maindoc - Hydro Relief Web

“When a shale gas well is hydro fracked, the explosive power of the frack breaks up the rock
indiscriminately for a considerable distance - far enough to break into nearby aquifers - particularly if
the frack hit’s a vertical fault that may cause the gas bearing formation to “communicate” with other
strata. This can release natural gas- which consist of methane, butane, propane, and benzene, etc. - into
drinking water, along with the toxic chemicals in the fracking fluid. Once introduced, there is NO way to
remove the gas or the chemicals from the drinking water.” - James Northrup, former industry insider
Pennsylvania Families File Lawsuit Over Hydro Fracking Water Contamination
Published: September 17th, 2010
An environmental tort lawsuit has been filed against a Texas energy company by more than a dozen Pennsylvania families who claim
the company contaminated their water supply by pumping tons of chemicals into the ground to get at natural gas deposits, a process
known as hydraulic fracturing or hydro fracking. The complaint was filed on Tuesday in the Court of Common Pleases of
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, on behalf of 13 families who live in the county. Southwest Energy Production Company, and its
parent company, Southwestern Energy Company, which are both based in Houston, Texas, are named as defendants.
According to the lawsuit, Southwest Energy Production Company has contaminated water supplies by using a gas mining method
known as hydraulic fracturing in the Price #1 Well in Lenox Township. The mining has resulted in chemicals loaded with heavy
metals and carcinogens infiltrating the ground water and residents’ well water, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit filed in Susquehanna claims that at least one person has gotten ill and suffered what appears to be neurological damage
consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. Some residents have also attempted to show that their well water is being contaminated
by gas and other pollutants from the well by lighting their tap water on fire in YouTube videos.
GRIST A Beacon in the Smog
Get freaked about hydrofracking: now!
The New York Times has done an amazing job of investigative reporting on this issue, and a lot of what I’m about to tell you can be
found in their series “Drilling Down,” which includes this awesome interactive graphic. When hydraulic fracturing fluids leak into
groundwater, they can contaminate nearby drinking water sources [PDF]. Moreover, the wastewater contains heavy metals and
radioactive compounds that are naturally occurring in the shale—and that are freed during drilling.
Natural gas companies claim that the wastewater is easily treated to meet the standards for human consumption. But hear this:
Pennsylvania water treatment plants have been processing radioactive wastewater 2,000 times more polluted than permitted by federal
drinking water standards. To clean it, those plants must dilute the bad water with 2 billion gallons of fresh water.
Even if you’re not drinking it, this wastewater is a nightmare because there are invariably accidents in hydrofracking—just the way
there are in any other drilling process. Spills and leaks can cause methane gas—a greenhouse gas 20-30 times more toxic than CO2—
to penetrate nearby household wells, causing explosions. Indeed, the EPA recently reported that methane leaks from natural gas
drilling are 9,000 times higher than estimated.
March 5, 2011
Two natural gas companies agreed Friday to temporarily cease operations of injection wells in an area of central Arkansas that has
seen more than 800 earthquakes during the past six months. Hydrofracking disrupts fault lines, the process can possibly cause
ProPublica, Feb. 2, 2011 Drilling Industry Says Diesel Use Was Legal by Abrahm Lustgarten
After three members of Congress reported this week that drilling companies have been injecting large amounts of diesel fuel
underground to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells, the industry is fighting back -- not by denying the accusation, but by arguing
that the EPA never fully regulated the potentially environmentally dangerous practice in the first place.
According to a letter to the EPA from Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., 14 fracking
companies injected more than 32 million gallons of diesel fuel into the ground in 19 states between 2005 and 2009. And they did it
without asking for or receiving permission from environmental regulators in those states. Diesel fuel contains benzene, a known
carcinogen, which has been detected in water supplies near drilling facilities across the country.
March 3, 2011 Pressure Limits Efforts to Police Drilling for Gas New York Times
An Earlier Reversal
The E.P.A. also studied hydrofracking in 2004, when Congress considered whether the process should be fully regulated by the Safe
Drinking Water Act.
An early draft of the study discussed potentially dangerous levels of contamination in hydrofracking fluids and mentioned “possible
evidence” of contamination of an aquifer. The report’s final version excluded these points, concluding instead that hydrofracking
“poses little or no threat to drinking water.”
Shortly after the study was released, an E.P.A. whistle-blower said the agency had been strongly influenced by industry and political
pressure. Agency leaders at the time stood by the study’s findings. “It was shameful,” Weston Wilson, the E.P.A. whistle-blower, said
in a recent interview about the study. He explained that five of the seven members of that study’s peer review panel were current
or former employees of the oil and gas industry.
“These topics were cut from the current study plan, even though E.P.A. officials have acknowledged that sewage treatment plants are
not able to treat drilling waste fully before it is discharged into rivers, sometimes just a few miles upstream from drinking water intake
plants. “
“Exemptions Stymie E.P.A.
 In Wyoming, for example, the agency is investigating water-well contamination in an area of heavy drilling, even though some
E.P.A. officials said in interviews that because of industry exemptions, the agency might not have jurisdiction for such an
 In Texas, after an aquifer was contaminated, E.P.A. officials in December ordered a drilling company to provide clean drinking
water to residents despite strong resistance from state regulators who said the federal action was premature and unfounded.
 The stakes are particularly high in Pennsylvania, where gas drilling is expanding quickly, and where E.P.A. officials say drilling
waste is being discharged with inadequate treatment into rivers that provide drinking water to more than 16 million people. “
March 1, 2011 Wastewater Recycling No Cure-All in Gas Process
New York Times
“……State and company records show that in the year and a half that ended in December 2010, well operators reported recycling at
least 320 million gallons. But at least 260 million gallons of wastewater were sent to plants that discharge their treated waste into
rivers, out of a total of more than 680 million gallons of wastewater produced, according to state data posted Tuesday. Those 260
million gallons would fill more than 28,800 tanker trucks, a line of which would stretch from about New York City to Richmond, Va.”
“At least 50 million additional gallons of wastewater is unaccounted for, according to state records.”
“The tracking system that was put in place requires monthly or yearly reports to the state from well operators indicating
where their waste was taken, but offers no way for the state to guarantee that the waste actually reached the disposal sites.
The challenges of tracking all of the industry’s drilling waste and disposing of it will not go away soon. At least 50,000 new
Marcellus wells are supposed to be drilled in Pennsylvania over the next two decades, up from about 6,400 permitted now.
Wells also create waste that is not captured by recycling, because operators typically recycle only for the first several months
after a well begins producing gas.
Though the amount of wastewater decreases over time, the wells can continue to ooze for decades after they have been
hydrofracked. There are regulations, however, that govern how gas wells are plugged and abandoned.
“This is important because as the well ages, the fluids that come up from it become more toxic, and the state or companies are
even less likely to be tracking it,” said Anthony Ingraffea, a drilling expert and professor of civil and environmental
engineering at Cornell.
State regulators predict that the heaviest burdens are still to come.
“The waste that flows back slowly and continuously over the 20- to 30-year life of each gas well could produce 27 tons of salt
per year,” Pennsylvania officials wrote in new rules adopted last August about salt levels in drilling wastewater being sent
through sewage treatment plants. “Multiply this amount by tens of thousands of Marcellus gas wells,” they said, and the
potential pollution effects are “tremendous.” “
Drilling Down - Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers
New York Times
The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged
into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that
federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.
Other documents and interviews show that many E.P.A. scientists are alarmed, warning that the drilling waste is a threat to
drinking water in Pennsylvania. Their concern is based partly on a 2009 study, never made public, written by an E.P.A. consultant
who concluded : “The level of radioactivity in the wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum
allowed by the federal standard for drinking water. While people clearly do not drink drilling wastewater, the reason to use the
drinking-water standard for comparison is that there is no comprehensive federal standard for what constitutes safe levels of
radioactivity in drilling wastewater.
Drillers trucked at least half of this waste to public sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania in 2008 and 2009, according to
state officials. Some of it has been sent to other states, including New York and West Virginia.”
Most sewage treatment plant facilities cannot remove enough of the radioactive material to meet federal drinking-water standards
before discharging the wastewater into rivers, sometimes just miles upstream from drinking-water intake plants.
In Pennsylvania, these treatment plants discharged waste into some of the state’s major river basins. Greater amounts of the
wastewater went to the Monongahela River, which provides drinking water to more than 800,000 people in the western part of the
state, including Pittsburgh, and to the Susquehanna River, which feeds into Chesapeake Bay and provides drinking water to more
than six million people, including some in Harrisburg and Baltimore. ”
At least 12 sewage treatment plants in three states accepted gas industry wastewater and discharged waste that was only partly
treated into rivers, lakes and streams.
Of more than 179 wells producing wastewater with high levels of radiation, at least 116 reported levels of radium or other
radioactive materials 100 times as high as the levels set by federal drinking-water standards. At least 15 wells produced
wastewater carrying more than 1,000 times the amount of radioactive elements considered acceptable.
And in 2009 and 2010, public sewage treatment plants directly upstream from some of these drinking-water intake facilities
accepted wastewater that contained radioactivity levels as high as 2,122 times the drinking-water standard.
November 9, 2009 Natural Gas Drilling Produces Radioactive Wastewater By Abrahm Lustgarten and ProPublica
Wastewater from natural gas drilling in New York State is radioactive, as high as 267 times the limit safe for discharge into the
environment and thousands of times the limit safe for people to drink
As New York gears up for a massive expansion of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, state officials have made a potentially troubling
discovery about the wastewater created by the process: It's radioactive. And they have yet to say how they'll deal with it.
The information comes from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation, which analyzed 13 samples of wastewater
brought thousands of feet to the surface from drilling and found that they contain levels of radium 226, a derivative of uranium, as
high as 267 times the limit safe for discharge into the environment and thousands of times the limit safe for people to drink.
Dec 23, 2010 Team: City of Houston Shuts Down Two Radioactive Water Wells by Mark Greenblatt/Investigative Reporter
HOUSTON -- A radioactive water well that is controlled by the City of Houston, and that serves residents of Jersey Village, is no
longer being used, according to the communications director for Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
On Monday, a KHOU-TV investigation revealed Jersey Village water well #3 was one of 10 water wells identified by recent
federal tests as having tested high for a particularly damaging form of radiation called alpha radiation.
As recently as two weeks ago, city officials had said that same well, and nine others across the city, remained online and
“available for use,” even after being identified in a draft report by the United States Geological Survey as testing high for radioactive
contaminants that are known to immediately increase risks for cancer.
Earlier this week, city council member and former police chief C.O. “Brad” Bradford criticized city leaders for not doing
more, sooner. He reviewed the draft copy of the USGS report, which revealed radiation was detected in nearly every groundwater well
the federal agency tested in Houston. The draft was delivered to city officials in the public works department in September. Bradford
said citizens were in danger and should be warned of their increased cancer risks…
What are radionuclides’ health effects?
Health Effect
Some people who drink water containing radium 226 or radium 228 in
excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting
Gross Alpha
Some people who drink water containing alpha emitters in excess of the
MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
Beta Particle
and Photon
Some people who drink water containing beta particles and photon
emitters in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased
risk of getting cancer.
Exposure to uranium in drinking water may result in toxic effects to the
kidney. Some people who drink water containing alpha emitters, such as
uranium, in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased
risk of getting cancer.
This health effects language is not intended to catalog all possible health effects for radionuclides. Rather, it is intended to inform
consumers of the most significant and probable health effects, associated with radionuclides in drinking water.
Feb 1, 2010 An Anti-Fracking Day in Court By arimoore
BACKGROUND: Schlumberger has already built and begun operating phase 1 of a 4 phase hydraulic fracturing support facility in the
town of Horseheads, without going through a full environmental review or receiving all of the proper permits. The site lies above the
primary aquifer for the City of Elmira and across the street from the Ridge Road Elementary School. On the site are paper bags full of
toxic chemicals to be used in the hydraulic fracturing process, along with explosives and other materials. People for a Healthy
Environment, a group formed by Horseheads citizens outraged by the Village Board of Trustees’ “capricious and arbitrary” approval
of the site plan, are asking for the temporary shutdown of the facility, pending a 12- to 18-month environmental review.
Contaminated Water Remains a Hot Topic in Midland County By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9
ODESSA- The worries continue to pile up for residents living off Cotton Flat Road after officials discovered hexavalent chromium
contamination several weeks ago. "I am worried about it. What is it going to do to my property value and everything else," Darrell
Moody, a local resident said.
On Tuesday night, residents got more bad news at a community meeting at the Midland Horseshoe.
"The plume is extensive. It's probably at least a mile long it has very very high concentrations," Bob Bowcock, lead investigator
working with famed Environmental Activist Erin Brockovich, said the team has found the source of contamination.
"It's relatively simple we drew a straight line North and just followed the water and the water led us to who we are suspecting it is."
Bowcock points to Schlumberger, an oil field service company. He claims Slumberger used hexavalent chromium years ago when it
partnered with Dow Chemicals.
December 17th, 2010 Two new lawsuits claim fracking contaminated water wells in Texas
Two Texas families are targeting natural gas drilling companies with lawsuits filed this week, claiming nearby fracking wells have
contaminated their water wells to a point where they can not be used. According to The Dallas Star-Telegram, the lawsuits were filed
against drilling companies Chesapeake Energy, Encana Oil & Gas and Devon Energy. They were filed on behalf of two families who
believe their water is no longer suitable for drinking or any other household tasks.
These families join others across the country claiming hydraulic fracturing for natural gas has contaminated their water wells.
Fracking for natural gas has been blamed on water contamination in several other Midwest states over the past 20 years. At least 13
families in Pennsylvania are targeting the same Chesapeake Energy with lawsuits claiming the same damage near a fracking well in
Susquehanna County.
Earlier this month, the Envirnomental Protection Agency ordered another gas company, Range Resources, to provide fresh water and
safe dwellings for two more Texas families after regulators determined their homes were at risk of explosion due methane
contamination of their water wells. The EPA said Range’s nearby fracking wells were to blame.
In the two latest lawsuits filed on behalf of private landowners against gas companies, Tarrant County (Texas) resident Grace Mitchell
said a nearby fracking operation owned by Chesapeake and Encana has contaminated her water well. Her water smells and her
independent tests have revealed contamination.
In the other, a Denton County couple says a Devon well caused their water to be contaminated soon after it was drilled. Their tests
showed the water in their home to be contaminated with the drilling mud chemical bentonite.
February 19, 2011 Lawsuit claims natural gas driller contaminated water in Big Flats
by Kristian Boose
Contaminated drinking water caused by natural gas drilling in Big Flats New York has led 9 families to file a lawsuit against the
Denver based drilling company Anschutz Exploration Corporation and it’s subsidiaries. The law firm filing the claim says it is the
state’s first case brought for groundwater contamination due to natural gas development and industrialization.
“This is a warning to all gas drillers in the great State of New York that the health and safety of the residents and the environment
must be placed ahead of corporate profits,” law firm senior partner Marc Bern said in a prepared statement.
A December 2010 DCBureau piece provides more background about the Big Flats drilling and people affected.
Nov 9, 2009
Pennsylvania lawsuit says drilling polluted water
By Jon Hurdle
(Reuters) - A Pennsylvania landowner is suing an energy company for polluting his soil and water in an attempt to link a natural gas
drilling technique with environmental contamination.
George Zimmermann, the owner of 480 acres in Washington County, southwest Pennsylvania, says Atlas Energy Inc. ruined his land
with toxic chemicals used in or released there by hydraulic fracturing. Water tests at three locations by gas wells on Zimmermann's
property -- one is 1,500 feet from his home -- found seven potentially carcinogenic chemicals above "screening levels" set by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency as warranting further investigation.
Baseline tests on Zimmermann's water a year before drilling began were "perfect," he said. In June, water tests found arsenic at 2,600
times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits and naphthalene five times the federal standard. Soil samples detected
mercury and selenium above official limits, as well as ethylbenzene, a chemical used in drilling, and trichloroethene, a naturally
occurring but toxic chemical that can be brought to the surface by gas drilling. The chemicals can cause many serious illnesses
including damage to the immune, nervous and respiratory systems, according to the Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a researcher of
the health effects of chemicals used in drilling.
1996 Town of Freedom, Cattaraugus Co. NY(Spill #9610441: API Well ID#31-009-22657-00-00)
A strong flow of gas was encountered about 2,600 feet below ground. The well bore became pressurized causing methane migration.
Manifestations included a pond and residential water well in the area. 12 families were evacuated from their homes. The State
Supreme Court in Cattaraugus County awarded damages to affected individuals in April 2005. It took 9 years to award damages.
2003 Town of Independence, Allegany Co. NY(Spill #0375293; API Well ID#31-003-14571-00-00)
A valve malfunctioned at a facility associated with an injection well that is used to dispose of brine produced at three of the operator’s
natural gas storage fields. Water treatments were given to two or three nearby residents to ameliorate concerns about the potential for
impacts to their private wells.
2009 Lebanon, Madison Co. NY (Spill #0813694; API Well ID#31-053-26305-00-00)
The well experienced an unexpected flow of natural gas to the surface and an unknown ignition source started a fire. Fuel lines on the
rig melted, resulting in the release of 200 gallons of diesel fuel. The drilling company, Norse Energy Corporation, has drilled 14 wells
in Madison and Chenango Counties since January 1, 2009.
September 15, 2010 Lawsuit: Hydrofracking fluid ruined Pennsylvania water wells
Post Standard Syracuse
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Thirteen families in the heart of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale say their water wells have been contaminated by
poisonous fluids blasted deep underground by a drilling company using a technique at the center of a fierce nationwide debate.
A faulty gas well drilled by Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. leaked toxic fracking fluid into local groundwater in
northeastern Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County, exposing residents to dangerous chemicals and sickening a child, according to a
lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit filed in Susquehanna County said water wells became contaminated with high levels of barium, manganese and strontium
after Southwestern, in 2008, drilled its Price No. 1 well in Lenox Township. The contaminated water wells are less than 2,000 feet
from the gas well.
2007 EarthsWorks Action Texas
In late 2007, three families near Grandview, Texas noticed changes in their well water just after a natural gas well within a couple of
hundred yards of their properties was hydraulically fractured. Within days, five goats and a llama had died. All three families noticed
strong sulfur smells in their water, making it unusable. At first their water ran dry, and then the water returned with extremely high
pressure, blowing out pipes. Showering caused skin irritation. The Railroad Commission of Texas acknowledged that testing of well
water found toluene and other toxic contaminants.
The Dirty Truth Behind Hydrofracking by GetFactsNow
Environmental Graffiti
Dimock Penn: Evacuations have taken place too and explosions of water well. Norma Fiortino’s well exploded causing much damage
and since then, the methane gas vent still exists on her property, just feet away from her house. To put the contaminated water into
perspective, people in these effected areas can light their water on fire. WABC-TV in New York, New York did a report where it
shows the destruction from Fiortino’s well explosion and another homeowner's whose water is flammable, which he demonstrates in
front of the camera.
In addition to the above problems, humans have developed a host of health problems and even their pets are losing weight or hair or
are dying. The water is not the only thing unclean, for the air is polluted as well with compressor stations emitting known human
carcinogens, such as benzene, which we’ve heard about so much already with respects to the BP Gulf oil spill. The pollution from this
complex process of fracking leaves a blanket of dark cloud material over homes that last for hours each day. And yet in America, the
natural gas companies are exempt from the bills enacted into law by President Nixon in 1972, but not by his doing, but by the past
administration. These laws include: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund Act and
many others.
April 8, 2010
Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection warns of serious water contamination from hydrofracking
Shenandoah Valley Concerned Citizens Hydrofracking Virginia
Hanger pointed to recent examples where TDS impaired streams and affected major sources of drinking water.
In 2008 and 2009, TDS levels exceeded drinking water standards along the Monongahela River, which is a major source of drinking
water. Drinking water treatment plants do not have the equipment available to remove TDS, so any water polluted with TDS goes into
Pennsylvania’s homes and businesses.
Similarly, in early September 2009, excessive TDS levels led to an environmental disaster that wiped out 26 miles of Dunkard Creek
in Greene County, as well as many miles of the creek in West Virginia. These high TDS concentrations, coupled with other factors
such as temperature and nutrient concentrations, enabled golden algae to bloom and created an inhospitable environment for aquatic
life. The algae released toxins to the water column that literally wiped out aquatic life, including at least 16 species of freshwater
mussels and 18 species of fish.
TDS is a measure of all elements dissolved in water that can include carbonates, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, sodium, potassium,
calcium and magnesium. In addition to natural gas drilling, other sources of TDS include, abandoned mine drainage, agricultural
runoff, and discharges from industrial or sewage treatment plants.
March 14, 2011
Tracking the impacts of the natural gas industry - Piloting in the Marcellus Shale region
Environmental Injustice Letter on Impact of Shale Gas Drilling
“The most substantial risk associated with hydraulic fracturing is massive water source contamination in regions where the process is
employed. Residents in such jurisdictions have reported drinking water contamination in every state where hydraulic fracturing wells
exist; sometimes so severe that flammable tap water caused homes to explode.4 In a two and a half year period, hydraulic fracturing
operations committed around 1,500 violations of Pennsylvania oil and gas law alone, all of which potentially endangered local water
quality and many of which went un-publicized.5 State and Federal agencies have declared the drinking water in several rural towns,
like Dimock, Pennsylvania and Pavilion, Wyoming undrinkable contaminants used in near-by hydraulic fracturing operations.6”
“The impacts of such contamination risks disproportionately affect rural, economically underdeveloped communities throughout the
country. … For example, despite the existence of valuable Marcellus Shale Resources in the region, the New York City Department of
Environmental Protection has declared that, “hydraulic fracturing poses an unacceptable threat to the unfiltered water supply of nine
million New Yorkers and cannot safely be permitted with the New York City watershed.”7 One of the strategies employed by the City
of New York to preserve the quality of water is to acquire key plots of land surrounding the watershed so they may be protected from
hydraulic fracturing operations. This might prove too costly for other municipalities, especially those in economically disadvantaged
“The placement of natural gas extraction in rural areas increases the likelihood that the water contamination will go undetected
because rural water supplies are difficult to monitor. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States has more
stringent water quality reporting requirements for suppliers providing to 10,000 or more consumers (metropolitan suppliers), 8 and the
EPA lacks jurisdiction to monitor private water wells. 9 As a result, contamination due to hydraulic fracturing can go largely
undetected in rural areas.”
Oklahoma City Dies From of Environmental Contamination
by Duane Craig
Communities have always come and gone, riding on the winds of economic events and the whims of business and politics. But we are
also seeing examples of ones that disappear simply because the environment has been contaminated so much there’s nothing left to do
but pack-up and leave.
Of course, there are always those hangers-on who will stay even after most everyone has gone and that’s the case too in Picher,
Oklahoma, where at least a few residents are staying put while the town is demolished around them. It sounds like a great intro to a
scary movie or a dark, thrilling novel, yet it is real life.
Picher has a legacy of contamination left behind from mining and in 1983 it became the epicenter of “one of the most toxic places in
America,” and part of a Superfund site covering 40 square miles. In some places it’s uncertain just how long it will be before more
large chunks of land just cave in, leaving holes like the one that killed a motorist. Many children from the town were found to have
cognitive and learning problems assumed to be caused by the lead contamination in the water.
The remaining mining waste piles (chat piles), where kids used to play, now just slowly dissolve in the wind and rain, breaking down
to add to the concentrations of lead, cadmium and zinc distributed across the town’s property. The EPA says it’s rare for an entire
town to have to be relocated and the federal government has so far spent $46 million to buy out those who wanted to go.
Reasons to oppose HPHF are illustrated by vast destruction already resulting in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania,
- Widespread ongoing air pollution from toxic chemicals, ozone and truck traffic dust. In Wyoming, after their governor supported
HPHF, he requested federal support for widespread ground level ozone worse than LA, with disabling respiratory diseases including
huge increases in asthma.
- Irreversible toxic pollution of drinking water and waterways by gas wells and spills, plus unpredictable future pollution from
companies' hopes to inject unproductive wells with huge quantities of toxic fluid coming out of fracked wells for storage. No known
safe disposal method exists.
- Severe fragmentation and industrialization of rural lands. Well sites are 5-plus bulldozed and leveled acres, connected by new roads,
plus pipelines criss-crossing thousands of local square miles. Here, companies hope to put in possibly 40,000 wells on 40-80 acre
spacings. Drilling and fracking happen for 3-plus months, 24/7 per well, involving dozens of huge trucks, machinery, and bright lights
per site, running 24/7. For photos of already fragmented Allegheny National Forest:
- Noise pollution 24/7 from tens of thousands of large trucks servicing wells happens intensively for months per well. Fortuna Gas Co.
said that one frack requires 600 large tanker trucks of water starting two weeks beforehand (1200 round trips, 45 trucks/day). This
enormously impacts road conditions and vital qualities of life not remedied by money: quiet of rural life and safety driving (snow/ice).
If even one well's located so fracking trucks drive past my home, I won't be able to sleep even with ear plugs. Loud compressors run
24/7 throughout gas production for many years.
- Farm animals will decline in health (in Colorado, toxic chemicals in air resulted in stillbirths, deformed babies or no births in goats
and cattle). Wildlife will be affected and locals hunting for food.
Fracking, by definition, does not refer to the entire process of gas drilling which would include the rigs,
the valves, fires, pipelines and compressor stations, flowback fluid, methane migration, spills, dumping,
human error and truck accidents. It doesn’t refer to the deliberate contamination of the fresh water,
usage of fresh water, loss of potable (drinking) water for human consumption, abandoned wells, sludge
pits, polluted streams and habitats…these all stay polluted/contaminated forever, as well as increased
carbon emissions, the industrialization of the landscape, declining property values, raised taxes to
property, increasing health issues due to the contamination.
Waste Management of Cuttings, Drilling Fluids, Hydrofrack Water and Produced Water Cuttings and Drilling Fluids/Muds
When a well is drilled, the ‘cuttings’ of drilled rock need to be removed from the well bore. The cuttings, the drilling fluid or mud (to
lubricate the drill and help remove the cuttings), and water in the bore hole are brought to the surface where the cuttings are then
separated from the fluid, which will be reused in the drilling process. The cuttings and remaining fluids are generally stored in a
drilling pit. In New York State, there are specifications regarding the construction of these pits, including a requirement that all pits be
lined with plastic to avoid polluted water in the pit entering the soil and shallow groundwater. As mentioned in the Runoff section, it
appears that the DSGEIS does not require that all drilling waste (including drilling muds, cuttings and flow back waters) be fully
contained on site. Rather, drilling waste and possibly flow back waters can apparently be stored in open, lined pits on site except on
floodplains and the NYC watershed. It is not clear why full containment should not be required for all sites.
“drilling fluids or muds are made up of:
 a base fluid (water, diesel or mineral oil, or a synthetic compound);
 weighting agents (most frequently barite is used);
 bentonite clay
 chrome lignosulfonates and lignites
 and various additives that serve specific functions, such as biocides, diesel lubricants and chromate corrosion inhibitors
….Drilling muds that circulate through the well and return to the surface may contain dissolved and suspended contaminants including
cadmium, arsenic, and metals such as mercury, copper and lead; hydrocarbons; hydrogen sulfide and natural gas, as well as drilling
mud additives, many of which contain potentially harmful chemicals (e.g., chromate, barite).”
Drill cuttings … may be acidic and have the potential to mobilize metals in the cuttings or the soil to which they will be potentially
exposed. Additionally, the Marcellus shale contains naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs), including radium.
Hydrofracking Fluids
Hydrofracking fluids are injected into wells under pressure in order to create cracks or fractures in the rock formation. These cracks
accelerate gas flow out of the rock and into the well. Hydrofracking fluids are created by adding a proppant (commonly sand) to water.
The role of the proppant is to keep the cracks from resealing once the hydrofracking fluid is withdrawn from the well. In addition to
the proppant, several types of chemicals are added to the hydrofracking fluid to serve a number of purposes.
 A friction reducer is added to reduce the friction pressure during pumping operations.
 A surfactant is used to increase the recovery of injected water into a well.
 A biocide is used to inhibit the growth of organisms that could produce gases (particularly hydrogen sulfide) that could be
dangerous as well as contaminate the methane gas.
 Scale inhibitors are used to control the precipitation of carbonates and sulfates.
There is considerable controversy about the possible effects of the chemicals added to the hydrofracking fluids. Included in the list in
the dSGEIS of over 200 chemicals that may be used in hydrofracking are at least two known carcinogens: benzene and formaldehyde.
For other compounds, such as xylene and to a lesser extent monoethanolamine, some information suggests carcinogenic activity, but
the literature is not in agreement. Table 6-13 of the dSGEIS also lists heavy naptha as a material likely to be used. Heavy naptha is not
a unique compound, but rather a mixture of many hydrocarbons, including several that are carcinogenic. Benzene is a high-risk
carcinogen and was found in nearly half of all flow back waters (Table 5-9) from Pennsylvania and West Virginia (14/29 samples) at
concentrations ranging from 15.7 to 1950 µg/L, with an average of 479.5 µg/L. This average number is nearly 100 times the
maximum contaminant level (5 µg/L) established by the EPA. The maximum concentration was nearly 400 times higher. Even if
one considers a dilution or attenuation factor, as is done at superfund sites, of as much as 100, it is possible that mishandling of
flowback water could contaminate nearby aquifers or groundwater at levels that could exceed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
established by the EPA. Other compounds of concern in fracking fluids are nonylphenol and octylphenol ethoxylate surfactants
After hydrofracking, the hydrofracking fluid is withdrawn from the well, and to the extent possible, from the formation. Currently in
Pennsylvania, about 15% of the hydrofracking fluid returns to the surface within 2 to 8 weeks
(; this is referred to as flowback water. The
flowback water can be reused in hydrofracking other wells or disposed of as waste water….
This waste water will likely contain high levels of total dissolved solids (mostly salt or sodium chloride) and NORMS, as well as
added chemicals and/or their degradation products.
There are three ways this water, now considered industrial waste water can be disposed:
1) underground injection,
2) municipal sewage treatment facilities (POTWs) that have an approved pretreatment program for industrial waste, and
3) private industrial waste treatment facilities. The sites available for underground injection of waste water are limited, and there are
concerns that in certain locations underground injection may induce seismicity. POTWs must pretreat the waste water to the extent
that the waste stream does not damage the sewage treatment system and does not exceed its permitted capacity to release pollutants to
receiving waters. POTWs are generally not effective in removing salts from waste water, so there is concern that individual and
cumulative releases to surface waters from treated, yet salt enriched, waste water could, from individual or cumulative releases,
disrupt freshwater ecosystems. Currently, there are no private industrial waste treatment facilities for handling Marcellus shale
flowback water in New York State.
The issue of NORMS, primarily radium, in the flowback water needs to be considered as well. Radium in flowback water may be
reduced during treatment to acceptable levels to discharge into surface waters through being retained in the solid waste. This raises the
issue of where to dispose of the radium enriched solid waste from pre-treatment of flowback water or flowback water treated in
private facilities.
Toxicity: Poisonous substance that does injury or death to a living system (human, animal or plant)
Persistance: chemical that does NOT biodegrade, stays forever in whatever it contacts (soil, human, animal, plant)
Bioaccumulate: means an increase in the concentration of a chemical in a biological organism over time
Heavy Metals
The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low
concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), thallium (Tl), and lead
Heavy metals are natural components of the Earth's crust. They cannot be degraded or destroyed. However, at higher concentrations
they can lead to poisoning. Heavy metal poisoning could result, for instance, from drinking-water contamination, high ambient air
concentrations near emission sources, or intake via the food chain.
Heavy metals are dangerous because they tend to bioaccumulate. Bioaccumulation means an increase in the concentration of a
chemical in a biological organism over time, compared to the chemical's concentration in the environment. Compounds accumulate in
living things any time they are taken up and stored faster than they are broken down (metabolized) or excreted.
Heavy metals can enter a water supply by industrial and consumer waste, and releasing heavy metals into streams, lakes, rivers, and
Chemicals Used by Hydraulic Fracturing Companies in Pennsylvania
For Surface and Hydraulic Fracturing Activities
Prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Oil and Gas Management
Compiled from Material Safety Data Sheets obtained from Industry
Glycol Ethers (includes 2BE)
1,3,5 Trimethylbenzene
Guar gum
Hemicellulase Enzyme
Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrotreated light distillate
Hydrotreated Light Distilled
Iron Oxide
Acetic Acid
Isopropyl Alcohol
Acetic Anhydride
Acie Pensurf
Magnesium Nitrate
Alchohol Ethoxylated
Mesh Sand (Crystalline Silica)
Alphatic Acid
Alphatic Alcohol Polyglycol Ether
Mineral Spirits
Aluminum Oxide
Ammonia Bifluoride
Ammonia Bisulfite
Ammonium chloride
Oil Mist
Ammonium Salt
Petroleum Distallate Blend
Ammonia Persulfate
Petroleum Distillates
Aromatic Hydrocarbon
Petroleum Naphtha
Aromatic Ketones
Polyethoxylated Alkanol (1)
Boric Acid
Boric Oxide
Citric Acid
Diesel (use
Silica: Cristobalite
Silica: Quartz
Polyethoxylated Alkanol (2)
Polyethylene Glycol Mixture
Potassium Carbonate
Potassium Chloride
Potassium Hydroxide
Propargyl Alcohol
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry
Affected Organ Systems: Hematological (Blood Forming), Immunological (Immune System), Neurological (Nervous System)
Cancer Effects: Known to be a Human Carcinogen
Chemical Classification: Volatile organic compounds
BTEX - is an acronym that stands for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes.[1] These compounds are some of the volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) found in petroleum derivatives such as petrol (gasoline). Toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes have
harmful effects on the central nervous system.
BTEX compounds are notorious due to the contamination of soil and groundwater with these compounds.
Naphthalene may also be included in Total BTEX analysis yielding results referred to as BTEXN. In the same way, styrene is
sometimes added, making it BTEXS.
To help public health professionals and others address the needs of persons living or working near
hazardous waste sites, the information in this section is organized first by route of exposure (inhalation,
oral, and dermal) and then by health effect (death, systemic, immunological, neurological, reproductive,
developmental, genotoxic, and carcinogenic effects). These data are discussed in terms of three exposure
periods: acute (14 days or less), intermediate (15–364 days), and chronic (365 days or more).
Toluene dissolved in well water does not break down quickly while the water is under the ground because there are few
microorganisms in underground water.
A serious health concern is that toluene may have an effect on your brain. Toluene can cause headaches and sleepiness, and can impair
your ability to think clearly.
Toluene causes death by interfering with the way you breathe and the way your heart beats.
Repeated exposure You may also experience problems with your speech, vision, or hearing, have loss of muscle control, loss of
memory, poor balance, and decreased mental ability. Some of these changes may be permanent.
Combinations of toluene and some common medicines like aspirin and acetaminophen may increase the effects of toluene on your
Some studies in people have shown reproductive effects, such as an increased risk of spontaneous abortions, from exposure to toluene
main effect of toluene is on the brain and nervous system.
Toxicological Profile for Xylene
meta-xylene, ortho-xylene, and para-xylene (m-, o-, and p-xylene). These different forms are referred to as isomers.
Xylene is a liquid, and it can leak into soil, surface water (creeks, streams, rivers), or groundwater.
Xylene below the soil surface may travel down through the soil and enter underground water (groundwater). Xylene may remain in
groundwater for several months before it is finally broken down by small organisms. If a large amount of xylene enters soil from an
accidental spill, a hazardous waste site, or a landfill, it may travel through the soil and contaminate drinking water wells.
CAS ID #: 7440-47-3
Affected Organ Systems: Immunological (Immune System), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys), Respiratory (From the Nose to the
Cancer Effects: Known to be a Human Carcinogen
Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances
Summary: Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, animals, plants, soil, and in volcanic dust and gases. Chromium
is present in the environment in several different forms. The most common forms are chromium(0), chromium(III), and
chromium(VI). No taste or odor is associated with chromium compounds. Chromium(III) occurs naturally in the environment and is
an essential nutrient. Chromium(VI) and chromium(0) are generally produced by industrial processes. Long-term exposure can cause
kidney and liver damage, and damage too circulatory and nerve tissue. Chromium often accumulates in aquatic life, adding to the
danger of eating fish that may have been exposed to high levels of chromium.
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene - irritation eyes, skin, nose, throat, respiratory system; bronchitis; hypochromic anemia; headache,
drowsiness, lassitude (weakness, exhaustion), dizziness, nausea, incoordination; vomiting, confusion; chemical pneumonitis
(aspiration liquid)
Target Organs
Eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, blood
Breathing: Respiratory support
Swallow: Medical attention immediately
Exposure Routes
inhalation, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact
irritation eyes, skin, nose, throat, respiratory system; bronchitis; hypochromic anemia; headache, drowsiness, lassitude (weakness,
exhaustion), dizziness, nausea, incoordination; vomiting, confusion; chemical pneumonitis (aspiration liquid)
Target Organs
Eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, blood
Breathing: Respiratory support
Swallow: Medical attention immediately
Hematological (Blood Forming)
The blood cells (erythrocytes, granulocytes, and platelets) and the tissues that form them ((bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes)
make up the hematological system. Blood carries oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to cells throughout the body. Also, it keeps the
blood vessels open, helps the immunological system function (see immunological below), and removes waste and carbon dioxide from
body cells.
Substances Listing
 1,2-Dichloroethene
 1,2-Dichloropropane
 1,3 Dinitrobenzene & 1,3,5 Trinitrobenzene
 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT)
 2,4- & 2,6-Dinitrotoluene
 2-Butoxyethanol
 Acetone
 Acrolein
 Acrylonitrile
 Benzene
 Cobalt
 Copper
 Diisopropyl Methylphosphonate (DIMP)
 Dinitrophenols
 Lead
 Methyl Mercaptan
 Methyl Parathion
 Naphthalene, 1-Methylnapthalene, 2-Methylnapthalen
 Nitrobenzene
 Nitrophenols
 Otto Fuel II and its Components
 Pentachlorophenol
 Phenol
 Radium
 Thorium
 Tin and Compounds
 Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
 Used Mineral-based Crankcase Oil
Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessels)
The heart and blood vessels (arteries, capillaries, and veins) are called the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system carries
blood throughout the body. The heart pumps blood through blood vessels called “arteries” and then through smaller blood vessels
called “capillaries” to each organ and tissue in the body. The blood feeds each organ and tissue. Blood adds or removes gases,
nutrients, hormones, and wastes as it passes through each organ to carry out metabolic processes (to keep the body alive). The
capillaries then drain used blood into veins that flow back to the heart to be recirculated.
Substances Listing
 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
 1,1-Dichloroethane
 1,1-Dichloroethene
 1,2-Dichloroethene
 2,4- & 2,6-Dinitrotoluene
 Acrolein
 Antimony
 Barium
 Boron
 Bromomethane
 Cadmium
 Carbon Disulfide
 Carbon Monoxide
 Carbon Tetrachloride
 Chloroethane
 Chloroform
 Chloromethane
 Cobalt
 Lead
 Manganese
 Methylene Chloride
 Nickel
 Toluene
 Vanadium and Compounds
 Vinyl Chloride
Hepatic (Liver)
The hepatic system includes the liver and biliary tract . The liver maintains stable conditions throughout the body. It plays an
important role in digesting food (through the secretion of bile), in synthesizing proteins (albumin, carrier proteins, coagulation factors,
and many hormonal and growth factors), and in detoxifying harmful substances.
Substances Listing
 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
 1,1-Dichloroethene
 1,2,3 Trichloropropane
 1,2-Dibromoethane
 1,2-Dichloroethane
 1,2-Dichloroethene
 1,2-Dichloropropane
 1,2-Diphenylhydrazine
 1,4-Dioxane
 2,3-Benzofuran
 2-Butoxyethanol
 4,4'-Methylenebis(2-Chloroaniline)(MBOCA)
 4,4'-Methylenedianiline
 Aldrin/Dieldrin
Bromoform & Dibromochloromethane
Bromoform & Dibromochloromethane
Carbon Disulfide
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorodibenzofurans (CDFs)
Di-n-octylphthalate (DNOP)
Diethyl phthalate
Fuel Oils / Kerosene
Fuel Oils / Kerosene
Heptachlor/Heptachlor Epoxide
Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)
HMX (Octogen)
Jet Fuels JP-4 and JP-7
Jet Fuels JP-5 and JP-8
Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Methylene Chloride
Naphthalene, 1-Methylnapthalene, 2-Methylnapthalen
Phosphate Ester Flame Retardants
Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
Vinyl Chloride
Neurological (Nervous System)
The nervous system receives and sends signals throughout the body to control bodily functions. The nervous system consists of the
central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (nerve fibers that attach to and lie outside the brain and
spinal cord). The nervous system has two components, motor (efferent) and sensory (afferent), that carry information from and to,
respectively, the central nervous system. The brain is the organ of thought, emotion, and processing of the various senses and
communicates with and controls various other systems and functions. The nervous system also provides special senses such as sight,
hearing, taste, feel, and smell. It uses the eyes, ears, tongue, skin, and nose to gather information about the body's environment.
Substances Listing
 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
 1,1,2-Trichloroethane
 1,1-Dichloroethene
 1,2-Dichloropropane
 1,3-Butadiene
 2,4- & 2,6-Dinitrotoluene
 2-Hexanone
 Acetone
 Acrylamide
 Acrylonitrile
 Aldrin/Dieldrin
 Aluminum
 Americium
 Arsenic
 Benzene
 Bis(chloromethyl) Ether
 Bromoform & Dibromochloromethane
 Bromomethane
 Cadmium
 Carbon Disulfide
 Carbon Monoxide
 Carbon Tetrachloride
 Chlordane
 Chlordecone
 Chlorfenvinphos
 Chlorine Dioxide & Chlorite
 Chlorobenzene
 Chloroform
 Chloromethane
 Chlorpyrifos
 Cresols
 Cyanide
 Diazinon
 Dichlorvos
 Dinitrocresols
 Disulfoton
 Endosulfan
 Endrin/Endrin aldehyde
 Ethion
 Ethylbenzene
 Ethylene Oxide
 Fuel Oils / Kerosene
 Gasoline, Automotive
 Heptachlor/Heptachlor Epoxide
 Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)
 Hexachloroethane
 HMX (Octogen)
 Hydraulic Fluids
 Hydrogen Sulfide
 Ionizing Radiation
 Jet Fuels JP-4 and JP-7
 Jet Fuels JP-5 and JP-8
 Lead
 Malathion
 Manganese
 Mercury
Metallic Mercury
Methyl Mercaptan
Methyl Parathion
Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Methylene Chloride
Naphthalene, 1-Methylnapthalene, 2-Methylnapthalen
Otto Fuel II and its Components
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
RDX (Cyclonite)
Stoddard Solvent
Tetrachloroethylene (PERC)
Tin and Compounds
Trichloroethylene (TCE)
Used Mineral-based Crankcase Oil
Endocrine (Glands and Hormones)
The endocrine system consists of specialized groups of cells called glands that make, store, and release regulating chemicals called
hormones directly into the bloodstream to regulate how the body functions. Some of these endocrine glands include the adrenals,
chemoreceptor organs, gonads (testis and ovary), hypothalamus, pancreatic islets, parathyroid, pineal, pituitary, and thyroid. These
glands secrete hormones that travel through the circulatory system to regulate the various body systems. A few of these hormones
include steroids, growth hormones, and thyroxine.
Substances Listing
 Aldrin/Dieldrin
 Atrazine
 Endosulfan
 Iodine
 Malathion
 Methoxychlor
 Pentachlorophenol
 Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)
 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
 Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
 Toxaphene
Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys)
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys play a major role in balancing fluids and
electrolytes, regulating blood pressure, producing erythropoietin (which increases erythrocyte formation), and eliminating waste
products through the urine . The urine is formed in the kidney, stored in the urinary bladder, and voided via the urethra.
Substances Listing
 1,1-Dichloroethene
 1,2-Dibromoethane
 1,2-Dichloroethane
 1,4-Dioxane
 2,3-Benzofuran
 Bromodichloromethane
 Bromoform & Dibromochloromethane
 Cadmium
Ethylene Glycol
Ethylene Oxide
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene (HCCPD)
Ionizing Radiation
Jet Fuels JP-5 and JP-8
Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Phosphate Ester Flame Retardants
Propylene Glycol
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
Uranium and Compounds
Vanadium and Compounds