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Gas industry rips EPA study; report links fracking to groundwater contamination

By Fritz Mayer
December 14, 2011

PAVILLION, WY — For years, the gas drilling industry has been adamant that there’s never been an incident in which it was proved that hydraulic fracturing has caused contamination in ground water. Perhaps that is why the drilling industry and its supporters have pushed back so forcefully against a draft report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released on December 8, which links fracking and groundwater contamination in Pavillion, WY.

Wyoming governor Matt Mead issued a press release saying, “The study released today from EPA was based on data from two test wells drilled in 2010 and tested once that year and once in April, 2011. Those test wells are deeper than drinking wells. The data from the test wells was not available to the rest of
the working group until a month ago.”

He continued, “We believe that the draft study could have a critical impact on the energy industry and on the country, so it is imperative that we not make conclusions based on only four data points… it would not be appropriate to make a judgment without verifying all of the testing that has been done.”

Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc. was particularly critical, noting that the report did not show contamination of drinking wells but of deeper monitoring wells. The company said, “Many of the EPA’s findings from its recent deep monitoring wells, including those related to any potential connection between hydraulic fracturing and Pavillion groundwater quality, are conjecture, not factual and only serve to trigger undue alarm.”

On the other side of the issue, Briana Mordick, a science fellow at the National Resources Defense Council, summed up two important conclusions: “Groundwater near Pavillion, WY has been contaminated by chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and those chemicals most likely reached groundwater through subsurface pathways.”

She continued, “The report is still in draft form and will undergo peer review and public comment before being finalized… If EPA’s conclusions are confirmed through this process, there can no longer be a question as to the serious threat that hydraulic fracturing can pose to our drinking water. As EPA stated, ‘Ground water contamination with constituents such as those found at Pavillion is typically infeasible or too expensive to remediate or restore.’”

Willfully blind to reality

I'll wrap up my interchange with the faux named? Mr. Wythe, hopefully, at the top of the thread. This location may make it more difficult for the incidental reader, if any exists, or Mr. Wythe, to make the connection, but since he doesn't seem to bother to read his own comments, or mine, it shouldn't matter.

Mr. Wythe, it was you who first started with the "nitwits", and then described my "facts" as "lies", not once, but twice. So, please, when I described your equation of the shallow vertical well, single HF process, to the HV SW MS HF and drilling into shale process as a false equation, a lie, well, you should not be surprised, or upset.

In mathematical terms, "X" is not equal to "67X". It is as simple as that. Volume matters immensely in relation to risk. Volume of toxic fluid used, volume of recovered toxic waste, volume of trucks, volume of toxic chemicals transported, stored and mixed at a site...

You used the initials HF only, not HVHF. That is why I stated that your words were incomprehensible. You mix everything up, and then throw the accusation at me. Your mind seems to be so sloppy, that it deters response. That is a primary reason why I crusade for people to write under their given, real, names. A person writing under a false name bears no consequence, or responsibility, for their writing Who wants to have a dialog with a person wearing a sack over his head?

I have never seen a group more cowardly, more afraid to stand up under their real names, than the lessors. They do a grave disservice to their cause, and to any potential, real, "dialog".

You question my understanding of multi-stage, yet you ask how this process creates additional hazard? You claim there is no increased risk in relation to volume? Your mind is not serious, Mr. Wythe.

A multi-stage series of fracs, on a lateral, necessitates a huge increase in volume. Refer back to what I wrote above, and below, in earlier posts. That is the obvious, first increase of hazard.

A second increase in hazard results from the fact that each fracturing incident on a (for example, 5,000 foot lateral) creates the opportunity for the newly created fracture to link up with existing pathways, existing fractures, that DO exist in our Appalachian Basin. A single, fracturing job on a shallow vertical well has much less opportunity for unknowns, if done properly. The gas extraction companies do not map the geology over the given lateral. The company does not know if and where the natural fractures exist, or how they link. This is nothing but a throw of the dice. You may not believe in migration of production gas to the surface, either from drilling, or frac'ing, as a reality, or a risk, but millions of people do, and even though so little study has been done, there is indisputeable evidence of the migration of production gas, especially in our Appalachian Basin, just over the past three years. Just look to your precious Bradford and Susquehanna counties. Whether from the simple act of drilling a vertical well, as in Dimock, or by Chesapeake in Bradford, or eventually, frac'ing, there are multiple examples. Even you can look it up.

I live in PA, Mr. Wythe, right now, given our level of discourse, I will not spend the time looking at the sGEIS to locate the open pit description, or the definition of what may be placed into it. Regarding PA, Mr. Wythe, you are just flatly incorrect. In either case, nothing would seem to inform you otherwise. You will only believe information that supports your goal.

Mr. Wythe, is your given name, your drivers license name, your IRS name, your voting name, George Wythe? You do not have to care if I call myself "Jesus Christ" (that was a pretty poor choice from my perspective, especially given Christmas), because I am not. I am writing under my real name.

You are afraid of "stalkers"? Don't make us laugh. It is you who represent the "dangerous" people, those who hide in anonymity, while attacking their opponents, who stand in full view. Grow up, please. Stand up in the real world, and stand behind your "opinions". Either way, Happy New Year.

Disturbing Obsession

Your obsession of whether or not I use my real name is a bit disturbing. You look up my voter registration, drivers license, etc? Why? Isn't it enough to know you are talking to a real person not a computer? Since I don't agree with your short-sighted unsubstantiated logic you assume I am fictitious. I assure you, while NY is not my primary residence, I do own land there, as well as in other states. For purposes of our discussion here that is more information than you need, if you don't agree simply stop responding. Since you refuse to address my queries, but rather attempt to insult, that may be best anyway.
I still believe people who think the current technology available in 'green' sources can replace fossil fuels today or even in the next few decades as this country's main energy source are nit-wits. In your post of Dec. 23 11:04am you wrote;
"he calls people nitwits if they believe the US EPA's findings". I never said that, if you read my comment you would know that.

Taking your count as accurate I will, for the third time, challenge your 'facts' and call them for what they are, LIES. I call them this because you use your 'facts' to prove your theory that HVHF contaminates aquifers when that has to this day not been proven true. I liken your statements to J Fox's Gasland and the flaming faucet, while there was gas in that faucet, it had nothing to do with HVHF.
On December 23, 2011 - 11:04am you wrote
"All the findings by the EPA, since the beginning, have implicated the drilling industry".
While this statement MAY be true it's implication of HVHF as the cause is not. The FACT is the EPA report concludes, "...constituents associated with
hydraulic fracturing have been released into the Wind
River drinking water aquifer at depths above the
current production zone." "ABOVE" the production zone, or simply put, from storage pits or improper handling of fluids, NOT HVHF.

Your mathematical reference in today's post, " "X" is not equal to "67X" " is obviously true, however it's relationship to HVHF is misleading to say the least. Before calculating potential risk by volume the risk of failure has to be established. Ignoring our disagreement as to when the first use of HVHF and assuming it was in 2002 as you claim, that's ten years now. Ten years with no proven contamination of a aquifer by HVHF. Your theory that MS HVHF will "link up with existing pathways, existing fractures" I find completely absurd. I'm not a geologist and won't pretend to be one, but lets look at it with simple logic. Why can't the gas companies, with all their 'thumper trucks' and geologists, and surveys which are capable of mapping the exact target strata they are interested in, locate these "fractures"? Why hasn't the USGS located the "fractures"? IF these fractures, which according to you, are capable of transporting frack chemicals upwards over 5,000 feet to our water supply, why don't they drain our water? Certainly at those depths there would be sufficient pressure to do so. The "migration of production gas" even if it should occur does not ruin an aquifer. Gas in the water has been around a long time, whether biogenic or thermogenic it's still natural gas and can be dealt with if necessary.
I will not argue further your points about pits in PA as I have no interests there and admittedly am not well versed in their regulations. I did however quote the NY reg's and if you care to you can find them yourself. NY will not allow open wastewater pits.

The one truth I see in your post today is your selfishness. You claim concerns over unproven environmental catastrophes but your real concern is the disturbance to your way of life. You don't want to see all the trucks, workers, hear any noise of wells or pipelines, even if only temporary, isn't that true Mr. Barth? I have to admit, I don't look forward to those things either, but the benefits to the people and economy here along with the furtherance of our country's energy independence overrides all that for me.
My vacation ends today so I won't be able to continue much longer. Good bye.

Time will tell

The only one in this article who considers this proof is the senile old Mo Hinchey. I hope he enjoys his last term.
Ohio DNR Geologist Tom Tomastik, a professional geologist at the Division for 23 years with experience and expertise in conducting several hundred alleged groundwater contamination cases in Ohio for one has a mountain of unanswered question about the EPA's findings. I'm sure he's not alone.
Looking at the methods the EPA used to create this report, if these aren't 'obvious' flaws you live in the dark.
The EPA drilled two deep monitoring wells (depth range: 783 — 981 feet) INTO a natural gas reservoir and found components of natural gas, which is an entirely expected result. The results in the EPA deep wells are radically different than those in the domestic water wells (typically less than 300 feet deep), thereby showing no connection.
Several of the man-made chemicals detected in the EPA deep wells have never been detected in any of the other wells sampled. They were, however, detected in many of the quality control (blank) samples — which are ultra purified water samples commonly used in testing to ensure no contamination from field sampling procedures. These two observations suggest a more likely connection to what it found is due to the problems associated with EPA methodology in the drilling and sampling of these two wells.
The EPA's reported results of all four phases of its domestic water well tests do not exceed federal or state drinking water quality standards for any constituent related to oil and gas development.

This story elicits the same response from the anti-fossil fuel crowd of nit-wits as a long sorry line of others before it like the 'radioactive' scare or the 'road damage' claims, or'boom to bust' on and on, one dis-proven 'game changing' discovery after another.
This report is no different than those, is does not 'link' fracking to groundwater contamination, only in the media's headlines because it sells papers.
It may be true the drilling process and practices used in Pavillion MAY have something to do with the contamination found there, HOWEVER these practices, such as open pits, will NOT be used here, the geology here and depth of the shale is much different.
Even EPA administrator Lisa Jackson tells a reporter that, specific to Pavillion, “we have absolutely no indication now that drinking water is at risk”

Time Will Tell

Mr. Wythe titles his comment "Time will tell", then he calls people nitwits if they believe the US EPA's findings, while not yet peer reviewed, but gathered over a long period of three years.

Intelligent people should believe that all the fingers are pointing at the industry as the culprit, because, all the fingers are pointing at the industry. It is reality.
It has not been peer reviewed, but if peer review comes in suport of the EPA, I'm sure Mr. Wythe will still paint the same accusations.

The EPA came into the picture in 2008 after the state of Wyoming accepted the proprietary claims of Encana, as proof that there was no problem with the drinking water of the impacted families. This was contrary to the complaints from all the families that had been suffering bad water. Finally, at the request of the families, the EPA stepped in to investigate. I would imagine Mr. Wythe supported the initial findings of the tests performed, by the accused polluter, Encana. The fact that Wyoming let Encana do an investigation of itself, then, accepted the results stated by Encana, is, in itself, mind boggling.

All the findings by the EPA, since the beginning, have implicated the drilling industry. All the nitwit name calling by the Mr. Wythe's of the world, will not change that fact.

Time will tell, and the passage of time, and the further study of this new technology, has not proven to be kind to those, like Mr. Wythe, who want us to believe the industry's line.

For God's sake, the PA DEP is still defining hydraulic fracturing as a process performed with only "water and sand".

As to Mr. Wythe's claim that open storage pits will not be in use here, he is wrong. First, they are currently allowed in PA, and they are in use. Secondly, huge, central, open, storage ponds are allowed under the proposed DRBC regulations, and I believe, under the proposed sGEIS NYS regulations. The fact that they are not permitted on the well pad site, is of little comfort.

More snake oil...

Mr Barth is quite adept at taking things out of context. I said the EPA's findings are flawed and not credible science. I also consider those people who foolishly believe green energy can replace fossil fuels to supply this country's energy needs with technology available today are 'Not Intelligent Thinkers' or 'nit-wits'.

Mr Barth is also a master manipulator claiming "...EPA, since the beginning, have implicated the drilling industry"
When in fact in 2009 the EPA released preliminary results from tests of 40 separate wells in Pavillion, initial results from EPA indicated that in a few of those wells at least one “tentatively identified compound” (TIC) was found. EPA made no claim that these TICs were in any way related to drilling; that they were in any way related to hydraulic fracturing; or that they posed a serious and/or immediate threat to human health. In 2010, EPA installed two monitoring wells, which are the ones I mention in my earlier post.
AT NO POINT has EPA implicated hydraulic fracturing as a source of contamination in Pavillion. Not ever, not once to this day. Another J. Barth 'fact' a/k/a 'lie' trying to sell his snake oil.

Mr. Barth further displays his ignorance of energy extraction methods by claiming fracking is "new technology" when in fact hydraulic fracturing has been used to stimulate production in wells for over sixty years as clearly documented in drilling records in thousands of places.

Then he claims frack water will be stored in open pits, another lie.
" New York, open impoundments containing wastewater will not be utilized. Instead, a "closed-loop system" will ensure that wastewater is stored securely in airtight containers. We will also require secondary containment at the well pads,..." [October 8, 2011 Transcript of DEC Commissioner Joe Martens' Online Chat.]
This closed-loop syatem IS located on the well pad and surrounded by secondary containment, or earthen berms.
The 'pits' Mr Barth refers to in PA are FRESH water containments which store FRESH water to be used in the fracking process. Companies have voluntarily ceased using these pits to store wastewater. They may well be used here as well. The last time i checked FRESH water was not listed as a pollutant, perhaps Mr. Barth knows something the rest of us don't on that.

What is taken out of context?

I wrote: "Mr. Wythe titles his comment "Time will tell", then he calls people nitwits if they believe the US EPA's findings, while not yet peer reviewed, but gathered over a long period of three years."

Mr. Wythe responded: "Mr Barth is quite adept at taking things out of context", then he portrays his original statement that he made as "I also consider those people who foolishly believe green energy can replace fossil fuels to supply this country's energy needs with technology available today are 'Not Intelligent Thinkers' or 'nit-wits'."

How does his rephrasing compare to his original words? He wrote, "This story elicits the same response from the anti-fossil fuel crowd of nit-wits as a long sorry line of others before it like the 'radioactive' scare or the 'road damage' claims, or'boom to bust' on and on, one dis-proven 'game changing' discovery after another."

Does Mr. Wythe even bother to read his own comments? He is the one who is misrepresenting his original words.

Mr. "George Wythe"

Are you the revolutionary war era patriot, or, are you yet another faux commenter? Before I waste time responding to your ridiculous accusations (I am not a snake oil salesman, for example), on this fine Christmas weekend, I ask, are you real?

I am James Barth, and I reside in Berlin Township, Pennsylvania, in the Delaware River Basin. Where do you reside, sir? Are you a stakeholder in our nearly pristine Delaware River Basin? Do you own a house and property here, 400 feet from a potential drill and frac pad? Are you a reader of The River Reporter? Or, are you just an Energy in Depth, paid anonymous person, who trolls the internet, focusing on this next battleground?

High volume, slick water, multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, and horizontal drilling into shale, or other rock formations is a sixty year technology? It has been practiced, for sixty years? Gas and oil have been recovered, from such formations, on an industrial scale, using this technology, on a "million wells" during that period? This technology, this industrial wasteland process, has been practiced in these geological strata, in rural residential areas, sensitive watersheds that provide drinking water for more than 15 million people, as just one, small example?

You may call me snake oil man, but if you state that, I call you a low down liar. Which is truth?

Tell us where you reside, Mr. "Wythe" and whether you are a stakeholder in our area. Be transparent. If so, I will spend the time "debunking" the same lies that your kind has put forth for the past four years. Otherwise, don't waste our time.

Just the facts

Mr. Barth, I really don't care where you live and now that you seem so concerned where I live it makes me think that you, in addition to attempting to peddle your lies,(snake oil) may also be a stalker. I value my privacy and have no intentions or reason to give any more information than I so choose. In the interest of satisfying your paranoia, no, I'm not 'paid' to state facts by EID or anyone else. Yes as a matter of fact I am a landowner in the Delaware basin, this 'pristine' area that around 100 years ago was a thriving industrial center. I know this for a fact from pictures taken by my family generations ago who's land I inherited. How long have you lived here Mr. Barth? By posting comments here I would think it would be obvious even to a dullard that I read the RR. I don't believe I have to agree with their position or yours to read it do I? Since it seems no else one posts anything but agreement with your nonsensical criticism of the best opportunity our area has seen in years, I guess this is something new to you. But enough bickering, if you would like to engage in a rational debate, fine. If not, don't bother with a reply.

Hydraulic Fracturing was developed by Halliburton in the 1940's as a method of stimulating production in wells.
Horizontal drilling since the 1970's, although experimentation began as early as 1929 according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Both technologies have certainly evolved as has every other technology known to man. That does not make it 'new'. To suggest we wait to use the best methods we have today until it's 'proven safe' is moronic. The combination of both technologies was first used in the late 70's by Mitchell Energy in the Barnett shale. That's over 40 years ago what you claim is 'new' technology has been in use recovering gas and oil without contaminating even ONE aquifer. That's enough 'proof' for me. In our area the target layers of shale are 7-12 thousand feet deep, that's over a mile below our water supplies. If you'll bother to take a ride west about one hour you'll see "this industrial wasteland process" as you call it, "in rural residential areas, sensitive watersheds...". Drive through Montrose, Rush, Towanda, even Dimock. Take the back roads, the dirt roads, you won't find anything even remotly close to an "industrial wasteland". That's something liars like J Fox want to sell, their brand of snake oil, and yours?.
I guess you have no argument your other claims were lies, you know,
"the EPA, since the beginning, have implicated the drilling industry" or the "open storage pits", so we'll call that settled, OK?

Your "facts" are talking point propaganda items.

OK, Mr. Wythe, forgive me if I distrust your residency, or your name. The name for obvious reasons, should I change mine to Benjamin Franklin? Your residency because you enter your first posts covering ground, and making the same accusations, that industry has been making for the past several years, and that have been ridiculed by intelligent people around the globe. This ground has been covered ad nauseum in our area, yet, like Nosferatu, people like you keep rising up, regurgitating it. I am not a stalker, Mr. Wythe, except for the truth. Are you, however, a moral, and intellectual, coward?

Having gotten that out of the way, I'll accept your statement as fact, for this interchange, and just deal with three aspects of what you have written.

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: Your claims about HF stand ground simply on those two words, and the basic definition of them. Nothing else supports your comparison to the sixty years, the million wells, and so forth.

Obviously, we all know that Halliburton introduced HF in 1948 or 1949 as an industrial process to stimulate the recovery of oil. That simple process would be the equivalent to the Wright brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk.

What is the basic HF relation to HVHF in shale? There is your lie, and that is my objection. There is no comparison to any logical mind, between the 1949 version, and what we are talking about here.

MULTI-STAGE hydraulic fracturing was only introduced in 2002, according to the draft sGEIS of NYS. This new development, combined with horizontal drilling (the first HORIZONTAL was drilled in SHALE, in the Barnett Shale, in 2000 according to Kristi Gittens, a vice president with Chief O & G, who stated to me that she was present at the scene) is what we are talking about.

You conveniently left out of your summary equation the most important aspect, MULTI-STAGE FRAC'ING. This makes it possible, and potentially, economically plausible, to recover gas or oil from shale. The only reason why we are even discussing the potential industrial rape of our area is because of this new part of the process, multi-stage frac'ing, horizontal drilling, into SHALE.

This equation of yours, that takes a vertical well, drilled using about 75,000 gallons of water, chemicals and sand, total, drilled and frac'ed ONCE, into a relatively easy source of oil or gas, and that then equates that well and process to the current one that uses approximately 1 million gallons of water and proppant per 1,000 feet of a lateral, plus up to 2% chemicals (see the testimony before the US Congress by the Ground Water Protection Council, from June, 2009), is a false analogy, to put it kindly.

A 5,000 foot lateral, multi-staged frac'ed, uses at a minimum, 5 million gallons of the fluid laced with chemicals and proppant, yet you want to equate it to a vertical well, using 75,000 gallons, frac'ed ONCE? The volume differential is a muliple factor of 67. How do you equate $75,000 to $5,025,000? How do you equate 50mph to 3,350mph? If these numbers are equivalent, Mr. Wythe, I'll give you $75,000 and you give me $5,025,000. Is that a deal?

OPEN STORAGE FLOWBACK WASTE PONDS: These are permitted in Pennsylvania, and are in use as I write. The proposed DRBC regulations, and the NYS DEC proposed regs, allow them as well.

You say they are filled with "freshwater"? The purpose of these football sized ponds is to serve as a resevoir for flowback waste fluid that is minimally treated, treated so that it may be reused for frac'ing another well. You call this "freshwater"?

Here is a link to a Voice of America report, just from today.

The lead photo identifies a flowback waste storage pond, today, in PA. Here is a brief quote from later in the article.

"Twenty to 40 percent of the fracking fluids return to the surface as waste. Some Pennsylvania operators have begun to haul it to injection wells out of state, or recycle it for the next job. But Hvodzovich says storing it in waste ponds, or impoundments, is far more common."

Freshwater storage ponds, Mr. Wythe? Reread (or read) the DRBC proposed regs, Mr. Wythe.


The Appalachian Basin is riddled with existing faults. It is a "brittle structure". There are thousands of abandoned wells in NYS and PA. Cement casing failure is an inevitable fact.

Those four categories alone, mock your beliefs. The only thing you have going for you is that most of the impacts are not immediately manifested. Also, there have been virtually no scientific studies performed.

Yes, Mr. Wythe, time will tell, and time is not a friend of yours. That is the primary reason why people like you have been clamoring for people like me to get out of the way.

You think it is "moronic" that people like me want to wait until a process is proven safe, before having it implemented 400 feet from my house, perhaps 10 wells on a pad? You think it "moronic" that, before putting in a pad every square mile, we want it to be proven safe?

You don't want to hear what I think of you!

You inherited your land? Do you live here? My wife and I bought our land, Mr. Wythe, 23 years ago. We had a house built, that we designed. We have a very different relationship to both, than you seem to have to your land.

You seem to be an "absentee" owner. No wonder you don't seem to care about safety, or truth.

Merry Christmas.

Mr Barth, you can call

Mr Barth, you can call yourself Jesus Christ for all I care. It matters not to me who you are as it is enough to know we are of different opinions, hence this debate. To help appease your vampirish lust for knowledge of my residency, yes, I do live here, and apparently unlike you I am not retired and must earn my living here to maintain my landholdings which have been entrusted to me by my ancestors. Regardless of who I am, where I live or any other personal information about me which is clearly none of your or anyone else's business, lets get down to brass tacks.

HF is the process of well stimulation using highly pressurized fluid to open fissures in a particular strata. The depth of the well, the amount of fluid, the type of proppant, the chemicals used in a particular well are irrelevant. The addition of the 'HV' for high volume comes from the amount used to process the depth and horizontal lengths which are greater than the original uses in vertical wells. As for 'multi-stage' do you even know what that refers to? When the well goes horizontal in the target layer, the casing is perforated say 800' apart in the horizontal length of the well, these are 'stages', they are all in the target layer, what difference does it make how many there are to your argument? To claim no comparison to the 1949 version is to say the Model 'T' is not an automobile. Performance wise today's vehicles may be much more advanced but they are still automobiles and we didn't wait until they became that way to start using them did we? I don't know what the quote from NY sGEIS is about 2002, perhaps they are referring to introduction in NYS. Mitchell Energy first started experimenting with HF in the Barnett Shale in 1981, by 2002 it had evolved enough to become economically feasible. That's ten years and thousands of wells ago and still no aquifers ruined. How long will we have to wait to satisfy you? What kind of study could possibly be any more than theory if not performed on actual wells? Are you just suggesting it's OK for someone else to provide a place for those wells as long as they're 'not in my back yard'?
I don't know what 'equation' I proposed but the total amounts of water used is different in every well, you can find the exact amounts here, What does volume have to do with risk?
Much of the water today is treated and reused. The chemicals used in the fluid are not so evasive they can't be filtered out and the water cleaned. Is it as clean as fresh water? I don't know and I doubt you do either but I am sure it must meet certain standards. Most city drinking water systems have to be filtered and treated to become potable. PA may still 'allow' open storage but drillers are not using them but rather use frac tanks now. Fresh water withdrawals are controlled which is the reason for the large containments. When water is plentiful, like in the spring with snowmelt, more is available than in the dry seasons when availability is limited. Keeping ponds full in the off season makes water available when needed. NY will NOT allow open storage of untreated water. Please link to the paragraph in the sGEIS that says they will. According to Joe Martens they won't. Who should we believe you or the DEC commissioner? Your link to a VOA report is as credible to me as an EID report is to you. They fly a plane over and take some pictures, they can claim it's anything they want, oh, that's right, we can trust them. Please.
"Brittle structure" if it's so fragile why would it need to be fracked in the first place? As for getting people like you out of the way? We don't have to, PA already allows gas exploration and NY will have permitting in place soon, they have no choice. Their job is to protect not deny citizens rights. As for the DRBC, they can go as easily as they came. When their funding dries up so will they.
Merry Christmas to you too.

Wythe compares VOA to EID?

A lobbying group as a source of truthful, unbiased, information (EID), is the equivalent of Voice of America as a source of information? Only to Mr. Wythe and his colleagues. One is independent, one is a lobbying group for the gas and oil industry.

Here is another VOA story that touches on Mr. Wythe's "freshwater" holding ponds.

"Black, Foamy Water Worries Fracking Neighbors
Pennsylvania residents blame illness on natural gas extraction"

The story begins with yet another perfect picture of a huge waste pond under construction (not freshwater, Mr. Wythe). The text begins: "There is a lot of construction near Janet McIntyre's home in southwestern Pennsylvania. It's not new houses, but new industry: 10 gas wells, a compressor station and multiple drilling-waste ponds."

Drilling waste ponds, Mr. Wythe, not "freshwater ponds".

The story goes on, "McIntyre never worried about her water before. When she looks out on the wooded rural landscape from her front porch she talks about her well water like a cherished lost friend. “We never ran out of water. We never had a problem with our water. It was cold coming out of the spigot just as if you went to a regular spring and got it. It was gorgeous water.”

"Then one night McIntyre got sick. She had a bad headache and vomited. When her husband Fred went for a glass of water and turned on the spigot, it spewed out smelly foam."

“He hollers back, I think I know why we’re sick," she remembers. "There’s something wrong with our water.”

That's some good freshwater, Mr. Wythe. Take a long, tall drink.

"accurate, objective, and comprehensive."

Is that what this report is? According to VOA's charter that's the mission they were charged with upon creation. Have they been poisoned by the line of liberal thinkers that control most of today's media? hmmm. I see the McIntyre's side of the story, I see pictures of the "waste pond", but it doesn't look black or foamy. I hear all their claims but where is the "balance, fairness, etc."? Where is the gas companies side? Why isn't there ongoing action at the PA DEP on this issue? This report seems a bit one-sided doesn't it? It reminds me of Gasland. A mimic of Dimock?
Then in the video it tells a complete lie claiming the EPA's Pavillion study "concludes that fracking chemicals are contaminating groundwater...", even you admit that study has yet to be reviewed and verified as do they farther down in the text. What I want to know is if VOA is such an independent organization with deep respect for the Journalistic Code they are charged with following, why is there no other side to this story?
But for the sake of argument, lets say all the claims made here are true. It looks to me as if the improperly built ponds and handling of frack water may have been the cause of the problems, not the actual frack process. The same for Dimock and probably Pavillion too. This takes place in western Pa, somewhere around Pittsburgh I assume. I have not been out there to see what's going on but I have been to Susquehanna, Bradford and Tioga counties and every well under development I see there is crowded with frac tanks. Ponds are fresh water not frack water. Would I drink from them? No. But I wouldn't drink from the Delaware River either, would you? Beyond that, all the things Pa has been lax on are addressed in NY, baseline studies, no wastewater ponds, etc., which by the way you failed to provide me that reference verifying your claims of open containments of frack fluids being allowed in NY.

You think that is a sensible response?

You wrote, "The depth of the well, the amount of fluid, the type of proppant, the chemicals used in a particular well are irrelevant." I say that statement is ridiculous on its face.

You ask, "As for 'multi-stage' do you even know what that refers to?" I say your lack of seriousness is telling.

You wrote, "Mitchell Energy first started experimenting with HF in the Barnett Shale in 1981." What do you even mean by HF, hydraulic fracturing? Are you trying to say that he experimented with multistage hydraulic fracs at this volume using slick water fluid (introduced in 1996 according to the draft sGEIS) in 1981? NYS does not mean in NYS, it means anywhere. According to Kristi Gittens, as I wrote, she stated that the first horizontal in shale was 2000, let alone with multi-stage fracs, which again, is 2002. You are completely bolloxed up. Perhaps Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Gittens should sit down for a cup of tea to get their stories straight?

Mr. Wythe, you need to do a heck of a lot more research about the "fresh water" statements you are making. The companies treat it simply so that they can reuse it for frac'ing. This is minimal treatment, and it still will remain a toxic, hazardous material, until it is proven otherwise, which, if left up to the likes of you, will be never. Go swim in it. Go drink it. Go live next to it and inhale the VOC's as they evaporate and blow towards you. There are people suffering serious health impacts as a result of these "freshwater" ponds.
You are quite cruel to mock them, and to minimize the reality.

You wrote, "To claim no comparison to the 1949 version is to say the Model 'T' is not an automobile." You changed my airplane to a car, but, to the contrary, I am saying exactly that, that the ONLY comparison between the two, is that they are both "airplanes", but one travels at 50mph, while the other travels at 3,350, therefore, the comparison is not valid, and for you to make such comparisons is purposefully disinformative.

Finally, what can I, or anyone, say to a person, such as you, who asks, "What does volume have to do with risk?"

That question shows a frightening lack of logic.

And now, truly, Merry Christmas, Mr. Wythe.

Yes, I certainly do.

My comment, ""The depth of the well,..." was in response to your
objection, "What is the basic HF relation to HVHF in shale?" from which you accuse me of lying. I don't think it's ridiculous at all, it's 'tires to the road'. A model 'T' put rubber to the road just as cars do today. Fracking uses water under pressure to fracture a strata today just as it was used then. The evolution of the process did not change it's objective. The Flivver had a top speed of 45 mph, today some cars exceed 200 mph, who's to say which is more dangerous? Your chances of getting hurt crashing a 'T' into a tree at 45 were probably much greater than crashing today's cars at 90. The same in fracking. Wells today are 12,000+ feet with the horizontal, of course it requires more water to do the job.
Where is the 'break' point in your opinion? At how many gallons does it become a 'new' and dangerous process? And yesI am dead serious asking if you know what multi-stage means. If you do then please explain why, in your opinion, a multi-stage frack creates additional hazards. In fact it appears to me that you simply incorporate as many names to the process as possibile in a pathetic attempt to complicate it so as to bolster your argument for those ignorant to it.
I have no idea what Mitchell used. I doubt he used the volumes we are using in Marcellus wells since the Barnett is not as deep as the Marcellus or Utica. Since he was in the develpoment process of this technology which then was truly 'new' I would imagine he used many chemicals and oils in his venture. I doubt if anyone but Mitchell has records of what exactly he used if they even do. For the record yes, when I use 'HF' I mean 'hydraulic fracturing' and 'HV' means 'high volume' since you don't seem to be sure.
Admittedly I did not read word for word the entire SGIES, if you did please reference the part you mention.
Your claim of "minimal treatment" of frack water, I don't know how much treatment is required and I don't think you do either. What I do know is the in NY it won't be stored in open impoundment unless it is 'fresh water'.

(2) Certification that closed loop drilling will be used...
(3) Certification that HVHF flowback fluids will not be directed to or stored in a pit or impoundment;
(4) Certification that with respect to on-site pits:
(i) such pits will be used solely for fresh water and cuttings that result from drilling conducted with air or fresh water,
from 6 NYCRR 750-3.4
Best Wishes to you and yours for the Holiday, George Wythe

Oh, Please!

What body of independent "scientists" have "ripped" the EPA, three year review, very careful process, regarding the wells in Pavillion, Wy.?

Yes, this has not yet been peer reviewed, which is the last step in the long process. But to say that the review is "obviously" flawed, as if it will, without doubt, change radically through peer review, is absurd.

Is evolution just a "theory"? A theory is the highest level of science, yet some people try to degrade the word, confusing it with an hypothesis, or in their limited knowledge, an "opinion".

The US EPA's three year, incredibly cautious study, is not an "opinion", nor is it "junk science".

The more time passes, and the more study that is performed, the more the likes of the other person who commented become embarassed by their "science", and their "scientists", such as Professor Engelder, of Penn State.

Who's your daddy?

Not forward enough

I think the title should have been
"Gas industry and SCIENTISTS rip EPA study,..."

But this article, while dated 12/14 is based on the EPA's press release of 12/8. Much has happened since then for instance peer review of the DRAFT findings from the EPA. Here's one for example,

Even Interior secretary Ken Salazar suggests “the jury is still out” regarding the accuracy and veracity of EPA’s draft report on Pavillion.

But in typical 'the sky is falling' fashion, everyone against gas is rushing to wag their fingers and claim their unfounded accusations are now proven by this obviously flawed report.

It's no surprise to see this administration promoting falsehoods such as this to further their 'green energy' agenda. If they succeed in preventing mass development of our NG reserves they can keep the price of fossil fuels high so their solar and wind projects won't seem so expensive. Unfortunately for them it won't work since the current green technology can NOT replace enough of this country's energy needs to make it viable. The abundance of gas produced in the northeast has also been a blessing for homeowners and businesses this winter in the form of lower heating and electric bills. NG costs for heating is about 1/4 that of oil. Even electric rates are seeing savings from NG fired generating plants. These are very real and happening NOW, not 'projected' years in the future and billions of dollars spent on failed 'solyndra' schemes the 'greenies' promise.


Your headline should read: "EPA Study Links Frac'ing to Ground water Contamination, Gas Industry Disputes This".

Rips? Really?