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After you frack, tell us what you used; banned in Vermont; can frack fluid migrate?

By Fritz Mayer
May 9, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government has proposed a new rule related to hydraulic fracturing that would require the disclosure of the ingredients of fracking fluids used on public and Indian lands. The rule has raised criticism from some because the disclosure would come after the fracking has already taken place.

The rule was disclosed by U.S Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on May 4, who said, “As we continue to offer millions of acres of America’s public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place.”

Not everyone has full confidence. Congressman Maurice Hinchey released a statement saying he was “pleased” that the administration of President Barack Obama is taking a step in the right direction requiring drilling companies to “disclose the chemicals they are pumping into the ground,” but the rule doesn’t go far enough.

He said, “If we are truly serious about ensuring the public is well-informed about the hydraulic drilling process—and we need to be—then the American people deserve to know what chemicals gas companies are going to use before they commence drilling. Knowing after the fact is nice, but does not allow for any steps to be taken if the chemicals being used are of concern to the public.”

Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who, with Hinchey, has been a vocal critic of the manner by which hydraulic fracturing has been practiced to date, issued a release that said requiring disclosure after the fracking has already occurred is like “closing the door after the horse has left the barn.”
On a conference call on the rule, Salazar said that requiring disclosure of the ingredients of the fracking fluid before it was used would have resulted in unnecessary delays.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, wells on public and Indian lands account for about five percent of the wells drilled in the past 10 years.

Can fracking fluid migrate up to ground water?

Meanwhile, the debate about whether fracking fluids can migrate vertically into ground water continues. A report commissioned by Catskill Mountainkeeper on the subject received a significant amount of media attention last week.

I can't believe that the

I can't believe that the gov't caved in and allowed for the industry to wait until after they drill to disclose their chemicals. The gas isn't going anywhere, who cares if there are delays! Public health and safety needs to come first! backtracking to battle damage you've already created makes no sense when you could have prevented it in the first place. Visit shalestuff.com to find out some more information regarding the industry's impacts on our region.

PA Dept. Health Ignores Gas Extraction Complaints

Regarding the health impacts of shale gas extraction, the government of Pennsylvania should be held accountable for gross negligence. There ought to be criminal penalties, and Corbett should be "frog marched" out of his office. Rendell should be sent to Siberia, along with Hanger, and whoever was the head of the Department of Health during that administration.



"PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health says it investigates every claim by residents that gas drilling has caused health problems..."

"The AP also found that the toll-free number the agency gives out for gas drilling complaints doesn't mention the issue in its automated menu, and the agency's website doesn't have a specific place for people to file such complaints...And the AP inquiry showed that the agency didn't begin keeping track of possible health complaints tied to gas drilling until 2011.."

"The AP also found that previous responses from the Department of Health about the numbers of complaints it has received about drilling and health have been at best confusing and at worst misleading.

The agency first told the AP that it had received a total of about 30 complaints, and then modified that to being 30 over the last year. Now, the agency says it didn't even begin recording such complaints until 2011.

Cronkright also told the AP that the agency has no current investigations regarding people who claim gas drilling has impacted their health."

"Until a few months ago, Pennsylvania health officials had expected to get a share of the revenue being generated by the state's new Marcellus Shale law, which is projected to provide about $180 million to state and local governments in the first year.

But representatives from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's office and the state Senate cut the health appropriation to zero during final negotiations, so now the agency is left with a new workload but no funding for the job."

Unnecessary delays? Time scale not important to humankind?

Salazar, and Engelder, are two jokers buried deeply within the pocket of the oil and gas industry's deck of playing cards.

Perhaps they both need a fracking? We'll let them know what hit them a few years later, after they go crazy, and grow impoverished, trying to force us to disclose the information.

As to the ban in Vermont, I didn't know we had a state of sanity in the United States. Congratulations to the legislators putting the health of their citizens before the wealth of a few citizens.

Allowing industry to shale gas extract, as currently frac'ed, before real science proves it is safe; allowing 10,000 to 20,000 shale gas wells, while forcing citizens to prove it is unsafe, and to pay the costs, is backwards, and insane.

Next thing you know, Pennsylvania will allow such frac'ing everywhere, with no area off limits, and within 300 feet of a persons private house and private water well. Now, THAT would really be insane! Some might call it criminal.