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HB 3328 TX disclosure bill all bark no bite

By Sharon Wilson

May 11, 2011

Industry claims they can water down the millions of gallons of toxic chemicals in frack fluid until they are harmless.

I guess the Texas Legislature thinks watering down also works with disclosure bills. The much touted HB 3328 Texas Disclosure bill that was supposed to set some kind of national standard is now so watered down that no one but industry will mistake it for setting any kind of national precedent.

There is a lot of hype going through the internet today with calls from some environmental groups asking members to call in support of this bill. but, an Inside EPA article by Bridget DiCosmo calls it a gutting (subscription required, excerpts follow).

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Tagged with: hydraulic fracturing, texas, disclosure


Report from the field: Tailings dam fails at silver mine in Turkey

By Payal Sampat

May 11, 2011


Google Earth image of the Kutahya area BEFORE the tailings dam breach. The tailings impoundment with three interior walls is at left.


Closeup of the Kutahya tailings impoundment after the breaches. Credit: Hasan G kvardar.

KUTAHYA, Turkey, May 10 Experts are urging residents near a silver mine in Western Turkey to evacuate after the failure of a dam holding back 15 million cubic meters of cyanide-laced mining waste. Heavy rain expected for the next three days could cause the dam to collapse, sending a river of deadly waste toward drinking water supplies and the Black Sea.

The dam, part of the mine operated by Eti Silver Corporation, failed Saturday, once again underscoring the inherent danger in dumping toxic mining waste in pools held back by dams. Hasan G kvardar, a mining engineer who is working with non-government organizations in the region to assess the situation, provided this firsthand report and accompanying photos:

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Tagged with: cyanide, tailings dam, failure, silver, kutayha, turkey


New report: schools, daycare, hospitals are cheek by jowl with fracking

By Alan Septoff

May 6, 2011

PennEnvironment has come out with a new report, In the Shadow of the Marcellus Boom.  It's actually a print report and interactive map.

In a nutshell, it shows Pennsylvania has permitted well sites within two miles of more than 320 day care facilities, 67 schools and nine hospitals.

This is cause for concern because the state has a very recent history of well blowouts and water contamination that suggests proximity to drilling is a community health risk.

From PennEnvironment's press release:

Pennsylvania s vulnerable populations are often situated near Marcellus Shale gas extraction, which has had a track record of pollution, accidents and violations, according to a new PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center report, In the Shadow of the Marcellus Boom: How Shale Gas Extraction Puts Vulnerable Pennsylvanians at Risk.

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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, drilling, public health, marcellus shale, pennenvironment


EPA to shed light on rules for use of diesel fuel in fracking

By Lauren Pagel

April 27, 2011

Yesterday, the EPA announced that it will put in place guidance to regulate the use of diesel fuel when used in hydraulic fracturing. EPA has already stated that oil and gas companies must get a Safe Drinking Water Act permit if they wish to use diesel fuel when fracking, though the industry has filed a lawsuit around this issue.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made this announcement at the 2011 U.S. Energy Information Administration conference. Hopefully, this move will clarify the legal issues surrounding the injection of diesel fuel,  and will help protect water resources in the 34 states where oil and gas is produced.

Because of a Congressional investigation into the use of diesel fuel used during fracking, we know that companies injected 32 million gallons of diesel fuel between 2005 and 2009 without securing Safe Drinking Water Act permits from the EPA.

I hope that this will be the first of many steps that the EPA will take to regulate oil and gas production.




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Tagged with: fracking, epa, hydraulic fracturing


Let's fight against a whitewash of the negative impacts of fracking in Pennsylvania

By Nadia Steinzor

April 26, 2011

In March, Governor Corbett established the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission to study the economic, social, and environmental issues related to natural gas development in the state. 

The Commission s report is supposed to guide the state.

Given what s at stake, this is a great idea. But there s a big hitch.  Actually, two:

As a Pennsylvania resident, you know that many communities are already feeling the impacts of under-regulated industrial drilling on their water, health, and quality of life. Yet the Governor s commission doesn t include public health experts, impacted residents, or citizen-based environmental organizations.

What to do?

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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, marcellus shale advisory commission, governor corbett


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