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Author Topic: Wake Up, America: Take 3  (Read 31334 times)
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Russ White

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« on: Feb 05, 2016, 06:07AM »

Here we go again. Third time is the charm, right? Since there were over 180K "views" and more than 160 pages of discussion, I am going to continue to post my op-ed columns. I have gotten much good feedback, and the ideas for future columns, from those discussions. Hopefully, we can minimize the poop slinging this time around.

FRACKING FLORIDUH!

Two types of people support fracking, extracting oil and gas by injecting water and chemicals into the earth to break them free; those who are ignorant of how the process works, and those who stand to benefit from it. No sane person who understands the process can possibly support it unless it is somehow lining their pockets.

The Florida House recently passed a bill that not only allows fracking in Florida, but restrains local communities from disallowing the practice in their backyards. It’s somewhat akin to allowing frackers to hold a gun to the head of communities in Florida and play Russian Roulette with them. It is reminiscent of the movie “Deer Hunter” where an American POW was forced to play the game for the benefit of gamblers.

It’s hard to know where to begin when listing the dangers and pitfalls, literally, of the process. One of the biggest is groundwater contamination. The water and sand injected into the fracking wells is rife with a chemical soup of unknown contaminants. No one can/will say for sure what they are because companies that engage in the practice have bought disclosure protection from our legislators under the guise of “proprietary formulation”.

Fracking in Florida, with our shallow aquifers, has the potential to turn the entire state into a poison soup making Flint look like a kid’s game. For those of us in West Volusia county, the chemical threat pales in the comparison to the geologic potentials.

Oklahoma, a fracking centerpiece, exists on a solid substrate made of igneous rock. Prior to fracking, any movement of the ground in the state was rare and minimal. Since fracking began, Oklahoma has seen an increase in earthquakes of magnitude of 3 or larger from 109 in 2013 to 585 in 2014 to 907 in 2015.

It is not hard to imagine a sinkhole the size of Lake Okeechobee opening in the limestone substrate of Central Florida as a result if fracking is allowed here. Fortunately the Florida Senate has yet to take up the bill, SB 318, ostensibly because the DEP has not yet weighed in during the process.

Feedback from concerned citizens is having an impact in slowing this process. Representives Costello and Santiago voted against the good of Floridians in helping to pass HB191. You can still call Senators to register your position.

Dorothy Hukill, 850-487-5008
Tom Lee, Chair, Appropriations committee – 866-583-2908
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 05, 2016, 07:50AM »

I wholeheartedly agree with all of the environmental concerns around fracking, but I've gotta say my biggest issue is still around what the government chooses to subsidise. Not only was the development of a new, environmentally harmful extraction technique of an environmentally harmful product subsidised by the government (see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/23/fracking-developed-government_n_1907178.html) but we continue to subsidise some of the most profitable companies in the world (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/us-taxpayers-subsidising-worlds-biggest-fossil-fuel-companies).

And yet somehow our politicians like to say that renewable energy isn't viable because 1. it hasn't been developed enough, and 2. the renewable energy sector is begging for increased subsidies from the government. You know who doesn't need increased government funding? Oil companies. Who know what doesn't need outside funding for technology development? An established and mature sector like Fossil Fuels.

Perhaps rather than giving tax breaks and research grants to the most profitable companies in the world, we should be giving that money to developing new technologies which won't run out, don't destroy our environment either short term or long term, and which don't already have billions in profit to draw from. Of course that won't happen because within those billions in profit, they can easily find a few million to spend on lobbying and super PAC donations.
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B0B
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 05, 2016, 10:00AM »

I don't actually think fracking is that bad.

What is bad is not what is done but how it is done. Rather than being regulated an monitored, many states have pushed the opposite for fracking. Their chemical cocktails are considered proprietary secrets, so it's very difficult to prove seepage or link adverse effects. Their water treatment is non-existent. And their regulation protects them from lawsuits rather than monitors them and brings lawsuits if they step out of line.

Quite sad really. Fracking has provided a number of benefits, and it could be a great thing... but in order to save a few dollars here and there they sacrifice sustainability and even local health.

THAT is a major problem!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 05, 2016, 01:02PM »

I am not against fracking in general, and I don't profit from it (although your friends the Koch brothers do).

I do think Florida is a bad location to try.  You folks banned offshore drilling for oil for fear of beach contamination.  Why are you enabling this process.

Not to mention it's much more expensive per barrel than drilling.  When oil gets to where it is now, fracking is just too "fracking" expensive.  Nobody wants to lose money on every barrel of oil.

The swill that is used for fracking is partially known.  We know there is sand, a surfactant, and water.  The spent fracking fluid still has the surfactant, the sand, the water, some oil emulsified inside, and some geological debris.

I don't know the health aspects of the surfactant, although it would make groundwater foam.  I also don't know what geological debris can come up.  If there's emulsified natural gas, you can get burning water.  If there's emulsified oil, it will taste awful (but then again, from my experience with water in Florida how would you know?  Evil ).

I do agree with B0B that we need to work on control of the hazards of the process.  The fracking wells should be insulated from groundwater tables and monitored for leakage.
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Bruce Guttman
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Molefsky

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« Reply #4 on: Feb 05, 2016, 01:51PM »

Can we see some non-debunked examples of flammable tap water? How about some actual examples of frac-fluid contaminated tap water?  Don't know


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Molefsky
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 05, 2016, 02:19PM »

Can we see some non-debunked examples of flammable tap water? How about some actual examples of frac-fluid contaminated tap water?  Don't know
Per the second question, how do you know what frac-contaminated water is, if the frackers keep their cocktail recipe a secret?

Short answer is it is incredibly difficult to conclusively prove contamination if you can't say what the contaminant is.

Which is the biggest reason for the secret recipes unfortunately.

For the first, I don't pay enough attention.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 05, 2016, 02:25PM »

Given that there is a surfactant in the Fracking fluid, contamination should show in a Foam Height test.  Take 50 ml of water in a 100 ml graduated cylinder.  Shake well.  Measure foam height initially (it's zero for perfectly pure water) and after 5 minutes.  If there is surfactant contamination you should have a stable foam height; probably 10 to 15 ml high.  Has anybody actually done this?
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 05, 2016, 02:34PM »

Given that there is a surfactant in the Fracking fluid, contamination should show in a Foam Height test.  Take 50 ml of water in a 100 ml graduated cylinder.  Shake well.  Measure foam height initially (it's zero for perfectly pure water) and after 5 minutes.  If there is surfactant contamination you should have a stable foam height; probably 10 to 15 ml high.  Has anybody actually done this?
I doubt it's that easy, especially once partially filtered through soil and such. I also doubt that would be the full test of contaminants. There's more coal ash leakage pollution near me, but even there it can be incredibly difficult to say what levels of what are naturally occurring and what levels are a result of the coal ash. And without a well established baseline... the suits basically fall to who has money to fights the longest. And since no one is going to spend the money to establish a solid baseline prior to their being consideration of a problem... It usually falls in the favor of the big business.

The way I've seen that fought was a number of neighbors nearby banded together and showed a large area of contamination much higher than areas further away. Even then, with the current GOP approach to environmental regulations, the state refused to fight it. The locals had to band together to bring suit, and just before the court date came, the state environmental agency swooped in, levied a ridiculously tiny fine, and tried to have the suit dismissed saying it was state responsibility and the state took care of it. At the same time the locals were fighting this horrible mess, the company fought the fine and got it dropped. Surprise!

Honestly, I think the state has the best idea and authority and ability to make sure their residents are protected from environmental issues. And most of the big fracking states I've seen seem to favor the frackers over the locals. That's a major problem to me. The issues very well may be overblown.... but they could also be substantially underblown too. And without effective regulation... I think it taints the whole process.
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Molefsky

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« Reply #8 on: Feb 05, 2016, 02:41PM »

Per the second question, how do you know what frac-contaminated water is, if the frackers keep their cocktail recipe a secret?

Short answer is it is incredibly difficult to conclusively prove contamination if you can't say what the contaminant is.

Which is the biggest reason for the secret recipes unfortunately.

For the first, I don't pay enough attention.

This is incorrect. All of those materials are reported and, quite frankly, are not very exotic at all. The bactericides are probably the most interesting constituents.

It's more about trade secrets rather than them trying to put crazy stuff down a well. Just remember that if they're putting really reactive constituents down a well then that means they might have to treat their target product. Here's my conservative state's relevant regulation:

Quote
8)  If the Permit Holder causes any Additiv
es to be utilized during the Hydraulic
Fracturing Treatment not otherwise disclosed
 by the person performing the Hydraulic
Fracturing Treatment, the Permit Holder shall disclose a list of all Chemical
Constituents and associated CAS numbers cont
ained in all such Additives; provided,
however, in those limited situations where th
e specific identity of any such Chemical
Constituent and associated CAS number is entitled to be withheld as a trade secret
under the criteria set forth in subsection (a)(2) of 42 U.S.C. § 11042, the Permit
Holder shall (i) submit to the Director a cl
aim of entitlement to have the identity of
such Chemical Constituent withheld as a trad
e secret, and (ii) provide the Director
with the Chemical Family associated with
such Chemical Constituent.  The identity
of any Chemical Constituent that qualifies as a trade secret under the criteria set forth
in subsection (a)(2) of 42 U.S.C. § 11042 sh
all be held confidential by the Director.
 
9) Nothing in subparagraph k) 8) abov
e shall authorize any person to withhold
information which is required by state or federal law to be provided to a health care
professional, a doctor, or a nurse.  All information required by a health care
professional, a doctor, or a nurse shall be supplied, immediately upon request, by the
person performing the Hydraulic Fracturing
Treatment, directly to the requesting
health care professional, doctor, or nurse, including the percent by volume of the
Chemical Constituents (and associated CAS numbers) of the total Hydraulic
Fracturing Fluids and Additives.

Looks like they can't keep it secret; they must disclose to the overseeing body. Also the information is not shielded from medical professionals.

Further reading:

Example Chemical list with CAS numbers:
https://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

Comparison chart of state reqs. Notice operators in all of these states must report:
http://dnr.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/conservation/12.StateHFRuleComparison.pdf

Prose explanations for above listed states with links directly to relevant regs:
http://dnr.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=888
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Molefsky
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 05, 2016, 02:50PM »

This is incorrect. All of those materials are reported and, quite frankly, are not very exotic at all. The bactericides are probably the most interesting constituents.

It's more about trade secrets rather than them trying to put crazy stuff down a well. Just remember that if they're putting really reactive constituents down a well then that means they might have to treat their target product. Here's my conservative state's relevant regulation:

Looks like they can't keep it secret; they must disclose to the overseeing body. Also the information is not shielded from medical professionals.

Further reading:

Example Chemical list with CAS numbers:
https://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

Comparison chart of state reqs. Notice operators in all of these states must report:
http://dnr.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/conservation/12.StateHFRuleComparison.pdf

Prose explanations for above listed states with links directly to relevant regs:
http://dnr.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=888

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fracking-epa-idUSBREA480SM20140509
"The Obama administration announced its first steps on Friday toward possibly tighter regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, seeking public input on whether companies should be required to disclose the contents of fluids used in the oil and natural gas drilling technique.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would gather public comment for 90 days on whether to require chemical manufacturers to disclose the contents of fluids they inject into shale seams to release trapped oil or gas."

"Hydraulic fracturing is now regulated by the states, with no significant federal oversight. Some big oil- and gas-producing states require some disclosure about the mix of chemicals and fluids used to frack thousands of wells across the country."
-dated 2014

Your link lists 9 states out of 50, and still some like PA are pretty sad. So no, sadly a few states breaking the example do not make it all incorrect. It just means like normal that there are exceptions.

also per another of you links, most have common verbiage such as:
"The Louisiana regulation requires operators to disclose all additives used in hydraulic fracturing fluids and the names and concentrations of chemicals which are subject to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200) and are not deemed trade secret."

So they only disclose OSHA specific chemical that are also not trade secrets. That leaves some major holes, even for the regulators, and also means the list you provided is quite likely a very partial one.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #10 on: Feb 05, 2016, 02:59PM »

Thanks for the chemical list, Molefsky.  I would guess that not all the items on the list are in all fracking fluids, and I see some materials listed more than once.  Tje proprietary part may be the exact formula using these materials.

There are a couple of common contaminants listed which might appear in low levels in normal tap water so if they came from a frack well in the area it might not be obvious.

One that I'd be a little concerned about is the ethylene glycol.  It's main use is in automobile antifreeze and it's considered a major toxic water pollutant.  I'd guess it would be important to keep this from leaching into the water supply.
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Bruce Guttman
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Molefsky

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« Reply #11 on: Feb 05, 2016, 03:39PM »

Thanks for the chemical list, Molefsky.  I would guess that not all the items on the list are in all fracking fluids, and I see some materials listed more than once.  Tje proprietary part may be the exact formula using these materials.

That would be my guess too.

BOB, relevant reporting req from Pennsylvania is about the same:
Quote
(b) Within 30 calendar days after completion of the well, the well operator shall submit a completion report to the Department on a form provided by the Department that includes the following information:
(1) Name, address and telephone number of the permittee.
(2) Name, address and telephone number of the service companies.
(3) Permit number and farm name and number.
(4) Township and county.
(5) Perforation record.
(6) Stimulation record which includes the following:

(i) A descriptive list of the chemical additives in the stimulation fluid, including any acid, biocide, breaker, brine, corrosion inhibitor, crosslinker, demulsifier, friction reducer, gel, iron control, oxygen scavenger, pH adjusting agent, proppant, scale inhibitor and surfactant.

(ii) The percent by volume of each chemical additive in the stimulation fluid.

(iii) A list of the chemicals in the Material Safety Data Sheets, by name and chemical abstract service number, corresponding to the appropriate chemical additive.

(iv) The percent by volume of each chemical listed in the Material Safety Data Sheets.

(v) The total volume of the base fluid.

(vi) A list of water sources used under an approved water management plan and the volume of water used from each source.

(vii) The total volume of recycled water used.

(viii) The pump rate and pressure used in the well.

(7) Actual open flow production and shut in surface pressure.

(8) Open flow production and shut in surface pressure, measured 24 hours after completion.

(c) When the well operator submits a stimulation record, it may designate specific portions of the stimulation record as containing a trade secret or confidential proprietary information. The Department will prevent disclosure of the designated confidential information to the extent permitted under the Right-to-Know Law (65 P. S. §§ 67.101—67.3103).

(d) In addition to submitting a stimulation record to the Department under subsection (b), and subject to the protections afforded for trade secrets and confidential proprietary information under the Right-to-Know Law, the operator shall arrange to provide a list of the chemical constituents of the chemical additives used to hydraulically fracture a well, by chemical name and abstract service number, unless the additive does not have an abstract service number, to the Department upon written request by the Department.

Pretty consistent. Notice article (iv) mentioning ratios as well.

Just to be clear on the fact that they still have to submit this even in Pennsylvania:
Quote
78.122. Well record and completion report. (c) When the well operator submits a stimulation record, it may designate specific portions of the stimulation record as containing a trade secret or confidential proprietary information. The Department will prevent disclosure of the designated confidential information to the extent permitted under the Right-to-Know Law (65 P. S. § § 67.101—67.3103).
Under these provisions, the specific portions of the stimulation record being designated by the operator (or service company) as containing a trade secret or confidential proprietary information
are to be submitted on the Completion Report, as provided by the department on the PA DEP  web site. This designated information must be detailed on the page (and as many copies of the pages as necessary for all the information or for all the service providers)
titled:

“CONFIDENTIAL -STIMULATION FLUID ADDITIVES -CONFIDENTIAL”.

The operator is responsible for the submittal of this information even if the required information is being submitted by a third party.
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Molefsky
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« Reply #12 on: Feb 05, 2016, 07:04PM »

BOB, relevant reporting req from Pennsylvania is about the same:
Pretty consistent. Notice article (iv) mentioning ratios as well.
And notice viiic, which per your guess earlier about ratios would preclude anyone outside of a very limited group from knowing. The ratios and even the chemicals themselves can all be considered a trade secret. So they package all of that up, submit it to a website the fracking companies built, and they provide the information without ever really providing the information because it's all a protected trade secret. 

Just to be clear on the fact that they still have to submit this even in Pennsylvania:
And just to be clear, every single state you have listed so far offers the ability to protect all of those numbers as trade secrets. Which in turn means that if the state is not on top of their watchdog game, and most of those listed are not... the companies have a pretty free gambit.

I'd also note that fracking is new enough and has grown quick enough, while the states may have lists of the materials, they also may not have had full time to see what the impacts of each are to allow or deny, and certainly haven't budgeted for independent research of them.

So yeah, I get your point. Someone has the information somewhere (in some places). But for most research purposes outside of the company, or anyone to defend their person/property who is not the state, or for anyone living in the other 4/5ths of the coutry... it's pretty much off limits. And really, how much research and oversight have the states put in place?

My state just opened up for fracking not long ago, and put forth an open slate to the fracking companies despite major public outcry in the potential areas to be fracked. And with no federal oversight... there's basically no oversight. Period. Same goes for Florida, where Russ is talking about. They don't even bother requiring disclosure to the state. Why would they? The state doesn't know what those chemicals and processes do. It has no vested knowledge in the area of fracking. Just try to encourage industry and money.

Again, a horrible way to start off a potentially good option, and begin with a major lack of transparency and trust.

And that is how you take a probably beneficial process and get things like "gasland" just a few years after it hits major use.
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Molefsky

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« Reply #13 on: Feb 07, 2016, 08:30PM »

I'm sorry BOB but you're simply incorrect. Fraccing is a 60yr old technology and the chemicals listed are very well studied and understood. The EPA has very clear and well developed guidelines for what are and are not hazardous pollutants. Did you not see that each of those compounds had a CAS number?

Trade secrets, you are incorrect here as well. Those reqs state that ALL of the information must be provided no matter what but that trade secret information would be held at the discretion of the state EPA director. This means that the state EPA determines whether it needs to be disclosed for general review by the public whereas medical requests are guaranteed access to the information. Let me repeat the relevant part ALL of the information must be provided to the state EPA. State EPA tends to be more on top of these issues, in many regards, than federal EPA.

With regard to Florida and your state, I'd wager that you actually haven't bothered to find out the relevant reqs and/or regs and are responding primarily to what you've read/heard from sources that are not fully knowledgeable on the issue. We've already established in the course of this discussion that yes, in fact, all of these chemicals are known and understood and yes they are all reported to the EPA for every location. Isn't this completely contrary to your initial understanding of fraccing regulation in the US?
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Molefsky
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« Reply #14 on: Feb 07, 2016, 10:04PM »

Generally an MSDS of the fracking fluid containing all CAS listed materials should be available to the Public.  The MSDS will show a range for each material in order to protect the actual formula.

Medical professionals, Fire Departments, and State Environmental organizations are usually provided full disclosure MSDS.  I had customers who demanded full disclosure MSDS on materials I used.  I had to sign Non-Disclosure agreements (as did my customer) to obtain these.

The chemicals in that list on the Fracking site are materials in use elsewhere in industry or consumer products.  The bacteriocides can be a problem in high concentrations but are rarely used in greater than one part per 1000 and more commonly 1 part per 10000.  Given that most contamination is from seepage I wouldn't expect much of it in any pollution.  On the other hand, they are probably using more than a trivial amount of the ethylene glycol.

One of the things that concerns me is the increase in earthquakes in the vicinity of fracking operations.  I realize a full cause and effect has not been established, but the coincidence is disturbing.
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« Reply #15 on: Feb 07, 2016, 10:14PM »


One of the things that concerns me is the increase in earthquakes in the vicinity of fracking operations.  I realize a full cause and effect has not been established, but the coincidence is disturbing.

Yep. And the foxes guarding the henhouse do everything in their power and influence to dissuade and discourage any real investigation or logical correlation between fracking and said earthquakes. The industry lawyers always scoff at the connection.
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« Reply #16 on: Feb 08, 2016, 03:27AM »

With regard to Florida and your state, I'd wager that you actually haven't bothered to find out the relevant reqs and/or regs and are responding primarily to what you've read/heard from sources that are not fully knowledgeable on the issue. We've already established in the course of this discussion that yes, in fact, all of these chemicals are known and understood and yes they are all reported to the EPA for every location. Isn't this completely contrary to your initial understanding of fraccing regulation in the US?

Were it true, Sure. Unfortunately... it just sounds more like industry propaganda. Here's the recent news in FL. My state is similar.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/29/3744324/florida-fracking-bill-and-ban/
"This week, the Florida House approved a bill that would allow fracking to take place throughout the state as early as 2017, following an inquiry into the environmental and health impacts of the practice. The bill does not require fracking companies to disclose the chemicals or potential carcinogens used in the process, however, and includes a ban on local communities banning the practice entirely."

Another state that recently opened for fracking...
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/North_Carolina_and_fracking
"In 2012 a panel was created by the state legislature to craft safety rules for shale gas exploration. The panel - the N.C. Mining & Energy Commission - approved its first rule in March 2013, exempting certain chemicals from public disclosure as "trade secrets," but requiring fracking operators to submit trade secrets under seal to the state in case the data is needed to treat emergency injuries. According to the Charlotte Observer, fracking giant Halliburton told the state’s environmental regulators the rule goes too far, and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is therefore working to get the rule changed."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fracking-secrets-idUSBREA4L0YC20140522
So in the final result, the chemicals are protected secret, stored by a geologist and not the NCDENR, and only distributed in an emergency to responders when necessary. The state also overrode the local bans in the potential fracking area, and say they were invalid. Even attempted local regulation on basic things like noise limits was taken completely off the table.

Quote
The EPA has very clear and well developed guidelines for what are and are not hazardous pollutants.
Really? Where? Looks like they are still looking into it per the EPA's site.

http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing
"On May 9, 2014, EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) under Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The notice will begin the public participation process and seek public comment on:
the types of chemical information that could be reported and disclosed under TSCA, and
the approaches to obtain this information on chemicals and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing activities, including non-regulatory approaches.
This process:
will help inform EPA’s efforts to facilitate transparency and public disclosure of chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing and
will not duplicate existing reporting requirements.
The Federal Register published the notice on May 19, 2014.  The comment period is now closed
"

Quote
State EPA tends to be more on top of these issues, in many regards, than federal EPA
Maybe in your area... but when you look at states newly opening up to fracking and approaches such as the FL approach above and NC before it... that's not intended to protect the people but the industry.
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 08, 2016, 04:04AM »

Yep. And the foxes guarding the henhouse do everything in their power and influence to dissuade and discourage any real investigation or logical correlation between fracking and said earthquakes.
I have to agree with that as well. And this type of industry protection and preservation is really what makes me leery about fracking.
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 08, 2016, 04:29PM »

This same OP posted some similar malarkey a few years ago, no education what so ever except for Florida uniqueness.
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« Reply #19 on: Feb 08, 2016, 05:42PM »

Here we go again. Third time is the charm, right? Since there were over 180K "views" and more than 160 pages of discussion, I am going to continue to post my op-ed columns. I have gotten much good feedback, and the ideas for future columns, from those discussions. Hopefully, we can minimize the poop slinging this time around.

FRACKING FLORIDUH!

Two types of people support fracking, extracting oil and gas by injecting water and chemicals into the earth to break them free; those who are ignorant of how the process works, and those who stand to benefit from it. No sane person who understands the process can possibly support it unless it is somehow lining their pockets.

The Florida House recently passed a bill that not only allows fracking in Florida, but restrains local communities from disallowing the practice in their backyards. It’s somewhat akin to allowing frackers to hold a gun to the head of communities in Florida and play Russian Roulette with them. It is reminiscent of the movie “Deer Hunter” where an American POW was forced to play the game for the benefit of gamblers.

It’s hard to know where to begin when listing the dangers and pitfalls, literally, of the process. One of the biggest is groundwater contamination. The water and sand injected into the fracking wells is rife with a chemical soup of unknown contaminants. No one can/will say for sure what they are because companies that engage in the practice have bought disclosure protection from our legislators under the guise of “proprietary formulation”.

Fracking in Florida, with our shallow aquifers, has the potential to turn the entire state into a poison soup making Flint look like a kid’s game. For those of us in West Volusia county, the chemical threat pales in the comparison to the geologic potentials.

Oklahoma, a fracking centerpiece, exists on a solid substrate made of igneous rock. Prior to fracking, any movement of the ground in the state was rare and minimal. Since fracking began, Oklahoma has seen an increase in earthquakes of magnitude of 3 or larger from 109 in 2013 to 585 in 2014 to 907 in 2015.

It is not hard to imagine a sinkhole the size of Lake Okeechobee opening in the limestone substrate of Central Florida as a result if fracking is allowed here. Fortunately the Florida Senate has yet to take up the bill, SB 318, ostensibly because the DEP has not yet weighed in during the process.

Feedback from concerned citizens is having an impact in slowing this process. Representives Costello and Santiago voted against the good of Floridians in helping to pass HB191. You can still call Senators to register your position.

Dorothy Hukill, 850-487-5008
Tom Lee, Chair, Appropriations committee – 866-583-2908

Do you ever write pro capitalism or pro American op eds? Don't know
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Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan
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