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Feds Warn Residents Near Wyoming Gas Drilling Sites Not to Drink Their Water

The federal government is warning residents in a small Wyoming town with extensive natural gas development not to drink their water, and to use fans and ventilation when showering or washing clothes in order to avoid the risk of an explosion.

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Norman

Sep. 3, 2010, 10:34 a.m.

Jim James, your 2nd para, perhaps why people don’t get prior water samples, may lie in the way the salesman who sells the land owner on giving up his rights to the drillers. Another way is that the land owner may not own the mineral rights to what may or may not lie under the surface. There is also the rules governing the type of drilling to take place. The O & G industry have pretty much set the rules in the past, if there are any. Another fact may be that if the land owner has the fore thought to require such certification, then the Driller will refuse to drill.

dmon

Sep. 3, 2010, 10:44 a.m.

Diesel spill…..right, heh

JIM JAMES

Sep. 3, 2010, 10:56 a.m.

Red Green (and Norman).  Red, in the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Fields, the “waste” water is now mostly piped to the injection wells,saving, according to some estimates, 165,000 truck loads a year.

Norman, I agree that there is chicanery involved, but my point is, and I just did it, again, that landowners with a well have the right and duty to their family, to have their well water tested frequently.  Those samples then become the baseline against which any “changes” can be measured and proved.

Alan Septoff

Sep. 3, 2010, 12:28 p.m.

@JIM JAMES: So a multinational comes to town and stands to make millions drilling through your aquifer—risking your drinking water in the process.

Why is it exactly that the onus to perform/pay for baseline monitoring is on the landowner, and not the multinational and regulators?

Babs

Sep. 3, 2010, 12:54 p.m.

I have learned so much from this site and all the postings. My eyes are wide open. The more I learn, the better renting looks to me. The American dream of owning a home has lost it’s luster. I would rather deal with a landlord then the impersonal and uncaring banks.

Steve

Sep. 3, 2010, 1:29 p.m.

The EPA states their investigation is not yet complete. More time goes by more people injured.
Here a quick test.  Next fracking well they want to drill take water samples before the drilling is done. Then after drilling take more test.
From the few documentories (Dan Rather has a very indept report) it appears there is a direct correlation between fracking and contaminated water.

Scott Ralph

Sep. 3, 2010, 1:34 p.m.

@Steve, to infer that mammoth efforts to release hydrocarbons from the earth’s crust, and later discovering that your tapwater catches fire, is truly cynical of you!

If you don’t embrace ill health for the sake of business as usual, isn’t it the terrorists that win in the end???

steve

Sep. 3, 2010, 1:41 p.m.

Scott
What I’m stating is that the EPA needs more test. This means more time. While this is happening the oil companies are free to drill with no retrictions. Test befor and after drilling. Probably will have an answers before EPA is done with their intitial testing.
I’m not cynical, just concern that poisoning of the ground water will continue far to long before EPA says there is an issue with fracking.

Scott Ralph

Sep. 3, 2010, 1:47 p.m.

@Steve
Oh, I agree entirely. I am simply amazed that there is any doubt in peoples minds.

I think those that still think Frac’ing is safe are (likely purposely) deluding themselves.

I would encourage them to take up smoking, and start taking radium pills to help their vitality.

JIM JAMES

Sep. 3, 2010, 2:17 p.m.

@Alan, I pay for the water testing because, one, it’s my water and two, if I have the bad guys do it, how do I know it is legitimate and honest?  Chain of evidence issue, I think.

Norman

Sep. 3, 2010, 2:41 p.m.

For all who may not know of this, you can link to"High Country News, Wyoming’s power keg, which should get your socks hot. It’s a rather long story, but if interested, well worth the viewing. I heard about this quite a while ago, but really hadn’t delved into the issue. I don’t think that Wyoming is the only state that allows this practice either. Face it folks, these United States have been taken over by corruption. What these people don’t say, is when they have poisoned the land, where are they going to get their food from? At the rate all these adventures are taking place today, there won’t be any land left that hasn’t been destroyed. But, I’m sure that the industry & the trolls will come to their defense & say this is just B.S.

Alan Septoff

Sep. 3, 2010, 2:42 p.m.

@JIM JAMES: Two responses spring to mind:

First:
Yes, it’s “my” water—but I am not the one who wants to make money by risking it’s quality.  Why should “I” be financially burdened with preserving what is mine because Encana wants to make money?  They purchased/leased mineral rights, not “my” water rights.

Second:
With proper regulation, “I” would be able to pick the testing firm, and Encana would have to pay the bill.  That way perverse incentives are avoided, and “I” don’t have to pay for Encana’s risks.

JIM JAMES

Sep. 3, 2010, 4:04 p.m.

@ALAN:

Two good points, but both support my issue: Baseline water test.

However, imagine the consternation of Encana or Shell or BP or Ultra Petroleum or Moncreif or Monsanto when they knew all stake holders would have base line water testing done and in hand and there would be NOTHING to negotiate about that.  They’d crap their pants….

Melissa Martinez

Sep. 3, 2010, 4:44 p.m.

Have you seen Gasland?
Also, pay attention to what the hell is going on in your back yard! DEMAND TESTING, STOP DRILLING, DIGGING and such.
REGULATE and come down on business that dont follow safe drilling/mining practices.
This is an abomination

pgillenw

Sep. 3, 2010, 4:48 p.m.

To frack or not to frack. Fracking seems to me like rape of Mother Nature and thus Mother’s life who live in her home.

Monique Grenier

Sep. 3, 2010, 8:20 p.m.

(Excuse my english)

Hi everybody!

Please help us about shale gaz exploitation.

Send a lot of email to Quebec Premier Jean Charest, explains the reality you know about the shale gaz exploitation. (He speak english)
Thank a lot for your help.

Best regard.

Monique

The link:

https://www.premier.gouv.qc.ca/premier-ministre/nous-joindre/courriel-formulaire-en.asp

loretta

Sep. 4, 2010, 5:28 p.m.

well… for those who are not in the area you should probably shut your pie wholes. until you realize that farmers are not to blame for everything and the fact that the drillers do make stupid mistakes… just saying… you will not understand what is happening around here. Myself and my family live in the area and are concerned for the safety of of course ourselves and our close friends. the EPA dudes have been here doing testing all over for a long time. It is kind of stupid that this is just being brought to attention when they have been doing research for so long. get your shit together and quit making us spend our hard earned money on your mistakes because everyone knows that money is short as it is, and its hard enough to keep in good health without this stuff happening

Mitch

Sep. 5, 2010, 7:42 a.m.

We live in Pa. where the Marcellus gas drilling boom is taking off and it is with great interest that I read the comments here.  I have to say there seems to be about as much misinformation out there as there is here.  And the people who do have the correct info, like Jim James, whose comments are based on facts, not fear, are promptly run down and insulted.  Mrs. Robinson, you must have one heck of a “tap water” supply to give up millions of gallons of water to frac with.  We use the rivers here.  And lined ponds are constructed and filled to use so the water is closer to the well sites.  After drilling is done, the landowner is given the option to keep the pond or have it filled in.  They receive a goodly amount for having the pond on their property, too.  The money from the gas co. has saved many, many farmers/families in this area from destitution.  I know-at what cost?  Until one of you chicken littles can show me some cold, hard FACTS about what damage has been done by the evil gas companies, I say DRILL.  It all boils down to money, in my opinion.  The gas co. are evil because they have lots and lots of it so they MUST be evil and greedy and will stop at nothing, including destroying the environment, to get more of it, right?  That hasn’t been the case here so far.  We have had some incidents but they get resolved, some are ongoing and I’m sure there will be more, but that is true with ANY industry.  The only reason we are so dependent on foreign fuel is because of environmentalists.  We can’t build refineries to use our own fuel here.  Any fuel we drill here, we have to send overseas.  I agree someone has to oversee Mother Nature, but there is a middle ground.  Discussion is the exchange of knowledge.  Argument is the exchange of ignorance.

JIM JAMES

Sep. 5, 2010, 8:57 a.m.

@ Mitch;  Good points.  To the protesters about ANY drilling or exploitation for oil and gas and coal (Wyoming has a LOT of coal), it reminds me of the bumper sticker back when they were building the Alaska Pipeline: “Let the bastards freeze in the dark.”  But these days, no energy (gas and oil) means no iPhones, iPads, TVs, no nylon thread to sew OP sports wear, no remote controls, no anything made from oil and gas.  In the end, between the farmer, the landowners, the city counsel for Pavillion, it is a BUSINESS deal between parties and each party is expected to take their OWN best interests as paramount.  If they fail to do that, “caveat emptor.”
(Baseline water testing is still a good idea!)  ;-)

Norman

Sep. 5, 2010, 9:01 a.m.

Mitch,  your take on the fuel, that we have to “send overseas” to get refined? Somehow your showing a lack of knowledge yourself on that. Oil out of the Gulf is refined locally, Texas has refineries that are underused, the so called pipeline from Alberta, going to Texas because of this under use, and lastly, the gas that eventually comes from fracturing, is either capped or sent to the burners, powering the utilities. I’ve never heard of “natural gas or even shale gas being exported to be refined. Perhaps you can enlighten everyone as to how the shale gas is refined?

Vellie

Sep. 5, 2010, 9:33 a.m.

Wow Mitch, you got some anger coming out at people who are scared by the facts!  Fact one if you really read the DEP and DEC web sites and see the actual reports of spills and contamination from fracking you would see why!  Most of the reports state mechanical failure, well no crap!  I am not here to argue because it gets no where, but here are some very simple facts.  We have enough gas supply in our country for about 25 years and if we stopped selling and trading it to other countries we would have enough for about 100 years.  As for effecting our enviroment YES it does read the facts and watch “Rural Impact” .  People we need to stop with the snide remarks to one and other and just realize IF there is a safe way to do it with the same regulations you and I are held to then fine.  But you and I can’t put unknow chemicals into the water so why should they?  As for your idea Jim, yes there should be testing before and after, but if you have a well that has not one problem in 40 years then the same day they drill and your water turns brown with and rancide smell, shouldn’t that be proof enough?

JIM JAMES

Sep. 5, 2010, 1:13 p.m.

VELLIE, you would think 40 years of no problems and then, bingo, problems commensurate with drilling would be prima facie evidence.  But you are fighting MONSTER corporations and the more “evidence” you have the better off you are.  I would also have a caveat in the contract that any appreciable damage to ANYTHING not recognized as acceptable and normal, would be compensated triple the value, i.e., horse falls in a hole they dug, cows get sick, etc,  In other words, GET IT IN WRITING!!

Vellie

Sep. 5, 2010, 8:35 p.m.

I agree with you 100% Jim!

Lindsey

Sep. 5, 2010, 9:13 p.m.

I live in California & while water contamination does not effect me directly, I find it not only disgusting but terrifying that big corporations can pretty much go anywhere they want & destroy it with no concern for human health & safety. In my opinion, farmers are greatly under-valued when they should be making top dollar… they provide food for the nation. People are getting sick & dying and yet greedy corporations only consider their profit margins. Regulations are a must! I know it sounds like a nasty word these days but big government must be in place in order to make sure that Americans, rich or poor, aren’t getting the shaft. How can any person live with themselves knowing that here in America, the people with all the money are stealing from those who don’t have the means to support themselves or just don’t know any better? This is insanity! Dick Cheney & his cronies don’t care about you… we have to look at the politicians who are lying to our faces & laughing behind our backs. Look at the republican swindlers who get rich from special interest “donations”. They’re buying up our freedom! I’m standing up for the small people. I don’t their money if it comes at the price of people’s lives.

Lindsey

Sep. 5, 2010, 9:17 p.m.

I live in California & while water contamination does not effect me directly, I find it not only disgusting but terrifying that big corporations can pretty much go anywhere they want & destroy it with no concern for human health & safety. In my opinion, farmers are greatly under-valued when they should be making top dollar… they provide food for the nation. People are getting sick & dying and yet greedy corporations only consider their profit margins. Regulations are a must! I know it sounds like a nasty word these days but big government must be in place in order to make sure that Americans, rich or poor, aren’t getting the shaft. How can any person live with themselves knowing that here in America, the people with all the money are stealing from those who don’t have the means to support themselves or just don’t know any better? This is insanity! Dick Cheney & his cronies don’t care about you… we have to look at the politicians who are lying to our faces & laughing behind our backs. Look at the republican swindlers who get rich from special interest “donations”. Here in California, Texas Oil is trying to overturn legislation regulating our pollution levels so that it doesn’t affect their profit margin, claiming that it will stifle job growth. All they do is lie & spin stories with scare tactics. They’re buying up our freedom! I’m standing up for the small people. I don’t their money if it comes at the price of people’s lives.

SANDY

Sep. 6, 2010, 12:51 p.m.

WE’RE ALL WALKING DEAD MEN, FROM BAD WATER, FOOD, CLOTHING, TOYS, PAINTS, CARS, & EVERYTHING.

CJSAG

Sep. 7, 2010, 4:48 p.m.

Fracking is a pollution intensive process which can sully water in three main ways:  poorly constructed casings (subsurface voids)  which allows contaminants to seep from the wells at the levels where drinking water resides, surface contamination from backwater storage and transportation, and migration of contaminants from the shale into water supply.  Not to mention the additional truck traffic, service roads, propane storage facilities, noise from generators, etc.  Most folks do not appreciate what they have allowed onto their land.  It seems that the money per acre is low compared to the destruction it brings; mainly in quality of life.  People have to eat, pay taxes, have a roof and these are hard times and a bad deal is better then no deal I suppose.

JIM JAMES

Sep. 7, 2010, 5:46 p.m.

TO ALL:  Just got this.

Wyoming first to require disclosure of gas,
          oil drilling chemicals
September 7, 2010  
Filed under Today’s News
By Brodie Farquhar, New West
Wyoming, a bastion of conservative politics long influenced by the energy industry, is now the first state in the nation to say that the ingredients in hydraulic fracturing fluids used to rupture rock blocking oil and gas reserves will be public information.
In June, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission unanimously ruled that ingredients would be reported to the commission – at the insistence of Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, a member of that body. At the time, it was unclear how that would work and whether ingredients would be public.
In late August, Commission Supervisor Tom Doll clarified the situation, saying the ingredients will be public information and on Sept. 15, the commission’s new rules will go into effect, forcing companies to reveal new details about the chemicals used in a range of drilling fluids, including fracking fluids.

Connie M.

Sep. 8, 2010, 3:07 p.m.

Are you reading this Pennsylvania lawmakers??????
We will be the next state…
shale drilling is unbelievable here!

Mike H

Sep. 9, 2010, 10 a.m.

Here’s another headline that’s just as accurate and just as well supported by the EPA and ASTDR’s preliminary report

Feds Warn Residents Near Wyoming Agriculture Sites Not to Drink Their Water

Granted, it doesn’t convey the same message that Lustgarten has been pushing for the past two years, but it is just as appropriate.

Given the relevance to the situation on Wyoming, Lustgarten could have taken this opportunity to inform the readers that the only case where baseline water quality data was available, Bainbridge Township Ohio, gas migration from faulty well casing construction into a local aquifer was found to NOT to have been accompanied by aquifer contamination from drilling fluids. But I suppose that detail would also undermine the story he is pushing.

Norman

Sep. 9, 2010, 10:28 a.m.

Mike H. You still haven’t answered a request for your last name, from another blog RE: the Bainbridge incident. Sometimes you seem to be pro & con, whether because you do know somethings or not, or just like to mix it up for what ever reason. You can’t be credible playing both sides of the street. Considering this is an important issue, your rhetoric leaves questions.

Mike H

Sep. 9, 2010, 12:53 p.m.

Actually Norman, I did answer it, you just didn’t like the response. My last name is irrelevant. I have no stake what so ever in this debate.

Jay B.

Sep. 10, 2010, 5:58 a.m.

The priority should be now to protect all residents, no matter whom or what caused that. To do the investigation can help to avoid this kind situation in the future. Now is important to give people purified water and set up their households to be usable. Perhaps it may bring some evacuation in the near future…

pgillenw

Sep. 10, 2010, 9:49 p.m.

Jay B. let me try to understand. If we give those who are affected by frack’ing purified water then it is OK to continue frack’ing them over. What about the wild life that we share our homes with? Will we also purify their water?

Brian

Sep. 15, 2010, 11:02 p.m.

point of fact - we are finding plasticizers in wells where there was no drilling at all.  It appears that some of the drop pipe and water lines (soft PVC piping) on private wells leach phthalates .

Avkurt

Sep. 30, 2010, 8:58 a.m.

Just some background information on Kilgour Farms.
I was on a blog defending another conservation group where they said it was no holds barred. When they didn’t like what I was saying the administrator against his own rules posted my full name and everything about me was posted, I then received threats against myself and property. They are part of a band that wants drilling in the Delaware River Watershed. Kilgour Farms owns a bunch of land on the Mainstem near Equinox PA, and Lordville NY. He just wants a big paycheck and will stir up the pot anywhere he can. I would pay him no never mind.

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