EARTHWORKS

Media


Earthworks is the only U.S. environmental nonprofit that focuses exclusively on the destructive impacts of resource extraction.

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New York State to Prohibit Fracking

Earthworks et. al.

December 17, 2014

Today New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens, and Department of Health Commissioner (DOH) Howard Zucker announced that the state of New York would prohibit high-volume horizontal fracturing of shale after announcing the results of a state-commissioned scientific review of the health impacts of oil and gas development.
 

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Tagged with: fracking, public health, new york, ban


New York to ban fracking; environmentalists cheer

AP | Mary Esch

December 17, 2014
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Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits.

New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing.

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New York fracking ban reverberates nationally

Al Jazeera | Peter Moskowitz

December 17, 2014
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The news took even the most seasoned environmental activists by surprise: after years of review, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York State would ban hydraulic fracturing.

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New York plans to prohibit fracking

USA Today | Jon Campbell and Rick Jervis

December 17, 2014
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Fracking is out in New York.

New York's health and environmental commissioners Wednesday rejected the prospect for "high-volume hydraulic fracturing" in New York -- better known as "fracking" -- saying that health risks, the potential of local bans and limited available land would outweigh the benefits of the controversial drilling technique.

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Tagged with: fracking, new york, ban


Mexican/International Coalition Urges Mexico’s Environment Ministry to Block Los Cardones Mine Proposal Within UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve

Earthworks et. al.

December 16, 2014

La Paz, Mexico and Washington, D.C. –An international coalition of 34 civil society groups has urged Mexico’s central environment authority SEMARNAT to deny permits for the Los Cardones mine proposed by Mexican corporation Invecture. The groups demanded that SEMARNAT protect the Sierra la Laguna Mountains UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve, its limited water resources, and the communities that depend on them. The coalition comprises of community organizations, and environmental and human rights groups based in Baja California Sur and around the world. 

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Tagged with: mining, mexico, baja california sur, los cardones


Conservation Groups Call on Oil and Gas Commission to Strengthen Proposed Rules

Earthworks et. al.

December 15, 2014

DENVER, CO -- Today Conservation Colorado, Earthworks, Sierra Club and Western Resource Advocates called on the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to strengthen their staff’s proposed rules to implement HB 1356, bipartisan legislation Governor Hickenlooper signed into law in May to increase Colorado’s oil and gas fines and penalties for the first time in several decades. The COGCC considers finalizing the rules today and tomorrow. 

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, colorado, cogcc


Mining proposal threatens Arizona town’s water supply

High Country News | Sarah Tory

December 5, 2014
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Just eighteen miles north of the Mexican border, the town of Patagonia, Arizona sits cradled by 4,000 foot high mountains– a high desert oasis of oak and piñon pines, home to the rare ocelot and jaguar. But scattered throughout those mountains are abandoned mine shafts and tailings from the town’s not-too-distant past.

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Tagged with: mining, arizona, patagonia


Federal land deals full of thorny trade-offs

LA Times | Lisa Mascaro

December 4, 2014
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Oe of the most ambitious public lands packages in years is speeding through Congress after being quietly attached to a must-pass bipartisan defense bill that cleared the House on Thursday.

The measure includes about 70 public lands projects, including the first national monument status for ice age fossil beds in Nevada, protection for about 275,000 acres of Montana's rugged Rocky Mountain Front and a land swap that clears the way for a controversial southeastern Arizona copper mine.

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Tagged with: mining, oak flat, arizona


Groups Move to Intervene in Defense of Denton Fracking Ban

Earthworks et. al.

December 4, 2014

Denton, TX, Dec. 4 -- The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG) and Earthworks today filed intervention papers in two lawsuits seeking to overturn the Denton, Texas ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) that went into effect on Tuesday, December 2. DAG’s Frack Free Denton campaign, with Earthworks’ help, successfully secured passage of a ballot initiative making Denton the first Texas city to ban fracking. The groups are represented by the Texas local government law firm Brown & Hofmeister, and attorneys from national environmental organizations, Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are seeking court permission to participate as co-counsel.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, lawsuit, ban, denton


Fracking ban goes into effect in its birthplace

RT

December 3, 2014
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An unprecedented ban on fracking went into effect Tuesday in Denton, Texas, a town of 123,000 located on top of the natural-gas goldmine that is the Barnett shale formation, the birthplace of the much-maligned oil and gas extraction method.

Denton voters approved the ban last month, making it the first city or county to do so in the energy-rich, fracking-heavy state of Texas.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


Conservationists: Cabinet Mountains Wilderness values threatened by mining

Missoulian | Mitch Landers

November 27, 2014
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Hiking the four-mile trail into Rock Lake from the Noxon area weighed heavy on Jim Costello, especially after he met a budding family from Spokane.

The couple was packing a toddler along the soothing rumble of Rock Creek for his first wilderness experience.

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Tagged with: mining, cabinet mountains, cabinet mountain wilderness


Small quake shakes Dallas area, stirring fracking critics

Reuters | Jim Forsyth

November 23, 2014
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A light earthquake shook the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of North Texas on Saturday night, leaving no known damage or casualties but stirring concern about the potential of the area's oil and gas fracking industry to generate seismic activity.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, earthquakes, frackquakes


Not-so-wild wilderness: Mining proposals threaten Cabinet Mountains streams, lakes and grizzlies

Spokesman | Rich Landers

November 23, 2014
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Hiking the 4-mile trail into Rock Lake from the Noxon, Montana, area weighed heavy on Jim Costello, especially after he met a budding family from Spokane. The couple were packing their toddler along the soothing rumble of Rock Creek for his first wilderness experience.

He asked Jim and JoJo Lindenfelser if they’d heard of the Rock Creek Mine. They said no. He suggested they check into it.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, cabinet mountains, cabinet mountain wilderness


Hazards of Open Pits for Storing Wastewater From Fracking Is Focus of New Study

InsideClimate News | David Hasemyer

November 20, 2014
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Unlined open-air wastewater pits brimming with the toxic leftovers of fracking and other types of oil and gas development are threatening California's air and water quality, according to a study by two national environmental organizations.

A visit to a series of wastewater pits in California's Central Valley that sickened researchers prompted the study, according to the authors. Oil and gas drilling has been generating vast amounts of waste in the region for decades.

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Tagged with: fracking, public health, california, pits


Forest Service OKs Fracking in Forest Near Nation’s Capital

US News and World Report | Alan Neuhauser

November 19, 2014
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Oil rigs could one day join the treetops in George Washington National Forest south of the nation’s capital.

Despite protests from Virginia’s Democratic governor and environmental groups, the U.S. Forest Service announced this week it would make 177,000 acres – or about 17 percent – of the forest in Virginia available for leasing for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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Tagged with: fracking, forest service, george washington national forest


U.S. to limit energy development in George Washington forest in Virginia

LA Times | Neela Banerjee

November 19, 2014
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Oil and gas development will be limited in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, the U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday in a long-awaited decision over an area that’s home to the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water for the 4 million people in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

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Tagged with: fracking, forest service, george washington national forest, virginia


Obama administration's 'all of the above' fracking decision for George Washington National Forest ignores water/climate concerns

Earthworks

November 18, 2014

Statement of Earthworks energy program director Bruce Baizel

"Unfortunately, allowing the use of fracking within a part of the George Washington National Forest is part of the Obama Administration’s embrace of oil and gas drilling, despite the water, air and climate pollution that is proven to come along with it.

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Tagged with: fracking, water, george washington national forest, potomac river


Seabridge Gold’s KSM Mine Proposal Poses Significant Risks

November 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—A report released today identifies significant risks associated with the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine proposed by Seabridge Gold in northwest British Columbia near the border with Alaska and upstream of Misty Fjords National Monument. It details a growing list of operational, legal, economic and political challenges facing the controversial project, which some analysts have compared to the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska.

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Tagged with: mining, alaska, canada, ksm, misty fjords


A town — in Texas, of all places — bans fracking

Washington Post | Lindsey Bever

November 6, 2014
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Across the country, hydraulic fracturing — pumping water, sand and chemicals into shale to release oil and gas, also known as “fracking” — has been both highly lucrative and highly criticized. Opponents claim it is an environmental disaster that pollutes the air, contaminates the groundwater and can trigger earthquakes. Its boosters argue it’s the key to energy independence for America and creates jobs, millions of them.

Now, fracking is under fire in a state where it began: Texas.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


Texas College Town Fracking Ban a Bad Sign for U.S. Boom

Businessweek | Bradley Olson and Jim Polson

November 5, 2014
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A small college town near the birthplace of the U.S. fracking boom voted yesterday to ban the practice in a day of mixed results across the country for an industry already reeling from falling oil prices.

The 59 percent of voters in Denton, Texas, who rejected the controversial drilling technique yesterday sent a message to the energy world every bit as powerful as the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate: when it comes to the U.S. energy boom, all politics is local. And so far at the ballot box, the industry has lost more than it’s won.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


Texas oil town makes history as residents say no to fracking

The Guardian | Suzanne Goldenberg

November 5, 2014
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The Texas town where America’s oil and natural gas boom began has voted to ban fracking, in a stunning rebuke to the industry.

Denton, a college town on the edge of the Barnett Shale, voted by 59% to ban fracking inside the city limits, a first for any locality in Texas.

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Texas city bans fracking in its birthplace, court battles loom

Reuters | Marcie Richter

November 5, 2014
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Voters approved a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the north Texas town of Denton on Tuesday, making it the first city in the Lone Star State to outlaw the oil and gas extraction technique behind the U.S. energy boom.

The vote in the city of 123,000 was highly symbolic because hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is widely used in Texas, the top crude producer in the United States.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


Meaning of fracking ban victory in Denton, Texas

Earthworks

November 5, 2014

"The passage of a fracking ban in Denton Texas is first and foremost a victory for Denton residents. It’s a victory for their families’ health, for their economy, and for their future.

But it’s also a victory for communities across the country.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


These Towns and Counties Across America Just Banned Oil and Gas Fracking

Vice News | Laura Dattaro

November 5, 2014
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Voters in Denton, Texas approved on Tuesday a ban on horizontal, hydraulic fracturing, sending a message to the fossil fuel sector that concerns about air and water quality in some areas of the country may be trumping concerns about the economy — even in the region where fracking was pioneered.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


Mine proposal could deplete southeast Arizona town’s drinking water aquifer

Earthworks

October 28, 2014

Patagonia – The Hermosa silver mine proposed inside Patagonia, Arizona’s Municipal Supply Watershed could deplete the town’s drinking water and perpetually contaminate area groundwater with acid mine drainage, according to a new peer-reviewed report. Reviewed by a USGS scientist and released by the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance and Earthworks, the study also concludes that drinking water wells of surrounding residents are also threatened.

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Tagged with: mining, water pollution, arizona, acid mine drainage, silver, patagonia, hermosa, manganese, water consumption, wildcat silver


Public Trust in Pennsylvania Regulators Erodes Further Over Flawed Fracking Study

InsideClimate News | Lisa Song

October 23, 2014
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Pennsylvania regulators used flawed methodology to conclude that air pollution from natural gas development doesn't cause health problems. The revelation has further eroded trust in an embattled state agency.

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Tagged with: fracking, public health, pennsylvania


Supporters of Fracking Ban Face New Wave of McCarthyism in Denton, Texas

DeSmogBlog | Julie Dermansky

October 22, 2014
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Santa Fe, NM—(ENEWSPF)—October 20, 2014. A broad coalition of local and national conservation groups announced plans to sue the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), if the agency proceeds with the sale of 13 parcels (almost 20,000 acres of public lands) in the Santa Fe National Forest for oil and gas fracking. BLM received more than a hundred letters protesting the sale and challenging the agency’s failure to consider potentially serious impacts to the area’s air, water, wildlife, and surrounding communities.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton


Infrared videos show Denton oil and gas air pollution still unaddressed by regulators

Earthworks

October 21, 2014

Oct 21st, Denton, TX -- Newly released infrared videos taken over the past three months show that oil and gas air pollution is ongoing, chronic, and unaddressed in Denton, Texas despite assurances of safety by industry. The videos make visible normally invisible volatile organic compounds emissions (VOCs) -- such as carcinogens like benzene.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, air pollution, ban, vocs, denton, flir


Millions of Americans urge Obama administration to curb oil and gas climate pollution

Earthworks et. al.

October 16, 2014

Washington, DC – Today, 130 local, state and national organizations representing millions of Americans sent a letter to President Obama urging him to immediately begin a rulemaking process to curb methane pollution from oil and gas development, the nation’s second largest industrial climate polluter after power plants. Methane, the principal component of natural gas, is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year time period.

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Tagged with: fracking, air pollution, climate change, obama, methane


Acid-draining rock poisons water across Montana

The State | Sammy Fretwell

October 14, 2014
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BUTTE, MONT. — Tourism promoters charge people $2 apiece to look at the most notoriously polluted mining site in Montana, an old copper pit filled with toxic water that will likely never be cleaned up.

The Berkeley Pit, which dominates the landscape of Butte, is 1,780 feet deep and holds 42 billion gallons of water tainted by metals and acid. The contamination is so severe that site managers operate equipment to scare birds away from almost certain death.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, acid mine drainage, berkeley pit


Cómo las petroleras hacen negocio con el agua que sacan de sus pozos en California

BBC Mundo | Jaime González

October 3, 2014
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Los embalses están en mínimos históricos, los acuíferos subterráneos se están agotando y las previsiones meteorológicas indican que en los próximos meses podría seguir sin llover.

Esta es la situación a la que tienen que hacer frente las más de 80.000 explotaciones agrícolas que hay en California, que están buscando desesperadamente nuevos tipos de suministro de agua con los que hacer frente a la grave sequía que afecta al estado desde hace tres años.

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Tagged with: fracking, california, spanish, drought


Colorado Fracking Commission Meets for 1st Time

Earthworks

September 25, 2014

Statement of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project Director Bruce Baizel

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado


Public Floods EPA with Support for Protection of Bristol Bay from Mining

Earthworks and Nunamta Aulukestai

September 22, 2014

Dillingham, AK/Washington D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received 700,000 comments in support of its plan to use its Clean Water Act authority to restrict mine waste disposal from the Pebble Mine proposed in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. When combined with previous public input, over 1.5 million comments have been submitted in favor of Bristol Bay protection, including broad and diverse support from Alaska Native Tribes, commercial fishermen, hunters and anglers, businesses like CREDO Mobile, churches, conservation groups, restaurants, jewelers and investors.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, bristol bay, alaska, salmon


The myth of ethical gold

New Internationalist | Stephanie Boyd

September 16, 2014
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Modern goldmining has developed a Midas touch, turning low-grade deposits into vast wealth but with devastating consequences: over 900 farmers poisoned by a mercury spill in the mountains of Peru; Akyim indigenous people from Ghana forced from their forest homeland; an Indonesian bay and fishing community contaminated by arsenic and mercury; the Western Shoshone nation in Nevada deprived of their treaty rights and ancestral land.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, responsible jewellery council


Groups file appeal on Longmont fracking ban

Earthworks, et al

September 10, 2014

Denver, CO - A coalition filed an appeal on Wednesday to uphold the democratically-enacted ban on fracking passed by Longmont voters in 2012. Represented by the University of Denver Law Clinic, the groups Our Longmont, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club and Earthworks filed the appeal to overturn a district court  decision that places the interests of the oil and gas industry over the health and safety of local citizens.
 

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, ban, longmont, local control


Lachelt leads diverse group looking into well rules

Durango Herald | Peter Marcus

September 9, 2014
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La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt is readying to juggle multiple personalities after the governor announced the 19 members of a gas and oil task force.

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, blue ribbon commission


Oil and gas task force expected to find middle ground in Colorado local control issue

Denver Business Journal | Cathy Proctor

September 9, 2014
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Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday that he expects the newly named 21-memberoil and gas task force to find areas of compromise on one of the state’s most important issues.

In a meeting with reporters in his office, the governor also thanked the members of the task force for their willingness to step into one of the state’s most controversial issues, and the organizations who submitted nearly 300 names for consideration.

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, blue ribbon commission


RJC Revealed

Rappaport | Brian Bossetta

September 1, 2014
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Across the many links in the jewelry supply chain, there are significant issues regarding human rights and the environment with which the industry must grapple, especially in light of increasing demand among consumers for ethically sourced products. And while there is no easy panacea for human rights abuses or harmful environmental practices, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), a not-for-profit organization based out of London, promotes a climate of social responsibility that works to mitigate and eliminate harmful, negative practices within the industry.

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Tagged with: mining, jewelry, rjc


PA Environmental Organizations Challenge PA-DEP Claims of Adequate Oil & Gas Oversight

Earthworks et. al.

August 28, 2014

Harrisburg, PA – Environmental and citizen organizations sent Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, Chris Abruzzo a letter today challenging the agency’s response to issues raised in Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s DEP Performance Audit, released on July 22nd. The audit identified serious flaws in the DEP’s oil and gas monitoring and enforcement programs.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, pennsylvania department of environmental protection, water contamination


Lawmakers hope to fund monitors for quakes in North Texas fracking areas

Dallas Morning News | Marissa Barnett

August 25, 2014
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AUSTIN — Lawmakers said Monday that they’re looking for money to add seismic monitors in areas with oil and gas production, following concerns about a series of earthquakes that rattled North Texas last winter.

For now, at least, it’s just a pipe dream. The Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas production, doesn’t have any plans in the works for more monitors or for permit surcharges to oil and gas operators.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, earthquakes


Inside Energy: Fracking and health, part 1

Prairie Public | Jordan Wirfs-Brock and Leigh Paterson

August 25, 2014
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The oil and gas boom of the 21st century has been fueled - largely -  by a technique called hydraulic fracturing.  Its given access to massive shale gas and oil formations in states like Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. But what’s different about this boom, is that drilling is bumping right up against communities. And people are worried about the health impacts.

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Tagged with: fracking, health, north dakota


Watch Six Months of Fracking Fires Blaze Across the Country

National Journal | Clare Foran and Stephanie Stamm

August 22, 2014
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Massive fires light up the sky in U.S. states at the center of a fracking boom.

The fires—known as flaring—are a symptom of the rapid spread of the controversial drilling technique. Cities and towns across the country are scrambling to keep up with a newfound surplus of natural gas, and towering flames arise when excess gas is burned off at drill sites. 

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, north dakota, flaring


State oversight allows flaring in North Dakota and Texas to emit greenhouse gases equal to 1.5 million cars

Earthworks, Skytruth

August 22, 2014

Aug 22 -- Today Earthworks released a new report showing that eliminating natural gas waste in two shale plays would have the same effect as taking 1.5 million cars off the road. The report is accompanied by an interactive map developed by SkyTruth showing flaring activity in the U.S. and around the world based on nightly, infrared satellite data.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, air emissions, methane, north dakota, flaring


The long shadow of a decade of loose enforcement

Boulder Weekly | Elizabeth Miller

August 14, 2014
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Pennsylvania and Colorado may be a nation apart, but they’re side-by-side when it comes to having recently seen explosive increases in oil and gas development, specifically through the use of hydraulic fracturing in shale formations that are often drilled horizontally. Findings from a report from Earthworks — a nonprofit working to protect communities and the environment from the adverse effects of oil and gas development — that examined the oversight and the operational record of wells in Pennsylvania sheds light on the concerns people in Colorado express when it comes to oil and gas development.

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, enforcement, ballot intiative


Groups Sue EPA for Letting Polluters Pass the Bill for Their Spills to the Public

Earthjustice, Earthworks, et al

August 11, 2014

Washington, D.C. — Earthjustice on behalf of Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Amigos Bravos, Great Basin Resource Watch, and Communities for a Better Environment filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to issue key rules mandated by the Superfund Act (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA)

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Tagged with: regulation, financial assurance, bonding, cercla 108b


Black Butte Mine aquifer tests move ahead

Bozeman Daily Chronicle | Laura Lundquist

August 7, 2014
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The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has given Tintina Resources the go-ahead to dig four new deep wells to test the aquifer near the proposed Black Butte Copper Mine but has added one safety requirement for the project.

Tintina will be drilling to depths of between 200 and 400 feet through mineral deposits that could cause chemicals in the upwelling water to exceed safety limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In particular, samples from other wells have exceeded EPA limits for arsenic.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, tintina


New report: Pennsylvania prioritizes fracking at expense of law, health, environment

Earthworks

August 7, 2014

Washington, DC - The environmental and health impacts of gas development have been connected for the first time with a lack of state oversight on a site-by-site basis in a new report released by Earthworks. A year in the making, Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement documents and analyzes the permitting, oversight, and operational record of 135 wells and facilities in seven counties--and identifies the associated threats to water and air that are harming the health of nearby residents.

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, pennsylvania, water, enforcement, pennsylvania department of environmental protection, health, air, dep


Imperial’s Mount Polley mine shuttered after tailings discharge

Mining Weekly | Henry Lazenby

August 6, 2014

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – After a tailings dam broke at the Mount Polley mine, discharging about five-million cubic metres of mine waste in the early hours of Monday, operator Imperial Metals on Tuesday said the copper/gold mine had been placed on care and maintenance pending a full investigation.

The TSX-listed firm said the water and tailings discharge had by Tuesday stabilised, with no persons reported missing or injured.

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Tagged with: mining, tailings, canada, tailings dam


BC Mine Failure Highlights Pebble Mine Risks

Earthworks

August 5, 2014

This week’s devastating tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia, which released vast amounts of mine waste into streams, rivers and lakes, raised alarms with Alaska Native communities and conservation groups concerned about the proposed Pebble Mine. The groups are urging the EPA to finalize proposed mine waste restrictions in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.

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Tagged with: mining, tailings, canada, tailings dam, toxic mine waste


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