From local news channel WBNG;
September 13, 2010
"The EPA's hearing in Binghamton on hydraulic fracturing begins Monday afternoon.
There'll be 2 identical sessions Monday and 2 on Wednesday. They're being held at the Forum Theater on Washington Street.
Sessions are from 12:00pm-4:00pm and 6:00pm-10:00pm both days.
Registered speakers will be able to present verbal or written comments to the EPA on hydro-fracking.
You can also submit written comments to the EPA directly without attending the hearing. You can email your comments to;
hydraulic.fracturing [at] epa.gov
through September 28. Put "Hydraulic Fracturing Study -- Comments" in the subject line.
You can also mail comments to the EPA at:
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460 http://www.wbng.com/news/local/EPA-Hydro-Fracking-Hearing-Begins-In-Binghamton-102758934.html
related fracking article;
Thursday, September 9, 2010
"What will happen to our farms?"
By Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH
"As Dr. Volz and I presented as part of Geneva College's Colloquia Series today - right in the heart of PA's Marcellus Shale play - I found myself brainstorming on what issues FracTracker's DataTool can be used to help address, and what future research questions might result from its use. The next few blog posts of mine will follow that theme.
So the first question I would like to propose is what will happen to our region's farms and their products if an industry can offer $5,000 an acre and 18% royalties (an approximation based on recent verbal reports from owners of mineral rights) to farmers, many of whom are feeling the squeeze financially?
One of the great features of the data tool is its ability to layer different types of data, since all of the data that is uploaded is geo-coded (meaning there are latitudes and longitudes for each entry in the dataset). Using this tool, we created this snapshot:
This map has been zoomed in to take a closer look at how land is being used in Washington County, PA and comparing that with where gas wells are being drilled. The coral area of land, where more than 50% of it is cultivated as you can see, has several wells located within it. This observation leads to my question.
Since many farmers are experiencing financial hardships, it is understandable that the monetary assistance that can at times be provided by leasing out their mineral rights would be a very beneficial (and attractive) option for the farmers. But what does this new temptation mean for the quality of our nation's agriculture down the road? How will public health be affected, e.g. will access to local and fresh foods improve or decline? Will certain land owners be less motivated to farm? Will they use their signing bonuses and royalty checks to purchase new and better farming equipment, which hypothetically would improve the quality and quantity of the agricultural system? Or even, will more events like this one occur, when cattle had to be quarantined because they came in contact with waste water that leaked from an impoundment?
This is an invitation to hear your opinions on the direction this issue might go."
view article with map here; http://www.fractracker.org/
Fracking adds methane bubbles into groundwater, resulting in water that can become flammable.
"Hydraulic Fracturing Makes Drinking Water Nice and Flammable"
9/3/10 at 10:18 AM
"The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (also known as "fracking" — sorry, Battlestar Galactica fans) extracts natural gas from deep underground by using drillers to pump large quantities of water mixed with sand and chemicals under high pressure. That process fractures the rock formation, letting the gas flow freely. So freely, in fact, that communities that live above the Marcellus Shale, a massive underground natural-gas deposit stretching from New York to West Virginia that's being flooded by investors eager to drill, are worried about their drinking water's turn for the flammable.
A group of residents from Dimock, Pennsylvania, called "Carter 15" filed a suit against Cabot Oil & Gas last November for contaminating their well water, including charges that combustible gas was released into the wells, natural gas was discharged into fresh groundwater, and elevated levels of dissolved methane were found in the water wells. A couple in Damascus, Pennsylvania, who have an exploratory gas well near their home were told by the American Natural Gas Alliance that the "water contamination is the result of isolated accidents." Like isolated incidents, only accidental!
Although hydraulic fracturing has been in practice for decades, it has never been done so close to major population centers or on such a large scale, spurred by technological advances and the attendant piles of cash. (Exxon Mobil recently paid more than $40 billion for a company that specializes in extracting natural gas from shale.) It's already being done outside New York City and Philadelphia. By 2020, the Department of Energy estimates that shale gas will make up more than 20 percent of the country's total natural-gas supply. We hope Julia Roberts hasn't retired for the rancher's life in Taos by the time they're ready to film Erin Brockovich."
article found here; http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/09/hydraulic_fracturing_makes_dri.html