The most toxic substance on earth:
(Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material)
The following is a Daily News Alert from the Denton Record Chronicle that I received in an email. You can subscribe here. This alert tells about an upcoming article by award winning journalist Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe where she uncovers a secret that Barnett Shale operators don’t want us to know.
At the Barnett Shale symposium in Fort Worth, I purposely asked the Devon Energy representative if there was any sour gas in the Barnett Shale. His hasty reply was “No, there is no sour gas in the Barnett Shale.” Sour gas contains NORM. I suspected then that he was lying because, just a few days before the symposium, I heard about an incident in Saginaw…
Edit: As pointed out by a commenter, the sour gas question appears to have been the wrong question. I should have just asked about NORM. I was relying on information from someone who claimed that NORM = sour gas. Lesson Learned: I won’t rely on that person’s information again without verification. However, that does not decrease the dangers posed by a buildup of NORM in our backyards, air and drinking water. I am most anxious to see what Peggy has to say.
It is important to remember that the decontamination instances mentioned below were hidden from the public and information about those instances was obtained ONLY through FOI requests which seems to blow the other commenter’s premise completely out of the polluted water.
Daily News Alert
10:53 AM CST on Friday, November 9, 2007
Greetings from the Denton Record-Chronicle newsroom.
Get ready to have your eyes opened about a little known effect of gas-well drilling.
Reporter Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe has been working on a project for more than a month that will tell you about something called NORM.
More on that in a minute.
For several years now, Denton County has been at the center of a gas-well drilling boom. On many, many plots of rural land – and on some urban plots – gas wells are busy pulling natural gas from the Barnett Shale underneath us. I am not a geology expert, but the shale is rich with natural gas, and we need that natural gas to light up our stoves, ovens, hot water heaters and gas-log fireplaces.
For those who own land and, more specifically, the mineral rights to that land, the boom has been an easy way to make hundreds, thousands, even millions.
But, Peggy will tell you about a potential danger from all this.
A dangerous byproduct comes up out of the Barnett Shale, along with the natural gas. It’s called naturally occurring radioactive material, or NORM.
Scientists worldwide all agree that continued exposure to radioactive material leads to cancer and other health problems.
Here’s an excerpt from Peggy’s story, coming soon:
Statewide, 140 such sites were decontaminated from January 2005 to the present, according to documents obtained in an open records request to the Department of State Health Services, which oversees disposal of the state’s hottest radioactive waste.
Moreover, 25 of those decontamination sites were in Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties, the core counties of the Barnett Shale. The clean-ups signal that fracing — the water-guzzling process that busts the gas out of the shale — could be pulling up much more than energy companies have bargained for, experts say.
Click here to see a slideshow on NORM and gas-well drilling in the area.
Here are some of the astounding numbers she will tell you:
* Cubic feet of gas produced in the Barnett Shale since 2000: 2.6 trillion
* MCF (thousand cubic feet) of gas produced in Denton County in 2007: 884,662,302
* Median gallons of produced water per MCF of gas in Denton County: 2,226
* Barrels of NORM waste removed from Denton County since 2005: about 85
* Disposal cost per barrel: $150 to $300
* Number of permitted gas well operators in Denton County: 67
We cannot tell you that Person A, B or C has gotten cancer from the gas wells around us. We do not know, and wouldn’t begin to make that assumption without proof.
But we can tell alert you to the potential danger, and we can say, “Let the discussion begin.” What do you think? We want to know. E-mail Peggy at email@example.com . She wants to hear from you.