Reuters: EPA Scientists Find 2-BE in drinking water wells near drilling operations reads in part: “Among the contaminants found in some of the wells was 2-butoyethanol, or 2-BE, a solvent used in natural gas extraction, which researchers say causes the breakdown of red blood cells, leading to blood in the urine and feces, and can damage the kidneys, liver, spleen and bone marrow.”
Fortuna Energy has refused to state for the record that this chemical 2-BE would NOT be a component of the chemicals to be injected into the Mallula test well in Van Etten. Help protect our water »
Want to help get the word out about natural gas drilling and how we can protect our communities? Download and distribute this new poster from Shaleshock: Gas Drilling: Coming to a field near you?
Environmental concern in Horseheads:
I listened on Tuesday to the Horseheads Village Planning Board, along with their environmental consultant Ronald Sherman, discuss the process for deciding whether to allow Schlumberger to proceed with development of an industrial site without first conducting an Environmental Impact Study. I found the board and Sherman to be open and fair to those attending.
But why is Schlumberger asking the village for a waiver of an EIS? The magnitude and risk associated with this project is immense. It would be a 66-acre development for storage of explosives, radioactive materials and chemicals used to fracture shale to reach gas deposits. The chemicals, which will be stored in an undiluted form, are particularly worrisome. The state recently released a list of 34 highly toxic chemicals it approved for fracturing in Yates, Schuyler, Steuben, Broome and Cortland counties, in response to a FOIL request (www.shaleshock.org). The warnings for these chemicals are hard to forget.
I asked the representative from Bergman Associates, who is representing Schlumberger, whether Schlumberger would concede that an EIS is required in this case. The chair of the Planning Board also seemed curious to hear the company’s response. Schlumberger’s reply at the Aug. 25 Planning Board meeting will speak volumes about how it intends to conduct business in the village.
Gas shale drilling tech under scrutiny (Alaska Dispatch):
According to a long feature in the Ithaca Journal, people are wondering about just what’s in the waste liquid that results from horizontal high-pressure hydro-fracture drilling, and what’s the best way to handle it. As full-scale horizontal development of Marcellus Shale gas kicks in, the quantity of waste fluid will increase because horizontal wells require more of the fluid than vertical wells. The high volume of waste fluid will need to be dealt with. But because the industry is exempt from the federal rules that require full disclosure, no one is really sure about what threat the fluid poses to workers or groundwater. The DEC hasn’t issued any permits yet for full-scale development with horizontal hydro-fracture wells in the Marcellus because it is reviewing environmental impact statements, but it has already allowed the technology to be used in traditional vertical wells there. (Read more)
Natural gas, not so sustainable by John Guerrerio, Energy Examiner, brings up some public health issues: “It makes no sense to expand these adverse health effects nationally, especially in light of skyrocketing healthcare costs. Denial of coverage based upon proximity to drill sites may become a possibility.”
He also asks, “Do we really have the luxury of poisoning this much of our freshwater suply in the name of natural gas development? The question needs to be asked again: What do we value more, energy to run our machines or water to sustain human life?” (Read more)
Shaleshock has an office/resource center in downtown Ithaca, which brings many benefits. Besides a place to compile resources and outreach materials, we have access to the space for meetings, a convenient tabling location on the Commons, and access to affordable photo copies.
Please support the Shaleshock office by sponsoring a month. We’re asking individuals or households to donate $63 (or more) to cover 1 month’s rent. If 12 people donate, that’s a whole year. If 24 donate, that’s 2 years’ rent!
Bring cash or check to the Shaleshock meeting this Thursday 8/27 at 6pm, or mail to:
Shaleshock Citizen’s Action Alliance
115 E. Martin Luther King st.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Checks can be made out to Ryan Clover-Owens (Shaleshock Office Point Person)
Natural Gas Prices Plummet to a Seven-Year Low by Clifford Krauss for the New York Times attributes the change to “declining demand and a big expansion of domestic production.” This may mean more shut-in wells as companies rush to drill and lock in leases. Many Cortland landowners report that as soon as gas is found the wells are cemented and added to reserves providing no local revenue.
Have you had a well drilled on your property? Tell us your story!