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Containing Oil & Gas Waste

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By Jennifer Goldman

February 10, 2011

A positive and partial outcome of the high-profile debate on fracturing: our state agencies are starting to actively discuss the importance of containing oil and gas wastes in various aspects of the drilling and production process.

In late December the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission passed a new rule that requires the use of portable frack tanks in the Niobrara oil shale play, as well as other areas in the state where groundwater is less than sixty feet from the surface.

The WOGCC s move to contain frack waste is a smart one, albeit long over due and narrowly focuses on containing just one toxic component of the drilling and production process -- fracturing fluids.

Landowners across the West have been calling for containment and proper disposal of pit waste for years.  The Endocrine Disruption Exchange points out in an analysis of New Mexico drilling pit waste that 57% of pit chemicals found were volatile -- with known health effects to the respiratory, skin and sensory, cardiovascular, developmental, reproductive, and endocrine systems.

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Tagged with: hydraulic fracturing, wyoming, state oil and gas regulations, pit waste


Montana Disclosure: Common sense safeguard and critical next step for the Treasure State

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By Jennifer Goldman

January 25, 2011

Montanans deserve simply to know what chemicals the oil and gas industry are injecting underground and storing on the surface near our homes and water wells. That is why our Montana lawmakers should move forward to require the disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids.

Montana s Senate Bill 86 sponsored by Senator Bob Hawks does just that and will be heard by our Senate Natural Resources Committee on January 21st.

The oil and gas industry often relies on silly technicalities to claim that we have nothing to worry about in regards to fracturing and that toxic chemicals used in the process needn t be disclosed or tracked by the public.

To say that fracturing is not to blame for incidents of water contamination is to rely on distinctions that don t make a difference. Distinctions like: it wasn t the fracturing that poisoned a landowner s water well it was weak gas well casing. Montanans and anyone working on farms or ranches know that almost everything is interrelated and connected. The well casing in an oil or gas well must withstand drilling and high-pressured frack jobs in order to keep the toxics in the pipe. Fracturing fluids are important part of the overall picture when considering the fate of all the toxics used and disposed of during the life of an oil or gas well.

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Tagged with: hydraulic fracturing, disclosure, montana


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