Many towns across the USA are taking up the issue of fracking. Most people don't seem to interested in having the neighborhood "fracked." Who can blame them? Fracking brings with it enormous problems and risks (despite what the oil and gas industry want you to believe). Gary Wockner, PhD., an environmental activist in Fort Collins Colorado points out four key areas of concern:
Water: Thousands of spills and releases of drilling and fracking chemicals have occurred in drilled and fracked areas of the state, many impacting groundwater and some impacting surface water. Aquifer contamination has occurred. Wells have been poisoned. Water supplies are being stretched even thinner as rivers and farms are poised to be drained for drilling and fracking.
Air: Two scientific studies - one by CU and another by NOAA - have found serious problems with air quality in heavily drilled and fracked areas of the state. Headaches, nose bleeds, dizziness, and asthma attacks are the most common complaints as methane, ozone, and other cancer-causing chemicals blow into nearby homes and communities.
Property Values: Residents across the state who have wells and drilling permits within a few hundred feet of their homes report difficulties selling their homes, negative impacts on their property values, difficulties buying homeowners insurance, and that mortgages and home equity loans are more heavily scrutinized.
Wildlife: All across the state in drilled and fracked areas, wildlife have been impacted including elk, mule deer, antelope, and sage grouse. Drilling and fracking may cause the Greater Sage Grouse to be listed as Endangered Species, and are increasingly impacting Colorado's hunting and recreational economy.
These, of course, are not the only issues of concern. Take a look at what happened recently in Ohio where the owner of an oil and natural gas drilling company accused of dumping more than 20,000 gallons of fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River on Jan. 31 was charged criminally today with violating the federal Clean Water Act. Ben Lupo is accused of ordering his employees on numerous occasions to dump tainted waste into a storm drain which led into a tributary to the Mahoning River. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
Employees have told investigators that he ordered them to dump the waste at least 20 times and directed them to lie to investigators about the number of times they dumped the waste, according to documents related to the charges.
Did I forget to mention that Lupo's company, D and L Energy was the owner of a disposal well that Ohio officials have linked to series of earthquakes that shook the Youngstown, Ohio are in 2011 and 2012,
A battle has been going on for a while now in Fort Collins, Colorado to stop fracking. That battle is far from over.
However, an "accident" this week might open the eyes of those who are still supporting fracking in and around their town. Oil laden fracking fluid poured out of an oil well near the city for nearly thirty hours before it was finally stopped. Fifteen hundred feet away sits the home of some lucky family. They aren't the only ones nearby, just the closest.
PDC Energy senior vice president of operations, Bart Brookman, quickly stated the accident would cause no environmental problems. He also said he had no idea how much fluid spilled. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission currently estimates about 2,000 barrels or 84,000 gallons of fracking flowback water gushed into the environment during the incident.
PDC Energy has been involved in 260 mostly small oil and gas spills and releases in Colorado since 2005.
Oh, I see...
The following post indicates old Bart got his facts wrong or "misspoke," and is from the Coloradoan.
DATA POINTS TO ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH IMPACT OF FORT COLLINS-AREA FRACKING ACCIDENT