Shaky Ground (part 3 in a series on fracking)

By Jonathan Barnes

After years of dealing with water problems they believe were caused by fracking, or hydraulic fracturing to find natural gas, people like Ron Carter in Dimock, PA, are left wondering if they will ever have their problems solved

. While the EPA is providing water to the Carter family and three other residences in Dimock, it could provide more to others, or stop altogether. According to a Jan. 31 statement made by the Philadelphia office of the EPA, Cabot actually has criticized the EPA for providing alternate water supplies to homes in Dimock.

“We took this precautionary and limited step as an interim measure to be protective of human health while monitoring is underway,” the EPA statement said, adding that Cabot has also characterized the presence of certain chemicals, such as arsenic, manganese, and sodium as naturally occurring. “This is misleading, since although these chemicals are naturally occurring in Susquehanna County, the levels of arsenic, manganese and sodium found in the Dimock

area are not consistent with background concentrations typically found in the zones from which Dimock homeowners draw water for their private wells… the arsenic and manganese levels, when reviewed by an EPA toxicologist, were at levels high enough to present a health concern, supporting the need for alternate water. This latest explanation by Cabot about their data further underscores the need for EPA to have reliable validated information.”

Cabot Oil & Gas is responsible for the fracking around Dimock, but the company has not been forthcoming in providing information to the EPA, agency officials said. Now, the energy company is providing the agency with a flood of documents that will take a long time to review.

“Beginning on January 10, Cabot began submitting data in response to the Agency’s request of January 6. EPA is reviewing that data, which consists of approximately 10,000 pages of records pertaining to the site,” EPA officials said in a statement. “Until that point, Cabot had not provided EPA any data. Furthermore, Cabot has advised us that even more data, estimated at 100,000 additional pages, is still to be provided. We plan to carefully consider it, along with the results of our own sampling, in determining next steps.”

Carter said he believes his problem with his

well water being tainted can be remedied. “If they can build new prisons in Pennsylvania and [recycle] the wastewater, they ought to be able to fix my water here,” he said. [Continue reading…]

Shaky Ground (Part I in a series on fracking)

by Jonathan Barnes

“Fracking,” also known as “hydraulic fracturing” refers to “the forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, especially to extract oil buy generic viagra online or gas.”discount fracturing” target=”_blank”> Oxford Dictionaries.

Sam Lane was watching TV and his wife was in the bedroom with their two-year-old son when the earthquake hit. The house shook so violently his wife grabbed their son and she and Sam ran for the door.

The Feb. 27, 2011 quake registered a 4.7 on the Richter scale and was the largest in Arkansas since the 1960s. Lane is a resident of Greenbrier, population 6,000, and he has seen his hometown, which is a bedroom community of Conway, Ark, change drastically since the area began having earthquakes in mid-February 2011. The quakes were so frequent that he took all of the pictures and mirrors off the walls of his home, because he feared they’d fall and hurt someone.

By March of last year, Stop Arkansas Fracking, of which Lane is a member, had been formed. Even with the pressure put on natural gas drillers by the advocacy group, there have been more than 1,000 earthquakes in the state, and they continue.

Across the country, critics of hydro-fracturing—the process by which energy companies force natural gas from deep underground and often force the used wastewater from the process thousands of feet back into the ground to discard it—are increasing in numbers. Critics say because of fracking, they’re living on shaky ground. The naysayers include rural retirees whose water wells were ruined, parents transformed into activists, scientists and others.

While proponents say fracking can help solve America’s energy

woes, evidence is accumulating that there are environmental

problems with the process. [Continue reading…]