Police order frack trucks out of service
October 7, 2010 - A total of 208 trucks, most of them hauling liquid waste from the natural gas industry, were placed out of service during a three-day state police enforcement program.
Residents question frack wastewater treatment in valley
The trucks will be carrying 5,000 gallons of water with toxic chemicals through residential areas, roads face damage from those heavy trucks, drilling companies are from out-of state and have "questionable integrity," solid waste could be radioactive and there are already issues with sewage and storm water drainage, Dymond said.
Mark Ruffalo speaks out against fracking - Rachel Maddow Show interview (video).
Explosions, fires, fouled water: Welcome to hydrofracking hell Dimock Township, PA:
[excerpt] Victoria Switzer, 57, a retired teacher, moved to Dimock with her husband to build their dream house. Like her neighbor Fiorentino, Switzer signed a lease with Cabot when the company’s landman came knocking, receiving a onetime payment of $180 per acre, with monthly royalty checks around $900. Like everyone else here, in the early days of the boom, she had no idea of the trouble that was headed her way.
Then, on a cold, clear March night in 2008, Switzer awoke to find her dog staring out a window, transfixed by a huge flame shooting skyward from the drilling rig behind her house, causing the surrounding forest to glow gold in a harrowing vision straight out of Dante’s “Inferno.” Soon after, her water, like her neighbor’s, turned orange and frothy.
Altogether, in the area surrounding Cabot’s gas wells, 14 Dimock families lost their water. Today, pursuant to a judicially enforceable consent decree signed by the gas company with Pennsylvania D.E.P., Cabot is obligated to find a permanent solution to the problem. In the meantime, its tanker trucks deliver water to the affected families every day, filling large containers called water buffaloes that have been integrated into the homes’ water supply.
It’s impossible to understate the impact the gas gold rush has had on Dimock and all its people, not just the 14 families who lost their drinking water.
Where once there were barns and silos and green fields that grew corn and other produce, drilling rigs now soar into the sky. Where once forested hills undulated unbroken for miles, now a growing patchwork of dirt roads fragment the forest, along with new pipelines to transport the extracted gas. Where once there was quiet, now there is a cacophony of clanking, hissing and roaring. Where once there was cool, clean air, now there are diesel fumes and particulates. Caravans of 18-wheeler trucks rumble around, tearing up the roads. At night, the rigs’ white lights illuminate the black skies, looking not like manmade machines so much as alien spacecraft come to colonize the land.
More than this, fracking fluid itself contains toxic chemicals, and the gas companies have refused to disclose what, exactly, those chemicals are.
Your drinking water goes from clear and fine, to a week later being yellow-colored, sediment on the bottom, foam on the top and an oily smell to it,” said Daniel Farnham, an environmental engineer. Farnham tested the wells and found industrial solvents, such as ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, toluene and ethylbenzene, in “virtually every sample” taken from water wells in Dimock, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Though the industry has refused to publicly disclose the compounds in its fracking cocktails, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and toluene are listed on the Pennsylvania D.E.P.’s Web site as chemicals used by hydraulic fracturing companies in the state. With the exception of propylene glycol, all are toxic chemicals, and some are known carcinogens.
The contamination, said Farnham, is “not a figment of anybody’s imagination.”