Damascus Methane Baseline – damascus citizens for sustainability

Damascus Methane Baseline – damascus citizens for sustainability.

West Virginia Host Farms – Home

West Virginia Host Farms – Home.

Website Connects Land Owners and Marcellus Researchers – WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Website Connects Land Owners and Marcellus Researchers – WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather.

Website Connects Land Owners and Marcellus Researchers

Posted: May 14, 2012 3:34 PM EDT Updated: May 14, 2012 4:00 PM EDT

CLARKSBURG – The oil and gas industry and its presence in West Virginia almost always sparks debate.

Some argue its economic benefits, while others question the possibility of negative environmental impacts.

The fact is, not many facts are known about the affects of drilling at this time.

That’s why Diane Pitcock designed a website that will hopefully answer some of those questions and concerns.

The website is called WVhostfarms.org and it’s purpose is to connect landowners and environmental scientists.

Pitcock said it’s hard to make conclusions about the Marcellus industry without documentation of land properties before drilling takes place nearby.

“One of the biggest flaws that the research community has had and it’s something we’ll be able to help with, is there was no baseline testing pre drilling,” said Diane Pitcock, program administrator for WVHostFarms.org.

She describes the website as an invitation to the environmental research community.

“We have a network of landowners, who are more than willing to offer their farms for researchers,” Pitcock said.

“Some of them are wiling to provide lodging or camping space for the scientists,” said Tom Bond, a landowner with a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and who took a Toxicology course from the American Chemical Society.

The website aims to bring scientists to West Virginia private properties.

“Free access to our private properties, where they can do their water samples,” Pitcock said. “Conduct their baseline testing, so we can get the research we need as far as long term impacts.”

WBOY 12 News spoke with a family a few months ago, that told us an oil and gas company told them “sorry about your luck,” after test results indicated high levels of arsenic in their water well.

“Denying on the part of the drilling companies because no proper water samples were taken in advance,” Bond said.

Pitcock said that response is heard all too often.

“If we run into problems later as far as water contamination or live stock being impacted, we’ll have those baseline tests to show the water was fine before the fracking started,” Pitcock said.

“It’s hard to make a case with only anecdotal evidence,” Bond said.

The website looks to change the status quo, so companies can’t say ‘you can’t prove it’, or ‘we didn’t know.’

“We’ll have something that will actually be able to document. Something that can’t be disputed by the industry ‘there’s no baseline testing done so you can’t prove it.’ We’ll be able to prove it,” Pitcock said.

“Have some evidence to push back against these companies which have an almost unlimited supply of money,” Bond said

Bond and Pitcock say the lack of baseline testing has hurt individuals in litigation, but that’s not their only or primary concern.

“Landowners that are concerned want to see this research come here,” Pitcock said.

To share your stories and views about the oil and gas industry check out Jamie Stover’s Facebook page.

You can also contact Jamie Stover about your story by clicking here.

Area wells tested for contamination » Local News » The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY – otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Area wells tested for contamination » Local News » The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY – otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports.

PA Pre-Drilling Water Quality Maps

PA Pre-Drilling Water Quality Maps

ArcGIS Explorer Online.

Mechanics of site:   Upper left there’s three icons.  One is layers.  Tab one on, then wells with that result come on map, then hit bottom icon which gives  you the legend for that ‘layer’.  Or tab them all and get the legend for all of them but then the map doesn’t make sense, too many colors.    

dunno what the point is of right-hand icons. and yeah, where’s before and after?  and summary/findings, this must be written up I’ve not been to site yet.
Dear colleagues and friends,
It appears that there has been some serious and unfortunate mis-communication about the water quality maps that I sent yesterday.  Some important clarifications need to be made so that misinformation
or misleading interpretations of these maps do not continue to circulate.

First, and very important, clarification is that these maps in no way link groundwater problems with gas drilling. I sent an email correcting someone on this fact earlier today and  somehow that email
has now re-circulated with the wording changed to say “it does” show a link. IT DOES NOT SHOW A LINK! I want to repeat here for everyone to see and know what I said– these maps DO NOT show evidence of a link between groundwater problems and contamination by shale gas drilling.  Here’s how you know that– when you click on the dots for barium, chloride, or TDS you will notice that there is a Sample Date. That is important. Some of the samples with the highest concentrations have a Sample Date in the 1980’s. The majority of samples that are mapped are “pre-drilling.” That means this data shows concentrations of these constituents in water wells BEFORE shale gas wells were drilled in the immediate area. It is spelled out clearly in the title of the map, “NE Pennsylvania Pre-Drilling Water Quality.” Yes, the gas wells are displayed alongside the results, (which could lead one to think they are somehow associated with the water tests), but notice that the black dots have no information associated with them, such as date drilled or permitted or even the name of the facility, so we don’t know exactly what this information means and we cannot draw ANY conclusions about the relationship between the black dots (wells) and the water wells. Period.

The second point of clarification is that I do not work for Appalachia Consulting and did not collect any of this data. I was simply forwarding information that is now on their website that I hoped would be useful and interesting to others.I am to blame, perhaps, as I did not explicitly spell out what this data shows, and it is evident from emails I am receiving that there are serious misinterpretations and that there is not a clear understanding of what pre-drilling or baseline sampling means or how to read a map such as this. It is in everyone’s best interest to get educated on baseline water testing and what it means if you are looking to show a link between shale gas drilling and water contamination. You must have baseline water testing to prove such contamination.

And, that leads me to the third clarification, this pre-drilling data is extremely important to academic researchers, citizens, decision-makers, lawmakers, and anyone who has an interest in making sure that shale gas drilling does not contaminate groundwater or do harm, and that when it does there is enough evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that contamination has in fact occurred. Without pre-drilling, baseline data there will not be proof that contamination has occurred.  Jumping to conclusions about what these maps mean is putting this evidence in jeopardy.

And, fourth and finally, this is baseline data collected by a reputable, honest, and scientifically rigorous consulting firm and from private homeowners who have agreed to have their pre-drill testing data  displayed for informational purposes only. The consulting firm uses stringent chain of custody and quality assurance and quality control practices to ensure that their test results are indisputable. Please respect them both, the consulting firm and the homeowners. Is it interesting and important information? Yes. Is it useful for understanding how water wells could be impacted by drilling? Yes. Does it show that water wells are being impacted by drilling? Not yet.
Warmest regards,

Simona L. Perry, PhD
Research Scientist
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Science & Technology Studies
110 8th St.
Russell Sage Laboratory
Troy, New York 12180

New Nonprofit Offering Help With Tests That May Link Contaminated Water to Hydraulic Fracking | Shauna Stephenson | Energy | NewWest.Net

New Nonprofit Offering Help With Tests That May Link Contaminated Water to Hydraulic Fracking | Shauna Stephenson | Energy | NewWest.Net.

Gastem: Marcellus Shale Fracs in New York State Successful

The Industry Wins

Gastem: Marcellus Shale Fracs in New York State Successful.  Press Release 12/21/10

The Earth and Humans Lose:

Comment from Chip Northrup on Community Impact

—- Forwarded Message —-
From:mjsoll@localnet.com” <mjsoll@localnet.com>
To: sustainableotsego@lists.riseup.net
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 6:25:33 AM
Subject: [sustainableotsego] Julie’s speech to the Otsego County Board of Representatives, July 21, 2010 and how close the gas well is to the NYC watershed and the Susquehanna River

For those who are interested, this is my prepared speech to the Otsego
County Board of Representatives, July 21, 2010. Due to the meetings
time constraints, it is not exactly word for word as I said it.

Julie Solloway, Maryland, NY. My house is about one mile from the Ross1
natural gas well.

We used to have GOLD on Crumhorn Mountain. We called it WATER. It
tasted great and was abundant.

Numerous times before the permit was given, and before drilling began,
we said there was no way they could drill on the Ross property on
Crumhorn Mountain, Maryland, NY, and not contaminate the water,
forever- especially our farm.

Water IS more valuable than gas.

I know of 8 water wells, including ours, that have been adversely
affected since the drilling of the Ross1 natural gas well began.  And,
there is concern about a ninth one.

This is the first natural gas well drilled with this technique, in New
York State. Water wells were showing adverse affects shortly after the
drilling began, which was about 2 ½ months BEFORE they fracked.

We can not drink our water anymore. People, pets and animals have been,
and are, sick since shortly after the drilling began. My family is only
using the water to flush the toilet and that is causing health
symptoms. Often times there is a chemical smell in the bathroom.

Having been forced to experience the new technique of natural gas
drilling first hand, I give you some of my experiences:

Within a month of the drilling starting, I was violently ill after
drinking our water. (Some of the symptoms were blurry vision, severe
stomach cramps and collapsing.) This is a water well that we had never
had a problem with, or been sick from, since it was drilled. After
this, I only used the water to wash my hands or shower. My clothes were
also washed in it.

Later, I also had a severe reaction after taking a shower. My nose and
the roof of my mouth burned so badly, that at first, I didn?t even
realize my tongue was swollen.

On the day of the shower incident, I waited three hours, before taking
a shower at another house to try to wash the contaminants off me.
During this time, the County Health Department contacted the State
Health Department and others, trying to find a doctor for me to go to
who could help me. They could not come up with any. Both the County and
State Health Departments told us no local doctor or emergency room
would know what to test me for, or treat me for, concerning chemical
exposure, in regard to a natural gas well.

Because of the severe reaction after taking a shower, the State Health
Department made the gas company test our water. My mother and I had
reactions after the gas company ran our tap water full blast 30-45
minutes before they took water to test. When questioned as to why they
ran the water like that, they admitted it didn?t have to be run at all
because it was a self-cleaning artesian well.- (Their words.) At that
time, we asked the gas company if they would be testing for all the
chemicals, substances, etc., they used and/or could encounter while
drilling the natural gas well. They said No!- they were only doing a
baseline.  Now they are claiming they have tested for all the chemicals
all along.

Some of the symptoms we, and others affected, have had, or continue to
have, are: headaches, sore throats, weird body aches and pains, rashes,
abnormal hair loss, blurry vision, collapsing, severe stomach pains,
bloody noses, intense ear pressure, varying degrees of dizziness,
burning in the nose and throat, and exhaustion from the 24 hour 7 day a
week activity that went on for months.

Noise was a huge problem.
A lot of people were scared by the violent, thunder-like noises.
There was a lot of noise from the tremendous truck and vehicle traffic.
The intense noise from the drilling site was so bad that you couldn?t
sleep, and if you did manage to fall asleep, you were awakened by the
noise and couldn?t get back to sleep.

Among the many noises, was a noise like a very low flying plane
hovering over-top of us. This was a different aggravating noise than
the almost constant droning noise that you also couldn?t get away from.

Explosions occurred anytime day or night. These ranged from muffled to
so loud we thought a huge jet was going to hit the house. They also
shook the house.

The air pollution, including the stink, was so bad at times it burned
noses and throats. The horses didn?t want to go out of the barn.
Sometimes you would go outside to do something, and the obnoxious
stench was so bad you had to go back in the house. Going back in the
house didn?t necessarily mean you got completely away from the awful

There were a lot of unidentified and unfamiliar offensive odors. Smells
that were, and/or are still being experienced, include a wide degree of
varying sulfur smells, along with smells something like: rotten egg,
swamp, matchhead, egg sandwich, nail polish, formaldehyde, and
hydrochloric acid, among others. There can be, has been, and for those
still doing laundry at home, continues to be, an awful smell while
doing laundry. People stink after taking a shower.

There was tremendous truck and vehicle traffic, day and night. They
often deviated from their agreed upon designated route for heavy
vehicles.  Local residents experienced tailgating, interrupted flow of
traffic, being forced off the road, and were often woken up by the

Other negative impacts, noticed since the drilling began, include, but
aren?t limited to, dead animals, peculiar looking and odd growing
plants, shockwaves, and strange looking water, such as discolored,
and/or odd things throughout it from surface to bottom.

We were unable to do very much of our haying last year because of the
gas drilling. The little we did, we all had symptoms shortly afterwards.

Symptoms were also experienced after repairing, for an hour, the fence
that is only about 15 feet from Potato Creek.

The horses didn?t want to, and many times refused to, drink the water
from Potato Creek, even when it was brought to them in a bucket.

Since shortly after the drilling began, I have been dealing with sick
dogs, sick horses and sick people, including me.

I thought allowing the drilling of the Ross1 natural gas well would be
devastating. I didn?t realize how bad it would be, the magnitude of the
affects, or how quickly water contamination would occur.

I used to say, the more you learn about natural gas drilling, the worse

The State Health Department has given us, and others affected,
ridiculous excuses of causes of health symptoms such as: it must be
your shampoo, it must be the sink traps, it must be dust. At another
household, the State Health Department claimed they had used too much
water. This was last year when we had all that rain. The State Health
Department and the gas company both insist there isn?t any reason why
we can?t drink the water.

Several people, including a New York State Health Department worker,
said it is very likely that the chemical or substance I am reacting to,
will not show up in a water test; i.e. there is not enough of it to
show up in a water test, but there is enough of it to cause me to have
a reaction to it. I will never be able to use our water again.

Would you let your kids and grandchildren drink my water? I won?t.

I hope no one in this room has to go through what we are going through.

We don?t call our WATER gold anymore. We call it POISON.

Thank you.

This is relevant to a lot of New York State and beyond. It concerns
people besides those in Otsego County.
Note: The Ross1 natural gas well is approximately 11.5 miles from the
Catskill/Delaware (NYC) Watershed. The closest adversely affected water
well we KNOW about, is approximately 9.5 miles from this watershed. The
Ross1 is also about 1.8 miles from the Susquehanna River. On the other
side, it is about 1.4 miles to the Schenevus Creek, an A rated trout
stream that empties into the Susquehanna River. A small, unnamed creek
which originates at the pond/wetland bordering the Ross1 wellpad, and
Potato Creek flow into Schenevus Creek.
Also note, the proposed Ross2 site is at least 3 miles closer to this
NYC watershed, than the Ross1. It will probably be within 8.5 miles of
the watershed. The proposed Ross2 is very close to Schenevus Creek and
a propane pipeline. This pipeline blew up in the hamlet of North
Blenheim, March 13, 1990, killing two people and demolishing ten homes.
(1-6) On January 25, 2004, an explosion caused by a leak in a valve, in
this same pipeline, blew up a house and caused an evacuation in
Harpersfield, NY. (3, 4, 6, 7) On August 27, 2010, a leak in this same
pipeline caused an evacuation near Gilboa. NY. (5) In July 2010, the
gas company was taking baseline water tests in preparation for drilling
the Ross2. As far as we know no permit has been granted or applied for
to the DEC.

Work Cited Links


2.  http://old.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2003/05/08/expl.html

3.  http://old.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2004/01/26/fire.html

4.  http://old.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2004/01/29/fire.html


6.  http://old.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2004/01/27/fire.html


Baseline Water Well Testing Completed for Mora County: Las Vegas Basin Property Owners

Drilling Mora County: Baseline Water Well Testing Completed for Mora County: Las Vegas Basin Property Owners.