Note: The conclusion of the article below – that industry just needs to learn how to better treat fracking wastewater – misses the point. We don’t need to accept that boosting domestic energy production will create environmental costs; instead, we must accept that a drastic reduction in consumption of energy in the US (and globally) is needed. Shipping wastewater to the Gulf Coast will put communities at risk in a region where environmental racism runs rampant. The only solution to avoid water contamination is to stop fracking, and keep all remaining gas reserves in the ground.
-The GJEP Team
By Bob Downing, January 22, 2013. Source: Akron Beacon Journal
Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP – Getty Images
The volume of drilling wastes from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale is growing and threatening to overwhelm existing waste-handling infrastructure in Ohio and other states, according to a study released Tuesday.
Ohio’s 179 injection wells for disposing of briny waste might not be sufficient for the Pennsylvania waste, plus wastes from Ohio’s developing Utica shale, said Brian Lutz, assistant professor of biogeochemistry at Kent State University, who led the analysis while he was a postdoctoral research associate at Duke University.
The volume of Marcellus wastewater has grown 570 percent from 2004 to 2011 due to increased shale gas production in Pennsylvania, Lutz said.
“The overall volume of water that now has to be transported and treated is immense,” he said. “It threatens to overwhelm the region’s wastewater-disposal infrastructure capacity.”
October 24, 2012. Source: Tar Sands Blockade
Photo: Tar Sands Blockade
Drawing connections to all coastal communities threatened by toxic tar sands development, Cherri Foytlin, an indigenous South Louisiana mother of six and wife of a Gulf Coast oilfield worker, chained herself to the gate of a Keystone XL pipeyard. Effectively blocking pipe from being shipped to construction sites along the controversial pipeline’s route, Foytlin’s action coincides with theDefend Our Coast activities in British Columbia, where more than 60 Canadian communities are protesting a proposed tar sands pipeline through their region. Hers marks the 32nd arrest since Tar Sands Blockade’s actions began over two months ago and today marks the 31st day of sustained protest at its Winnsboro tree blockade.
“This pipeline is a project of death. From destructive tar sands development that destroy indigenous sovereignty and health at the route’s start to the toxic emissions that will lay further burden on environmental justice communities along the Gulf of Mexico, this pipeline not only disproportionately affects indigenous frontline communities but its clear that it will bring death and disease to all in its path,” Foytlin declared.
Refusing to accept the Gulf Coast’s designation as the Nation’s Energy Sacrifice Zone, Foytlin, along with many Gulf Coast residents and indigenous activists are dismayed but not surprised to find the conversations regarding Keystone XL as a whole from national environmental groups to the Presidential campaigns have made little to no mention of the damage TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline will heap upon Gulf Coast communities like Houston and Port Arthur, TX, where Keystone XL will terminate. Already overburdened with oil refineries and other dirty energy related industry, this neglectful attitude dovetails neatly with TransCanada’s reckless disregard for the health and safety of families in the refinery communities and elsewhere along the pipeline’s route.
By Emily Pickrell, August 20, 2012. Source: Fuel Fix
Danny Hatcher had more questions than answers after he got a letter explaining proposed compensation for persistent respiratory problems and fatigue he attributes to working on a cleanup crew after the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns off the coast of Louisiana on April 21, 2010. AP file photo/Gerald Herbert
“I got something in the mail about some kind of medical program,” said Hatcher, 56, a former oil rig deckhand who spent several months cleaning up beach debris and vacuum-ing oil from water in Venice and Grand Isle, La.
The letter described a settlement between BP, the oil company whose blown-out Macondo well triggered the spill, and a committee of lawyers representing individuals and businesses with claims arising from the disaster.
He is one of thousands of individuals who are struggling to understand and make decisions about the medical settlement between BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which would replace an earlier compensation system called the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
He has to decide whether to participate in the settlement, which has yet to be approved by a federal judge overseeing spill-related litigation, or opt out and take his chances with an individual lawsuit. Hatcher’s uncertainty over what the settlement offers, and confusion among other potential claimants, is a challenge for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which is attempting to reach hundreds of thousands of potentially eligible individuals along the Gulf Coast.