What will happen to the well casing of the well drilled near your home?
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The Vermont House of Representatives voted 103-36 today to give final passage to legislation that will make Vermont the first state in the nation to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
“The Vermont Legislature deserves tremendous praise for having the courage to stand up to all of the lobbying, the full page ads and the legal threats of the oil and gas industry,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “This is a shot that will be heard, if not around the world then at least around the country.”
Residents of Colleyville, Texas, personally paid for their own air testing because their city and the fracking industry would not fund such a test.
The community-funded test results, which detected twenty-six chemicals, also showed carbon disulfide, a neurotoxin at twice the state level for short-term exposure. Benzene, a known carcinogen, and Naphthalene, a suspected carcinogen, were both over state long-term exposure levels by more than 9 times and more than 7 times, respectively. Carbonyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide and Pyridine were all detected above safe limits for long-term exposure.
Fortunately, the concerned citizens of Colleyville were able to personally fund their own testing because the government is failing to do its job. But what happens to communities who do not have the resources to pay for such teating? Who will protect them?
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming’s governor persuaded the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to postpone an announcement linking hydraulic fracturing to groundwater contamination, giving state officials — whom the EPA had privately briefed on the study — time to attempt to debunk the finding before it rocked the oil and gas industry more than a month later, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.
During the delay, state officials raised dozens of questions about the finding that the controversial procedure that has become essential to unlocking oil and gas deposits in Wyoming and beyond may have tainted groundwater near the gas patch community of Pavillion.
According to a government safety researcher, sand dust created from the hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from rock is one of the most dangerous threats to workers at wells blossoming across the U.S. About four out of five air samples from well sites in five states in the past two years exceeded recommended limits for silica particles, said Eric Esswein, an industrial hygienist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The particles in sand dust created during the so-called fracking process can lodge in the lungs and cause potentially fatal silicosis, he said at a conference on April 30, 2012, sponsored by the Institute of Medicine.
Esswein said he didn’t know whether the sand dust may be harmful to local residents because his team didn’t take measurements at the edges of well sites.
A new study has raised concerns.
Computer modeling predicts fracking fluids will dramatically speed up movement of chemicals injected into the ground. Fluids traveled distances within 100 years that would take tens of thousands of years under natural conditions. When fracturing in natural faults and fractures, fracking fluids could move 10 times as fast as that. Where man-made fractures intersect with natural faults, or break out of the Marcellus layer into the stone layer above it, the study found, “contaminants could reach the surface areas in tens of years, or less.” Unfortunately, direct evidence of fluid migration is needed, but little sampling has been done to analyze where fracking fluids go after being injected underground.
So, what’s the big secret?
Governor Kasich called for full disclosure of fracking chemicals, yet he backs a bill (SB315) that would keep some of the chemicals secret. Residents of Ohio have a right to know what chemicals drilling companies are exposing their children to when the drilling companies are allowed to drill and frack a well only hundreds of feet from their homes. See the full article