Fracking-- just when you get your head around one environmental disaster. . .

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Michaelangelica, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Clusterpod

    Clusterpod Junior Member

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    Over here in Western Australia, where I am led to believe there are huge reserves of shale, companies running fracking operations don't even have to provide environmental management reports.

    Given the biological surveys are rarely done, or complete, we don't really know the state of the systems fracking operations are disrupting.

    How are we able, then, to know the real damage they are causing?

    Once again, too little science, too little protracted observation, and too much jumping in for a buck and hoping technology will be up to the task for the future clean-up.
     
  2. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    LOL

    Yeah, and kept going by really fast!
     
  3. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    9 December, 2011 8:41AM AEDT
    Coalfields in the northern Illawarra stretch the boundaries of responsible mining
    By Nick McLaren
    The practice of riverbed cracking due to longwall coal mining continues in the Illawarra more than 10 years after a section of the Cataract River near Appin drained away, releasing methane through the cracks, which caught on fire.

    It was a remarkable image that naturally gave rise to widespread condemnation followed by seeming agreement that such severe damage to rivers from mining should never be allowed to happen again.
    The issue was addressed in great detail when the state government held a special inquiry into the southern coalfield in 2006 to specifically examine the effects of underground coal mining on "rivers, creeks, swamps and cliff lines".
    So it came as a shock to a small a group of people this week to view first hand the ongoing effects of riverbed cracking in highly regulated Sydney Catchment lands.
    The location was the Waratah Rivulet, located deceptively close to the Helensburgh turnoff from the F-6 southern freeway.
    Inside two sets of locked gates lies the pristine bushland of the Woronora Special Area.

    The area is deeming so environmentally sensitive, visitors aren't allowed to urinate in the bushes.
    https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/12/09/3387266.htm
     
  5. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    It's insane beyond words. In Queensland they are putting a mine in a nature reserve. Landholders cannot develop the land once a nature reserve agreement is signed but doesn't stop those miners!! It's just madness.
     
  6. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

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    Here's a speech Allan Jones gave on CSG mining.

    I'm not a fan of his.. but this is a good speech.

    [video=youtube;ebP43RlZW3Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebP43RlZW3Q[/video]
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    What the feds found

    More than 20 Pavillion well owners contacted the EPA over the course of a decade, requesting a study of their groundwater. The agency began looking into the problem in 2009, beginning its research by taking samples from privately owned wells and municipal wells. They found low levels of methane and hydrocarbons, including diesel, in the groundwater.

    Although the chemical levels did not exceed drinking water standards, the EPA felt there was cause for concern and advised Pavillion residents to use alternate water sources. (Currently, natural gas drilling company Encana delivers a water supply for 21 households in the area.) The federal agency moved to the next stage of testing, drilling two monitoring wells and analyzing waste pits for possible contamination. The EPA investigation ultimately yielded evidence of benzene, xylenes and hydrocarbon in the Pavillion's groundwater.

    The report resulting from the EPA's Wyoming investigation is the first to analyze multiple, on-the-ground samples to determine the impact of fracking on underground water resources in areas of oil and gas development. The report is a draft of a comprehensive study the EPA study scheduled for release late 2012.

    Learn more: https://www.naturalnews.com/034401_EPA_fracking_well_water.html#ixzz1h60p11sG
     
  8. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Failed my water standards by a long shot just by reading the 1st paragraph, not even getting into the rest of it.
     
  9. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Was that another fracking earthquake?

    Ohio also now sports the only state in the nation I know of with flammable tap water! :n:
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Oh thats okay.....they can just add that 'antiflammatory' to it, ......you know the same one thats already in soft drinks.
    There sorted.....(see me dusting my hands and trotting off to watch the wind wreck my garden,a far more important crisis)
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/december2011/fracturingstudy.htm

    Have we ANY studies happening in Australia???
     
  12. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Another study or report...........doesn't really mean they will do anything with the results.

    M, I can only comment on Queensland. There is what is called an adaptive management framework when it comes to csg mining. this means that as the monitoring and reporting on aspects of the mining process are gathered and better understood, environmental authorities can be changed to reflect any management controls that are needed.

    In regards to csg and drinking water in Queensland, it goes like this. If water from csg operations augments a town drinking water supply of a drinking water service provider then that water will be subject to a recycled water management plan. This means for example that if a csg operator discharges water into a watercourse and that water ends up augmenting a drinking water supply (say in a weir or dam) they must make sure that the water is of drinking water quality (Australian drinking water guidelines). There are a lot of monitoring and reporting on water quality at various points of the process, as it is taken out of the ground, in feed ponds, at point of discharge etc.

    Notice I said, if it augments a town drinking water supply. If you are an individual with riparian rights that draws directly from the watercourse, these laws do not apply. Different laws apply if water is discharged into a watercourse and it has no effect on a town drinking water supply.

    Haven't looked at the laws in say the last 4 or 5 months but that was the case then.
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Ta annette
    so that means they can just pump waste back down another hole and be done with it? or anywhere else not in a catchment area?
    Until the fracking chemicals pop up a decade later in Victorian artesian bores?
     
  14. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    In a word no. In queensland there are many different acts that regulate different parts of the csg mining process. Petroleum and Gas Act, Environmental Protection Act, Water Act, Water supply (safety and reliability) Act, mineral resources act and it goes on. It is a complicated mesh.

    If they want to discharge into an aquifer, that is not a drinking water supply, it would have to conform to requirements under the Environmental Protection Act and the individual enviromental authority (EA). amendments to the EP Act last year made it a requirement for the csg operators to have a CSG water management plan as part of their EA. (what they do with waste water, treatment processes etc) I haven't seen one as yet. But it covers monitoring and reporting and they have to get it approved. I haven't looked at this stuff for months and so I need to get up to speed on what's going on now.

    what we need are very robust EAs when they are given out to these companies.
     
  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Josh Fox Condemns Fracking About-Face By USDA

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture sparked the ire of hydrofracking opponents Tuesday, when it reversed its plans to require rural housing loans on properties with gas drilling leases to comply with the extensive environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

    Josh Fox, director of the hydrofracking documentary “Gasland,” was quick to take issue with the USDA's change of heart.

    “This is a very important development and one that we need to speak up about,” said Fox in a statement Tuesday night. “A full NEPA review, like the type the agency was talking about affirming, would have been more transparent, more rigorous and comprehensive. USDA staff experts in the New York office as well as in Washington made clear in emails that the law and the science require that mortgages with drilling leases shouldn’t be exempt from NEPA. This 180-degree turn by Secretary Vilsack contradicts both science and law.”

    The about-face comes after The New York Times's Ian Urbina first reported the USDA was planning to require an extensive environmental review before issuing mortgages to people who have leased their land for oil and gas drilling.

    "The proposal by the Agriculture Department, which has signaled its intention in emails to Congress and landowners, reflects a growing concern that lending to owners of properties with drilling leases might violate the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, which requires environmental reviews before federal money is spent,” Urbina wrote.

    But on Monday, Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack reneged on that position, according to reports from Bloomberg news. "As indicated in previous statements, USDA will not make any policy changes related to rural housing loans."
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012...627.html?1332293671&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
     
  16. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    [video=youtube;iEHz8SSfFJs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEHz8SSfFJs[/video]

    Untested Science: Fracking natural gas controversy Canada
     
  17. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    April 14, 2012 1:28 am
    Fracking water linked to earthquakes
    By Ajay Makan in New York
    The use of underground wells to dispose of waste water produced by fracking – the process used to unlock oil and gas deposits hidden deep in rock formations – is “almost certainly” behind the surge in earthquakes in the central US in recent years, a government study has found.
    The findings of the US Geological Survey, which is part of the Department of Interior, represent the most authoritative research yet to link the activities of the booming US shale oil and gas industry to earthquakes.

    They add to pressure for regulation of the disposal of waste water in underground wells,
    https://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e268a268-84f6-11e1-a3c5-00144feab49a.html#axzz1rzqVo97h
     
  18. Sezmo

    Sezmo Junior Member

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    Just wanted to ask a question about this if anyone knows "In a word no. In queensland there are many different acts that regulate different parts of the csg mining process. Petroleum and Gas Act, Environmental Protection Act, Water Act, Water supply (safety and reliability) Act, mineral resources act and it goes on. It is a complicated mesh.

    If they want to discharge into an aquifer, that is not a drinking water supply, it would have to conform to requirements under the Environmental Protection Act and the individual enviromental authority (EA). amendments to the EP Act last year made it a requirement for the csg operators to have a CSG water management plan as part of their EA. (what they do with waste water, treatment processes etc) I haven't seen one as yet. But it covers monitoring and reporting and they have to get it approved. I haven't looked at this stuff for months and so I need to get up to speed on what's going on now.

    what we need are very robust EAs when they are given out to these companies."

    In the case of our town, we are facing an open cut brown coal mine, and possibly csg but we really don't know yet. Apparently the mining co will drain the aquifer below the town altogether because the hole they are digging is deeper than it, and so the aquifer will flood their mine unless they do.
    Do they then have access to that underground aquifer space, as in now that it's no longer a town water supply, can they then try and use this space, if the could plug the hole they made in it. Could they leach the filthy waste liquid products back down into the ground since its then not a water source?
     
  19. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Hi Sezmo

    If it is an open cut mine then the requirements for a water management plan for CSG does not apply. Unfortunately I don't work in the area anymore and they change things all the time. What you are better off doing is writing an email to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and put the question to them. Address it to the Minister so then it goes Ministerial, gets put into the MECS system and they are pretty good time frames within which they should get back to you. You will have to give as much information and frame your questions very specifically (otherwise the bureaucrats will use weezel words and construe what you are asking as something else.) Environmental authorities should be on the internet also so that could give you some information. Quote the area the mine and number your questions. It may have to go to different departments now for answers to all the questions because the EPA split from DERM.

    If my memory serves me correctly, water extracted from a mining activity (Not CSG) is sometimes called dewatering. If that water in that aquifer is the only town water supply I would be very surprised if they allowed it to go ahead. But then nothing surprises me anymore.

    Good luck.
     
  20. Sezmo

    Sezmo Junior Member

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    Thanks for that info, I do have a few letters to write on the topic so I'll look into that some more.
    It's not the town water source anymore, we do have town water piped in from reservoirs however there are lots of bores and wells around town... And the aquifer is unmapped so there's no research as to whether it feeds another river which heads off to another major market gardening town. Awesome work if they do dewater it, or contaminate it:y:

    Edit to add: compensation for the exploration drilling on private lands was to drill them each a bore on their land with the exploration equipment.... So all those landholders with their brand new bores would be really happy too! Not...
     

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