Sunday, November 23, 2014

Air Pollution From Fracking May be Life-Threatening/ Fracking Waste in CA Aquifers

New Study Finds Life-Threatening Formaldehyde Levels at Fracking Sites

by Amanda Frank, 11/5/2014   Center for Effective Government

People living near fracking sites have reported health problems for years, with symptoms ranging from respiratory ailments to birth defects. But because air and water quality are often not monitored near fracking sites, surprisingly little is known about the overall public health impacts of the gas drilling process. To help fill the knowledge gap, a new study explores air quality at fracking sites across several states and finds numerous instances of toxic chemicals above national safety standards.
Coming Clean and Global Community Monitor conducted the air quality study in six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Wyoming. It is the first peer-reviewed study on air pollution from fracking that uses samples from multiple U.S. sites.


Breathing Toxic Air

Local residents collected air samples near fracking wells and production pads, as well as wastewater pools and processing stations. (In New York, for example, samples were collected near compressor stations on natural gas pipelines, as the state currently has a moratorium on fracking.)
An accredited laboratory analyzed the samples for the presence of nearly 100 toxic chemical compounds, with alarming results. Twenty-nine out of 76 samples analyzed (38 percent) found toxic chemicals at levels that exceed federal health and safety standards. Those chemicals included:
In Wyoming, seven sites tested positive for hydrogen sulfide at levels two to 660 times what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers life-threatening.

In Arkansas, seven samples tested positive for formaldehyde at levels up to 60 times what EPA classifies as cancer-causing.

Two other states also had chemicals at levels exceeding these standards, including hydrogen sulfide in Colorado and formaldehyde and benzene in Pennsylvania.... read more here

Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers

California Dept. of Conservation Deputy Director admits that errors were made

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation.

Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA.

“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”.... read more here

also see this October Blog post: 

California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater

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