. That process fractures the rock formation, letting the gas flow freely. So freely, in fact, that communities that live above the Marcellus Shale, a massive underground natural-gas deposit stretching from New York to West Virginia that's being flooded by investors eager to drill, are worried about their drinking water's turn for the flammable.
A group of residents from Dimock, Pennsylvania, called "Carter 15" filed a suit against Cabot Oil & Gas last November for contaminating their well water, including charges that combustible gas was released into the wells, natural gas was discharged into fresh groundwater, and elevated levels of dissolved methane were found in the water wells. A couple in Damascus, Pennsylvania, who have an exploratory gas well near their home were told by the American Natural Gas Alliance that the "water contamination is the result of isolated accidents." Like isolated incidents, only accidental!
Although hydraulic fracturing has been in practice for decades, it has never been done so close to major population centers or on such a large scale, spurred by technological advances and the attendant piles of cash. (Exxon Mobil recently paid more than $40 billion for a company that specializes in extracting natural gas from shale.) It's already being done outside New York City and Philadelphia. By 2020, the Department of Energy estimates that shale gas will make up more than 20 percent of the country's total natural-gas supply. We hope Julia Roberts hasn't retired for the rancher's life in Taos by the time they're ready to film Erin Brockovich."
article found here;
sample letter to EPA about fracking risks
by other options available Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010 at 11:18 PM
This is a sample letter to the EPA warning about the risks to groundwater supplies posed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas deposits. The long term concerns reflect the fact that after the natural gas is extracted, it is difficult to say for how long the groundwater will be contaminated.
Regardless of how the vegans feel about ranchers, the fact remains that their cattle depend on clean groundwater as do the indigenous animals that drink from springs and other groundwater fed sources. Fracking makes the water dirty for everyone, not just the ranchers!
Feel free to rearrange the sample letter below to save time, though try to make it somewhat different so it doesn't look copied. Thanks everyone for your help in protecting opur groundwater!!
Am writing to express concern about the process used to extract natural
gas known as hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). This process often
results in contamination of groundwater with methane and other harmful
byproducts of the natural gas extraction. Our groundwater supplies are a
most vital resource, in my understanding play a more significant role than
the short term jobs provided by natural gas extraction. Watersheds and
local ranchers and other rangeland activities are impacted severely by
fracking related contamination. These are long term career activites with
minimal impact compared to natural gas fracking extraction which is
expendable once the natural gas supplies are removed, then leaving the
place contaminated for unknown years into the future.
Would like to recommend an alternative method for extracting natural gas
from above ground resources; biomass natural gas collection. The
significant amounts of animal and human manure is overwhelming to both
ranchers and human waste sewage systems. However, with anaerobic digestors
made available to ranchers, feedlots and human sewage systems, the natural
gas emitted from manure would be harnessed and captured and usable for
fuel following treatment.
This solves two problems at once, preventing excess methane from manure
from entering atmosphere and contributing to global warming, and also
providing the energy grid with locally based renewable resource in a
closed loop system. Another benefit of biomass methane capture is that the
groundwater remains safe unlike with hydraulic fracturing.
Thanks for your concern,