Biomass Energy in Pennsylvania: Implications for Air Quality, Carbon Emissions, and Forests

PFPI-PA-Biomass-Energy-Report_12_18_12%5B1%5D.pdf.

Biomass Energy in Pennsylvania: Implications for Air Quality, Carbon Emissions, and Forests

70+ pages of analysis – deals with PA specifically but the issues are very general.
Relates also to burning garbage/trash.
“… burning wood and other biological materials for “biomass energy” is widely promoted as a cleaner and low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. Supported by an array of renewable energy incentives and widely marketed as sustainable and environmentally sound, biomass energy facilities ranging in size from institutional heating boilers to 100 megawatt (MW) electrical plants are being built at an unprecedented rate across the United States. Often missing in the rush to take advantage of renewable energy grants and subsidies, however, is discussion of how biomass combustion may affect air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and forests. Air quality regulators know that biomass boilers emit as much or more key air pollutants as fossil fuel boilers, giving them the potential to affect air quality. Scientists increasingly recognize that biomass energy, which is chiefly fueled with wood, is a significant source of greenhouse gases that could put large new demands on forests if growth continues unchecked. Still, the federal government and many states, including Pennsylvania, have prioritized rapid expansion of biomass energy capacity with little consideration of potential impacts. While pollutant emissions, greenhouse gases, and forest impacts from biomass energy are recognized by many scientists and regulators, they are only beginning to be considered at a policy level.”

It’s official: New York has banned fracking – Politics on the Hudson

It’s official: New York has banned fracking – Politics on the Hudson.

Caveats——————-

 

No evidence that DEC is attemptng to limit the expansion of the gas industry-pipelines, compressors, gathering lines that it finds detrimental to the environment.  This expansion proceeds unabated even without allowing high volume hydraulic fracturing.

 

In today’s official announcement of the ban on fracking in NYS by the DEC, there is also this passage, where the word “prohibit” is used:

“In the end, there are no feasible or prudent alternatives that would adequately avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts and that address the scientific uncertainties and risks to public health from this activity. The Department’s chosen alternative to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the best alternative based on the balance between protection of the environment and public health and economic and social considerations.”

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 3:33 PM, Ellen Pope <director@otsego2000.org> wrote:

There’s this, on p. 9 of the findings statement –

 

 

 

Ellen Pope

Executive Director

Otsego 2000, Inc.

PO Box 1130

Cooperstown, NY 13326

Tel:  607/547 8881

www.otsego2000.org

 

From: K. Shimberg [mailto:gkatmuse@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 3:30 PM
To: Ellen Pope
Cc: otsego-coalition@lists.riseup.net; Consternation PL; Protect Laurens
Subject: Re: [otsego-coalition] NYSDEC releases Findings Statement on Fracking

 

Thank you, Ellen!   —

Yessss!!   (For now, anyway.)

Does Cuomo make an official announcement now?

And thanks to the DEC and all the official & unofficial advisors w/ good science and good sense, and all the comment-&-letter-writers and rally organizers & attenders, bird-doggers, naggers, etc. — (all of us).

On to the 2 major interstate pipelines impending thru here awaiting DEC’s permitting or (we hope) denial, and bomb trains already travelling thru here as elsewhere, Seneca Lake unstable gas-storage caverns pending DEC final approval or reconsideration, PA’s HVHF waste trucked in to NYS landfills, and other adverse consequences still affecting NYS.  And FERC continues to rubber-stamp industry requests w/ inadequate “mitigation,” and our POTUS and DOE keep pushing nat-gas development.

So — We’re encouraged and cheered by DEC’s/Martens’s issuance of these Final SGEIS findings, which nicely spell out the problems and reasons for “No Action” anywhere in NYS on permitting the dangerous dragon.  But our work ain’t over!

   — Kathy S.

        Mt. Vision, NY  13810n

 

 

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:07 PM, Ellen Pope <director@otsego2000.org> wrote:

Hot off the presses.

 

Ellen Pope

Executive Director

Otsego 2000, Inc.

PO Box 1130

Cooperstown, NY 13326

Tel:  607/547 8881

www.otsego2000.org

Near a Fracking Center, Drinking Water Has More Chemicals and Carcinogens | InsideClimate News

Near a Fracking Center, Drinking Water Has More Chemicals and Carcinogens | InsideClimate News.

Awkward: Day After EPA Finds Fracking Does Not Pollute Water, Top Oil Regulator Resigns Over Water Contamination | Zero Hedge

Awkward: Day After EPA Finds Fracking Does Not Pollute Water, Top Oil Regulator Resigns Over Water Contamination | Zero Hedge.

Sources: D.E.C. says options limited for opposing crude facility | Capital New York

Sources: D.E.C. says options limited for opposing crude facility | Capital New York.

D.E.C. responds to critics of Finger Lakes gas project | Capital New York

D.E.C. responds to critics of Finger Lakes gas project | Capital New York.

Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development

Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development.

Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development

  1. Garth T. Llewellyna,1,
  2. Frank Dormanb,
  3. J. L. Westlandb,
  4. D. Yoxtheimerc,
  5. Paul Grievec,
  6. Todd Sowersc,
  7. E. Humston-Fulmerd, and
  8. Susan L. Brantleyc,1
  1. Edited by Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, and approved April 2, 2015 (received for review October 22, 2014)

Significance

New techniques of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) are now used to unlock oil and gas from rocks with very low permeability. Some members of the public protest against HVHF due to fears that associated compounds could migrate into aquifers. We report a case where natural gas and other contaminants migrated laterally through kilometers of rock at shallow to intermediate depths, impacting an aquifer used as a potable water source. The incident was attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development. The organic contaminants—likely derived from drilling or HVHF fluids—were detected using instrumentation not available in most commercial laboratories. More such incidents must be analyzed and data released publicly so that similar problems can be avoided through use of better management practices.

Abstract

High-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) has revolutionized the oil and gas industry worldwide but has been accompanied by highly controversial incidents of reported water contamination. For example, groundwater contamination by stray natural gas and spillage of brine and other gas drilling-related fluids is known to occur. However, contamination of shallow potable aquifers by HVHF at depth has never been fully documented. We investigated a case where Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania caused inundation of natural gas and foam in initially potable groundwater used by several households. With comprehensive 2D gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS), an unresolved complex mixture of organic compounds was identified in the aquifer. Similar signatures were also observed in flowback from Marcellus Shale gas wells. A compound identified in flowback, 2-n-Butoxyethanol, was also positively identified in one of the foaming drinking water wells at nanogram-per-liter concentrations. The most likely explanation of the incident is that stray natural gas and drilling or HF compounds were driven ∼1–3 km along shallow to intermediate depth fractures to the aquifer used as a potable water source. Part of the problem may have been wastewaters from a pit leak reported at the nearest gas well pad—the only nearby pad where wells were hydraulically fractured before the contamination incident. If samples of drilling, pit, and HVHF fluids had been available, GCxGC-TOFMS might have fingerprinted the contamination source. Such evaluations would contribute significantly to better management practices as the shale gas industry expands worldwide.

Footnotes

  • Author contributions: G.T.L., F.D., D.Y., and S.L.B. designed research; G.T.L., F.D., J.L.W., D.Y., P.G., T.S., and S.L.B. performed research; F.D. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; G.T.L., F.D., J.L.W., D.Y., P.G., T.S., E.H.-F., and S.L.B. analyzed data; and G.T.L. and S.L.B. wrote the paper.

  • Conflict of interest statement: G.T.L. and Appalachia Consulting provided litigation support and environmental consulting services to the impacted households.

  • This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

  • This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1420279112/-/DCSupplemental.

Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water – NYTimes.com

Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water – NYTimes.com.

Fracking’s Most Wanted: Spills & Violations

Fracking’s Most Wanted: Spills & Violations.

Fracking costs outweigh benefits for Germany and Europe, study says | EurActiv

Fracking costs outweigh benefits for Germany and Europe, study says | EurActiv.

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