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Re: Perhaps a mile from Slate Run

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13493
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I'm not saying its not harmful either, it probably is. In fact, they divulge that it is dangerous to people and the environment, and their pollution controls stem from isolating it and not letting it enter the groundwater, rather than reducing the toxicity. Thats fine, if it works. What I'm saying is that the purpose for keeping it secret has nothing whatsoever to do with hiding from pollution concerns.

Not divulging it to the public gives them exactly zero protection from pollution standards, period. The EPA can get access to their chemicals and analyze them, they just can't inform the public of those results. If any of those chemicals are found in a waterway and the drilling company is found to be responsible, then the EPA can inform the public of what chemical(s) were found in excess of standards, and they can penalize the offending company. If the purpose were to avoid pollution concerns, then its defeating its own purpose, because we're all sitting here assuming the stuff is instant death for anything that touches it. When we don't know, we assume the worst, human nature.

Now, if those pollution standards are lowered for oil and gas, thats another issue entirely (and one where I'm pretty certain I'll side with you on).

And further, the pollution that occurred in this case doesn't appear to be frac fluid at all. It's a common surfactant, patented and mass produced, with a chemical composition that has been well divulged, and environmental and toxicity effects that have been well tested. It is alcohol based, toxic if ingested or through chronic exposure. It is biodegradable and designed to be allowed to degrade naturally in the soil. However, the process of biodegradation takes time, and it should not be allowed to enter groundwater or waterways until that happens. That did not happen. Somebody screwed up, and the company should be held responsible. Hopefully the damage was not too bad.

Posted on: 2010/3/25 23:27


Re: Perhaps a mile from Slate Run

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2008/10/14 11:12
Posts: 31
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I think we're all, as sportsmen and otherwise lovers of the outdoors, emotional on the drilling issue. I believe that if you have a strong, yet reasonable opinion, it should be clearly expressed. I'm not opposed to all drilling either, but there are areas in this state that have been historically areas of development, gas and oil production and the like that don't encompass or contain our most pristine forests, wild areas, clean water and native trout. These are areas that people who treasure what we have in PA have lived, purchased property in and otherwise flocked to for years to enjoy the way of life and the natural resources we have been blessed with. When these areas that have been preserved and maintained are faced with a great quantity of natural gas drilling and industrial activity, trucking, etc. that goes along with it, I think the people who appreciate what we have up there are rightfully concerned. With that said, I refer you to the article link posted at the beginning of this thread, when we were discussing the discharge into the spring that runs into Pine Creek. It refers to 2be as being a chemical in the surfactant(I know that's not frac fluid), which is utilized in the drilling process that is known to cause cancer in animals. I think any review of literature or articles on the web about the U.S. house committee's investigation into fracking, and the recently begun study of fracking by the EPA would also demonstrate that some companies have allegedly fracked with diesel fuel and related substances. I am not a chemist and don't know every compund that makes up diesel fuel, but I do know I wouldn't want it in my well or favorite trout stream. As jakesleakywaders stated, there is a large volume of literature and evidence out there that clearly supports the fact that chemicals and substances used in frac fluid and/or the drilling process as a whole can be harmful to the environment.

Posted on: 2010/3/26 10:12


Re: Perhaps a mile from Slate Run

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 832
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"There is no scientific evidence" is one of the most overused and for some reason successful arguments for allowing harm I know of.

It has been used from coal mining to cigarettes very effectively. It is only after massive, obvious harm that you can stop big money from having its way. Possibly organized protests in Harrisburg would help. Big ones.

As for Frac fluid, our own DEP secretary has testified and written that MSDS cover chemical disclosures adequately--a dubious presumption.

As far as I know, the whole problem of Haliburton loophole could be nixed by the legislature saying that frac chemicals have to be disclosed. Maybe even just DEP. It just means they frac with something else--probably the same chemicals just not from the Haliburton brand. If an industry rationale is that "we have used these same chemicals to frac for 50 years" then go ahead an do so. Haliburton's proprietary cocktail didnt exist then.

Posted on: 2010/3/26 11:56


Re: Perhaps a mile from Slate Run

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13493
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Quote:
but there are areas in this state that have been historically areas of development, gas and oil production and the like that don't encompass or contain our most pristine forests, wild areas, clean water and native trout.


There are, but there are also areas which do have pristine forests, wild areas, clean water, and native trout which have had massive drilling operations for a long time period. The ANF is a great example. This is an area where people go for the wilderness experience, not at all different than NC PA. All has not been gravy there, there's been some issues over the years. But its not like its a barren wasteland either. Hopefully there's been some learning since then. Marcellus is new, and adds a few things to the equation that need to be considered.

Quote:
am not a chemist and don't know every compund that makes up diesel fuel, but I do know I wouldn't want it in my well or favorite trout stream.


You most certainly would not want any frac fluid in your stream or well. Nobody would. It's all bad stuff, perhaps worse than diesel fuel, and nobody is challenging that. Nobody is trying to hide how dangerous the stuff is. The plan to prevent water contamination from frac fluid is designed solely around isolation, not letting it into the groundwater or wells to begin with. Aside from a handful of accidents and one or two "I don't know what happened"'s, the drilling industry has been fairly successful in this endeavor, well under 1% of wells have resulted in contamination. But there have been a few incidents, and even 1 is too many. With perhaps thousands of wells going in, its a fair bet we're going to see a few.

While all that needs to be addressed, my biggest concern still stems from water use and siltation concerns from building roads and well pads.

And DGC

Quote:
As far as I know, the whole problem of Haliburton loophole could be nixed by the legislature saying that frac chemicals have to be disclosed.


This is what I was trying to point out. The loophole and the non-disclosure have nothing whatsoever to do with one another. If they are disclosed, it in no way closes the loophole. If the loophole is closed, it does not require disclosure. Separate issues altogether.

Non-disclosure means that they don't have to give up their process to the public, or to anyone who doesn't sign a NDA. It does not protect them from environmental regs. If a stream is higher than the standard in any harmful chemical and its traced back to them, they're responsible.

The loophole says that they don't have to follow certain regs, or not to the same standard, or whatever (I'm still trying to figure it out exactly). Basically, it says a stream can't have more than 0.00001% of chemical X, unless drillers are around, and then it can have 0.1% before penalties take effect. Yes, I made the numbers up to show how it works, I'd don't know what they are for any chemical. I'm trying to look up the law but can't find it? I have seen mentions to the loophole in news publications but I don't trust the news, but I can't find the actual law. Anyone have it?

I really don't like either, but the loophole is the evil one (assuming it exists), the non-disclosure is simply annoying.

Posted on: 2010/3/26 12:36



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