Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WSKG -Discussion on the SGEIS

The question I asked :

Has any one of the panelists looked at the facts sheet on community character where the DEC talks about deferring some sort of feedback for build out rate to local communities?

The Answer:  No

The document I referred to can be found here:

I think that the NYSDEC here offers communities a chance to have some sort of say on certain issues regarding community character. I was hoping that Dr. Susan Christopherson would have addressed exactly what the sGEIS was implying.

"Community Character
To mitigate potential cumulative impacts to community character, the SGEIS proposes that DEC, in consultation with local governments, may limit simultaneous development of well pads and wells in proximity to each other. This approach would also help mitigate any noise impacts, visual impacts and impacts from increased truck traffic.

DEC will monitor the pace and concentration of development throughout the state and will consider additional measures to mitigate the adverse impacts at the local and regional levels. Where appropriate, and in consultation with local governments, DEC will impose specific construction windows within well construction permits to ensure drilling activity and cumulative impacts are concentrated in one specific area."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Audubon Society on Hydraulic Fracturing and Natural Gas development

Let’s be clear, to reject hydraulic fracturing is to reject natural gas development. To reject natural gas development is to reject the potential of the growing natural gas source of the United States. It is to reject the people who are employed in that energy sector, the direct and the indirect jobs. It is to reject the landowners who are carrying the burden and the good fortune to be the engine behind the powering of the nation. 
Recently some Audubon society groups in New York State have voted to support a ban on hydraulic fracturing in New York State. Citing that hydraulic fracturing isn’t good for birds…
“After careful review, our boards of directors found the threats to birds too severe to support this drilling practice,” said Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society conservation chair Andrew Mason. 
On the other side of the state-line, the Audubon Society in Pennsylvania has taken different stance is actually developing a curriculum for school about the potential benefits and risks associated with the natural gas development.
 “The organization’s board decided that “it would not be appropriate for us to reject it out of hand — it would be the height of NIMBY,” Bonner said.

I didn't say it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Natural Gas Discussion on YNN - Chip Northrup / Dennis Holbrook

Chip Northrup gives his side of the argument against why he feels that hydraulic fracturing should not be used in NY.


Dennis Holbrook responds to some of Chip Northrup's assertions and outlines the dollar cost of fear.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Texas Engineer Discusses Impact of HF on the Environment

Water issues discussed at local lecture | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Davis L. Ford, an environmental engineer with 40-plus years’ experience, has worked with more than 150 industries and 10 foreign governments in the area of water pollution control, solid waste management, hazardous waste remediation and environmental litigation support.

He spoke Friday on horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracking and energy independence at Texas Tech's Department of Petroleum and Engineering lecture program.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review finds no direct link between fracturing, tainted water

Published 07:35 p.m., Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Preliminary results of a University of Texas study on hydraulic fracturing indicate the process itself does not appear to contaminate contaminating drinking water, but that fracturing sites may have a higher incidence of surface problems that can occur with any type of drilling.
Prior reports, investigations and data gathered throughout the country on claims that the process often called fracking contaminated ground water so far don't make the direct link, said Chip Groat, a UT geologist who is leading the study.
Rather, it appears that shale drilling results in more problems on the surface than drilling that doesn't involve fracking, including spills of drilling and fracking fluids, leaks from wastewater pits and other rule violations, said Groat, who is unveiling the preliminary results of the study in Fort Worth on Wednesday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lets Talk- Message to Anti- Natural Gas Development Activists

It recently came to my attention that my integrity and credibility is being besmirched and challenged publicly. I will respond to the challenge by turning it into an opportunity to start a dialogue with my challengers.
My discussions on the issue of the mitigation of the potential impacts related to natural gas development in Otsego County have been based on the facts and methodology that have been used at both the state and federal level. These developed regulations have successful worked at ensuring the protection of human health and the environment. I focused my public dialogue on the principles associated with environmental impact abatement strategies.
·         Baseline and regular monitoring of water quality is imperative. This is done to ensure that the mitigation measures employed are working as expected.  
·         Mitigating or eliminating pathways of potential exposure ensure that people will not be exposed.  In order for public health to be affected by any contaminant there has to be a pathway linking the two. If state mandated permit conditions and regulations are designed to eliminate pathways, then human exposure should be eliminated, sparing any negative health implications.
·         Exposure pathways can be eliminated. For example by the use of containment (closed loop systems) and setbacks. In the scenario of air emissions, setbacks allow for contaminant levels to drop to below ambient levels at their potential point of contact with the local population.
·         Water and Air Quality Standards. Ensuring that in the case of a completed pathway, then exposure if it does occur occurs at levels below quality standard. This effectively protects from acute, chronic health impacts and clinical disease progression.
Mitigation strategies employed by the NYSDEC in the sGEIS are similar to other NYSDEC and USEPA mitigation strategies employed in other circumstances.  A good example is the containment of petroleum in an underground storage tank at a neighborhood gas station. There are close to 600,000 underground storage tanks (UST) in the US. These tanks contain either petroleum or hazardous materials. A leak from a UST means certain groundwater contamination. Groundwater supplies must be protected since they supply a large majority of the drinking water for US residents.  Regulations have been developed at the federal and state level to effectively minimize the incidents of leakage, rusting, and spillage of petroleum from UST.  The UST program has successfully managed to protect water. Therefore, the concept of effective containment works; closed loop systems will and have worked in eliminating certain exposure pathways (Air emissions from benzene and VOC’s from open pits containing frac flowback are eliminated no ozone, hence no asthma).
Being mindful about protecting human health and protecting the environmental is all about maintaining meaningful dialogue with all involved to solve environmental issues.   I urge everyone to keep the dialogue constructive and solution oriented.
Uni Blake
Environmental Toxicologist