Draft EPA report on Pavilion water contamination posted for public comment
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —After a two-year investigation in Wyoming, the EPA this week released a draft report that links polluted groundwater in the town of Pavilion with nearby gas drilling and related fracking operations.
The EPA teamed up with gas field owner Encana to assess groundwater quality in the area and to identify potential sources of contamination.
The EPA’s analysis of samples taken fromdeep monitoring wells in the aquifer indicates detection of synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids.
Benzene concentrations are well above Safe Drinking Water Act standards and high methane levels were also detectecd.
SUMMIT COUNTY —A couple of stories about ongoing natural gas and fracking controversies in Colorado, climate change coverage and a piece on the corporate influence of Coca Cola in National Park Service policy topped the weekend news.
State officials can’t produce notification emails in court; Huerfano County attorney claims citizens have no right to be notified of applications and approvals
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Some Huerfano County citizens say they are disturbed that their county commissioners say that the county doesn’t have to inform citizens of state-level applications for new oil and drilling permits.
The county’s attorney, Garrett Sheldon, recently filed motions in Denver District Court claiming that the elected officials weren’t obligated to notify constituents about a Shell Oil application to drill a well near La Veta — despite state rules that call for public involvement.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Residents of natural gas patches around the country who have seen their drinking water polluted to the point that it sometimes catches fire would get some relief under the FRAC Act.
The proposed law, introduced this week in Congress for the third time, would require energy companies to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, and most importantly, close a loophole that exempts drilling operators from drinking water regulations. Continue reading “Energy: The FRAC Act is back in Congress”→
It takes brute force to wrest natural gas from the earth. Millions of gallons of chemical-laden water mixed with sand — under enough pressure to peel paint from a car — are pumped into the ground, pulverizing a layer of rock that holds billions of small bubbles of gas.
The chemicals transform the fluid into a frictionless mass that works its way deep into the earth, prying open tiny cracks that can extend thousands of feet. The particles of sand or silicon wedge inside those cracks, holding the earth open just enough to allow the gas to slip by.
Gas drilling is often portrayed as the ultimate win-win in an era of hard choices: a new, 100-year supply of cleaner-burning fuel, a risk-free solution to the nation’s dependence on foreign energy. In the next 10 years, the United States will use the fracturing technology to drill hundreds of thousands of new wells astride cities, rivers and watersheds. Cash-strapped state governments are pining for the revenue and the much-needed jobs that drilling is expected to bring to poor, rural areas.
Drilling companies assert that the destructive forces unleashed by the fracturing process, including the sometimes toxic chemicals that keep the liquid flowing, remain safely sealed as much as a mile or more beneath the earth, far below drinking water sources and the rest of the natural environment.