Monday, June 6, 2011

Marcellus-CURE Delivers Memo To PA Gov. Corbett: BAN FRACKING

Ken Weir
Ken Weir, spokesman for Communities United for Rights and Environment, speaks to about 40 protesters gathered Thursday 11/4/2010 outside of Clairton Municipal Water Authority's front entrance to oppose the dumping of untreated wastewater from Marcellus shale drilling into the Monongahela River.
Photo Credit: James Knox | Tribune Review

Contact: Alex Lotorto

Marcellus Communities United for Rights and Environment (CURE) Delivers Memo to PA Gov. Corbett: BAN FRACKING

Harrisburg Pa. - Marcellus Communities United for Rights and Environment (CURE) will deliver a memo to Governor Tom Corbett outlining the impossibility of proper emergency and risk management procedures and recommending a ban on deep shale hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania following a noon rally in the Capitol rotunda.

The report, authored by Alex Lotorto, includes an exhaustive list of recommendations for Governor Corbett to consider regarding response to “fracking” chemical fires, mass evacuation plans within a one-mile radius of shale gas wells, contamination of aquifers, on-site explosions, large traffic accidents on rural roads, chemical train car derailments, chemical manufacturing disasters, large spills in drinking water supplies, recall of contaminated agricultural products, sportsmen alerts, and many other potential hazards.

The memo also includes a sample dossier of documented accidents, injuries, illnesses, and deaths that have resulted from deep shale gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing.

Lotorto said, "I believe that only a portion of this risk analysis should be necessary for a sane, rational human being to support an end to the practice of horizontal, slick water, high-volume, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, a new process only developed in the last decade. From school buses getting hit by frack trucks to the mile wide evacuation that occurred one year ago today near Moundsville, West Virginia after an Atlas Energy well blew up injuring seven workers. This has to stop. It must be banned completely. There is no way this can be deemed safe, with or without a moratorium."

An excerpt:

The New York Times reported that an industry-funded study of blowout preventer tests found that equipment failed 62 times out of every 90,000 tests.
If this is true, as a conservative estimate, and the number of wells predicted in Pennsylvania will be 60,000 wells, hydraulically fractured an average of 10 stages each, that would result in 600,000 instances of high pressure stress that could cause a blowout from the well head and require the use of a blowout preventer. Using the 62/90,000 ratio, there is a significant chance that dozens more blowouts will occur, endangering the lives of workers, surrounding residents, and habitat.
The report's current version is available on

A final version will be published on 6/8/2011 at noon. Advanced copies can be faxed upon request.

Marcellus Communities United for Rights and Environment was founded in Pittsburgh, November 2010 as part of a larger effort to pass a ban on hydraulic fracturing in Pittsburgh city limits. An action was organized to picket the dumping of Marcellus shale wastewater at the Clairton Municipal Authority on 11/4/10.
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Marcellus driller fined record $1.1M

May 17, 2011|By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday fined Chesapeake Energy Corp. $1.1 million for violations related to natural gas drilling activities, the largest penalty ever against a Marcellus Shale operator.

Under a consent order, Chesapeake will pay $900,000 for contaminating private water supplies in Bradford County. Under a second agreement, Chesapeake will pay $188,000 for a Feb. 23 tank fire at its drilling site in Avella, Washington County.

Chesapeake is the largest operator working in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, a gas-rich formation that has triggered a bonanza of drilling activity in the last three years.

Methane May Burn for Days

June 8, 2010 By KEF O. HOWARD Staff Writer
LIMESTONE - The fire is contained to the drilling site, but it may be several days before the cause of a Marshall County gas explosion is determined. Flames continued to light the sky late Monday at a natural gas drilling site on Beam's Lane, about 3.5 miles east of Moundsville off U.S. 250 where seven workers were injured Monday. A section of U.S. 250 had to be shut down after the explosion sent fire about 75 feet into the air.

EOG Well in Pennsylvania Had ‘Blowout,’ State Says

By David Wethe June 07, 2010, 12:35 PM EDT
June 4 (Bloomberg) -- A Pennsylvania natural-gas well operated by EOG Resources Inc. had a “blowout” last night, sending natural gas and drilling fluids onto the ground and 75 feet (23 meters) into the air, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection said.


March 31, 2010 near West Middletown, Pa
Hopewell Township - Washington County

Shortly after 8:00am on a Wednesday morning in March 2010, a frac pit fire erupted at an Atlas Energy Resources Marcellus gas well location, shooting flames 300 to 400 feet into the air. A witness compared the sound of the ignition to throwing a match on a pile of wood saturated with gasoline

Cause of well site fire not known
Three Marcellus Shale workers remain hospitalized
Friday, February 25, 2011
A day after a flash fire sent flames skyrocketing into the evening sky over a Marcellus Shale drill site in Washington County, investigators still are unsure what caused it to erupt.

Three workers, all working at a Chesapeake Energy Corp. drill site off Meadowcroft Road, just west of the village of Avella, suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Tanks at Washington County Marcellus site catch fire
Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tioga County cows quarantined after frack water leak

July 2, 2010

WELLSBORO - Twenty-eight cows have been quarantined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after officials say the animals may have consumed wastewater that leaked from a holding pond for a natural gas well on the property.

 DEP IDs Spill Substance

DEP now knows what spilled on a road in Lycoming County over the weekend, forcing PennDOT to close the road. The substance has been identified as friction reducer which is used in natural gas exploration.

State charges local company for dumping wastewater and sludge
Friday, March 18, 2011
State prosecutors charged a Greene County man Thursday with illegally dumping millions of gallons of Marcellus Shale wastewater, sewer sludge and greasy restaurant slop in holes, mine shafts and waterways in a six-county region from 2003 to 2009.

"He was pouring the stuff in any hole he could find," said Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the attorney general's office.

Bromide: A concern in drilling wastewater
Sunday, March 13, 2011
DALLAS - An Ohio County School bus carrying three students home from school was forced to take evasive action when a large truck from Badger Corporation of Pittsburgh went left of center on Dallas Pike Road shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Drilling can dig into land value
9:25 AM CDT on Saturday, September 18, 2010

By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

 Ballooning bromide concentrations in the region's rivers, occurring as Marcellus Shale wastewater discharges increase, is a much bigger worry than the risk of high radiation levels, public water suppliers say.
Pa.: Marcellus wastewater shouldn't go to treatment plants
Because of high levels of dissolved solids and bromide in rivers and streams used for public drinking water sources, the state Department of Environmental Protection has asked all Marcellus Shale operations to voluntarily stop disposal of drilling wastewater at 15 municipal sewage treatment plants.

Woman who lived near Rifle gas fields dies

By John Colson
Post Independent Staff

The 10 Worst Jobs of 2011

Dimock water settlement leaves town divided

Gas firm to pay $4.1M in contamination dispute

When the battle over a planned water pipeline to run between a pair of Susquehanna County, Pa., communities took an unexpected turn, no one was more surprised than Jean Carter and Julie Sautner.

The Dimock Township residents -- whose water wells were ruined by nearby natural gas drilling operations, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection -- hopped on a conference call Wednesday evening with DEP Secretary John Hanger. They were expecting to hear an update on the project before Hanger is likely relieved of his position by year's end.

hydraulic fracturing

Directional drilling and hydraulic-fracturing technologies are dramatically
increasing natural-gas extraction. In aquifers overlying
the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania
and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for
methane contamination of drinking water associated with shalegas

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